Danielle O’Boyle is better prepared for law school than most.
The Mount Laurel, N.J. native is graduating this year from the Gabelli School of Business (GSB) with a degree in business administration with concentrations in finance and management, along with minors in philosophy and economics.
For her senior thesis, O’Boyle focused on gender differences within lawyer retention at law firms, where she said 78 percent of associates leave within five years of their start.
“A large percentage leaves the field of law entirely, and it seemed interesting because so many people are still choosing to go to law school. Why get this degree and make this investment if you’re not sure you actually want to practice?” she said.
“It’s been really helpful, because there’ve been some people I’ve interviewed who have made me say ‘Hey, you know what? I really don’t want to work in that type of firm. I don’t see myself fitting in well there.’”
The question is relevant to O’Boyle because she is enrolled for the fall at the law school at St. John’s University (SJU). One of the reasons why she chose SJU is because she felt that Catholic values are strong there, and she wanted to continue what she’d felt at Fordham as an undergraduate.
An active member of Campus Ministry, she helped lead retreats and prayer groups at the Rose Hill campus.
“People asked, ‘How can you be in the business school and do things that involve your faith?’ I don’t really see the need for them to be reconciled, I think they complement each other really well,” she said.
“Fordham and the Jesuit education is all about educating people, specifically business leaders, to be ethical,” she said, “to ask these questions and to be in tune with peoples, cultures, religions and faith.”
Fordham’s culture appealed to O’Boyle from the very beginning; she decided to attend the Gabelli School immediately during her Spring Preview weekend back in 2008. Among the opportunities that she was able to take advantage of during her Fordham tenure was an eight-month paid internship at Travelers Insurance, where she worked with an underwriting team in commercial accounts and sales.
She also worked as a teaching assistant with Brian MacLean, FCRH ’75, in his “Ground Floor” class for freshmen. The fall semester was a tough one, with six classes, an LSAT prep course, and the thesis all on her plate, but she persevered.
She still remembers those first few days in 2008 fondly though.
“Father McShane told us, ‘Look to your left, look to your right. These people are your responsibility, and you [will]do these four years together, and you [will]help each other make it through to graduation and beyond that,’” she recalled.
Whether it was giving campus tours, or working in the alcohol and drug alternative program, O’Boyle said she found Father McShane’s words “To be true of my time at Fordham.”
“What really sticks out is the relationships that were formed.”