I always wondered why I chose the path to becoming a lawyer. Like many people who enter law school, I had three goals: (1) help clients solve their legal problems by navigating what is often a perplexing legal system; (2) promote equity in society by advocating for client’s rights; and (3) make a decent wage so that my children don’t have to support me in the future (I reserve the right to request my children’s future support no matter how much money I make). As the largely academic focus of law school increased (along with my debt), I shifted my focus to securing the best job I could get with the highest earning potential and the biggest name clients.
After law school, I joined an Am 50 law firm. I had the pretty typical “Big Firm” associate experience; clocking a large amount of hours on sometime mindless tasks, mixed with moments of intense joy when I actually had the opportunity to craft legal arguments, and to provide my judgment directly to clients. While toiling away one day, a senior associate provided me with the best advice I have ever received about practicing law. He simply said, “It’s your career, and you are the only one responsible for deciding how that career will progress. It is up to you to make yourself a better lawyer and to find your own sense of fulfillment.” I took those words to heart, and began aggressively working to carve out a satisfying career. I count myself as fortunate to have gained some strong substantive skills within my “Big Firm” practice, but it required taking the non-beaten path to gain those skills. I found myself forsaking the temporary ego-gratification that comes with working on the cases that will show up daily in the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, and began focusing on cases where I could actively interact with clients, and, more importantly, provide sound business judgment about client’s legal issues. To that end, I began spending more time working on a broad range of cases and internal investigations that allowed me to hone both my substantive legal skills, and my ability to advise clients about their legal and business issues (which are often intertwined). The gratification I received from providing my client’s with concrete solutions far outweighed any enjoyment I felt from having a smaller role in higher-profile cases. I finally knew why I wanted to be a lawyer; I thrive on using my legal skills to solve clients’ business problems.
During my “Big Firm” practice, I worked with some great people and learned a lot by picking the brains of some of the country’s best and brightest legal minds. However, I knew there had to be a way to merge the experience of working with great people with the chance to consistently do substantive legal work. In 2008, I found my way to Valorem, and found an environment solely focused on providing the best and most efficient solution to clients’ business and legal needs, while also providing an ideal platform to continue my personal growth as a litigator. Additionally (and more importantly) I get to work with a great and fun group of people. Valorem prides itself on collaborating to serve our clients, and through this collaboration, all of us share our experiences, skills and unique insights to provide innovative, but practical, client solutions. Every day, I am reminded why I became a lawyer, and that is the best praise I can give to Valorem’s approach to business litigation.
When I entered law school, I had three goals:( 1) help clients solve their legal problems by navigating what is often a perplexing legal system; (2) promote equity in society by advocating for clients' rights; and (3) make a decent wage so that my children don’t have to support me in the future. Valorem’s focus on low-ego but vigorous collaboration and alternative fee arrangements provides the perfect platform to partner with clients to solve their problems (and a great place to spend sometimes long hours to boot!)
Prior to joining Valorem I was an associate at Jones Day for four years concentrating on complex litigation, securities-related litigation, and internal investigations. I’ve spent the past seven years at Valorem, concentrating on complex commercial litigation, products liability litigation and civil rights litigation. My experience includes: