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January Jumpstart


New Career Development Program

Dates: Wednesday, January 13 – Friday, January 15

Please join us for our inaugural January Jumpstart: Career Development Program for alumni and students to be held Wednesday, January 13 through Friday, January 15. January Jumpstart will feature a full slate of Zoom panel discussions and engaging conversations with faculty members and graduates who are leaders in their industries.

Below is the schedule of events with full program details. We invite you to attend as many sessions as you would like. You can register for one or more sessions on the online registration link.

We look forward to you joining us for our inaugural program!

Program Schedule

January Jumpstart 

Day 1 Schedule: Wednesday, January 13

12 – 1 p.m. EST | Careers in Intellectual Property Law

Learn about the many career opportunities in the Intellectual Property space. From protecting the latest technological advancements to defending against the unlicensed use of a brand’s mark or copyrighted material, our panelists will describe their pathway to their current positions.

Moderator: Joseph Yarsky, Associate Director of Career and Professional Development

Susanne Flanders ’08 – Partner, Venable LLP 
Michael Jones ’14 – Attorney, Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP  
Olivera Medenica ’01 – Partner, Dunnington, Bartholow & Miller
Karin Norton ’97 – Vice President and Senior Counsel, Samsung Electronics

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EST | Careers in Health Law

Panelists will discuss their career paths in the field of health law and life sciences and the different career options.

Moderator: Karen Porter, Arthur Pinto & Stephen Bohlen Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity; Professor

Dexin Deng ’16 – Law Clerk, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
Veronica Jackson ’14 – Agreement Associate, Partners Healthcare
Ari Markenson ’96 – Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
Danette Slevinski ’05 – Chief Compliance Officer & HIPPA Privacy Program Executive, University Hospital

3 – 4 p.m. EST | Careers Outside New York

At these concurrent session panels, panelists will discuss career opportunities in both California and Washington, D.C.

Our Los Angeles-based panelists will discuss their legal careers in California, the differences between practicing in New York and California, and will provide you with information on how to make the transition from Brooklyn to California to begin your practice in the Golden State.

Moderator: Francesca Cicero, Associate Director of Career and Professional Development

Peter Altman ’05 – Partner, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP 
Andrew Brettler ’05 – Partner, Lavely & Singer, P.C. 
Vanessa Domenichelli ’16 – Associate, Cole Pedroza LLP  
Lisa Okamoto ’14 – Attorney, Immigrant Defenders Law Center

Washington, DC
Panelists will discuss the professional opportunities available in the Washington, D.C. area including government, law firm, and in-house positions. They will share what life is like working and living in the nation’s Capital.

Moderator: Steven Gordon, Director of Career and Professional Development

Jodi Avergun ’87 – Partner and Chair White Collar Defense and Investigations Group, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Narda Jones ’94 – Senior Technology Policy Advisor and Counsel for the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation and Science
Grace Lykins ’13 – Director of Global Government Engagement, Visa
Keith Tashima ’00 – Senior Trial Attorney, Environmental Enforcement Section, U.S. Department of Justice

5 – 6 p.m. EST | The Role of the Attorney in New Ventures

Expert practitioners and entrepreneurs will explore how attorneys across industries such as tech, consumer products companies (CPCs) and consulting are critical contributors to their companies’/clients' strategic growth trajectories.

Moderator: John Rudikoff ’06, CEO, CUBE; Professor

Denise Faltischek ’00 – Chief Strategy Officer, aphria inc.
Warren Lazarow ’86 – Partner and Firmwide Co-Chairman of Corporate Department, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Robert Manne ’77 – Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Ultimate Software Group; Adjunct Professor, Brooklyn Law School
Sonya Smith Valentine ’97 – Founder and CEO, Financially Fierce

6 – 7 p.m. EST | Happy Hour: Conversation on Sports and Entertainment Law January Jumpstart Party Icon

Professor Jodi Balsam and the panelists will engage in discussion  about how the field is changing, not just as a matter of short-term and possibly temporary adjustment to the pandemic, but also long-term in response to globalization, technology and innovation, and a combination of both disruption and opportunity for the client base.

Moderator: Jodi Balsam, Professor and Director of Externship Program

Jeff Gewirtz ’94 – Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President, and General Counsel of BSE Global (BSE)
Keith Sheldon ’07 – President of Entertainment, Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming

January Jumpstart 

Day 2 Schedule: Thursday, January 14

12 – 1 p.m. EST | Using your JD on Wall Street

Panelists will share their career paths to Wall Street and how they use their legal training in their current positions. They will tell you how to leverage your law degree and experience to launch and advance your career in the financial industry.

Moderator: Michael Tenenhaus, Associate Director of Career and Professional Development

Michelle Crutchfield ’05 – Senior Vice President Legal, Commodities and Global Markets, Macquarie Group
Marija Dabovic ’15 – Vice President, Legal and Compliance Division, Morgan Stanley
Andrew Fleming ’16 – Vice President, Legal and Compliance, The Blackstone Group
Zachary George ’02 – Co-Founder, FrontFour Capital Group

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EST | Careers in Criminal Law

What is it really like to practice criminal law? Hear our panelists discuss the role of the federal and state prosecutor and criminal defense attorney.

