Jacob M. Satin

Degree/Year: Philosophy and History with a minor in Bioethics and Religious Studies, 2012
Employer name: City of Detroit Law Department
Position/Title: Assistant Corporation Counsel
City/State: Detroit, Michigan

Jacob M. Satin in front of the Spirit of Detroit Sculpture

I am an attorney for the city of Detroit and represent city employees who are involved in lawsuits in either state or federal court. It is an incredibly exciting time to be part of the city of Detroit and all the positive, reformative work being done here. I am particularly proud that the work I do benefits both the new, vital development going on downtown, while also freeing up resources for services needed in Detroit’s often-neglected neighborhoods. Unlike many other cities around the country, Detroit is a self-insured municipality – that means every dollar we protect can pay for another streetlight, ambulance, bus route, or one less pothole. 

Employers want someone who can dive deeply into their work, soak it all up, and then explain it in an efficient, coherent fashion.


One of the things I fondly remember about my time as a Philosophy student at Michigan State University was the late nights – and early mornings – spent writing term papers on political philosophy. Combing through texts by Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes or Rawls prepared me to do the same with Supreme Court opinions, statutory laws, and court rules. The foundational skills I learned as an undergrad prepared me to build the more advanced research and writing skills I use everyday in the law.

A philosophy degree teaches foundational skills that can be expanded upon in a professional setting. When you are reading a philosophical text, it challenges you to analyze the argument being set forth, its strengths and weaknesses, and what is being left out. It teaches you to read actively. Employers want someone who can dive deeply into their work, soak it all up, and then explain it in an efficient, coherent fashion. That is exactly what a philosophy degree teaches you to do.