Assistant attorney general
Curtis Schube is an assistant attorney general in Missouri. Schube attended Oklahoma Baptist University for his undergraduate degree, majoring in history and political science (B.A.) and minoring in psychology. He later attended the University of Arkansas School of Law for his J.D. Schube’s career goals are to do public interest work involving policy.
What made you decide to pursue law school and become an attorney?
Honestly, I chose this profession because I didn’t know what else to do. I chose to study history and political science as an undergraduate, but I realized that those degrees didn’t lead to many job opportunities once I graduated. I oversaw a mock trial competition when I was a counselor at Boy’s State, which led me to take an interest in law. I figured it was a financially stable future, so I pursued it.
What kind of courses did you take in law school that pertained to criminal law and what were they like?
All law students are required to take a criminal law course. This course mostly deals with the traditional concepts of common law crimes as well as statutory construction for today’s law. I also took Criminal Procedure, which is 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment law. This was one of my favorite courses in law school because I learned what police can and cannot do to gather evidence.
What was the most interesting part of your law school education pertaining to criminal law?
I participated in my school’s criminal prosecution clinic in conjunction with the city prosecutor’s office. This was great experience. I prosecuted traffic violations and misdemeanors and even had a bench trial, all before I even graduated law school.
What was the most difficult part of your law school education pertaining to criminal law?
I realize this isn’t the answer that the question calls for, but criminal law wasn’t one of the more difficult parts of law school. The concepts are mostly easier to grasp than other subjects and the topics are mostly interesting ones.
Are you able to apply what you learned about criminal law back in school in your career today? If so, how so?
I would say that my understanding of statutory construction comes from my criminal law training. I do not currently practice in the area of criminal law, but almost all laws are based on statutes today. I feel that I am better able to read a statute because of this training, despite the fact that I do not do criminal law.
I understand you formerly worked in criminal law and have since changed fields. Why did you decide to shift into something else?
My first law job was at a small town firm, and I did do criminal defense while there. I recently took a job with the attorney general in Missouri defending worker’s compensation claims against the state. I took the job mostly because I believe it will move me to better opportunities in my future. I will get appellate experience, which is not common as a young attorney. To me, this was an excellent opportunity and too difficult to pass up. While I worked at the firm, my favorite part was the criminal work I did, however. My decision to change fields had very little to do with not liking the criminal law field.
Do you have any words of advice to students who are considering pursuing a law degree and going into criminal law?
Make sure this is what you want to do. Law school is a demanding process, and the jobs available are not as financially lucrative as they used to be. The career is great if you have a passion for the law and are fulfilled by what you do. It is not a way to get rich for most people.