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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.

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

28 Ratings
Average Ratings
21
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

28 Ratings
Average Ratings
21
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!
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.

Rank #1: 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 #2: 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

Play

Rank #3: 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 #4: 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

Rank #5: 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 #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.

Episode Links

Dec 14 2015

14mins

Play

Rank #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: Trusts and Estates (UT): Helping Families Plan Their Legacy

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

How do you plan for your death? While state statutes set many default rules for how things play out after death, many people want to exert more control over the process. As such, the planning process for those who can afford it involves a number of different advisors, from insurance agents and financial planners to lawyers.

In this episode, Deacon Haymond, a 2004 graduate of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, discusses his small and growing law firm that specializes in trusts and estates. Deacon started his boutique after leaving a large firm, which he joined when it swallowed the small firm he started at in Salt Lake City.

Deacon talks us through his fees, how he finds clients, and what happened when he's too nice to his clients. While advances in legal services technology pose challenges to his practice long term, he's emphatic that so far they're helping him.

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

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Aug 03 2015

33mins

Play

Rank #10: 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 #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

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Rank #12: 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 #13: 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 #14: 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

Rank #15: 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 #16: 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.

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May 08 2016

23mins

Play

Rank #17: 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

Play

Rank #18: 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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Rank #19: 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

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Rank #20: 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