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You Are A Lawyer Podcast
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You Are A Lawyer Podcast

Author: Kyla Denanyoh

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A podcast that shares the experiences and successes of law graduates who created their own paths.
27 Episodes
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Lori Mihalich-Levin believes that parenthood can make a person a better employee.  Parenting entails time management, project management, multitasking, prioritizing and budgeting, to name a few things.  When Lori was on maternity leave from her role as a medical reimbursement attorney, Lori created Mindful Return out of sheer desperation. After being unable to find resources to assist a parent into being a new parent and this change in their identity, Lori created the program to assist the new parent with this transition.  Employers are able to offer the program to their employees as a benefit when they are on parental leave. Mindful Return is an online program that assists people in transitioning back into the workforce after parental leave.  Each program is a cohort of parents with different employers.  Mindful Return is available for those who identify as moms, dads, are parenting special needs children, adoptive parents, and surrogate parents. There is also a manager track of Mindful Return which prepares a manager for the biggest differences when a team member is on leave.  You may register for Mindful Return as an individual, or connect your Human Resources department with Mindful Return.  Visit mindfulreturn.com for additional details. Lori Mihalich-Levin is licensed in New York.  Connect with Lori on Twitter @mindfulreturn and Instagram @mindfulreturn.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornneed.com).
Irnise Williams is a registered nurse, travel nurse, and practicing attorney. Originally from Connecticut, Irnise attended Howard University for her undergraduate degree and nursing school, then worked as a trauma nurse. Irnise was inspired to become a nurse after multiple positive interactions between the nurses who cared for her grandparents nurses and seeing what an impact those nurses made. After living in Washington D.C. while the Affordable Care Act was being drafted and discussed, D.C. was abuzz with all things healthcare policy and Irnise could not look the other way. With her background in nursing, Irnise wanted to explore the intersection of law and healthcare. After weighing the options of an advanced degree in policy or a law degree, Irnise was certain that she would have more opportunities with a J.D. Irnise is passionate about maternal health care rights, reproductive rights, and making sure people understand what health care is and what it can be. Irnise believes that when people understand what healthcare can be, they will be able to advocate for themselves within the healthcare system. Irnise Williams is the managing attorney of her own practice and continues to work as a travel nurse.Irnise Williams is licensed in Maryland. Connect with Irnise Williams on Instagram @yournurselawyer and through her website, IWilliamsLaw.com.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn. Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornneed.com).
To celebrate one year of consistency, pre-recording questionnaires, and editing audio files, I want to share five things that surprised me about podcasting. In this episode, I briefly discuss these topics: I have cried about this podcast. I miss the ignorance of being a law student. “Niches make Riches.” I can hear a smile. This podcast is not only for law school graduates. Thank you for listening and supporting the podcast.  Subscribe to the podcast, leave a review, and tell a friend about this podcast.
Reza Yassi wants you to change the way you think about hiring and legal internships.  His company, Attornneed, connects law firms and law students with assignment-based, virtual internships. As a 2L, Reza was contacted by a friend from law school and asked to complete a research assignment.  Reza took the idea and used it in the Hofstra Venture Capitalist Challenge and found that Attornneed was a viable idea.  In his 3L year, Reza had friends and classmates join Attornneed and get connected with virtual internships of at least eight hours.  Small and mid-sized law firms loved the concept and law students enjoy the chance to experience different practice areas without a semester-long commitment. Attornneed is unlike many other virtual internships because the company is established; having the experience of providing virtual internships before this was trendy and Attornneed looks for reasons to say ‘Yes’ to an intern. Reza Yassi is licensed in New York.  Connect with Attornneed on Instagram @attornneed and visit their website, www.attornneed.com.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornneed.com).
Susan Guthrie was a freshman in college when she was involved in an accident that caused her to think differently about the legal process.  The lawsuit that was filed from the accident, was filed because of the accident, and Susan’s experiences with a lawyer caused Susan to find out the behind the curtain information about the law and why certain actions are taken, questions are asked, and why lawsuits have so much ceremony and procedure. After law school, Susan began working with a law office and shadowing a lot of different lawyers.  Susan found out that family law was a great fit for her skillset.  Susan is nationally recognized as a prominent family law lawyer, even though Susan was not interested in family law (or the way it was presented) while in law school.While Susan enjoyed practicing family law for 28 years, Susan moved to California and created How to Mediate Online to teach people to create a mediation practice.  Susan is an advocate of making sure that the parties get to an agreement that is best for them and her courses are not only available to law school graduates, but to anyone with an interest in learning to mediate online.   Not only is Susan the subject matter expert in mediation, but because Susan is sought out for her expertise in virtual training because she has been teaching and training in this manner for a number of years. Susan is also the host of the How to Mediate Online podcast and the Divorce and Beyond podcast. Susan credits law school with teaching her to think critically, appreciate the relationship of facts and logic, and how to think like a lawyer; skills she uses in the four businesses that she owns.   Susan Guthrie is the owner of Divorce A Better Way, the Mosten Guthrie Academy, and Learn to Mediate Online.Susan Guthrie is licensed in Connecticut, New York, and California.  Connect with Susan on Twitter @guthrielaw and @divorcebeyond.  Connect with Susan on Instagram @susanguthrieesq, @learntomediateonline, and @divroceandbeyond.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornneed.com).
