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LST's I Am The Law

I Am The Law is an award-winning show about law jobs. We profile recent and seasoned law school graduates in different jobs to help listeners learn about the legal profession.
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LST's I Am The Law
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Now displaying: Category: Interviews
Aug 24, 2020

Ilya Lerma, a 1999 graduate of the University of Arizona, runs a small solo practice where she takes on insurance companies in complicated brain injury cases. She discusses the difficulty of running a contingency-fee practice, litigating as a woman of color, and how she manages the stress of being a lawyer.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Aug 17, 2020

Dan Drake, a 1995 graduate of Stetson College of Law, is a real estate attorney at a small firm in Florida.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Aug 10, 2020

Jon Holscher, a 2011 graduate of Drake Law School, is assistant county attorney in Iowa.

This episode is hosted by Derek Tokaz. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Aug 3, 2020

At the bottom of the legal profession hierarchy lays the opaque world of short-term contract work, also known as document review. Known to some as the circuit, it's filled with new graduates trying to break into the profession, older graduates trying to on-ramp back in, and others who need the money to get by as they start their own practice, balance a family, or try to start fresh after a grueling job. In this special episode, we dive into this world through a roundtable discussion with three law school graduates.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

 

Jul 27, 2020

Zoe Sharp, a 2003 graduate of Stanford Law School, is assistant general counsel at Optoro, a software company that keeps her busy in many areas of law.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Jul 20, 2020

Jeremy Evans, a 2011 graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, runs his own sports and entertainment law firm in southern California.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

May 13, 2019

Choi Portis, a 2011 graduate of Thomas Cooley Law School, is a lawyer for the water and sewerage department in Detroit. She handles litigation for the department, develops policies and procedures, and reviews contracts—so one day is rarely the same as the next.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

May 6, 2019

Alan Fowler, a 2006 graduate of Mercer University School of Law, primarily represents tourists who got in trouble while on vacation. He talks about finding clients, their urgency in resolving their legal trouble, and how he learns about what they really want. Alan reminds us that solo practitioners are small business owners who happen to provide legal services. 

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee, executive director of Law School Transparency. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Apr 29, 2019

Matt Hoisington, a 2009 graduate of Boston College Law School, explains his path to and through the United Nations. He talks about how he managed to obtain one of the most sought after jobs in the law as an international human rights lawyer. He discusses his time doing law and policy at UN headquarters in New York City, and time abroad in Abyei and Darfur, Sudan.

This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt, a law professor at Ohio State University. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Apr 22, 2019

Alisha Backus, a 2014 graduate of Barry University School of Law, has an inspiring passion for her work representing people accused of crimes. When she was younger, she experienced the ugly side of our justice system as a victim of domestic violence. While this understandably causes others choose a different path, it helps her suss out reliable information from not only victims, but her clients too.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Apr 15, 2019

Deepan Patel, a 2013 graduate of FSU College of Law, explains his role at the IRS. While the IRS has many types of lawyers, he focuses on business taxpayer guidance, which ensures certainty for businesses making major decisions. He describes how he got into tax, where his career might go, and trade-offs between government and private practice.

This episode is hosted by Derek Tokaz, a former lawyer and academic writing instructor at American University. It's sponsored by LSAC, the Law School Admission Council.

Jun 6, 2016

When most people are injured in car wrecks or at work, they can't afford to pay a lawyer an hourly fee out of pocket to win their case against a large corporation or their insurance company. That's why attorneys for the plaintiffs in these lawsuits use a contingency fee, which pays the lawyer about a third of the total settlement or verdict -- but only if the plaintiff wins. That amount covers the work done by the lawyers, and compensates them for the risk of no payout.

In this episode, Dan Minc, a 1977 graduate of Seton Hall School of Law, discusses how he managed to rise up to his firm's managing partner after starting there as a first-year lawyer. He also talks about how he builds his book of business and what he assesses when determining whether to take a client. After all, he's only paid if his client wins.

This episode is hosted by Derek Tokaz, an academic writing teacher at American University. It is sponsored by ShouldIBeALawyer.com and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

May 23, 2016

The right to counsel for criminal charges is essential to our system of justice. The federal and state governments must provide you a lawyer if you can't afford one. As such, underfunded public defender offices raise serious constitutional -- not to mention moral -- questions.

