Off the Clock: Supermom Does It All at Mason

Posted: November 15, 2010 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: November 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm

By Aisha Jamil

Sarah Knapp with her children, Shannon and Oliver. The children were born during Knapp's first two years of law school. Photo courtesy of Sarah Knapp

Being a mother of two young children can be tough. But being a mother of two young children while working and attending law school is tougher.

Supermom Sarah Knapp, a Mason law student, is on a tight schedule these days. She works part-time as an administrative assistant for the Staff Senate handling logistics, coordinating events and facilitating the needs of staff senators. She is also in charge of maintaining the senate’s website and producing its newsletter.

Knapp, who came to Mason in July 2007, moved here from Rhode Island where she worked in public relations at a small university for six years. She began attending law school in August 2007, and her two children, Shannon and Oliver, were born in the following two years. She expects to graduate in May 2011 in the top 25 percent of her class.

To accommodate Knapp’s busy schedule, the Staff Senate allows her to telework from home some days and work at the Loudoun Campus on others.

“I love my job and the flexibility it offers. My supervisor, Joey Carls, allows me the freedom to select the days, hours and location where I work,” Knapp says. “I would never have been able to manage it all without such supportive supervisors and, of course, my amazing husband, Tony.”

Knapp also enjoys the wide-ranging tasks her job entails.

“There is always a lot going on. No two days are the same,” Knapp says. “It’s great.”

Knapp, who will take the bar exam in July 2011, already has her next job lined up as a  law clerk for Judge William Hamblen of the Prince William County Circuit Court.

“When I took on this job in the Staff Senate, they knew that I would be committed to working for them for a span of four years. After that, I would pursue something in my field,” Knapp says.

When it comes to her future, Knapp is optimistic about her goals.

“The most important thing for me is to have a happy work-life balance. I see myself working in a small law firm in the future,” Knapp says, “because although having an interesting and rewarding career is the whole reason I went to law school, I still want to be able to spend time with my family.”

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