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LST's I Am The Law

Updated 11 days ago

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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

31 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
4
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

31 Ratings
Average Ratings
23
4
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!
Cover image of LST's I Am The Law

LST's I Am The Law

Latest release on Aug 24, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 11 days ago

Rank #1: 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.

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Jun 08 2015

31mins

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Rank #2: 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.

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May 23 2016

21mins

Play

Rank #3: 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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Rank #4: 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

Rank #5: 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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Rank #6: 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.

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Jan 26 2015

22mins

Play

Rank #7: 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.

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Jun 06 2016

19mins

Play

Rank #8: 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

Rank #9: 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.

Episode Links

Oct 26 2015

26mins

Play

Rank #10: 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.

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May 18 2015

20mins

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Rank #11: Real Estate Law (NC): Residential Home Transactions [Solo Practice]

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Think you might be allergic to litigation? In this episode, real estate attorney and University of Texas School of Law alumna Barbara Stewart shares what keeps her out of the courtroom.

Barbara started her career as in-house counsel for a large communications company before venturing into real estate law. Today, she helps clients purchase and sell residential homes. She spends her time drafting real estate transaction documents -- usually from forms -- and helping people understand the process.

Now that she's on her own, she's able to provide valuable insight into running a modern real estate practice. Barbara outlines several common trappings that face real estate attorneys. If her sky-high malpractice insurance is any measure, its among the riskier practice areas around.

This week's show is hosted by Aaron Taylor, a law professor at St. Louis University.

Episode Links

Feb 02 2015

23mins

Play

Rank #12: 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.

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Oct 19 2015

23mins

Play

Rank #13: 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.

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Jun 01 2015

25mins

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Rank #14: 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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Rank #15: Leaving The Law: What Drove One Lawyer to a High School Classroom

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

When is enough...enough?

Jaye Lindsay decided he'd had enough just 3.5 years after graduating from Southern Illinois University School of Law. His first job out of law school wasn't glamorous, but the steady pay and hands-on litigation experience made up for a lack of health insurance and low hourly wages. But over time, he wanted more work-life balance and a better standard of living for his wife and new kids.

Jaye tried a new firm in rural Illinois. It collapsed after a month. He tried going solo back in Chicago. It only allowed him to barely get by. He signed on with another firm at an hourly rate while maintaining his solo practice. But he wasn't crazy about the lack of benefits or the type of work, which wasn't even consistent. Finding it impossible to manage his average-size debt load, Jaye decided to move with his family to Florida and become a high school special education teacher.

This non-traditional episode is about more than Jaye's decision to become a teacher and practice law on the side. It's also a window into the economics of small law firms, the trade-offs that clients face when they cannot afford a lawyer, and how people juggle and evaluate life priorities.

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

Jul 27 2015

29mins

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Rank #16: 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

Play

Rank #17: Military Attorney (Worldwide): Full-Spectrum Counsel to Warfighters and the [U.S. Military]

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

Each of the five U.S. military branches has a large legal staff that handles civil litigation, criminal prosecution and defense, servicemen and servicewomen education about rights and responsibilities, and more. With worldwide jurisdiction, the military justice system operates alongside our civilian system and is run by the Judge Advocate General's Corp. -- JAG for short.

In this episode, we hear from an Air Force JAG officer. Captain Megan Mallone is a 2008 graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law and joined the military right after law school. She's not involved in combat, but she does provide legal counsel of all kinds to warfighters. Every Air Force JAG starts as a prosecutor, enforcing military justice for the U.S. government. But after that? Your future is at the mercy of your military commanders.

Megan's original commitment was 4 years, but like many JAG officers, she re-enlisted and continued her varied experience in new places. She deployed to Greece and Qatar while stationed in England, where she supported her military installations to meet their missions.

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

Jul 06 2015

22mins

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Rank #18: 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

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Rank #19: Consumer Bankruptcy (AZ): Relieving Drowning Individuals with a Fresh Start [Small Firm]

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

You owe a lot of money. You can barely keep the lights on at home. You don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, there may be a fresh start brought to you by state and federal bankruptcy laws.

Cristina Perez Hesano, a 2007 graduate of Arizona State University, helps individuals struggling with debt to file for bankruptcy. She focuses mainly on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, and in this episode she takes us through a Chapter 7 from prep to discharge.

We'll also hear about why she left her first bankruptcy firm job to go out on her own, as well as how she came to eventually merge that bankruptcy practice with the general practice firm down the hall.

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

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Aug 17 2015

28mins

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Rank #20: 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.

Episode Links

Feb 15 2016

21mins

Play