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Why This Lawyer Chose To Pursue An Online MBA

Trial lawyer Sara Regan isn’t your typical MBA candidate, yet she’s used her Online MBA to thrive in her role at a financial institution


Fri Sep 22 2023

With extensive experience as a trial lawyer specializing in complex commercial disputes and as an in-house lawyer at a financial credit union, Sara Regan already had a thriving career. 

Yet when Covid struck and Sara—who is a single mom—found she had more time on her hands than usual, she decided it was now or never when it came to getting her MBA credentials.

From the trial court to the business school classroom—here is where Sara’s Online MBA took her:

Realizing the value of an Online MBA

When Sara (pictured) decided to move in-house to a role as general counsel and senior vice president at Desert Financial Credit Union, she soon realized that there were a few gaps in her knowledge. a285036a263ce2b6239dc7ed84cdc93db5619b64.png

While she was well versed in legal matters relating to areas such as financial services, banking, and fraud, she was navigating topics she wasn’t so familiar with in her role.

“I was doing a lot of things I hadn’t done before as a lawyer such as considering pain points, and assessing financial statements,” she says.

“The longer I spent [in this role], the more I felt I needed to think as a businessperson.”

When she heard about her company’s initiative to fund an MBA at Arizona State University’s (ASU) W. P. Carey School of Business, she knew that her fate was sealed.

“Choosing an Online MBA was critical as I didn’t have the time or ability to go into a classroom,” she says.

Blending legal skills with a new-found business acumen

MBA programs provide a holistic understanding of the business world, and this is exactly what Sara was looking for.

Some of the courses she found most helpful were statistics, given her role at a credit union.

Through a course in organizational behavior, she also learned about what motivates people.

“I’d been a leader for many years, but I now have the theory behind it,” she says.

The W. P. Carey Online MBA in Arizona can be studied part-time, which Sara says was ideal for a working parent like her.

Using MBA skills to thrive in a legal career

Not only did Sara end her MBA journey with a broadened virtual network, but she also finished the program with a new perspective to add to her role as general counsel and senior VP at Desert Financial Credit Union.

Her role involves supporting the legal functions at the financial institution, including advising on matters such as corporate governance, lending, and risk management.

Being equipped with an arsenal of business skills means Sara feels more confident approaching such issues.

“The MBA helped us think: how are we intaking business? Is it serving our clients? What is their experience looking like?” she says.

This business-driven outlook has opened Sara’s eyes to new possibilities.

“I’d highly recommend an MBA to anyone interested in working in the business side of the legal sector,” she says.

Student Reviews

W. P. Carey School of Business - Arizona State University





Hands on Experience, labs

I love that that this school is known all over the world and the education is of high quality. It's been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as No. 1 for best online bachelor's in business programs




On Campus

Amazing Start to Your Career in Social Sciences

I had a great experience at ASU as a Political Science student. ASU is one of the biggest universities in the U.S., offering a wide range of studies. The student body was diverse and overall great to study with. ASU is rich in both academics and student life. There are many clubs, student organizations, amenities, and activities you can join. One thing I would recommend is invest in a lot of sunscreen and good walking shoes. Due to it's large campus you'll be doing a lot of walking which is great but can be a bit of a struggle during the very hot summer months.





Great MSW program!

Arizona State University has an amazing online Master of Social Work Program. Even though it was an online program, I feel that I developed great connections with professors, co-instructors, and peers. Finding an internship placement was stress free because of the high level of support the program offered. I would definitely choose to go back to ASU if I decided to further my education in future.




On Campus

Long lasting friendships

I have been able to have incredible experiences and make connections that will live long in my memory. I've had the chance to start my career here in a way I never thought I would. I love how the university lets you choose your major and minor and take classes with a lot of freedom.





Continuous Support

Opinion Arizona State University has many great opportunities available to students. All of the departments are very helpful and really care about student's succeeding. What's there to like? One think I like about ASU is their Education program. They really ensure that students will receive useful information that is directly applicable to their career. One thing I dislike is, nothing! It is a high ranking university but one notable thing is that the school is located in Arizona; where temperatures reach well over 100° throughout the entire Summer. Would I reccomend ASU? I would certainly reccomend Arizona State University for any students who are looking to learn and gain meaningful experiences throughout finishing school.




On Campus

Arizona State University

ASU is a wonderful university with so many educational opportunities. Its professors are friendly and approachable and were always willing to help or give advice to students whenever their help was needed. It also provided students with many opportunities to meet people outside the classroom for example clubs and other social events hosted within the university. ASU offers great education and I loved the campus and faculty





Practical Lecturing

The amazing features about Arizona State University would not allow me to write less when it comes to recommending the second to none university to the public! Life on Arizona State University campus is an intriguing possibility! Here is where dreams are realized due to the immense support from lecturers academically as well as fascinating large lecture halls with modernized appliance that makes learning easier. Goals are realized with ease as students who need support are given chances





University program

The university offers a lot of options for students, particularly in terms of integration and extracurricular activities including involvement in several student organizations. However, I am dissatisfied with the quality of the information offered and the degree of practice skills needed for success in a professional position. Fantastic university location





ASU infrastructures

Without a doubt, I would suggest this university. There is a highly educated personnel with an exceptional commitment toward teaching. The highly developed infrastructure and technology is another significant plus.

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