Desiree Christensen, University of Iowa, Criminology, 2017


Current Occupation: I am a paralegal for a personal injury law firm, VanDerGinst Law, P.C. There are offices located in Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Chicago. I help individuals who have suffered non-traumatic and traumatic injuries as a result of an accident/incident. My goal is to help injured individuals receive compensation for their injuries.  I maintain anywhere between 75 and 100 pre-litigation and litigation files on a daily basis. I develop a professional relationship with each client to help better understand how their life has been impacted by the accident/incident. I assist an attorney with all pleadings, discovery and trial preparation for the litigation files.  Each day is different, fast paced and a learning experiencing.

How Did your Major (or college in general) Help Prepare you for your Career: When I graduated from the University of Iowa I did not know what career I wanted, but I wanted to help people whether it was criminals, victims, or drug addicts. My first job was as a Legal Assistant for an attorney practicing criminal and family law; which gave me the experience I needed to become a Paralegal. The legal field is fast-paced, stressful, but very rewarding all at the same time. Studying Criminology, Law and Justice taught me how to think objectively, develop a professional relationship with client, be empathetic and fight for what people deserve. Two of my favorite classes were Social Theory and Juvenile Delinquency, which are both theory based classes. These classes taught me how to think critically and analytically, which is helpful when investigating a personal injury accident/incident and fighting for the client.

Desiree Christensen photo