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LST's I Am The Law

Updated 3 days ago

Business
Education
Careers
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I Am The Law is a 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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I Am The Law is a show about law jobs. We profile recent and seasoned law school graduates in different jobs to help listeners learn about the legal profession.

iTunes Ratings

30 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
3
0
2
2

Awesome for the Curious Legal Mind

By eXibit T* - Mar 20 2015
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Great insight as to what lawyers do on a week to week/‘day to day’ basis! They try to help those of us that are considering a legal career by offering a thorough look at different fields of legal practice. Could have helped thousands of law students a couple years ago. Grateful to have it now!

iTunes Ratings

30 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
3
0
2
2

Awesome for the Curious Legal Mind

By eXibit T* - Mar 20 2015
Read more
Great insight as to what lawyers do on a week to week/‘day to day’ basis! They try to help those of us that are considering a legal career by offering a thorough look at different fields of legal practice. Could have helped thousands of law students a couple years ago. Grateful to have it now!

Listen to:

Cover image of LST's I Am The Law

LST's I Am The Law

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

I Am The Law is a show about law jobs. We profile recent and seasoned law school graduates in different jobs to help listeners learn about the legal profession.

Assistant U.S. Attorney (OH): Prosecuting [Federal] Drug Laws

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

Don't make a federal case of it! Or do. That's a choice left to attorneys for the United States Government.

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.

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

Episode Links

Jun 08 2015

31mins

Play

Patent Law (CA): Litigating and Prosecuting Patents at a [Large Firm]

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See that shiny new smart phone of yours? It's the product of many powerful inventions created by engineers and protected by patents. The patent system seeks to protect these inventions in exchange for detailed public disclosure about how they work.

In this episode, we hear from patent attorney Carlos Rosario, a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law. Though he graduated 3.5 years ago, he has twice switched law firms in Silicon Valley to strike his ideal balance between patent prosecution and patent litigation. Today, Carlos works for one of the largest intellectual property firms in the world. It turns out that if you want to concentrate on patent litigation, you all-but need to work for a large firm.

Like many students, Carlos was attracted to intellectual property prior to law school because he found technology exciting. This interview illustrates the IP world to listeners generally—including whether certain IP lawyers need special credentials—before diving into the particulars of day-to-day practice. Ultimately, you'll get a feel for patent practice and can unpack whether it’s as glamorous as it seems. For Carlos, he is right at home in the combative yet collaborative litigation process. 

This episode is hosted by Mike Spivey, a consultant for prospective and current law students.

Episode Links

 LST Links

Jan 23 2015

21mins

Play

Public Defender (GA): Representing Alleged Criminals Who Can't Afford a Lawyer [Government]

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Interested in becoming a public defender? Appointed to represent those who cannot afford an attorney, public defenders play an essential role in the criminal justice system. Oft-romanticized in television shows and in movies, public defense is a complex field that bears little resemblance to its glamorous portrayals crafted by Hollywood execs.

In this episode, former public defender and University of Georgia Law alumna Laurie Landsittel gives us valuable insight into the day-to-day duties of public defenders. What are the different types of public defenders? What is the typical caseload for attorneys in this field, and how often can public defenders expect their cases to go to trial? 

Laurie also discusses some of her personal experiences working as a public defender, such as her biggest challenges representing defendants that had committed serious crimes, as well as the time that she helped a teenage girl get out of jail and back on her feet. "That is what public defenders do," Laurie tells us. "If you want to help, it’s never ending."

This week's show is hosted by Derek Tokaz, LST's research director.

Episode Links

Jan 26 2015

22mins

Play

Federal Criminal Defense: Representing Indigent Clients as a [Public Defender] (NJ)

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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.

Episode Links

May 23 2016

21mins

Play

Personal Injury (TN): Settlement Negotiation for Vehicle Collision Plaintiffs While Confronting Sexism [Solo Practice]

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Crash! The U.S. tort system provides civil redress when one party unfairly harms another. Plaintiff lawyers represent clients who allegedly suffered physical, emotional, and economic injuries as the result of somebody else's negligent or intentional action. Despite the alleged harms, in the vehicle collision world, the injured rarely file lawsuits and trials almost never happen.

