A Father-Daughter Q&A with Steven Epstein ‘92 and Alexis Epstein ‘21

Q: Alexis, did your father’s career as a lawyer inspire you to attend law school?

A: Absolutely, I grew up watching him. I would go to court with him all the time when I was younger to watch him in action in the courtroom. I saw the impact he made in people’s lives and learned that I too wanted a career where I could make that difference in someone’s life. I believe that being able to see the reality of what it takes to be a lawyer before coming to law school helped me in deciding whether law was the career for me. My decision to come to Pace was impacted by my father’s experience because he was able to tell me about what opportunities there were before even visiting. Ultimately, coupled with my father’s experience, I also chose Pace because of the number of public interest opportunities and I knew that was something I wanted to go into.

Q: Steven, how did you feel about your daughter following in your footsteps and pursuing a career in law?

A: I was thrilled that Alexis chose the law and especially Pace as her pathway to make a difference in the lives of others and help improve the world we all live in. It is the size of her heart, her desire to succeed, and her intelligence that empowers her to help others. Becoming a lawyer and now a public defender was a perfect pathway to make a difference in the lives of others. How much more proud can a father be than of that.


Q: Alexis, how was your experience at Haub Law?

A: My experience at Pace was great! I was drawn to the criminal justice path and took a number of Professor Dorfman’s classes, such as Criminal Procedure and New York Criminal Procedure. Both classes were very helpful when it came to interviewing and I always enjoyed his classes. He also became a mentor for me outside the classroom, which I greatly appreciated. I also took Professor Mushlin’s Prisoners’ Rights class, which is something I’ve always been passionate about and really enjoyed his class. My last year I was fortunate enough to be in the Criminal Defense Clinic where we represented clients and were able to do so much as students under the practice order. To be able to apply what you’ve learned in a clinic setting was extremely valuable and helped me in securing my post graduate job. Lastly, I was heavily involved in the advocacy program, which solidified that I wanted to do litigation.  

Q: Steven, can you talk about your continued involvement with Pace?

A: I am a founding partner of Barket, Epstein, Kearon, Aldea & LoTurco, LLP and head of the firm’s DWI and Vehicular Crimes group. I have also been an adjunct professor at Haub Law for over 22 years teaching trial advocacy. During that time, I have also been coaching trial teams that compete at various trial competitions representing the School. Most recently, I opened The Steven Epstein DWI Defense Institute, which is an educational program designed to teach lawyers how to defend DWI cases and it is housed at Haub Law. And, I should note, all Haub Law alumni receive a 15% discount on tuition!

Q: Alexis, you are now working in the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office – how has that experience been?

A: Yes, I was fortunate enough to have a position immediately after law school as an Assistant Public Defender with the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office. It has been a tremendous experience so far and I am learning a lot. The Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office is very busy and we have a large caseload. I am in the courtroom each day advocating for everyone to be treated equally and assuring justice for all. It has been a tremendous and eye opening experience seeing a judicial system in another state. 

Q: Steven, what would your advice be for future or current law students?

A: There is nothing in this life that is worthwhile that comes easily. The most rewarding things in life take the most amount of work. So find what it is you want, do not let anyone or anything get in your way of accomplishing it and most importantly work as hard as you can to accomplish that goal. In the words of Derek Jeter, “there may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do” - and I believe that.