Nathan Schlicher '00 stands in the law office he works in. He plans continuing practicing law part-time while in medical school at the University of Washington
Nathan Schlicher 00 had a great college experience at PLU: He enjoyed residence hall life in Stuen Hall, played intramural sports, met his girlfriend his freshman year, attended Homecoming dances and worked as a telemarketer seeking donations from alumni.
He finished college with a double major in biology and political science
in only three years. By then, he was only 17, believed to be PLUs
Now 19 an age when many college students are just settling on a major,
Schlicher has a law degree from the University of Washington, a job with a
downtown Seattle firm, and hes on his way toward a medical degree. Schlicher
was the law schools youngest graduate and the first student ever to
complete his courses in two years rather than the standard three-year course.
"I just skipped four grades along the way," he said modestly when
explaining his accelerated academic course. "Id catch up to my
class, then get a little bit ahead. I do work hard, but things do come a little
easier to me."
He says his memory allows him to remember things, even if hes only
heard or seen them once or twice. That makes learning and retention
of that knowledge much simpler.
While he was still in elementary school in Silverdale, Wash., Schlicher would
walk up the hill to Ridgetop Junior High School for certain courses. He graduated
from Central Kitsap High School in 1997 at age 14.
"It always seemed normal to me, but in retrospect, it is a little weird," he said with a smile.
Unlike many others with his advanced learning capabilities, he didnt
skip high school altogether.
"I went to high school, the senior prom, PLU dances," he said.
"I did all those things so I didnt lose any social growth and development."
He admits some people found him an oddity when he appeared at college at
age 14, but he never really had any problems. Clearly bright and driven, Schlicher
is also personable, friendly, articulate and funny. He possesses maturity
beyond his years but doesnt have any superior air about him.
"I always had fun with people who tried to make a point of it,"
While researching colleges, Schlicher was drawn to PLU, where his mom, Carol
75 earned her nursing degree. He wanted a smaller school, and one where
he could live on-campus and enjoy a traditional college life. Some colleges
place restrictions on where younger students can live or group them together.
He enjoyed reaching out to the PLU community. "Its a close-knit
group its a family," he said.
After PLU, Schlicher went on to the more competitive atmosphere of law school.
It took some persuasion, but his hard work and high marks convinced administrators
there that he could handle a fast track through law school. Schlicher is an
associate at Johnson, Graffe, Keay & Moniz, a firm that specializes in
medical malpractice defense. Hes been working there three years and
though he spends 26 hours a week in class, and hours more studying, he plans
to keep working part-time at the firm throughout medical school, also at the
UW. Completing this part of his education will take the next four years, followed
by a medical residency its one part of school he doesnt
plan to speed up.
"But I do find time to do something other than study," he said.
Most of his spare time is spent with his girlfriend, Shonda Hoyt 01,
a teacher in the Auburn School District.
He hopes someday to work in an emergency room or have a family practice and
represent doctors in malpractice cases at the same time.
Schlicher cautions hes not an expert on everything. Writing doesnt
come as easily to him as math and science, he said.
"And I cant draw worth a darn."
By Katherine Hedland