In this episode, we talk to Tricia Dennis, a graduate of the University of Tennessee School of Law. She's been a personal injury attorney in Chattanooga, TN for almost 30 years. While she's become extremely successful in her solo practice specializing in vehicle collisions, she provides a sobering look at how small law firm economics impact new and experienced practitioners.

From dealing with sexist attorneys to corralling tough clients, Tricia reveals several challenges she's faced in her career. She walks us through client intake, negotiations, and settlement from a plaintiff lawyer's perspective. By the end of the interview, listeners understand that, more than anything, Tricia is a small business owner who helps her clients navigate an insurance maze.

This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt, a law professor at Ohio State University.

Episode Links

LST Links

Jan 21 2015

34mins

Play

Business Law (PA): Litigation and Transactions for Commercial Lenders (Law Firm)

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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

Dec 14 2015

14mins

Play

Plaintiff's Personal Injury (NYC): A Radically Changed Business [Small Firm]

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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

Jun 06 2016

19mins

Play

Corporate Healthcare at a Chicago [Large Firm] (IL)

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

At a large law firm, the hours, pay, exit opportunities, and desire to leave are among the tradeoffs associates continuously negotiate -- if you can get the job in the first place. In this episode, Holly Carnell, a 2009 graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, describes her challenge of getting a biglaw job from a non-elite law school.

Holly discusses her corporate healthcare practice in the Chicago office of McGuireWoods. Like associates at many large firms, she's seen her responsibilities evolve in her six years in practice. Holly tells how she learned on the job, but also how she developed one of her most important skills before ever going to law school. Her sales background helps her meet the firm's expectations that she build her brand and a book of business.

As a corporate healthcare attorney, she has a broad practice in the healthcare space. She spends a lot of time helping healthcare providers draft contracts, properly engage employees, and remain in compliance with the many applicable laws. Additionally, she does contracts and due diligence for private equity firms buying and selling healthcare companies. While the job may have been difficult to get, she's finding that excelling in the job has more to do with doing quality work, managing junior associates, and exercising good judgment than where she went to school.

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

Episode Links

Jun 01 2015

25mins

Play

Public Finance (NY): New York City Biglaw

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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

Nov 09 2015

17mins

Play

Criminal Defense (VT): Pleas, Fees, and Justice [Small Firm]

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

The integrity of our criminal justice system depends on every individual receiving high-quality legal counsel -- even those who are guilty. Sometimes the attorney is hired by the defendant. Other times the attorney is appointed by the government. 

In this episode, Vermont criminal defense lawyer and Washington & Lee College of Law alumna Jessica Burke details her role in the criminal justice system. From her approach to plea bargaining to her philosophy on fee arrangements, her choices underscore the importance of letting clients make informed choices about their future. After all, it's the client's freedom on the line.

Although she held several different jobs in Virginia, Jessica moved to Vermont to be closer to family. She's about to hire the firm's third attorney, just a few years after starting a solo practice while working at a winery. Jessica tells us how she managed to grow her firm in a saturated legal market. The key for her was to expand the geography she covers, rather than the scope of practice.

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

Episode Links

May 18 2015

20mins

Play

Immigration Law (TX): Navigating the Administrative Maze for Immigrant Clients and Their Families [Small Firm]

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Deportation can rip families apart, and it's up to immigration lawyers to help individuals seek relief under the law. The job is pressure-filled and has high stakes. In this episode, immigration attorney and St. Mary's University School of Law graduate Manuel Escobar discusses his experience representing people whose livelihoods are on the line.

As Manuel tells us, an essential part of his practice is interacting with clients during "intake" sessions. Manuel spends a portion of every day interviewing clients, some of whom are petitioning for family members or are interested in learning how the law can affect them. Other clients are battling deportation and are desperate for help. "We have clients whose backs are against the wall," Manuel explains. "There is a lot at stake with immigration."

Manuel addresses some key questions pertinent to immigration law. What options are available to those seeking relief from deportation? How does an immigration attorney prepare for hearings? What challenges do immigration lawyers face, and which strategies can help mitigate stress from work? 

