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Insurance To Publishing, Chicago Lawyer Takes The Leap Of Faith

Whether the hiring market is on an upward trend, remaining stagnant or in a downward dive, one industry that continues to thrive is insurance. Whether insuring a house, car, apartment rental unit, guarding against theft or one's physical health, this is an industry that the everyday consumer can't dodge.

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer B. Schaller, Esq.)

Monster reports that the insurance industry is "fairly recession-proof" because of a fiscally conservative reputation. Although lawyers and paralegals can thrive there, that didn't stop a former Aon vice president from  pursuing her love for law in a different realm.

Jennifer B. Schaller, Esq., now the managing director of the National Law Review, took law school classes at night while working full time as a Vice President at Aon, worked at a law firm, then as a Director at CNA Insurance where she worked with a couple of corporate attorneys to create the online legal curator news site.

"The National Law Review started as a database of articles on legal matters that was being used by attorneys, HR people and claims adjustors," said Schaller. "We initially were using it for personal use. Then a few years ago, we launched it as a daily news service. Now anybody can access it."

Although she's previously worked in a courtroom setting, the online publication is her primary focus.

"I enjoy working in the legal field," said Schaller. "It's always changing. I meet very interesting, smart people. It's exciting to see our clients on the news and to hear from readers that our content is helpful."

Schaller holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Economics from Illinois State University, and a Master's of Education from DePaul University. Her Juris Doctorate is from Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology.

While some lawyers may push pro bono work for aspiring lawyers, Schaller's financial background kicks into gear for how new graduates should pursue job opportunities.

"Try to get as much meaningful, paid employment experience as you can. It's impressive to a potential employer if you stayed with a company for a while and received various promotions, even if it's in an industry other than in your area of study. Internships are nice, but if you can show potential employers that other employers are willing to pay you and are willing to give you progressive levels of responsibility, it helps reassure potential employers of your loyalty, ability to get along and ability to learn," said Schaller.

Shamontiel L. Vaughn is a professional journalist who has work featured in AXS, Yahoo!, Chicago Defender and Chicago Tribune. She's been an Examiner since 2009 and currently writes about 10 categories on

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