Carrie Kratochvil was working for a lawyer in Racine County after graduating from Gateway Technical College in 1996 when an ad in the newspaper changed her life.
Marquette University Law School was hiring and Kratochvil’s interest was piqued, but due to various factors going on at the time, she said she blew off the opportunity.
But the ad was posted again a few months later and this time Kratochvil applied. One month later, she was on staff.
“I always thought I wanted to be a lawyer from the time I was about 5 years old,” she said. “I was very inquisitive and always up for a debate. I frequently heard I would be a great lawyer. Everyone has to start somewhere.”
Kratochvil has spent the past two decades on staff and currently serves as the administrative secretary at the Marquette Law School.
She assists 13 faculty members in the department in various tasks, such as handling the logistics and layout of course materials, preparing presentations for conferences and even keeping contact information together for law school alumni so staff members can easily reach them.
She even served as managing editor for “The Negotiator’s Fieldbook,” which was co-authored by Professor Andrea Schneider in 2006.
Kratochvil said Schneider and Marquette Professor Janine Geske had a profound effect on her personal and professional life, and considers them both mentors and family.
“My plan was that Marquette would be a stepping stone to something bigger and better, a way for me to further my education and move on, but it has become my home,” Kratochvil said. “Not only have I earned a degree from Marquette University from the College of Professional Studies in 2009, so has my daughter — she graduated from the College of Communication in 2016.”
Kratochvil said her favorite part of working at Marquette is the people. During her 20 years on staff, there has been a continuous change in the students attending, faculty and staff, and even the extended alumni body. She was near the same age as the students when she started at Marquette and spending two decades at the university allowed her to learn while educating others.
“I am very candid with our students, faculty and others,” she said. “I think sometimes people get so caught up in the rigmarole of what is law school that sometimes they need a break from that.
“Whether it is about grades or grading, or papers or lectures, or planning the next fabulous event, we all need that person that keeps us grounded. That’s me.”