After being asked repeatedly if she knew a lawyer who did this, that or the other thing, Kisha Brown created Justis Connection to make it easier for Black lawyers to find clients and share their services with the community.  Finding that Black lawyers had to work twice as hard to build a book of business, whether the lawyer was in an established firm or private practice, Kisha solved the problem of how to refer lawyers to the community.  Justis Connection is a digital greenbook of lawyers. After Kisha Brown worked at Cravath, Swain and Moore as a paralegal and practiced in Baltimore working with non-custodial parents and advocating for fair child support, Kisha saw the great need for a legal network in the “DMV” (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia).  Kisha saw the law as an avenue to pursue her passions and know what the law says, use it, yield the law and craft the law to assist others. Although Justis Connection was initially created to spotlight Black lawyers, this company is a networking and referral service for all clients. Kisha hires interns to work with Justis Connection, where she can mentor them and teach them soft skills about timeliness, communications and how to become a better writer.  In the future, Kisha Brown expects Justis Connection to be the premier referral resource in the country. Kisha Brown is licensed in Maryland.  Connect with Kisha Brown on Instagram @JustisConnection, Facebook “JustisConnection”, LinkedIn and Twitter @JustisConnect.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornneed.com).
Robert Uy is a immigration and family law, domestic violence and human trafficking law.  This Filipino descendant grew up with intentions to become a lawyer, doctor, accountant or engineer; these were the only career options that his parents and grandparents allowed him to entertain.  So it was rebellious when Robert decided to change from his pre-med college major into a history major who took an Asian-american studies course.  After participating with the Asian American Legal Center and Asian Pacific American Legal Development Program, Robert knew that he needed to advocate for others and believes that immigration law is the modern day civil rights law.  While no two work days are the same for Robert, Robert found himself drawing and doodling when he was anxious.  When the interest arose for Robert to sell his creations, Robert decided to take his art work and share it with the world through pop art and street art motif designs. In 2020, Robert Uy created Pandamic Clothing Company to display his artwork and bring awareness to various social justice issues. Hoodies, mugs, shirts and bags display the street art and graphic motifs and a portion of the proceeds often go back to the social justice organizations.  Robert Uy is licensed in California.  Connect with Robert Uy on LinkedIn, Instagram @pandamicclothing, and their website, www.pandamic.net.  Visit Robert Uy’s law firm website www.uylawgroup.com.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornneed.com).
Originally from Houston, Texas, Brianna Herman moved around to Tennessee and Austin for school, but found her way back to Houston to serve her community. While at Fisk University, Brianna worked in various public service roles which ultimately caused her to pursue law instead her original interest in business.Brianna has spent her life chasing a spark.  A spark to do more with her life, a spark to advocate for justice, a spark to do more.  That spark led Brianna to study abroad in China before which led her to learn more about herself. The spark also led Brianna to the University of Texas to study law, where a Critical Race Theory course changed her life. Brianna is an advocate for passing the mic to the undervalued and under resourced people in our communities.  Currently, Brianna is an Assistant District Attorney in Harris Country and is tasked with  delivering justice to victims. Brianna Herman is licensed in Texas. Connect with Brianna on Instagram @ms.briannamarie.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Instagram @youarealawyer, Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, and the LinkedIn business page for You Are A Lawyer.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornnneed.com).
After being exposed to live theater at the age of five, Gordon Firemark continued to be impressed by theater, but he wasn’t an actor.  Gordon worked on various theater productions while in high school and later was a television producer for a sports media network, before becoming a theater producer. Gordon credits law school for the business acumen and better understanding about financing and contracts.  Gordon Firemark is the author of the book, Podcast, Blog and New Media Producers Legal Survivor’s Guide.Gordon Firemark is licensed in California.  Connect with Gordon Firemark on Facebook at “podcastlaw,” on Twitter @gfiremark, and on LinkedIn at “gfiremark.”Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796. This episode is sponsored by Attornneed (www.attornnneed.com).
