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CLASS OF 1978 (cont'd)
As a young graduate of Duke University, Carol Springer was interested in medicine and the law. So what did she do? She became both an attorney and a physician.
After earning her J.D. from Penn Law, Springer joined the Philadelphia office of Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen LLP where she specialized in health care financing. But she wanted to work more closely with health care, so she earned a degree from Penn’s School of Medicine in 1983 and became an ophthalmologist. She trained at St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and practiced medicine in Juno Beach, Fla.
Even in medical practice, Springer found her legal education pivotal. “My law school experience provided me with superb training in the skills of clear and succinct speaking and writing,” she says. “These are virtues that . . . served me well both in my clinical courses during medical school, and later as a physician.”
Now retired and living in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Springer fondly recalls singing in the Law School’s light opera company (as an alto in the choir — “the traditional place for those who can’t really sing,” she recalls) and enjoying snacks from The Seed, a natural food store once across from the Law School. She also has fond memories of the first incarnation of LaTerrasse, a chichi restaurant that has found new life across the street from the Law School.
Springer is president of the board of directors for Easter Seals of Palm Beach County, where she got involved after her youngest child was diagnosed with autism and attended their pre-kindergarten program. The mother of four, she coaches girls’ soccer and supports the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts. In a lifetime of bright lights, a shining moment came when she was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch through her community for the opening of the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.
Although Nancy Watters’ career appears seamless, she actually took unexpected twists and turns along the way. A summer clerkship in her second year at Penn Law helped her land her first associate position after graduation, at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C., where she handled securities and commodities litigation.
Later, the Securities and Exchange Commission recruited Watters as senior counsel for the Division of Enforcement. She then joined Nutter, McClennen & Fish, rising to senior partner. After eight years at the firm, Watters took an unexpected and challenging step in a new direction by joining one of her clients. Tropix, Inc., a growing biotechnology firm, asked her to become the company’s general counsel and vice president of business development. In this position, she helped the firm build international alliances and increase sales.
“People just need to follow their heart and follow their gut and, remarkably, I think things turn out the way they want them to turn out,” she says.
Now retired, Watters continues to use her legal skills as an arbitrator of commercial disputes and securities cases for the American Arbitration Association. She also offers development assistance to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, which works to preserve wilderness ecosystems.
Through the years, Watters has heard from graduates of other law schools about relentless professors and cutthroat competition among students. For Watters and her Penn Law classmates “that was far from the case,” she says, recently back from reminiscing at her 25-year reunion. “I think that Penn was really unusual. It was a very cooperative experience. Students really helped each other and had fun together, and I think that was true of faculty as well. . . . I really have terrific feelings about having gone to Penn.”
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