Success Stories

Haub Alumni of the Month: Brian Caplan '84

A Path to Success

Brian Caplan is a 1984 Haub Law graduate and Member and Partner with Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt LLC. Brian’s practice areas include entertainment law, intellectual property law, commercial law, contract law, employment law, and all related areas. Some of his clients have included recording artists and producers, songwriters, publishing companies, record labels, personal managers, business management, accounting firms, professional athletes, small business owners, dealers in fine art, along with partnerships and corporations.

A Q&A with Brian Caplan ’84

Did you always desire to go to law school and become a lawyer?

In my final year of college at Brandeis University, law school seemed like the right path for me to take. I originally wanted to go into international law, but there were no job opportunities available there. In retrospect, this worked out very well for me.

Who were your favorite professors during your time at law school?

I had quite a few! Off the top of my head, Professor Barbara Salken, Professor Hervey Johnson, Professor Marty Silfen, and Professor Donald Zeigler – to name a few.

What were some of your favorite classes?

I really enjoyed contracts, entertainment law, and international law. Many of the classes that I took while I was at Pace have helped me along the way in my career – including contracts, torts, civil procedure, criminal law and criminal procedure, and entertainment law.

What was your favorite experience while at Pace?

Participating in moot court and international moot court. This gave me the confidence to stand on my feet and articulate a position with authority in front of my peers.

Can you talk about the path of your career?  

While I was in law school, I clerked for a small commercial litigation law firm in White Plains. I completed law school in 2 and 1/2 years and began looking for a job while studying for the bar exam. I was at the right place at the right time to get a foot in the door at a small prestigious boutique entertainment and intellectual property litigation law firm in January 1985. With a new partner in this firm, I helped write a treatise on the state and federal laws regulating electronic eavesdropping. During the summer of 1985 I found out that I passed the bar and got hired. Parcher, Arisohn & Hayes was a 7 person law firm that represented incredible music industry talent: The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and Diana Ross were just a few of the firm’s illustrious clients. Over my 5 years at the firm, I worked on many types of litigation involved in the music industry: copyright infringement, band (partnership) break-ups, audit claims, breach of contract claims, defamation and tortious interference claims. I could not have asked for a better job to start off my career.

In 1991, after I left the firm, my first well-known client was LL Cool J. By 1993 I was lecturing around the country before many other attorneys on entertainment litigation related issues. Over time, I built up a reasonable practice. I have been lucky to represent the Estates of George Gershwin and James Brown, also, The Allman Brothers Band, Lou Reed and the Lumineers, as well as influential rap artists and producers.

I have conducted four federal court jury trials involving diverse subject matter, including an assault and battery claim against rapper Rick Ross, a copyright termination/co-authorship claim for Victor Willis, the original lead singer of the Village People – who wrote the lyrics to YMCA and many other compositions – and a misappropriation of corporate assets claim brought by 2 of the 3 individuals who discovered the recording artist Meat Loaf in the late 1970s.

Each new case is a new challenge and I have generally enjoyed what I do for almost 35 years.

You recently authored and published a book - J.D. to J.D.: My Journey from Juvenile Delinquent to Doctor of Jurisprudence – can you talk about that?

In 2013, I was laying in a bed at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital fighting leukemia and I realized how lucky I had been in life to have had the experiences I had. It was at that point I came up with the title “J.D. to J.D.”  Many people do not get second chances in life. I did and with a little luck got into Pace, left my juvenile delinquent days behind me, and managed to build a satisfying career in the law focusing on entertainment and intellectual property. My book recounts client anecdotes and life learning experiences. You can learn more about Brian’s book and read an excerpt, - J.D. to J.D.: My Journey from Juvenile Delinquent to Doctor of Jurisprudence, here.

Do you have any advice for future and current law students?

Treat law school like a job. It is not like being in college. The demands are greater, but so is the satisfaction level when you meet the challenge. Also, work hard, but learn how to unwind when the work is done. Take diverse courses to see what interests you, but remember that your first job opportunity may not afford you the luxury of practicing the precise type of law that you are interested in so it is important to remain flexible over the course of your career.

