Podcast by Ian Schrank
When ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and “The Bachelor” star Rachel Lindsay committed to Marquette’s sports law program, the Dallas native proudly told everyone she was headed to Minnesota.
“To be truthful, I thought Milwaukee was in Minnesota,” Lindsay said. “I was literally getting on a plane and telling everybody that I was going to Minnesota. I’m geographically challenged. And then I landed in Wisconsin.”
While she might have been over 200 miles off, Milwaukee has become a sort of home away from home for the reality tv star since then. She returned to her alma mater for the first time since her live television proposal to give a talk titled “Lessons From My Bachelorette Negotiations” at the law school.
Over the course of the talk, she discussed what she learned from being on television and the lessons she learned from her time at Marquette — most of which were not that different from what students are learning today.
Lindsay originally attended Marquette strictly for business purposes. She heard about the heralded sports law program from a colleague and wanted to pursue a career in law similar to her father, Judge Sam A. Lindsay, but once she got here, she fell in love with the close-knit community.
“Just being a part of Marquette was a huge takeaway for me,” she said. “It holds a lot of clout, and I’m proud when I go out in the legal world and I say, ‘I went to Marquette and this is what I did and this is what I graduated with and what I was involved in.'”
But, not everything about her Marquette experience was perfect, especially her living situation.
“I had a horror story at first,” Lindsay said. “I signed a lease without looking at the apartment. I went and saw it and it was terrible. Clearly, I hadn’t been to law school yet — I’m signing leases without looking at anything.”
Eventually, with some help from her father, she got out of the lease and she settled down at the Marq, then named the 2040s, and hit it off with her new roommates. She even went to a few parties now and again when undergraduates invited her to go out, though she was quick to recenter herself and prioritize her studies.
She was also one of the first classes that studied in Ray and Kay Eckstein Hall, and the classes she took in that building prepared her well for her life in Dallas, and, strangely enough, they also prepared her for “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”
“I joke and say, ‘Oh this is why my parents sent me to law school, so I could be on reality TV. This is what they were preparing me for,” she said. “But there is some truth in it because of the skills that I had to use to be able to meet 31 men and be able to decide who’s legit, who’s full of it, who’s just here for their own benefit rather than getting to know me.”
Her fiance, Bryan Abasolo, said that he saw those lawyer skills enacted during the show. She dealt with conflicts fairly but also gave everyone a fair shot. She had an ability to open up to others and in turn get to know them.
“I think that’s just part of her genuine nature,” Abasolo said. “She really gave everybody a chance.”
But the couple isn’t too keen on giving Milwaukee a chance — for right now, anyway. They’re debating if they should settle in Dallas, California or Miami. California has a lot of short-term career opportunities, but the other two cities are where their families are, and that’s something important to them.
Lindsay said nothing is completely out of the question. She would never have guessed she’d go to school in Wisconsin, and it’s possible that their paths could send them back to the Midwest one day.
“It’s so nice to be back and have Bryan here and to see how I was kind of raised as a lawyer,” Lindsay said. “It’s like a second home to me, so it’s where my roots are founded as well.”