Alumnus Paul Tschirhart graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in pre-professional studies. Tschirhart began his studies at Notre Dame as a chemistry major. Upon reflecting on his aptitude as a chemist during his junior year, however, he made the decision with his organic qualitative analysis professor, Dr. Pasko, to change his major to pre-professional studies.
Upon graduating Tschirhart was commissioned through the National Reserve Officers Training Corps to the United States Navy and served two years of active duty, after which he remained in the Navy Reserve for over 20 years. Subsequently, he attended Wayne State University law school, where he gained a Juris Doctor degree in 1968, and began his legal career with the Federal Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C., the same year.
A distinguished litigator, Tschirhart served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Washington, D.C., U.S. Attorney’s Office and then as a senior trial attorney in the Department of Justice. During this time he represented the United States government in a variety of civil litigations. Moving from government to the corporate sector, Tschirhart spent a number of years at United Airlines where he served as Senior Counsel, and then at The Hertz Corporation where he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel. He eventually became a partner of international transportation and government affairs law firm, Sher & Blackwell LLP, until leaving to join New Jersey-based law firm, Margulies Wind, where he practices law today.
Tschirhart credits the success of his legal career, spanning more than 40 years, to his education at Notre Dame, saying, “My undergraduate science studies provided me with the analytical tools necessary to become a successful lawyer, even as I lacked the intuitive skills to be a productive chemist.” He added, “Thank you Dr. Pasko for setting me on the right path.”