Chair of NYSBA's Environmental & Energy Law Section

Nicholas Ward-Willis, '93

Nicholas Ward-Willis (’93) will serve as Chair of the Environmental & Energy Law Section of the NYSBA. He is a member at Keane & Beane P.C. His areas of practice include: Environmental Law, Land Development & Zoning, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Municipal Law, Real Estate, and Insurance Defense and Civil Rights. He is a frequent lecturer on land use and environmental issues. Nicholas received his J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 1993 along with a Certificate in Environmental Law. During his time at Pace, he was also a member of the Environmental Law Review.

Meet Flex JD student highlight

Andrea Grant

What brought you to law school? 

After working in the court system for many years, I realized that law is meant to be a part of my journey. Both my personal history and what I have learned while working in the court system has contributed to a personal sense of wanting and needing to give back to my community. Attending law school and becoming a lawyer is one way that I can do that.

Why did you choose Haub Law?

I chose Haub Law primarily because of its location in Westchester County. It is close to home and work for me. I am a Pace University alumna, so I knew firsthand the quality education that Pace provides. I was also attracted by the Pace Women's Justice Center. The Flex JD scheduling option solidified my decision. It allows me to still be able to work full-time, while balancing a rigorous course load.

You are a 1L, but so far, which professor has stood out to you? 

Professor McLaughlin made our first semester Civil Procedure class interesting and engaging. He challenged us, but also shared a wealth of knowledge as well as practical advice, words of wisdom, and a bit of humor.

What are your goals post-law school?

I am interested in family law, based on my work experience. Presently, I work in the Ninth Judicial District Administrative Judge's Office. Six years ago, I started working in the Westchester County Family Court. It was my experience with the Family Court that helped inspire my decision to attend law school and I see myself continuing on that path after law school. I believe that the Family Court system makes incredible strides in rehabilitating troubled youth and reuniting families. Additionally, I am interested in mental hygiene law and would like to explore that area in more depth. I was enrolled in Pace University's Mental Health Counseling Program before deciding to begin law school. I enjoyed the material and believe that mental health and the law are inseparable. Whichever path I take in my law career, I hope to keep psychology a very relevant part of my work.

Let’s talk hobbies outside of law school – what else are you interested in?

I'm a cat-mom, I like to cook, and I like to practice ballet. I also love printed books and the art that goes into making them – prior to law school I worked for a book publisher as a trade production assistant.

Fighting for Equality

Eric Paulk, '16

Eric Paulk '16 graduated from Morehouse College in 2003. From there, though he was pretty sure he ultimately wanted to attend law school, he spent time in the private sector to gain experience in the business world and build upon his undergraduate training. “I knew that law school was a big commitment in every sense of the word. I wanted to make sure that I was ready to commit so I spent some time working in a variety of positions. Then in my last role before I went to law school, I was Managing Director of a performing arts center and in that position I oversaw every aspect of the center – which included contract negotiations and the legal department. It reignited my desire to attend law school.”

Eric started at Pace in 2013. “I really immersed myself in law school. I joined student groups. I participated in clinics. I spoke with professors outside of class. I took advantage of a wonderful learning experience.” While at Pace, Eric was involved in the Black Law Students Association, LAMBDA Law Student Association, and participated with moot court.  “One of the most practical learning experiences that I had was as a civil rights extern working through the law firm Newman Ferrara with Professors Cohen and McLaughlin.This provided me with experience in research, writing, discovery, trial preparation, and client contact. I also learned how to prepare legal documents and petitions. It was an invaluable experience.”

After graduating from law school, Eric was the Tyron Garner Fellow at Lambda Legal in Atlanta. “In the fellowship role, I worked on policy issues, I worked to move along local and regional legislative efforts, I was an advocate, I spoke at forums, panels, meetings, and events, and I also did legal research. I became an expert on LGBTQ issues and HIV criminal justice reform which allowed me the opportunity to engage in real grassroots efforts for equality. Additionally, this role allowed me to really be a leader both regionally and nationally around HIV-related legal issues. It was an amazing experience.” From there, Eric moved on to the Equality Foundation of Georgia as an HIV Policy Organizer and then was promoted in April 2019 to Deputy Executive Director of the Organization. “In the role as Deputy Executive Director, I oversee all day-to-day operations and develop and manage our advocacy activities. I also work with the executive director and the board to develop and implement the organization’s strategic plan. I help to drive up support and also build relationships in the community.”

