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Published: Monday, August 15, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Michael Laws: Born to be a lawyer

All the jokes about his name finally influenced this week's aptonym

  • Lawyer Michael Laws of the Everett law firm Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Lawyer Michael Laws of the Everett law firm Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws.

  • Lawyer Michael Laws of Everett law firm Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws.

    Sarah Weiser / The Herald

    Lawyer Michael Laws of Everett law firm Baker, Lewis, Schwisow & Laws.

Q: How did your name direct your career path?
A: Oddly enough, I was getting a master's degree in social work and during my master's degree program I had a friend joke, "Why are you going into social work With a name like Laws you should be going to law school." And over time I heard that again and again, and the joke turned into me looking at law school, and I got more interested in the law.
And originally I was thinking I'd go into family law and realized I didn't have any interest in family law at all, but I got my master's degree from Walla Walla University and then went on to law school at the University of Montana Law School.
I'm it (as far as lawyers in my family).
When I was working as an intern at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Missoula, I met an assistant U.S. attorney in Billings whose name was Ed Laws, and we figured we were probably distantly related somehow or other.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
A: No. It makes sense. It fits.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: Well, my dream job has always been since I started watching the show "MythBusters" is that I've always wanted to be a MythBuster. Other than that, I don't think I would change careers. I like the practice of law.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: Oh, it happens probably at least once a week to three or four times a week where someone will say, "Oh, your name is Laws and you are a lawyer. That is so funny." And I say, "Yeah, that is funny. I've never heard that before." I do just have myself to blame.
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job Do they get it Any funny stories as a result?
A: It's usually kind of a point of humor. It puts people at ease and breaks the ice, but no, I don't have any funny anecdotes; it's not the central point of my representation.
And my family, most of them were supportive of my career change, supportive of advancing my education, and they are all kind of used to the name.
Story tags » Human Interest

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