Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Migena Vula, JD-MIPA

Migena Vula inline 2This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hometown
Gjakova, Kosovo

Undergraduate education
Bachelor of arts in political science and sociology, St. Norbert College

Professional/research interests
International law, trade and economics, policy analysis

Accomplishments
Lyall Scholarship Recipient, The Rev. Robert J. Cornell Award for Excellence in Political Science, U.S. Department of State Recognition

Expected graduation date
May 2025

Why a JD-MPA?
My decision to pursue a JD-MPA is deeply connected with my home country. As a child, I grew up in a disputed territory and saw firsthand how vital government work and public service are to rebuild a war-torn society. Because of this, understanding the role of public institutions in solving large-scale problems and empowering underserved populations has always been important to me. More specifically, I thought an MPA could help me understand how governments leverage the role of public policy to advance the prosperity and well-being of their citizens. In addition, I felt a JD would complement my interests, which lay beyond the U.S., and the Law School offers a concentration in International and Comparative Law.  

I am very much fascinated with both law and public policy — especially the interplay of the two. As such, pursuing the dual degree was an easy choice. Plus, having two degrees makes me highly marketable and grants me invaluable skills.

Why the La Follette School?
La Follette has an exceptional dual degree with the Law School. When I was applying to graduate school, I wanted to find an interdisciplinary education that would allow me to develop my writing and analytical skills. The courses offered by both degree programs will enable me to do both.

La Follette does an incredible job advocating for students and ensuring that financial circumstances do not become a barrier to our education. When I was a prospective student, La Follette helped me find a project assistantship that offered tuition remission. That took a substantial financial weight off my shoulders.

Most importantly, La Follette has an inclusive community that has allowed me to feel at home. This includes other students, faculty, and staff. For me, Mo O’Connor’s support while I was deciding to join the fellow Bobs was a significant determining factor.

Career goals?
I am still figuring this out as I go! I am a first-year student and have three and a half years left. I am in a privileged position where I have numerous opportunities and enough time to explore my interests. Ideally, I would love to work in a field that blends my legal and policy background. However, no matter where I end up, I will always seek to use my position to advocate for marginalized communities. In particular, I want to raise awareness of the long-lasting impact that genocide and ethnic cleansing have on our society. I am deeply passionate about refugee rights.

Assistantship
I am a project assistant for WPS Health Solutions; I assist the Senior Vice President of Government Relations in his work with state and federal agencies.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students?
Do not hesitate to reach out and seek support. There are many people in your corner rooting for your success. Take advantage of the professor’s office hours and ask if there is tutoring for certain classes.

Lean on your fellow cohort — we are all going through the same experience. During my first semester, many of us bonded during group projects.

You are about to enter a prestigious institute and will be surrounded by brilliant people. This may lead you to underestimate your knowledge and capabilities. Do not. You belong here and were admitted to this institution for a reason!

Most rewarding La Follette School experience?
Forming friendships with exceptional people! Steph, Megan, Austin, Tyler, and Connor’s friendship are one of the most valuable things I have gained from La Follette.

Before the La Follette School
I worked as an immigration and family law paralegal for a law firm in Madison.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …
…learned how to drive just about a year ago!

 Anything else?
Please feel free to reach out. When I was going through the application cycle, I contacted several dual degree students at La Follette. Being a first-generation graduate student, there was a lot of information that I did not know, and previous students helped guide me toward the right places. If I can, I would gladly help make this process less stressful for someone else!