Alumni Feature: Lily Schurra

FOCUS ON ENGLISH

Lily Schurra has always had a passion for English. With a desire to attend law school after her undergraduate studies at Henderson State University, she found that an English degree provided a perfect transition to law.

“I chose a major in English so that I could both improve my writing and reading comprehension, but also have the opportunity to study that about which I am most passionate,” Schurra said. “The practice of law is completely rooted in reading comprehension and strong writing.

“The skills I learned at Henderson have been a crucial part of my success in law school and professional careers.”

After graduating from Henderson in 2013, Schurra moved to Connecticut to pursue a law degree at Quinnipiac University School of Law. She graduated in 2016 with her juris doctor.

Today, Schurra is an attorney in Southern Connecticut with a primary focus on insurance coverage. She works for a firm that specializes in representing policyholders against insurance companies to ensure they obtain the coverage to which they are entitled.

Schurra said she has taken both the New York and Florida bar exams.

But Schurra hasn’t lost her passion for English.

“My deepest love for English is in what the language can be used to create,” she said. “Literature is beautiful, thought-provoking, emotional, and powerful, but that comes from creative usage of the language itself.

“I am not a creative writer in the general sense, but all writing is creative. Even in the seemingly straightforward area of law, attorneys are most successful when they have a strong grasp of the language, when they can powerfully persuade their audience by the story they tell.”

Schurra has high praise for Henderson’s English program.

“I think people too often devalue the importance of a strong grasp of the English language or strong writing skills. These skills are crucial to one’s success in any career,” Schurra said. “Henderson’s English department is full of incredible professors who truly prepare you for whatever your path. I would absolutely, wholeheartedly recommend Henderson’s English program.”

Schurra urges current students to “use your resources.”

“Every professor in the English Department is an amazing, knowledgeable resource,” she said. “They are there to help and guide you. Meet with them, ask them questions, seek advice… the advice, guidance, and support I received from my professors at Henderson was some of the most meaningful of my life.”

When asked how others might describe her, Schurra said she is the “poster child” for Type A personality.

“I would describe myself as hardworking, determined, and compassionate,” she said. “I’m very passionate in learning about other ideas and concepts.

“For example, when I wrote an article on the use of psychic mediums in probate law, I received a lot of skepticism from the legal community, but that’s why I wanted to pursue it. I like the idea of pushing the envelope, opening minds, and looking into new ideas and practices.”

Schurra was a double-major at Henderson and also completed a degree in Spanish.

“I am so passionate about language, and loved the opportunity to study another,” she said. “The classes eventually got to a point where I was reading and writing in Spanish, and that was such an exciting opportunity to have.”

Schurra said she cherishes the relationships she formed with her professors at Henderson.

“At a time in my life where things felt the most uncertain, they lifted me up with support and kindness, but most importantly, with challenges,” she said. “They fought to ensure that I graduated a person prepared to face whatever came next.”

• This alumni feature is part of an ongoing project featuring Henderson's outstanding undergraduate and graduate academic programs.