Moderator: Dina Adler, Associate Director of Career and Professional Development

Chris Amore ’11 – Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
Lindsay Ashwal ’06 – Assistant Prosecutor, Monmouth County, NJ Prosecutor’s Office ; former Assistant District Attorney, Kings County District Attorney’s Offiice
Kevin Hellman ’95 – Director, Training and Professionalism, Miami Dade Public Defender’s Office

3 – 4 p.m. EST | Building Your Own Firm

A multi-generational group of BLS graduates who decided to strike out on their own explain why they started their own firms, how they built successful practices from the ground up, and why this was the right career move for them.

Moderator: Michael Gerber, Professor

David Berger ’89 – Founding Partner, Allegaert, Berger & Vogel
Jeffrey Block ’87 – Founding Partner, Block, O’Toole & Murphy
Jessica Hoffman ’12 – Senior Legal Counsel, Dentsu International
Aimee Richter ’93 – Partner and Co-Chair of Matrimonial and Family Law Practice, Lee Anav Chung White Kim Ruger & Richter LLP
Brian Sokoloff ’86 – Founding Partner, Sokoloff Stern LLP

5 – 6 p.m. EST | The Future of NYC Real Estate

This panel will address the condition and outlook of the real estate market in New York City during the pandemic, particularly as good news on the COVID vaccine front begins to come out. The panelists will also discuss the paths their careers took that led them to the top of their chosen professions.

Moderator: David Reiss, Professor

Lisa Bova-Hiatt ’94 – General Counsel, NYC Housing Authority
Laurie Grasso ’99 – Partner and Co-Chair of Global Real Estate Practice, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Ricky Liang ’15 – CEO, Sun Sun Group; Principal Attorney, Ricky Liang, P.C.
Sophia E. Valiotis ’04 – CLO, Alma Realty

6 – 7 p.m. EST | The Thriving Lawyer: Tending to Multiple Dimensions of Attorney Well-Being

Like athletes and performers (singers, dancers, actors), attorneys cannot just focus on the skill or talent that brings glory in the arena. We must tend to our emotional/mental, physical, intellectual, occupational, spiritual, and social dimensions. Professor Heidi K. Brown (author of two books on attorney well-being, and a novice boxer) and Professor Aysha Ames (founder of Yogalese, LLC, and an avid yoga practitioner and teacher) share practical strategies for thriving and flourishing in our lives in the law.

Heidi Brown – Professor and Director of Legal Writing, Brooklyn Law School
Aysha Ames – Professor, Brooklyn Law School

January Jumpstart 

Day 3 Schedule: Friday, January 15

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST | Postgrad Clerkship Program

Alums who are clerking and/or have clerked for various courts and judges will discuss their experiences as post-graduate judicial law clerks, the benefits of clerking, the qualities sought by judges, and how they incorporated clerkships in their career paths.

Moderators: Jodi Balsam, Professor and Director of Externship Programs; and Tamara Stephen, Associate Director of Career and Professional Development

Myra Din ’16 – Judicial Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
Gaddi Goren ’11 – Partner, Turek Roth Grossman LLP
Dong Joo Lee ’13 – Judicial Law Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals
Christine Rodriguez ’10 – Associate, Kasowitz Benson Torres
Ryan Wagner ’11 – Of Counsel, Greenberg Traurig

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EST | Professionalism in a Virtual World

Learn how to advance your career in the virtual world with members of the Alumni Association Board Professional Development Committee. Topics include: networking, managing assignments, virtual meeting etiquette, and business development. Q&A and networking with Committee members follow.

Moderator: Michael Tenenhaus, Esq., Associate Director of Career & Professional Development

Members of Alumni Association Board Professional Development Committee:
Evan Azriliant ’92 – Principal, S & E Azriliant, PC
David Berger ’89 – Founding Partner, Allegaert, Berger & Vogel
Colleen Caden ’99 – Partner and Chair of Immigration Group, Pryor Cashman
Valerie Fitch ’88 – Senior Director of Talent Development, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Dona Fraser ’01 – Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives, BBB National Programs
Gloria Greco ’98 –Global Wealth & Investment Management Compliance and Operational Risk Executive, Bank of America Corporation
Roger Griesmeyer ’04 – Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Timothy Oberweger ’05 – Vice President, Senior Business Development Officer, Stewart Title Guaranty Company
Stephen Popernik ’13 – Solo Practitioner (Commercial Litigation) & Senior Legal Fellow, When We All Vote
Joseph Samet ’74 – Partner, Baker McKenzie (Ret.)
Thomas Welling ’07 – Counsel, Venable LLP

2 – 3 p.m. EST | Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Dean Michael Cahill will lead a discussion with alumni leaders on promoting diversity and inclusion in legal education and in the legal profession. Panelists will explore the challenges and obstacles they have faced, the successful initiatives they have undertaken, and the continuing steps that are necessary to make the legal profession a more open and inclusive community as a whole.

Moderators: Michael Cahill, President, Joseph Crea Dean, and Professor

David Djaha ’88 – Managing Partner, Ropes & Gray LLP
Gloria Greco ’98 –Global Wealth & Investment Management Compliance and Operational Risk Executive, Bank of America Corporation
Alphonzo Grant ’98 – Managing Director, Legal and Compliance Division, Global Litigation Group, Morgan Stanley

January Jumpstart 

Career Development Center - Mock Interview Program

One-on-one mock interview program to prepare students for virtual on-campus interviews (OCI). Alumni will virtually interview and critique students on their interview skills in as “real world” a setting as possible. Students will schedule their training mock interviews directly with their assigned graduate volunteers during this week at a mutually convenient time.