An Alumna’s Journey to the Bench

Rachel Ross Krause (’96) has an easy answer for why she became a lawyer.

“I’d like to say that I was inspired by Perry Mason or ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’,” she said. “But really it’s because my mom used to tell me I could argue with a brick wall and win. She encouraged me to be a lawyer and never let me give up on that goal regardless of what life threw at me.”

Not even a life-changing accident on her 17th birthday discouraged her. Krause suffered burns and a spinal cord injury in an automobile accident in her hometown of Macon, Georgia. She spent two months recovering at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta where she learned how to get around using a wheelchair. She acknowledged it “made sense for a lot of reasons” to consider another career path, but she never did.

“I always counted myself as very lucky,” she said. “I really did always want to be a lawyer, and I just never changed my mind.” College Days

A little more than a year later, Krause was a student at Georgia Southern in Statesboro. It was in the early years of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Looking back, she doesn’t recall significant issues with accessibility. What she remembered is a supportive college community.

“What I found (at Georgia Southern) is something that I have found throughout my life,” she explained. “When people are trying to accommodate you and make sure that you can access the things that you need to access, and there might not be a ramp, somebody will come out and help you.”

Krause thrived at Georgia Southern. She was involved in student government, joined a sorority and was a little sister for Sigma Nu fraternity.

“One of the stories I tell people all the time is that I went to Georgia Southern for my undergraduate degree, and then I stayed for a year to do my coursework for a master’s degree,” she commented. “And my family has always joked that if Georgia Southern had a law school, I never would have left.” Becoming a […]

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