Born and raised in Advance, Mo., a small town of around 1200 people located southwest of Cape Girardeau, Mo., Garret Broshuis (’13) had his sights set on playing Major League Baseball. The All-American pitcher for the University of Missouri-Columbia (and recipient of a psychology degree, with minors in political science and Spanish) was selected in the fifth round of the 2004 MLB amateur draft by the San Francisco Giants. Named the Giants’ Class A affiliate’s Pitcher of the Year in 2005, Broshuis’ dream crept closer to reality as he worked his way up the organization’s ladder.
But life threw him a curveball on April 5, 2009. It was there in Scottsdale, Ariz., on the final day of spring training where members of the Giants organization broke it to him that despite his hard work, determination and desire, he wouldn’t make it as a big leaguer. In spite of the great pain Broshuis felt at failing to reach the pinnacle of his sport, he was able to see the opportunity it brought.
“It allowed me to re-evaluate my life,” he said. “Who did I want to be? Where did my wife and I want to live? What did I want to do when my playing days ended? And so that summer, I ended one pursuit and began another. I picked up a study guide for the LSAT at a Borders, and during my last road trip of my minor league career, I began taking practice tests. I flew home at the end of the season, and four days later I took the test.”
And with that decision, he traded in his change-up for a new adventure filled with analysis, reasoning and negotiation. But baseball hasn’t left his new life in the law, as he used his experience to comment on compensation and contracts in the minor leagues in an article published in the Saint Louis University Law Journal, where he served as editor-in-chief in 2012-2013. Additionally, his writing on cheating in baseball recently piqued national interest.
It came as an unexpected shock when he found out he was named valedictorian for the class of 2013. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he admits, days after the ceremony. One thing he is fully aware of, however, is the impact of the SLU LAW Legal Clinics on his education.
“Working in the Clinic was one of the best, if not the best, experience I had while in law school,” he said. “I felt like before doing it I had the skills, but I didn’t know what it meant to be an attorney. The Clinic is a truly holistic experience, being able to actually represent clients and be responsible for the case.”
On May 31 – 15 days after graduation – Broshuis argued an unemployment compensation case in front of the Missouri Court of Appeals that he had been working on throughout his final semester at the Legal Clinics. “Appeals cases require lots of research, reading facts of the case and all the case law to find those one or two instances that really back up an argument,” he said. “Putting all that information into a formal legal document and following every court rule and detail is one of the toughest things to do as a new practitioner, let alone for someone who has no representation, which would be the situation for my client without the Legal Clinics.”
The most memorable experiences of his three years at SLU LAW are a combination of all the little things. Whether it’s time spent working on the Journal, simple interactions in the hallways or orientation week when he and his fellow first-years spent a day in North St. Louis gardening for a nonprofit, it’s those moments of collegiality and friendship that encompassed his law school career.
“The wonderful thing about SLU LAW is the great student body and tremendous faculty and administration,” Broshuis said. “They are great at what they do and truly care about what goes on here. They are the reason that this institution succeeds and the reason that all of us students will succeed.”
For most of his life, being a major league pitcher was the dream he worked tirelessly for. So what type of career does he dream of now? “A normal life,” Broshuis says. After sitting for the Missouri bar exam at the end of July, Broshuis plans to practice general litigation at Husch-Blackwell in Clayton, Mo., settling into his new life as a lawyer, with his wife, Alicia, and two-year-old daughter, Elena.