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.
Dan Drake, a 1995 graduate of Stetson College of Law, went to law school after a decade of law enforcement to become a prosecutor, but couldn't make the money work with his student debt. Today, he does real estate transactions and litigation at a small firm in Florida.
Jeremy Evans, a 2011 graduate of Thomas Jefferson School of Law, managed to outlast hundreds who started law school hoping to do sports and entertainment law. He talks about the struggle to start his own firm, and why he thinks he was among the last standing.
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.
In this episode, Dan Minc, a 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, as a personal injury attorney he's only paid if his client wins.
Melina LaMorticella worked in publishing and as a paralegal for 15 years before graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School. She moved from a local immigration boutique to a larger firm in Portland to practice business immigration law. In this episode, Melina talks about the charged political atmosphere she operates in, as well as what her typical day looks like.
Kathryn Cockrill, graduate of Touro Law School, recently went out on her own to build a business in estate planning and probate. Kathryn explains the ins and outs of probate, for both the living and the deceased. She also mentions how she avoids bill collection pitfalls, why she will hire help once her firm is on more stable financial footing, and why her practice keeps her interested.
Virginia Whitner Hoptman, alum of the University of Virginia School of Law, changed course several times throughout her career before settling back where she started with a highly-specialized appellate process. She discusses elitism in the world of appeals, how difficult it is to become a full-time appellate lawyer, and fundamental differences between appellate and trial lawyers.
Solo practitioners are small business owners who happen to provide legal services. Matt Swain started his own criminal defense practice after graduating from University of Oklahoma College of Law. In this episode, Matt describes the importance of knowing your business inside and out, and techniques that make him more likely to notice opportunities to help his clients move forward with their lives.
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.
In this episode we meet workers compensation attorney Royce Bicklein, a 1998 graduate of St. Mary University's School of Law. Royce 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.
In this episode, Andy Park, a 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, Andy has amassed diverse experience in just over a year of practice from negotiating loans to litigating and settling loan defaults, and more.
In this episode, Joan Kerecz, a graduate of Duke University School of Law, discusses her large firm’s public finance practices, which gave her a rare chance to help public entities raise money for projects, from building roads to expanding hospitals and schools. Joan also talks to us about the on-campus interview climate at her law school, and her decision to move firms after two years.
Matt Parker, a graduate of Boston College Law School, represents management in employment disputes. While he rarely finds himself in court, in this episode, we’ll find out about how he prepares for the proceedings he often participates in, like administration hearings. We'll also learn about the finer details of employment litigation, such as burden shifting and venue shopping.
You owe a lot of money and don’t know what to do. This is where Cristina Perez Hesano, an alum of Arizona State University, comes in to help individuals struggling with debt to file for bankruptcy. In this episode, she takes us through a chapter 7 bankruptcy from prep to discharge, and why decided to leave her first bankruptcy firm to go out on her own.
How do you plan for your death? In this episode, Deacon Haymond, a 2004 graduate of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, discusses his small and growing law firm that specializes in trusts and estates. Deacon talks us through his fees, how he finds clients, and what happened when he's too nice to his clients.
3.5 years after Jaye Lindsay graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law, he longed for a better standard of living and work-life balance. After going solo and finding it impossible to manage debt, he decided to become a teacher and practice law on the side. This episode looks into the economics of small law firms and the evaluation of life priorities.
Ryan Morrison, a 2013 graduate of New York Law School operates a firm centered on helping video game developers. Ryan’s work greatly varies depending on what his clients need, but often involved intellectual property and contracts. In this episode, Ryan tells us about the struggles of his job, and how he built a rare practice from a pro bono matter.
In this episode, we talk to Meaghan Hearne, alum of Syracuse University College of Law, whose work revolves around LGBTQ clients and issues. Before the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the right to marry to same-sex couples, Meaghan protected same-sex couples who wanted the protections marriage afforded. Now, she's working on an employment discrimination cases.