Recently, Eric was selected as one of Georgia's Top 40 Leaders Under 40. In the article about Eric’s selection it was noted that Eric has dedicated his career to fighting for equality for all Georgians. Eric himself notes that “It is an important time in our state and our country to protect LGBTQ people, immigrants, and people of color. I am part of a movement creating equality for these communities. My law school experience and Pace in particular has played such a critical role in my leadership development and also in helping to carve out the work that I'm doing. I am definitely a proud alumnus.”

Innovation, Creativity, and Public Interest Law

Sarah Cinquemani, '18

Sarah Cinquemani graduated from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2018. She started her career as a New York State Excelsior Fellow with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In October 2019, Sarah became an Assistant Attorney with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Albany. In her role, she serves as a program attorney for the Division of Water working on the NYC Watershed and water quality issues.

What brought you to law school?

I have my Political Science professors at Adelphi University to thank for planting the idea of going to law school and studying environmental law in my head. Originally, I planned to go into the public policy field, maybe earn a Masters in Public Administration, but through my college courses I learned that environmental policy work takes years, even decades, to develop and implement and thought environmental law would be a more effective way to make a positive impact on the environment. Looking back, it is a bit funny because developing law- either through legislation or the courts- takes years, even decades. And now that I am a public policy attorney, I’ve come to appreciate that developing policy takes time and public input, but I recognize the really important work is implementing the policies effectively, so that they address the environmental concerns and help the public.

Why did you choose Pace? 

I only applied to law schools with environmental law programs; so naturally, Pace was at the top of my list. In addition, Pace's close proximity to NYC and to my family in central Connecticut significantly factored into my decision to come here. I also received a substantial scholarship and met with environmental faculty from whom I was excited to learn.

Were you always interested in public interest work?  

I didn't know when I came to law school what 'public interest' work was, but I quickly realized it was exactly the type of work I envisioned myself doing. I saw myself working for a state or local government agency where attorneys work with scientists, engineers and policy specialists in a more holistic process to protect the environment within the constraints of the law. I am grateful to be working in a position where I get to do exactly that.

How did the Public Interest Law Center assist you during your time at Pace?

I can't say enough about the dedication of Elyse Diamond. She reviewed countless cover letters and iterations of my resume, helped me with interview preparation, checked in with me after interviews, and ultimately assisted me in making the decision about accepting the position as a NYS Excelsior Fellow. Even after law school, Elyse has kept in contact, checking in on me in my new role.

What specific experience at Pace helped you prepare you for a career in public interest law?  

 All of my summer internships were with government agencies; my first summer I was at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where I gained confidence appearing in administrative hearings representing the Department in restaurant health code violation matters. I also interned at the NYS Attorney General's Office in the Environmental Protection Bureau where I gained a better understanding of the breadth of issues that come up when dealing with environmental cases; I was exposed to real property, bankruptcy and corporate law when researching questions for issues attorney’s raised. I was fortunate to be selected as a Federal Judicial Honors student where I interned in Judge Kenneth Karas's chambers in the Southern District of New York in White Plains, and I also worked at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic representing Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization, where I learned from attorneys who are extremely passionate and knowledgeable about protecting our environment and improved my oral advocacy skills through the intensive mock trial and working on a case where I appeared before a judge in the Brooklyn Supreme Court.

 Can you describe your career path since graduation?

Before graduating from Pace, I was offered a spot as a NYS Excelsior Service Fellow, but all I knew about the position was that I would be placed with a state agency in Albany for a two year fellowship. I didn't learn until early June that I would be working at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, which was my top choice for a placement. I moved to Albany and began working in the Office of General Counsel in early September 2018 in the Bureau of Water and Natural Resources. In my position as a public policy attorney, I work on water issues related to the NYC Watershed, impaired water bodies, emerging contaminants, drafting rule making documents, and providing legal advice to technical staff on matters related to the Clean Water Act and the NYS Environmental Conservation Law. In my role, I interact with other state agencies, EPA, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection as well as local organizations. In October, I accepted a permanent position in that same role as an Assistant Attorney. I am excited to grow in my role and take on new responsibilities.

 Please share what you find most rewarding about working in public interest law?

Working in a state agency where we are constantly asked to do more with less requires innovation and pushes everyone to develop creative solutions.  I learn from experts in the environmental field every day and I am exposed to technical areas like engineering, toxicology, and forestry which feeds my desire to ask more questions and try to learn as much as I can from the people I work with.

