Faculty Spotlight: Jennifer Trowbridge

Jennifer Trowbridge began her career in law and education as an Executive Assistant for USD’s Paralegal Program. While working for the program, she completed the certificate and then went on to attend law school. Bringing her back full circle, she now teaches Introduction to Business Entities in the program and takes on interns in her law practice.

I wanted a career that afforded me the freedom to (for the most part) control my schedule. I also wanted the ability to pursue multiple interests. With a J.D. or as an attorney you can go into real estate, executive management, teaching, politics, whatever you want. You are only limited by you own motivation and desires.

As an attorney at Trowbridge Mills Law Group, APC, Ms. Trowbridge is primarily focused on helping small to mid-size companies navigate complex federal securities law. She finds satisfaction in seeing small businesses thrive as a result of their help.

Helping small businesses raise money for their company, to me, is a way of helping people succeed. Both the entrepreneur and the employee(s) she hires benefit. I was always drawn towards public service type areas of law, but even more interested in the business structure. This is kind of a healthy compromise.

The greatest challenge she faces in her career is effective time management, “I have yet to overcome it, but I definitely utilize as many tools as possible to help mitigate the stress involved with it.” She notes that though difficult, delegation is essential!

Paralegals fill a critical role in Ms. Trowbridge’s firm. She relies on them to assist with filing documents in court, drafting SEC periodic filings and offering documentation, and ensuring all paperwork is compliant with regulations. To ensure the success of future paralegals, Ms. Trowbridge holds high expectations for her students.

This is a graduate level course…I expect graduate level work. My class tends to be difficult since a student without any exposure or experience in the business realm will not only be learning new concepts and theories, but also a whole new vocabulary. My goal is that when the student walks out of my classroom and into their job or internship, they will be able to not only know what the Form 10K, Statement of Partnership Authority or Articles of Incorporation are, but also where to find them and how to get pertinent information from them.

Her greatest challenge as an instructor is helping ease students’ anxiety when they’re feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of concepts.

Me telling them that it will all be OK only goes so far…but it’s true.  IT WILL BE OK.

Satisfaction comes when she gets to witness students’ “ah-ha” moments.

Seeing that look of recognition and understanding on someone’s face after seeing it scrunched in confusion for some time.

She advises new paralegals entering the field to work hard. Adding that if you’re willing to do so, “you will go far. We NEED your help.” For those considering law school, she advises:

1) Sleep. All-nighters won’t help you perform better on exams.

2) Be prepared to push yourself. You will be an over-achiever in a room full of other over-achievers.

3) You can do it!

In college, Ms. Trowbridge most enjoyed her Hawaiian Religion, World Religion, and Astronomy classes. In high school, she enjoyed English and literature classes and recalls one instructor in particular who had a major impact on her.

My Mechanical Drawing/Drafting instructor my Senior Year in High School.  When I walked in the first day and realized I was the only girl in a classroom full of boys, he assured me I was in the right place. He encouraged me and helped me discover that I was really good at it! He helped me realize that anyone can be successful in a field of study, classroom or profession regardless of the traditional demographic.

Ms. Trowbridge is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, the Lawyers Club of San Diego, California Women Lead, and various other associations that provide professional development opportunities.

With two young boys at home, her weekends consist of sporting events, Cub Scout meetings, and school projects. “Their hobbies are my hobbies,” she notes. When feeling out of balance between work and home life, Ms. Trowbridge asks herself, “What will be important to me in 10 years?”

If working the extra 4 hours each night for a week isn’t going to blow an important deadline, then in 10 years, would I look back and wish I really would have spent more time at home or at a family event, etc.  I then adjust accordingly.

She advises students to create a list of goals (personal and professional) and make a yearly “to-do” list to help keep them on track to accomplish their goals. Adding, “it does go a long way towards balancing your life.”

See what students have said about Professor Trowbridge’s Introduction to Business Entities course.

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