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LST's I Am The Law

Updated 4 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.

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.

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 4 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.

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: 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.

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 LST Links

Jan 23 2015

21mins

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Rank #3: 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 #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: 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

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: 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

Play

Rank #9: 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

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

Play

Rank #11: 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.

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Feb 16 2015

23mins

Play

Rank #12: 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

Play

Rank #13: 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

Play

Rank #14: 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.

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Oct 13 2015

22mins

Play

Rank #15: 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 #16: 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.

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Oct 05 2015

18mins

Play

Rank #17: 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 #18: 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

Play

Rank #19: 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.

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Jun 29 2015

17mins

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Rank #20: 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.

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May 11 2015

24mins

Play