 In your opinion, what qualities makes a “good” public interest lawyer/advocate?

Someone who does not lose sight of the cause they are fighting for, which is harder than it sounds. At times, I’ve found myself stuck in the weeds researching a legal question, but I am reinvigorated when I remember that the work I am doing will help people and their communities. When researching doesn’t lead to a clear answer, the ability to think creatively to develop a workable solution is another necessary skill for a public interest attorney. 

2009 alumnus

Jonathan Engel

Jonathan Engel, a 2009 law school alumnus, and his father Robert C. Engel Senior recently donated property where the Engel family conducted its business, Engel Funeral Home, Inc., for four decades.  The property was donated to Access: Supports for Living. Access provides services for those with special needs, including those facing the challenges of disability and mental illness. The Engel family was celebrated with the dedication of The Engel Center.

Jonathan Engel graduated from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2009. He is a member of the School’s alumni board. In addition to being a trial attorney with Finkelstein & Partners, LLP, Jonathan is also of counsel to Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, and of counsel to Fine, Olin, & Anderman, LLP. 

You can read more about the donation and generosity of the Engel’s here and here.

Path to Practice

Yasmin Laskar, ’22

Tell me about something you've participated in during your time here that has defined your Pace experience.

My most defining experience at Pace was while working at the Mediation Practicum, an opportunity I found through the externship programs. I decided to pursue the practicum to gain a practical understanding of alternative dispute resolutions. Working at the Mediation Practicum bolstered my negotiation and mediation knowledge and skills.

What have you gotten out of that experience, and how do you expect that it will enable you to pursue your goals beyond Pace?

I learned the most from the Mediation Practicum supervisor, Professor Danielle Shalov, who empowered me to grow intellectually and professionally. I left feeling more confident and prepared to pursue a career in mediation.

Is there anything else you'd like to add about your time at Pace?

I am proud to be the President of Pace Law's Muslim Law Students Association.  We have a fantastic group and I look forward to another fulfilling year in my new role.  We hope to create a safe, fun, and welcoming environment for everyone.

The freedom of doing what is right

Wilfredo Lopez, '17

Wilfredo Lopez chose Pace because he wanted a school with a focus on public interest and Pace/Haub Law was full of opportunities for hands on learning. In his own words, “[a]fter working in different business-related industries for over a decade, I wished to make a career change and become a lawyer. Specifically, I wanted to focus on public interest law. When I visited Pace, I was impressed by the number and scope of the clinic offerings. What really impressed me was visiting the John Jay Legal Clinic and seeing the quality of work conducted by clinic students.”

For as long as he can remember, Wilfredo wanted to work in public interest, to serve the public. “As a child from a working-class family, issues of equity and justice were always at the forefront of my family’s experience. I knew I had to do something to help others in the same type of predicament. Growing up, there were not many lawyers who looked like me, doing the type of law that mattered to my community, I felt a need to change that.”

Once he started at Pace, Wilfredo immediately acquainted himself with the Public Interest Law Center. He worked with them beginning in his first year to secure internships in public interest. “Throughout my time at Pace, I had the opportunity to work at FINRA, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the US Attorney’s Office, and the Immigration Justice Clinic. While at the Brooklyn DA’s office I received a summer PILC grant that helped me to be able to accept a non-pay internship. That was instrumental in allowing me to continue my journey in public interest law.”

During his time at Pace, Wilfredo recalls working on a brief for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. “It was by far my most memorable public interest law related memory.” He recalls, “while at the Immigration Justice Clinic, we tried appealing to the various government agencies on behalf of one of our clients. When we exhausted every administrative option, we petitioned the Second Circuit and were allowed as students, to file a brief on behalf of our client. My clinic partner and I worked diligently for weeks to prepare the brief. With the help of our advisor, Professor Vanessa Merton, we were able to file the brief weeks before my graduation.”

After graduation, Wilfredo went to work at the Brooklyn Attorney’s office as an Assistant District Attorney. He spent 18 months at the DA’s office and successfully argued four trials. In November 2018, he was approached by a member of the New York City Council for a position as his legislative director. “The Council Member was impressed with my desire to serve the public and my work both in law school and the DA’s office. Since joining the Council, I have passed eight pieces of legislation ranging from Campaign Finance Reform to food safety for kid’s meals.”