In this episode, Candace Hom, a 2001 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, explains her role in the criminal justice system. She also talks about how she builds trust between her and clients, the various legal job roles within the federal public defender office, and the challenges of dealing with prosecutors -- even the good ones.

This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt a law professor at The Ohio State University. It is sponsored by ShouldIBeALawyer.com and Top-Law-Schools.com.

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May 16, 2016

After graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2010, Melina LaMorticella began her career at a local immigration boutique. Several years later she joined Tonkon Torp, a mid-size firm in Portland, OR. Business immigration law, however, is Melina's third career. In the 15 years before starting law school, she worked in publishing and as a paralegal.

In this episode, Melina explains how the U.S. considers immigration applications from professional workers. She also talks about the charged political atmosphere she operates in, as well as what her typical day looks like.

This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt a law professor at The Ohio State University. It is sponsored by ShouldIBeALawyer.com and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

May 8, 2016

Kathryn Cockrill is a 2009 graduate of Touro Law School. Despite going to law school in the Northeast, she moved south to Charleston following law school. While she started her career at a small firm, she recently went out on her own to reap the rewards of building a business in estate planning and probate.

In this episode, Kathryn explains the ins and outs of probate, for both the living and the deceased. She also talks about how she avoids bill collection pitfalls, why she plans to hire help once her firm is on more stable financial footing, and why her practice keeps her interested and invested.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee, LST's executive director. It is sponsored by ShouldIBeALawyer.com and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Apr 12, 2016

This episode is brought to you by BarBri Law Preview. They're giving away a $10,000 scholarship for a 1L this fall. If you want to apply, go to LawGiveAway.com.

In this episode, Kyle McEntee (LST's executive director) and Derek Tokaz (one of IATL's hosts) discuss three episodes from the archives. They reflect on what they found more interesting and important, emphasizing the value in researching legal careers early and often.

The three episodes are:

Apr 3, 2016

There's an old saying: When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on you side, pound the table. But if you're an appellate lawyer? All you have is the law because the record (facts) is set at the trial level.

Virginia Whitner Hoptman is a 1981 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. Immediately following law school, she had back-to-back appellate clerkships. The first was with the Third Circuit and the second was with the U.S. Supreme Court. She changed course several times throughout her career, but has settled back where she started with a highly-specialized appellate practice.

In this episode, Virginia explains the appeals process for winners and losers at the trial level. She also talks to us about elitism in the world of appeals, how difficult it is to become a full-time appellate lawyer, and what makes appellate lawyers fundamentally different than trial lawyers.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee, LST's executive director. It is sponsored by ShouldIBeALawyer.com and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Mar 20, 2016

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

When you are a solo practitioner, you are a small business owner who happens to provide legal services. Many new lawyers fail to fully appreciate this right away, aggravating the already tall challenge of learning to practice law on your own. 

Matt Swain is a 2009 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Right after law school, he started his own criminal defense practice in a college town 20 miles outside of Oklahoma City. In this episode, Matt talks to us about the importance of understanding your business inside and out. He describes some of the techniques he uses that ultimately make him more efficient and more likely to notice opportunities to help his clients move forward with their lives.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell. It is sponsored by Barbri, ShouldIBeALawyer.com, and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Mar 1, 2016

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

Many types of educational institutions exist in the United States. Schools can be public or private, and serve different age ranges and missions. Regardless, schools are highly regulated at the state and federal level and need lawyers to function.

Seamus Boyce is a 2006 graduate of the University of New Hampshire School of Law and an education attorney at a 38-person firm with offices throughout Indiana. In this episode, he tells us about routine work advising clients with one-off questions, as well as more complex work involving student services, discrimination, and legislation. He also talks to us about his ascent to partner and the choices his firms make in pursuit of client satisfaction.

