Fall 2011 TRINITY Magazine Chicago
Chris Verstrate ’96
Major: Business/Communication Arts
Title: Partner with McGuireWoods, LLP
For people like Chris Verstrate ’96, Chicago, a hub of international business, provides an ideal place in which to practice corporate law.
“The type of business law that I am involved in as a partner with McGuireWoods, LLP, requires me to live in a major metropolitan area and business center,” said Verstrate. “After attending both Trinity and Northwestern University School of Law, it was a natural fit to find a firm to work for in Chicago.”
Verstrate, who majored in business and communication arts, decided he wanted to attend law school after graduation and earned a juris doctor from Northwestern. “My experience and introduction to the business world through Trinity’s business program clearly contributed to my career path and was probably the main factor in my decision to pursue corporate law studies and to practice corporate law as an attorney.”
Verstrate didn’t share the interest many students have in studying litigation and arguing cases in court. “You don’t see a lot of TV shows focused on the legal practice of a corporate lawyer, but I knew that I wanted to be part of the business side of things based largely on my experience at Trinity.”
Verstrate said the location of Chicago was ideal for pursuing his law degree, because of the choice of excellent law schools. As a partner at McGuireWoods, Verstrate handles corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, international business transactions, complex contracts, and corporate formation and reorganization. “I love the fact that I get to work with different companies across different industries and even throughout different countries.”
Besides Trinity’s business program and the influence of Verstrate’s former professor John Kooyenga ’66, more notable experiences included meeting his wife Kadie ’96 and forming the lasting friendships he maintains today. Verstrate also mentioned the many opportunities he had to participate in student government, intramurals, the student newspaper, and residence life.
“What stands out the most for me are the number of opportunities at Trinity, the experiences that I had, and the people that I met along the way.”