When asked what he finds most rewarding about public interest law, Wilfredo is confident and succinct in his answer. “For me, what I love most about public interest work is the freedom of doing what’s right for everyone as opposed to what is right for just who can afford to pay me. I wake up each morning loving the work I do. To be a good public interest lawyer, you have to have a sincere desire to do what is right. Public interest law is broad, difficult, and often shrouded in layers of bureaucratic red tape. What gets you through all the difficulties is that desire to do what is right.”

An Important Experience: Ian Curry and the FJHP

Ian Curry, '19

What made you choose to participate in the FJHP?

I decided to participate in FJHP to both hone my writing skills and experience the daily activities in a federal courthouse. Throughout my first two years of law school, I read a countless number of cases, but I had not given much thought to how those cases were written. I wanted to see how that was done, see the meticulous work that goes in to perfecting each decision both on a grammatical and substantive level. The FJHP program was the perfect opportunity. It permitted me to intern a few times a week during the semester in a federal courtroom, enabling me to pursue other forms of work experience during the summer. FJHP offered a unique opportunity to see what federal law clerks and judges do on a daily basis, while still maintaining enough time to fulfill my traditional law school duties.

Your FJHP externship was with Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith of the Southern District of New York.  Tell us about your experience.

I had an amazing experience working with Magistrate Judge Smith. I quickly realized that being a clerk involved a lot of learning on the job—learning a new area of law and applying the facts of each case. I am not an expert in any field of law so I found adjusting to each case I received a bit challenging at first. I also began to truly understand the importance of clear and concise writing in pleadings and briefs submitted to the court. Well-written pleadings and briefs made learning the law and facts much more manageable. Without well-written legal documents, the job of the clerks and the judge is significantly more difficult. I began to understand that the lawyers on any specific case will most likely be the experts on the facts and the law, not the judge or the clerks.

Being given the opportunity to draft a decision was the best part of the externship. I was tasked with drafting a decision for a Social Security appeals case, an area of law which I did not know existed until I received the case. The drafting took a significant amount of time, but both my research and writing skills increasing significantly just from externship. In addition, I received excellent feedback and advice from the law clerks in chambers, both about my work, and more generally about law school and post-graduate opportunities. In addition to the substantive assignments, working in a federal courthouse and seeing what goes on day to day was an invaluable experience.

This fall, you will be a law clerk for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel.  What does that entail?

The Panel hears administrative cases involving issues between nuclear reactor operators, environmentalists, and regulators at NRC. The cases will be quite unique, and instead of working for one specific judge, I will be assigned a certain case with three judges. On each case, there will be one judge with a legal background, and two judges with technical backgrounds. The technical judges specialize in some aspect of nuclear energy and come from various backgrounds such as engineers, physicists, and chemists.

FJHP played a huge role both in spurring my interest and improving my writing skills to get the job. I really enjoyed being in the courthouse, seeing the daily activities of the courtroom, and being privy to very interesting cases. However, as a general law clerk, the areas of law in which you work on are constantly changing and there is not really any way to specialize as a clerk. I knew, even before law school, that I wanted to pursue environmental law. Once I saw the job posting for the clerkship at NRC, I realized it was the perfect fit. It combined all the aspects I loved about FJHP—being in a courtroom, drafting decisions, legal research and writing—with my reason for coming to law school, environmental law.


A Passion for Social Justice

Ryan Koleda, '16

A Q&A with Ryan Koleda '16, Staff Attorney, The Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice

Why did you choose Pace?

I chose Pace because of the positive reputation of the public interest law center and the hands-on learning experience it offered. I went into law school only wanting to practice in the public interest field. Pace had amazing clinics, including the Immigration Justice Clinic, where I worked as a student attorney my last year of law school.

Were you always interested in public interest work?

For as long as I can remember, I have been attracted to the public interest field. In college I studied social work and sociology. After college, I didn’t quite know how I wanted to apply my passion for social justice to my future career. But I went to law school knowing this would be the avenue to do just that. Through law school, I discovered how I wanted to practice and apply the law through public interest work.

What specific experiences Pace Law do you feel helped to prepare you for a career in public interest law?

