Before enrolling in the DePaul College of Law, Agnes Prindiville (JD ’07) had been involved in higher learning all of her adult life. She taught at 10 different colleges for more than 30 years, earned two graduate degrees (M.S. in Mathematics from University of Illinois at Chicago and M.S. in Computing and Information Science from Roosevelt University), and completed the Basic Program at the University of Chicago. After graduating from DePaul at the age of 79, Prindiville can attest that it’s never too late to educate.
“Everything is interesting,” says Prindiville, “especially if you didn’t know it before.”
Born in Glen Ellyn, Ill., Prindiville earned her undergraduate degree, a B.A. in mathematics, from Dominican University (formerly Rosary College). She says she was always interested in law, but never felt it was a path she could follow.
“For a woman in my generation, nursing and teaching were the only careers available,” says Prindiville, who grew up in a family of teachers. “I’m from a generation who did what their parents told them to do.”
Prindiville went on to teach mathematics at various colleges, including Roosevelt University, where she received a grant to pursue an advanced degree in the new field of Computer Science. She would continue teaching mathematics as well as computer science, while still taking various graduate courses.
After retirement, Prindiville found herself with time to pursue an old dream. “I just really wanted to go to law school,” says Prindiville. “I felt very fortunate that I was accepted into DePaul. It has an energy here in the city that’s different from a lot of colleges.”
As the oldest student at the College of Law, Prindiville found many of the students to be the same age as her grandchildren, but having worked in an academic environment all her life, it didn’t make a difference to her. “I really didn’t find being old a problem,” says Prindiville. “The students here are very genuine and open.”
While most of her younger peers focused on law school and the bar exam, Prindiville took classes part-time while working at a death penalty clinic. She found herself fascinated with social policy in the law. “I took a number of classes that dealt with medicine and the law,” she Prindiville. “I have always been curious about how the law protects those with medical/mental problems.”
Today, having joined the ranks of DePaul College of Law alumni, Prindiville works as a pro bono lawyer with Prairie Legal Services in Waukegan, Ill.. There her focus is on family law, guardianship, and foreclosures, and she is currently working on a probate case in Cook County.
Looking back at her academic career, Prindiville feels she has taken advantage of an incredible gift.
“There are many things you can give your children,” says Prindiville. “But the one thing you can give that cannot be taken away from them is a great education.”