Two Days for Lunch with Lawyers Next Week

Lunch with Lawyers will be held on two consecutive days next week:  Thursday February 11 and Friday February 12.  This program, held only four times a year, is your chance to network with an attorney and four or five of your fellow students over lunch, which is provided by PDO.  Dress is business casual.  Signups begin this afternoon in the PDO office; seating is limited, so don’t delay!  The attorney biographies follow.

On Thursday, February 11, Judge Aurora Holley will be joining us at 12:15 in Room 108.  Judge Holley is an Administrative Law Judge with the Utah Labor Commission.  In this position, Judge Holley adjudicates administrative law issues brought before the Labor Commission.  These typically involve issues of entitlement to workers compensation benefits, OSHA violations, discrimination, and various other employer-employee disputes.  She handled the workers compensation case involving the Murray Mining disaster, for example.,5143,705274370,00.html?pg=1

Judge Holley is youthful and a fairly recent (2004) S.J. Quinney Alum, and also received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in economics from the University of Utah.  While in law school (which she claims to have barely survived), she completed a judicial clinic with the US Bankruptcy Court.  After graduation, she worked in-house at an insurance company before becoming an ALJ.  In her spare time, she enjoys knitting, reading and cooking.  She is very excited to come to Lunches with Lawyers, so come ready with questions about law school and working in government!

The following three attorneys will be here for lunch on Friday, February 12 at 12:15 in Borchard.  They represent careers in government, solo practice, and in-house counsel.

Ben W. Lieberman is currently in solo practice in Salt Lake City. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a law degree from the University of Denver, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Denver. Ben graduated in the top 2% of his law school class and was inducted as a member of the Order of St. Ives honor society. He was also an editor of the law review.

Ben began his legal career doing judicial clerkships for The Honorable John L. Kane, United States District Judge for the District of Colorado and later for The Honorable Thomas M. Hardiman, at the time a United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, who is now a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ben worked closely with these judges in ruling on issues of law and presiding over trials. Since then, Ben worked for large and small law firms in Salt Lake City, Utah and Denver, Colorado before starting his own firm. He has successfully represented large corporations, small businesses, and individuals in a wide variety of personal injury, business, real estate, and family disputes in Utah, Colorado, and elsewhere. He has successfully represented both plaintiffs and defendants at trial. Ben has significant training from the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in pretrial and trial techniques, and is also a trained mediator. Ben is a member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, an organization that assists lawyers suffering with depression, substance abuse, and other problems. He has also coached ice hockey for nearly a decade as both a paid coach and a volunteer. He won a silver medal as a coach at the 2003 America’s Cup Junior (under 21) National Hockey Tournament.

Tom Moore is the staff attorney for the Office of the Governor in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He received his J.D. from S.J. Quinney College of Law  and served as a Note & Comment editor on the Utah Law Review. Tom clerked for the Governor’s Office of General Counsel under Governor Jon Huntsman where he assisted in normalizing Utah’s alcohol laws.  He also interned for the Ada County Public Defender in Boise, Idaho, and for Justice Ronald Nehring on the Utah Supreme Court. Before law school, Tom worked as a professional musician, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Amy Poulson is in-house counsel for Savage.  Although she spent much of her life in Utah, Amy was born in San Francisco and lived in Germany until she was six or seven, where her dad was a dentist for the Army.  The family then moved to Salt Lake City.  Amy obtained her undergraduate degree at BYU in American Studies, and decided to attend law school to obtain a practical, professional degree, with an eye toward working in child advocacy.

Before law school started, Amy had the chance to work as a legal assistant for a small litigation Salt Lake City firm, which exposed her to real legal work, particularly medical malpractice defense.  The experience proved invaluable, allowing Amy to see how litigation worked and to become incredibly detail-oriented—a trait which has been critical in her legal work.  The twists and turns of litigation were also entertaining.  In one case, the claimant was a very attractive male model who claimed he had a foot injury which prevented him from doing runway work.  The defense attorneys Amy worked for obtained footage of him running at a gym in Nevada, essentially gutting his case.

During the summer after her 1L year, Amy took an unpaid part time internship doing fascinating criminal work with the U.S. Attorney’s office.  Needing to earn some money, she also took a part time job at a small firm, Woodbury & Kesler.  She learned about that job from a friend who told her they were hiring.  In the Fall of her 2L year, Amy participated in on-campus recruiting.  She had already decided that she wanted to be in California after graduation, and knew that she should go to a California firm in order to prove her interest.  She was hired by Best Best & Krieger in Riverside.  She enjoyed her time there, and liked the people at the firm a lot, including another Quinney alum.   Although she got an offer from BB&K, she decided she wanted to be in Los Angeles, and began sending application materials to L.A. firms.  Using her California network from the prior summer, one of her friends at an L.A. firm eventually put her in touch with a another firm which hired her, the firm eventually known as Reed Smith. Amy worked there for a few years and then decided to move to another L.A. firm.  First, however, she took 1 ½ months off of work to travel, ending her trip in Utah.  She visited a friend at the local office of Holland & Hart (whom she had initially met while working at BB&K), and Holland & Hart ended up making her a job offer.   A month later, she took it and moved back to Utah. 

Awhile later, Amy had the chance to interview for an in-house job with Savage.  She jumped on it.  In her view, the job would have the aspects of her firm work that she enjoyed the most—working in-depth with clients to solve problems, working with great attorneys, and doing corporate law—while leaving behind the billable hours and the more adversarial litigation.  Amy now manages litigation which is handled by other firms, including attorneys who impressed her in the past.  She also reviews contracts.  Although Amy misses being in the courtroom sometimes, overall, she loves working in-house.