Will you believe me if I say that all of my experiences at Pace prepared me for my career in public interest law? I went into law school knowing that I wanted to practice in the public interest field, so I tailored as many experiences as I could to that goal. The summer after my first year, I interned for a Nassau County Family Court judge who presided over custody and child protective cases. My second year, I participated in the year-long Federal Judicial Honors Program. The first semester consisted of a guided research and writing assignment where I met one-on-one with a professor to write a mock decision for a federal case. The second semester I interned for a Judge in the Southern District of New York where I applied those research and writing skills. The summer after my second year, I interned for a non-profit organization that represents children in custody and visitation cases in family court. Under the supervision of two staff attorneys, I was able to appear and practice in court as well as interview clients. My last year of law school I participated in a Civil Rights Externship and the Immigration Justice Clinic. The Civil Rights Externship through the law firm Newman Ferrara with Professors Cohen and McLaughlin provided me with experience in research, writing, discovery, trial preparation, and client contact. Through the Immigration Justice Clinic, with Professor Merton, I gained practical experience both in and out of court. Under her guidance, we took the lead on our cases. We did our own research, writing, interviews, and appearances in court.

What was your most memorable law school experience?

My favorite law school experience was spending spring break my 3L year in Dilley, Texas. Through the Immigration Justice Clinic and the CARA Pro Bono Project, we were able to volunteer at the South Texas Family Residential Center where the government detained women and children who entered the US at the southern border. We prepared women and children for their credible fear interviews, the first step in an asylum claim. In addition to preparing these families for their interviews, we also kept track of stories and data regarding the conditions of the detention facility and how these families were being treated.

How did the Public Interest Law Center guide you along the way during your time at Pace?

The Public Interest Law Center was incredibly helpful in preparing me for my career in public interest law. The summer after my 2L year, I interned at a non-profit organization that represents children in family court. Through the PILC Public Interest Summer Fellowship, I obtained funding in order to pay for my expenses that summer. During my 3L year, I participated in a mentorship program offered by Career Services. We were matched with alumni who practiced in the fields we were interested in post law school. My mentor not only practiced in family law representing children, but also worked for the organization I had my eyes set on. Also, throughout the application process for The Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice, during my 3L year, I went through rounds of application review with Career Services and prepared with them before each interview. I felt completely supported by PILC faculty and staff as I faced the daunting task of three rounds of interviews.

What has your career path been since graduation?        

Since graduation and taking the bar, I have been working at The Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice as a staff attorney representing children in abuse and neglect cases in the Bronx. State law mandates that every subject child of a child protective proceeding is assigned a lawyer. If a child can make a knowing, considered, and voluntary judgment, we provide zealous direct advocacy for that child. Children in child protective proceedings are constantly being told what’s best for them by most adults in their life whether it be the government or a relative or a teacher or a judge. We empower children to use their voices and advocate on their behalf. In systems that constantly try to silence them, we come alongside them through empathy and empowerment.

What do you find most rewarding about working in public interest law?

The best part of working in public interest law is knowing that I am using my degree and skills towards social justice. There are times where it is disheartening to think that litigating individual cases does not quickly bring about the major reform that is needed within such a broken system. However, after every victory, no matter how small, I realize how important it is to have empowered a youth to have a voice. I also realize that every small step forward, is still an important step forward to accomplish change, and I know that the work that I do helps contribute to that.

In your opinion, what qualities makes a “good” public interest lawyer?

Public interest lawyers need commitment to the work they are doing, but also the willingness to stretch and grow their understanding for the populations they are working with. They need a self-awareness to understand that they have limitations in understanding the people they are working with who are, in fact, people.  The ability to separate and self-care is also incredibly important. Sometimes you need to remember that taking thirty minutes to yourself or putting that motion down for the night will make you better and more capable of completing the tasks later. The work will always be there, so in order to sustain your ability to continue to do the work and not burn out, it’s important to take care of yourself.

Aside from your work as an attorney, what do you like to do in your free time?

In line with my self-care mantra, one of my favorite ways to destress and take time away is to work at Comic Cons. I am lucky enough to have several close friends who run and work at different Comic Cons around the world. Because of this I am able to step away a few times a year, be around friends and immerse myself in an entirely different atmosphere that is so far removed from public interest law. After these weekends I often feel refreshed and ready to dive back into my work. And I’ve gotten to meet some pretty cool people along the way.