Andrew Palanzi ’09 chose Shenandoah University because he wanted to attend a small university where he could interact with professors and classmates on a daily basis.“The professors are wonderful and truly care about their students,” said Palanzi. “They are able and willing to provide encouragement and advice in all aspects of life. Without the help of my professors, particularly professors Shendow and Leonard, I would not be where I am today.”
Palanzi participated in several internships and volunteer opportunities because of the great personal relationships he developed with his professors. And, these experiences are what later helped him discover his desire to study law.
After graduation, Palanzi attended the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, Virginia. While at George Mason, he used many of the skills he learned at Shenandoah to succeed in both completing his classwork and positioning himself for a career outside of law school. With the critical thinking skills and the dedication to learn instilled in Palanzi through his political science classes at Shenandoah, he became a member of the George Mason United States Supreme Court Clinic. As a member of the clinic, he worked on cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Palanzi also served as the executive editor of the George Mason Civil Rights Law Journal. In 2012, he graduated from George Mason in the top three percent of his class.
Palanzi is vice president of residential litigation at Magruder Cook Koutsouftikis & Palanzi in Reston, Virginia. In his position, he conducts and supervises litigation of all residential landlord/tenant matters and on all discrimination cases. He also keeps clients updated on changes to the law and advises how these changes may impact their business practices.
The most rewarding part of Palanzi’s career is working with affordable housing providers to ensure best practices to provide housing to those in need.
“Shenandoah University prepared me for law school and my legal career by giving me the tools I needed to succeed: the desire to question everything, the ability to think critically, and the passion to never stop learning,” said Palanzi.
Palanzi’s advice to students is: “Pursue less obvious majors such as STEM focused majors. Succeeding in law does not require any pre-law focus before law school.”