This episode, we interview insurance defense litigator and University of South Dakota School of Law alumna Meghann Joyce. While she's hired by insurance companies, her clients are the insured defending professional liability and employment suits. A lawyer's duty of loyalty is to the client, but Meghann exemplifies how business realities produce complex ethical dilemmas.
At a large law firm, the hours, pay, and exit opportunities are among the tradeoffs associates continuously negotiate–if they get the job in the first place. This week Holly Carnell, a 2009 graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, describes her challenge of getting her corporate healthcare biglaw job at McGuireWoods from a non-elite law school.
The integrity of the criminal justice system hinges on every individual receiving quality legal counsel—even if guilty. In this episode, Vermont criminal defense lawyer and Washington & Lee College of Law alumna Jessica Burke details how expanding the geography she covers, rather than the scope of practice, allowed her firm to grow in a saturated legal market.
Minnesota consumer rights lawyer and William Mitchell College of Law Alumnus Pete Barry sues debt collectors who harass or discriminate against consumers. Pete explains the federal law that drives his law in clear terms which helps him market to those who don’t realize they’ve been legally harmed.
University of Washington grad Marissa Olsson works at a small, maritime law firm in Seattle helping fishermen, ferry workers, and others injured on the job sue their employers. Although her confidence and skills have grown noticeably, she often faces opposing counsel who treat her differently because she's a woman. Marissa uses her frustrations as motivation to maximize client recovery and to make positive changes in the legal profession.
Medical malpractice lawyers specialize in the tangle of medical responsibilities, norms, and facts. In this episode, Washington University School of Law alumnus Greg Aycock tells us how he transitioned from representing defendants to representing plaintiffs. He left his insurance defense practice on a leap of faith, and discusses the struggles of being your own boss and getting a firm off the ground.
Biglaw is changing—America's largest firms are testing new attorney tracks and different expectations. Pioneer WilmerHale’s DiscoverySolutions (DS) provides litigation support for the firm's attorneys. Nat Croumer, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is the Discovery Attorney Administrative Manager for DS. Nat discusses how electronic document discovery is essential to modern civil litigation.
In this episode, immigration attorney and St. Mary's University School of Law graduate Manuel Escobar discusses his experience representing people in this high-pressure high-stakes job. Manuel addresses some key questions pertinent to immigration law. What options are available to those seeking relief from deportation? What challenges do immigration lawyers face, and which strategies can help mitigate stress from work?
The famous Marbury v. Madison case involved a writ of mandamus—an order to a government agency or official to behave in accordance with the law. In this episode, Michael Morguess discusses seeking writs of mandamus for clients fired by government agencies. Michael faces immense pressure with jobs and livelihoods on the line, but the intellectual challenge and thrill of victory buoy his non-traditional litigation practice.
University of Texas School of Law alum Barbara Stewart started her career as in-house counsel for a large communications company before venturing into real estate. Today, she spends her time drafting real estate transaction documents to help clients purchase and sell residential homes. If her sky-high malpractice insurance is any measure, its among the riskier practice areas around.
Patent attorney Carlos Rosario, graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law, was first attracted to intellectual property in law school because he found technology exciting. Though he graduated 3.5 years ago, he has twice switched firms in Silicon Valley to strike an ideal balance between patent prosecution and patent litigation. Today, Carlos works for one of the largest global intellectual property firms.
Tricia Dennis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law and has been a personal injury attorney in Chattanooga for almost 30 years. Tricia talks about the struggles she’s faced operating a solo practice specializing in vehicle collisions. She walks us through a plaintiff lawyer’s perspective on client intake, negotiations, settlement, and the process of helping clients navigate an insurance maze.
When Gabriel Cheong—owner of a small family law firm in Boston—graduated from Northeastern Law School at the start of the Great Recession, his back was against the wall. Today he's proven that putting client needs first can help build a sustainable business. Gabriel explains how his use of technology and fixed fees maximizes time spent on clients. After all, his job is to help clients whose lives are being torn apart.