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Emily Garnett

EMILY GARNETT (BA ’05; MA ’07) always knew she wanted to do something with politics or law. During her time at the University of Illinois she developed a close relationship with some of her professors who later became part of her favorite memories of the Department of Political Science. She felt that the professors she had were very approachable and encouraged her to engage in opportunities that expanded her experience as a student at the University of Illinois. One of those opportunities was spending time in Italy and getting a chance to visit law students at the Universita degli Studi di Cagliari. Ms. Garnett believes that your college experience should not be limited to the classes you attend, and that there are so many connection activities to learn from in a way that will expand what you are learning in the classroom.

Ms. Garnett has had an expansive career after graduating from Illinois. She has held positions such as Policy Director of the Finance Committee for Senator Mike Johnston of the Colorado General Assembly, and Assistant City Attorney for the City of Boulder’s Attorney Office. She is currently an associate at a law firm in Denver, Colorado where she will be eligible as a shareholder in 2020. Her career is flexible on a day-to-day basis, and she loves what she does. She advises prospective law students to be certain that they will use their law degree before deciding to attend law school. Given the great expense of law school, she says to spend time with lawyers and to “feel out” the profession through internships and shadow programs. She advises all students to build their career doing what inspires them.

“The challenge with college is that you are finally able to choose your own path,” Ms. Garnett says. She encourages students to spend time connecting with alumni as they can give good insight as to what you may or may not want to do after graduation. Networking means a lot. Overall, Ms. Garnett feels very fortunate to have a political science background. She says that Illinois is very connected globally, the political science department gives you many opportunities to travel, from Washington, D.C. to international locations – there are Illinois political science alumni around the world.

Ms. Garnett can be reached at


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