This episode is hosted by Aaron Taylor, a law professor at St. Louis University. It is sponsored by Barbri, ShouldIBeALawyer.com, and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Feb 22, 2016

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, through a system of rules, regulations, and incentives, seeks to create strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities in recognition of every citizen's right to affordable housing. Naturally, such a system requires lawyers to dot the i's, cross the t's, and keep the system moving and improving.

Kevin Krainz is a 2013 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and HUD attorney in the Seattle regional office. In this episode, he tells us about his roles at HUD and how it differs from other types of public interest work related to affordable housing.

This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt, a law professor at The Ohio State University. It is sponsored by Barbri, ShouldIBeALawyer.com, and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Feb 15, 2016

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

When someone is jailed for a crime, the punishment often extends beyond the sentence because formerly incarcerated people face structural barriers in their transition to freedom. In particular, limited employment prospects too often lead to a cycle of crime that's difficult to escape. The City of Los Angeles, under the leadership of Mayor Eric Garcetti, established the Office of Reentry in response to this problem. Through programming, policy development, and outreach the office seeks to not only help the formerly incarcerated rejoin the public, but also to alter conditions that lead to jailing in the first place.

Kimberley Baker Guillemet, a 2005 graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, helped Mayor Garcetti open the office in the fall of 2015. In this episode, she talks about how her background as a lawyer prepared her to tackle this job and how the intersection of law and policy can make a difference in millions of people's lives.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee, executive director of Law School Transparency. It is sponsored by Barbri and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Feb 7, 2016

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

If you hurt someone, a court may require you to pay their medical expenses and for their pain and suffering. Workers' compensation insurance changes this process for employers and employees. An employee loses their right to sue their employer for negligence in exchange for an insurance plan that pays for the employee's medical expenses and wage replacement when they're hurt on the job. Workers' compensation attorneys help employees navigate the administrative process and fight insurance companies over the insurance payouts.

In this episode, Royce Bicklein, a 1998 graduate of St. Mary University's School of Law, discusses his firm's practice and what's involved in proving where an injury occurred and what's to blame for the extent of an injury. Unlike almost every other state, Texas employers choose to opt in to the workers' compensation process. As such, Royce's firm handles workers' compensation and traditional personal injury. Who helps a client  depends on whether the client's employer opted in to the system or not.

This episode is hosted by Derek Tokaz, an academic writing teacher at American University. It is sponsored by Barbri and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Dec 14, 2015

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

In this episode, Andy Park, a 2014 graduate of the Temple University Beasley School of Law, discusses his work as a junior associate for a 23-attorney business law firm in Philadelphia.

Due to the firm's size and staffing model, Andy has amassed substantive and diverse experience in just over a year of practice. He tells us about his involvement in negotiating and originating loans, litigating and settling loan defaults, and selling commercial real estate acquired from a trial verdict or settlement. While he's still new to practice, he sees how observing issues in litigation can positively affect his work reviewing his clients deals.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell, senior discovery consultant at BlueStar Case Solutions. It is sponsored by Barbri and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Nov 23, 2015

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

In this episode, Jessica Morgan, a 2012 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School, discusses her areas of responsibility as Vice President of Legal for Boulder Brands, a public company that owns a variety of food manufacturers.

Jessica oversees a team of regulatory experts, manages outside counsel, manages the companies intellectual property portfolio, negotiates contracts, and continues to automate as many legal processes as she can to save and make her company money.

This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt, a law professor at The Ohio State University. It is sponsored by Barbri and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Nov 9, 2015

This episode is presented by The United States Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corp.

Life at a large New York City law firm is all about tradeoffs. On the one hand, junior associates receive large salaries, good training, and interesting exit opportunities. On the other, the "life" part of work-life balance can sometimes be difficult to manage.

In this episode, Joan Kerecz, a 2013 graduate of Duke University School of Law, discusses the various roles she played in public finance transactions. While few large firms have public finance practices, her large firm afforded her the chance to help public entities raise money to accomplish important projects, from building roads and bridges to expanding hospitals and schools.

Joan talks to us about the on-campus interview climate at her law school. She also tells us why, after just two years, she left a firm she really liked to do general finance deals at another large New York City corporate firm.

This episode is hosted by Kyle McEntee, LST's executive director. It is sponsored by Barbri and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

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