UH alumna Elizabeth Warren is making tracks.
She’s running for a seat in the Massachusetts Senate. She shakes hands with the president. Time Magazine named her as one of the nation’s 100 most influential people, twice, and calls her the “New Sheriff of Wall Street.”
In June, Warren ran unopposed and was endorsed by Massachusetts with almost 96 percent of the 3,500 delegate votes to lock-in the nomination for the Democratic race for Senate, according to Time.
Before having a high-profile life, she earned her undergraduate degree in communication disorders at UH and returned eight years later as an assistant professor at the UH Law Center.
This job was her first at UH Law, where she met her mentor John Mixon, an alumni professor. According to Warren in an interview with UH writer Michelle Klump, Mixon would inevitably become Warren’s mentor.
Mixon recalls a time when she told him she was a pioneer for the middle class.
“She caused me to reflect on my own commitment to middle class values,” Mixon said. “Until then, I had not focused clearly on my own attachment to them.”
Mixon was quick to attest to her dedication to change the treatment of American people and her enthusiasm for teaching. However, he was particularly surprised to see her sharp turn into politics.
“I was not surprised that she became a teacher at Harvard. She clearly had the talent and drive to do that,” Mixon said. “Not too many law teachers go into politics except for her, especially in consumer protection, her position at Harvard and the president’s needs.”
As a professor at Harvard, Warren began to focus more on the economy and politics, while still finding time to teach.
UH law professor Douglas Moll graduated from Harvard Law School, where he studied under Warren.
“What I remember most is that she was not only an excellent teacher, but she treated her students with respect,” Moll said. “She was even helpful to me years later when I began my career as an academic. Just an all-around smart, talented and friendly professor and person.”
Thursday, Warren had her first debate with Sen. Scott Brown. During the debate, Brown brought up a case Warren tried and won, arguing that she represented big businesses by representing that client. Mention of the case has stirred up allegations that Warren was practicing law in Massachusetts without a license.
While Warren is licensed in New Jersey and Texas, a recent article post to legalinsurrection.com points to cases in which Warren served as council and listed her Harvard Law office under “Of Council” on court briefs.
These cases were tried in front of the Supreme Court, and Warren’s licenses in both Texas and New Jersey were both valid during the time.
“The allegation that they need to prove or disprove,” Moll said. “Is that she’s practicing law as a lawyer or she is not. She’s just a law professor. If she’s not practicing law, she doesn’t need to be licensed.”
It is unclear whether or not Warren used her Harvard Law office to practice law or simply to receive court documents necessary for the cases. According to Legal Insurrection, Warren has refused to disclose the full extent of her private law practice.
Warren was unavailable for comment.
Warren has 34 days until elections. With everything on the table, Warren may win and be well on her way to becoming a household name.