November 14, 2023
Purdue Global law degree allows insurance executive to take next career steps
Brennan Quintus strengthened his knowledge of insurance law, thanks to degree from Purdue Global Law School
Brennan Quintus didn’t need to go back to school. He was busy enjoying a successful career with the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund (NDIRF). However, a promotion to CEO within the company prompted Quintus to take that next step.
Law school was always in the back of his mind, as several friends and an uncle had become lawyers. In fact, Quintus explored going back to further his education at a brick-and-mortar law school.
“As I got further and further into the insurance industry, I realized there's so many legal issues that come up,” he says. “You're dealing with contracts and policy language and torts. I thought at some point that'd be really cool to get a law degree.”
However, as his family grew, Quintus knew a traditional brick-and-mortar law school was not an option.
Enter Purdue Global, Purdue’s online university for working adults.
Quintus began to search for a law school option that provided flexibility so he could still be the father and husband his family needed while also growing in the career that he loved. That’s when he discovered Purdue Global Law School, formerly Concord Law School.
“The Purdue Global option for an Executive Juris Doctor degree just kind of struck me, both from a cost-effective standpoint and also the history of the institution, having been the first to do the online law school. I went through the admissions process and felt pretty good about it.”
Quintus earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, and worked with several insurance companies before landing at NDIRF in 2015. In 2018 he was appointed its CEO.
NDIRF is a nonprofit organization that operates as a governmental self-insurance pool and provides in-house claims, underwriting, loss control and administration services. It currently has 22 employees on staff and provides liability, automobile and equipment coverage to more than 90% of North Dakota local governments — including cities, counties, townships, school districts, park districts and other agencies. NDIRF also administers a property insurance program through a contract with the state of North Dakota.
Quintus’ predecessor had a law degree. While not a requirement, he had several conversations with NDIRF board members, and they were supportive of his decision to pursue a law degree from Purdue Global.
Purdue Global Law School offers an Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) degree, which according to Martin Pritikin, law school dean, is designed for students who want the advanced legal training that comes from attending a doctoral-level program at a law school but don’t want to become practicing attorneys.
“The EJD can be a great option for small-business owners who want to more effectively oversee and interact with counsel,” Pritikin says. “It is also ideal for business executives who want a leg up in their company or to become better at negotiating contracts, or those in HR who deal with legal issues every day, and those in highly regulated fields, like insurance and banking, who need to know how to navigate complex rules and ensure compliance.”
“I looked through a few different options,” Quintus says. “However, from its challenging curriculum to its incredibly distinguished and supportive faculty, Purdue Global Law School was clearly the best option for me. This allowed me to further my career without having to completely uproot my family.”
The value of an online law degree from Purdue Global
Quintus began courses online with Purdue Global in April 2019 with the goal of strengthening his legal knowledge of insurance.
He says that insurance policies are contracts, and having the legal knowledge to help draft such documents makes it beneficial for all parties.
A legal background also assists with looking at risks and exposure that municipalities face, especially with the various services they provide to residents, many of which are mandated by state laws.
Quintus explains that his law degree helps with the complex series of steps in reviewing a service’s risk, complex constitutional issues that can come into play and how those issues would intersect if a claim were filed against a local government.
“As I’m sitting there with a city’s legal counsel, I can speak the legal language completely. I understand what they’re talking about. They ask for our thoughts on their arguments and responses. We’re in the trenches with them,” Quintus says.
“This process works whether we are in the litigation, negotiation or mediation process. I can explain to them our strengths, weaknesses. The Purdue Global law degree helps me think critically about what the issues are and how we can position ourselves best to handle the claim for our members. There are all sorts of different angles within the insurance industry.”
Thanks to his coursework and commitment to excellent scholarship by law school faculty members, Quintus feels like an equal when working with other lawyers who graduated from brick-and-mortar institutions.
And while Quintus didn’t receive his law degree until August 2022, he experienced immediate benefits.
“After my first semester, I felt that a lot of this was clear and made sense. The skills I learned in law classes — torts, contract law, legal analysis and writing — I was able to put into practice right away at NDIRF. It really benefited me,” he says.
New goals starting to emerge after completing law degree program with Purdue Global
Quintus wanted to be the go-to person with his law degree. He had the insurance designations and education, but now combined with the legal education, he is able to be more productive to his colleagues and organization.
“I’m able to analyze the complex issues our members face. I’m able to communicate the legal analysis and conclusions and be at the same level as the attorneys that we work and deal with,” he says.
One memory that stands out to Quintus was meeting his favorite professor, Kelley Mauerman, who taught his Legal Analysis and Writing course, during the school’s 25th anniversary celebration in February.
“Some people think that it's hard to have a connection with the professor like you would have in a traditional setting. Dr. Mauerman cared about our success and cared about our understanding of what's being asked of you and provided help.”
Experience leads to lifelong love for Purdue, treasured family memories
Quintus had learned so much in his time with Purdue Global that he and his family now feel like they are lifelong members of the Purdue community. So much so, that the West Lafayette campus is sort of a destination preference for family vacations.
“We were leaving Mackey Arena after a men’s basketball game in January, and we’re walking back to the car, and the girls were already asking when we were coming back. So I jokingly said, ‘Would you rather go to Disney World or Purdue?’ Both of them immediately responded with Purdue.”
Between the courses, his experience on campus for commencement and the visits to sporting events, Quintus embraces and treasures everything Purdue Global has to offer.
“My whole experience has just far exceeded anything that I would have expected,” he says. “The classwork, the challenges, the skills and foundational legal concepts, meeting professors, and visiting Purdue’s main campus were important parts of my experience.”
Quintus could even see himself giving back to Purdue Global in the future as an adjunct faculty member.
“It’s a goal of mine to give back educationally to the insurance industry or teaching insurance classes for those just starting in the industry.”
That’s something that may not have even been possible if it weren’t for the online opportunities Purdue Global provides.
“What I was able to take away from that experience, I would put that up there with anybody. It far exceeded what my expectations were.”
About Purdue Global Law School
Purdue Global Law School is part of Purdue Global, the public, nonprofit, online school for working adults backed by Purdue University. Founded in 1998, Concord was the first to offer students a traditional law school program in an affordable, online format. For more information, please visit PurdueGlobalLawSchool.edu.
Writer: Adam Bartels, email@example.com
Sources: Brennan Quintus, Martin Pritikin