This week's episode is hosted by Debby Merritt, a law professor at the Ohio State University.

Episode Links

Feb 16 2015

23mins

Play

In-House Counsel (CO): Where Prioritization Outweighs Perfection

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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 23 2015

20mins

Play

Education Law (IN): Helping Schools Work With Families, Regulations, And More

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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

Mar 01 2016

16mins

Play

Employment Litigation (RI): Defending Management in Adverse Actions [Small Firm]

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

Employment disputes are wrought with emotions and interesting facts. They pit people against their bosses when, for example, the employee feels they have been discriminated against at work. These parties then resolve their disputes through state agencies, arbitrations, trials, and settlement negotiations.

Matt Parker, a 2009 graduate of Boston College Law School, represents management in  these disputes. While he rarely finds himself in court, he often participates in adversarial proceedings like arbitration and administration hearings. In this episode, we'll hear about how he prepares for proceedings. We'll also learn about the finer details of employment litigation, such as burden shifting, different fee models, and venue shopping.

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

Episode Links

Oct 13 2015

22mins

Play

Environmental Advocacy (FL/NY): Staying Afloat to Pursue Your Passion

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

Justin Bloom, a 1996 graduate of Tulane University School of Law, went to law school to right environmental wrongs via the law. While his first job involved defending environmental takings cases for the county government, his career has taken a winding path that has not always involved what he envisioned.

In this episode, Justin talks about his range of experiences. At one stop, he did tort litigation and immigration. At another, he quit because his boss asked him to coach clients to lie. He also worked directly for a model environmental advocacy organization that utilized citizen action to help government agencies remedy legal violations of the Clean Water Act.

Today Justin runs a nonprofit that uses a variety of strategies to protect Southwest Florida coastal areas. As with most startup nonprofits, funding has proven to be an enormous challenge. While he and other volunteers work to make the organization financially stable, he's practicing law on the side to ensure that he is too. 

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell, an account executive for Planet Depos, an international court reporting firm. It is sponsored by Barbri and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Oct 19 2015

23mins

Play

Federal Pro Se Clerk: Helping Judges Dispose of Cases

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

In the United States federal courts, there are too many cases and too few judges. But the situation would be much worse if it were not for the court staff, which includes attorneys that serve as law clerks for the court or individual judges. 

Vail Gardner, a 1997 graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law, served the Middle District of North Carolina for six years as a law clerk. In this episode, she describes the various types of federal law clerks, including each position's pros and cons.

Vail was a pro se clerk, which means she worked directly for the district court as opposed to an individual judge. Her work focused exclusively on disposing of social security disability appeals from the Social Security Administration. We'll hear about her role in drafting the court's opinions, as well as her current challenge: reentering law practice after taking time off for her family.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell, an account executive for Planet Depos. It is sponsored by Barbri and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Oct 05 2015

18mins

Play

Criminal Defense (OK): The Business Side of Being a Lawyer [Solo]

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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 20 2016

29mins

Play

Appellate Lawyer (VA): Telling A Court They Got It Wrong [Small Firm]

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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

Apr 03 2016

26mins

Play

Project Management: Economic Development in St. Louis (MO) [State Government]

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

Time is money. Few know that better than project managers -- a generic job title that could reflect anything from where to place a cellphone tower to how to stimulate economic development in parts of a city most hurt by unemployment.

In this episode, we hear from a project manager who specializes in the latter, although she did the former before attending law school at St. Louis University. Laura Hughes graduated in 2014 and went to work immediately for a public-private partnership, the Gateway EB-5 Investment Center. EB-5 is a United States visa program that entitles foreigners to obtain a permanent visa in exchange for an investment in certain economic development projects.

Operating out of the World Trade Center in St. Louis, she plays matchmaker for foreign investors and local real estate developers. Laura helps developers cast their projects in such a way that they not only qualify for the EB-5 program, but actually attract investors. From due diligence to navigating regulations, she uses her pre-law and legal experience to help St. Louis prosper.

