11/30/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/30/2023 02:13
Kayte Geist's journey from her career as an entrepreneur and business owner to a law school graduate pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer is a testament to her resilience and determination and family support.
From the beginning of law school, Geist commuted to Toledo from Fort Wayne, Indiana, daily, adding 80,000 miles to her car throughout law school. With this much dedication and effort to earning her juris doctor, Geist set out to get the most out of her experience, becoming a published member of the Toledo Law Review and being a member of the Mock Trial team.
CELEBRATING SUCCESS: UToledo recognizes the Class of 2023 with a series of stories featuring students receiving their degrees at fall commencement.
Geist always aspired to become a lawyer; however, after graduating with a bachelor's in legal studies in 2005, she took a detour into the family business and later opened her own business in Fort Wayne.
Sixteen years into her career as a businesswoman and entrepreneur, Geist made the courageous decision to close her business and finally pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer.
"I took some scary leaps of faith in my personal life during the pandemic," she said. "I'd been on a journey of self-discovery, and I felt a deep desire to pursue my J.D. I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but I had some special people in my life who believed in me before I believed in myself. They gave me the encouragement I needed to chase my dream."
Geist is a wife, mother, indoor cycling instructor and plays an active role in the Fort Wayne community.
Managing a daily two-hour commute each way while maintaining a dedication to her personal life is itself an extraordinary feat, yet she didn't stop there. Graduating with her J.D. in just 2.5 years, Geist demonstrated academic excellence by earning a place on the dean's list each semester.
When asked how she does it all, Geist simply smiled as she offered: "Way too much coffee."
Kayte Geist, who graduates from the College of Law on Dec. 16, is a wife, mother, indoor cycling instructor and plays an active role in the Fort Wayne community, where she lives and has commuted daily during her time in law school.
"Having a student like Kayte is one of the great joys in being a professor and librarian," said Rick Goheen, assistant dean of the LaValley Law Library and an associate professor of law, who served as Geist's faculty advisor for her Law Review note during her second year. "I would suggest ideas and resources, and she would pick up every one of them and run with it. Every time we met, I learned something new myself."
Looking toward the future, she has secured a position as an associate attorney at HallerColvin, PC in Fort Wayne. Her connection with the firm was established during a summer clerkship, a role she loved, and led to her eagerly accepting their offer in July.
To top everything off, while she prepares for the February Bar Exam, Geist will be training for the Carmel Marathon, which she will run on her 40th birthday.
"It is very surreal," she said. "I hope that my dedication and perseverance pave the path for my daughters, showing them that, through hard work and determination, great achievements are within reach.
"My deepest hope is that my story plants within my children, clients and community an unshakeable belief: We are resilient and it's never too late to chart a new course in life."