Jon Holscher, a 2011 graduate of Drake Law School, prosecutes crime for the state in Iowa. While the facts differ among cases, they have to all add up to the elements of a crime to get a convinction.
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.
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.
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.
Because all parties must have legal representation in criminal cases, underfunded public defender offices raise serious constitutional questions. In this episode, Candace Hom, an alum of Georgetown University Law Center, discusses working at the federal public defender office, how she builds trust with clients, and the challenges of dealing with prosecutors.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeks to create inclusive communities that accomodate citizen's rights to affordable housing. Kevin Krainz is an alum of the University of Pennsylvania Law School who talks about being a HUD attorney and how it differs from other affordable housing related public interest work.
After someone leaves prison, limited employment options can lead to a cycle of crime. Kimberley Baker Guillemet, an alum of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, helped form the Los Angeles Office of Reentry to fix this. Kimberly discusses her work helping the formerly incarcerated rejoin society, and altering conditions leading to initial jailings.
In the U.S. federal courts, there are too many cases and too few judges. To this end, attorneys can serve as law clerks for the court. Vail Gardner, an alum of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, served North Carolina for six years as a law clerk. In this episode, she describes the types of federal law clerks, including each position's pros and cons.
Each of the U.S. military branches has a large legal staff which is run by the Judge Advocate General's Corp (JAG). Captain Megan Mallone is a JAG officer who joined the Air Force right after graduating from the University of Toledo College of Law. While she’s not involved in combat, she does provide legal counsel to warfighters.
Time is money, and few people know that better than project managers like Laura Hughes. Laura attended St. Louis University School of Law. She now operates out of the World Trade Center in St. Louis to play matchmaker for foreign investors and local real estate developers. From due diligence to regulations, she uses pre-law and legal experience to help St. Louis prosper.
In this episode, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law alumnus Mike Hunter details his role in the criminal justice system. From 4th Amendment advice for federal agents making a bust to deciding which cases to take, when to seek indictments, and who to make plea agreements with, Mike tells us how he makes choices in pursuit of justice.
Professional licensing boards are a major way lawyers protect the public from wrongdoing. In this episode, we talk to Vanderbilt Law School alumna Johanna Barde, a lawyer for the Tennessee Department of Health. Johanna creates health policy and prosecutes medical professionals before state health boards. The work can be repetitive and bleak, Johanna admits, but her desire to protect public health keeps her motivated.
Oft-romanticized in TV shows and movies, public defense is a complex field that bears little resemblance to glamorous Hollywood portrayals. In this episode, former public defender and University of Georgia Law alumna Laurie Landsittel gives us valuable insight into the everyday duties of public defenders. Laurie shares some of her personal experiences, such as her biggest challenges representing defendants who had committed serious crimes.