This episode is hosted by Kimber Russell, an account executive at Planet Depos, an international court reporting firm. It is sponsored by Barbri Law Preview and Top-Law-Schools.com.

Episode Links

Jun 29 2015

17mins

Play

Suing Debt Collectors (MN): Consumer Protection Federal Litigation [Small Firm]

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

What did you just call me? Many Americans are late -- way late -- on their debt obligations. But debt does not entitle a debt collector to use racial epithets, shame consumers, or call them at certain times. In fact, these practices are illegal.

In this episode, Minnesota consumer rights lawyer and William Mitchell College of Law alumnus Pete Barry explains the federal law that drives his law practice. What does Pete do? "I sue debt collectors." He uses this phrase on his website, as well as at cocktail parties. Explaining what he does in such simple, yet clear terms helps him market to those who don't realize they've been legally harmed.

Pete has owned his own firm since he graduated law school nearly 20 years ago. He describes important criteria for taking a client, what's at the core of every lawsuit, and why we're all better off for the accountability he causes.

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

Episode Links

May 11 2015

24mins

Play

In-House Counsel at the City of Detroit [Government] (Michigan)

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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 13 2019

21mins

Play

Criminal Defense: A Lawyer for Tourists Who Got Out of Hand (FL)

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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.

May 06 2019

21mins

Play

International Human Rights Lawyer at the United Nations (NYC)

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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 29 2019

29mins

Play

State Public Defender: The Complexities of Criminal Defense (Montana)

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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 22 2019

29mins

Play

IRS Tax Lawyer (DC): From Tax Strategist to the Government

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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.

Apr 15 2019

22mins

Play

Plaintiff's Personal Injury (NYC): A Radically Changed Business [Small Firm]

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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

Jun 06 2016

19mins

Play

Federal Criminal Defense: Representing Indigent Clients as a [Public Defender] (NJ)

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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.

Episode Links

May 23 2016

21mins

Play

Business Immigration (OR): Helping Companies Bring Foreign Nationals To The U.S. [Mid-Size Firm]

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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 16 2016

24mins

Play

Estate Planning and Probate (SC): Counseling on Legal Services and Otherwise [Solo Practice]

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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

May 08 2016

23mins

Play

A Look Into Our Archives

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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 12 2016

13mins

Play

Appellate Lawyer (VA): Telling A Court They Got It Wrong [Small Firm]

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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.

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Apr 03 2016

26mins

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Criminal Defense (OK): The Business Side of Being a Lawyer [Solo]

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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.

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Mar 20 2016

29mins

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Education Law (IN): Helping Schools Work With Families, Regulations, And More

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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.

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Mar 01 2016

16mins

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Federal Government Transactions (WA): Affordable Housing Deals and Counsel

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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.

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Feb 22 2016

17mins

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Criminal Justice Advocacy From Within The L.A. Mayor's Office (CA)

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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.

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Feb 15 2016

21mins

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Workers' Compensation (TX): Helping Injured Workers Fight Insurance Companies

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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.

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Feb 07 2016

21mins

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Business Law (PA): Litigation and Transactions for Commercial Lenders (Law Firm)

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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.

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Dec 14 2015

14mins

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In-House Counsel (CO): Where Prioritization Outweighs Perfection

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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.

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Nov 23 2015

20mins

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Public Finance (NY): New York City Biglaw

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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.

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Nov 09 2015

17mins

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Tax Attorney (MS): Helping Low-Income Individuals Fight the IRS

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

Settle your IRS debts for pennies on the dollar! You can see these commercials on TV all the time. Turns out it's a real thing. Settlements aren't always that generous, but hardship programs and a little negotiation help many people reduce their obligations and unfounded fears that an IRS SWAT team will break down their door and escort them to jail.

As a tax attorney for low-income individuals at a pro bono legal services clinic, Alexis Farmer -- a 2011 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law -- frequently finds herself talking to the IRS on behalf of clients. Frequently her clients did not pay their income tax bill. Other times someone stole their identity and filed a fraudulent return in their name. Either way, connecting to her clients on a deeper level fosters trust and better outcomes.

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

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Oct 26 2015

26mins

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