Kristin Coleman’s on-the-job education steered her toward a challenging position at Brunswick

Practice made perfect for this general counsel

Education can only take you so far. In any profession, there comes a point when you have to get out of the classroom and onto the job. A recent article in the New York Times, “What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering,” makes the case that this is especially true in the legal industry. Kristin Coleman, general counsel, vice president and corporate secretary of Brunswick Corp., says she related to the article’s assertion that law schools emphasize theory and don’t offer much practical experience. “The academic study of the law is interesting, but the practice of it is an entirely different thing and a lot more fun,” she explains. 

After receiving a classic liberal arts education, Coleman says she attended law school at her mother’s suggestion, going into the University of Michigan without much of a plan for her future career. After graduation, her real-life education equipped her with many skills that are applicable in her current position. “I think I am a much happier lawyer than I was a law student,” she says.


Q: What kind of work does your legal team do?

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