Tamara Mahady (SHU ’10) comes from a family of lawyers – her grandfather and other relatives own the Mahady & Mahady law firm in Westmoreland County - but she wasn’t sold on a legal career when she began studying art history and political science at Seton Hill.
Tamara thought her future would be in a museum not a courtroom - but an exciting and fateful introduction-to-law class with adjunct faculty Peter Flanigan changed her trajectory.
"I wanted to get the experience from the public defender’s office, while also helping people and giving back to my community."
After Tamara graduated from the Claude W. Pettit School of Law at Ohio Northern University, she ended up working across the courtroom from her mentor Flanigan when she became the youngest lawyer in Westmoreland County’s Public Defenders office, while he worked as an Assistant District Attorney.
“I never saw myself doing criminal law, but I wanted to get the experience from the public defender’s office, while also helping people and giving back to my community in whatever form that may look like,” she says.
Tamara handled about 250 cases per year, ranging from traffic misdemeanors to violent felonies. She enjoyed the work, but decided to expand her horizons and explore other areas of the law.
Today, she represents PennDOT in civil matters, such as cases involving eminent domain and statutory appeals. She plans to continue in public-service law and hopes, someday, to join the state Attorney General’s Office.
Seton Hill’s young alumni are making their mark on the world through their work in science and healthcare, finance and business, industry, entertainment and service to those in need. The Spring/Winter 2017 edition of Seton Hill’s Forward magazine featured 30 of these alumni, all under the age of 30. You can find all of their stories here on Seton Hill’s site (just look for the “30 Under 30” icon) or click here to view the Forward as a digital magazine.