If you consulted a dictionary to learn the meaning of the word “service,” you’re not likely to find a picture of 2013 DePaul College of Law graduate Alexandra Hochhauser. But the example she set for being helpful, accommodating and valuable to a law school and its students could be a chapter in a guidebook for becoming a public servant.
“I knew before I started law school that I wanted to be involved in student government,” said Hochhauser, who grew up in Hinsdale, Ill. “That was one of the reasons I chose DePaul. It has a commitment to service.”
Hochhauser, who had earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Illinois State University, dove right into student service when she began her studies at DePaul.
“My first year I was a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council,” said Hochhauser. “I served a year, but I knew I wanted to do more.”
She took that desire directly to the student body and ran for a position on the most prominent law school student organization, the Student Bar Association.
“I ran for social chair of the SBA,” said Hochhauser. “I found the locations to have our monthly bar meetings and planned a boat cruise and the annual Barrister’s Ball. I liked it because it forced me to get to know everyone — especially new students.”
By Hochhauser’s third year, she had established herself so adequately and gotten to know so many students that a successful run for SBA president seemed natural. After being elected, she and her vice president went right to work. Together they helped establish an advising program for students and re-launched the college’s student newspaper. Hochhauser said they also found a way to give student organizations more funding for the year.
“Every year is different,” she said. “We were able to do more this year than the previous year.”
Among Hochhauser’s presidential responsibilities was meeting new students during orientation at the beginning of the academic year. “That was a big role I didn’t know I had until it came time for orientation,” she said. “I organized student panels. As student body president, I also served as a liaison between the dean and students.”
The highlight of being SBA president, however, was delivering words of wisdom to her fellow graduates on commencement day. “The SBA president delivers the student commencement address,” said Hochhauser. “It made me nervous because I never spoke in front of a group that large. I knew my theme would be how DePaul helped shape us and our futures and how we should continue to let that happen.”
“She led the student body and was a great advocate for them” said William Chamberlain, dean of law career services who worked with Hochhauser. “She’s very thoughtful and has a very positive attitude. She’s been a very effective leader and has really helped the law school.”
Hochhauser, who is a certified yoga instructor, hopes to practice public interest law. She said she will only apply for government jobs. “I want to work with attorneys who work in the public sector,” she said.
With all that she’s accomplished, it might seem like Hochhauser was a born leader, but she was not. She quickly grew into the role while attending college.
“In high school, I was a little shy,” said Hochhauser, who is a member of the Zeta Theta chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. “In college, my sorority encouraged service and pushed us into leadership roles.”
Perhaps what made Hochhauser such a good leader at DePaul was her personal philosophy. “I love being of service because it gives you a purpose,” she said. “I feel if you are going to law school without a purpose, then why even go?”
Written by Valerie Phillips