In this episode, Kyla Denanyoh thanks the audience for listening to the podcast and taking a chance with a niche subject matter.  Kyla builds anticipation for Season Two of the You Are A Lawyer podcast which begins on February 4, 2021.Get alerts when new episodes are released by visiting the podcast website, youarealawyer.com, and joining the mailing list.  Follow the podcast on Instagram @youarealawyer, on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, and follow the LinkedIn business page called "You Are A Lawyer."
Kyle Sherman attended law school because he enjoyed undergraduate school and wasn’t ready to leave academia.  However, Kyle quickly realized that he hated law school.  After a conversation with his mother, Kyle understood that he did not have to formally practice law with his law degree.  This pivotal moment propelled Kyle through law school and into his own firm. Tired of being a good lawyer and motivated to become a great lawyer, Kyle enrolled in the Gerry Spence Trial College… when he applied for the second time.  Attending the trial college inspired Kyle to become a trainer with Trojan Horse,  a program that teaches presentation skills.Between litigating and jujitsu, Kyle also owns Trial Structure.  Trial Structure is a comprehensive plan that includes webinars, courses and content geared to assist plaintiff’s lawyers with presenting, taking depositions, and preparing witnesses. Kyle believes that being a more empathetic person will make one a better lawyer, because you must feel how someone else feels to be able to understand their perspective and persuade them.  Kyle Sherman is licensed in Louisiana. Connect with Kyle on LinkedIn and visit TrialStructure.com for additional details. Visit BrandtSherman.com for more details about Kyle’s law firm.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
After working in entrepreneurial finance and Big Law for more than 20 years, Becky Morrison asked herself what would make her truly happy.  Becky worked as a litigator, before moving into a management role where she oversaw attorneys, litigation support staff and non-attorneys professionals.  This role reminded Becky that she really enjoyed managing people. During a time of transition, Becky worked with a career coach to narrow down her interests. Her experiences with this coach motivated Becky to become an executive coach. Becky is adamant that coaching is not being a therapist, but analyzing in a similar way that a lawyer would review facts. The skills that Becky honed in law school, such as analyzing case law, researching and issue spotting, were a wonderful foundation for working as an executive coach.  In this role, Becky works with legal and non-legal professionals to bring ideas to action, bring focus to a participants life, and address work-life integration issues.  Becky teaches her coaching participants that life is about more than simply chasing the next thing.Currently earning an LLM in taxation, Becky finds that being a law school graduate allows her to be confident in creating Grantley Coaching and becoming an entrepreneur because legal background offers her familiarity with business formation activities.Becky Morrison is licensed in Virginia and Washington D.C. Follow Becky Morrison on Instagram @the.butterfly.society, connect with Becky Morrison on LinkedIn, and visit her website, grantleycoaching.com to request a consultation.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
Jay Coleman initially attended law school to become a prosecutor. However after law school, Jay moved to Maryland to work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Jay’s interest in policy caused him to seek a career in advocacy and he moved back to his home state.  While deciding whether to take the bar exam again, Jay started a business, ColeScript Editing Services.  Through ColeScript, Jay utilizes his love of grammar to edit resumes, papers, write biographies, and offer tutoring services.Jay decided to take the bar exam one final time with the condition that he would not work and would give his time and energy to preparing for the exam.  While waiting for the exam results, Jay applied for a job as a youth advocate in Covington, Kentucky.  The advocacy job was a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) preferred job.  In this role, Jay works for the interests of children through a manifestation determination hearing.  Jay ensures that schools abide by the individualized education plans (IEP) for students.  With an IEP in place, a school cannot expel students without cause.  While living and working in Kentucky, Jay learned that he passed the Tennessee bar exam.  NOTE:  As of the release of this episode, Jay Coleman is a staff attorney with the Center for Arkansas Legal Services in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Jay represents clients requesting guardianship of family members, predominantly issues with children. Jay also  petitions the court to seal criminal cases, handles landlord/tenant issues, and represents clients who have been denied access to public benefits.Jay Coleman is licensed in the state of Tennessee and Arkansas.  You may follow Jay Coleman on Instagram @fridayre_esq and follow his editing service company @ColeScript.  Contact Jay Coleman at colescript@gmail.com to request editing services.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
A native of Poland, Anna Radke moved to the States to become a fashion expert and take her knowledge back to Poland. Anna graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) with a major in Fashion Merchandising Management and Anna’s interest in becoming an attorney was piqued by a F.I.T. professor.  Anna used law school to practice English and perfect her writing, while taking courses in fashion law and fashion legal drafting.  Anna also earned a Master of Laws (LLM) from Cornell and completed coursework in topics like technology transactions, internet law, and intellectual property law.  Anna credits law school for teaching her organization and developing her personality. Anna Radke is a managing associate at Brand Counsel, previously called the Fashion Law Group.  Brand Counsel is a law firm that handles legal issues concerning art, media, sports, and tech industries, as well as corporate and personal brands.  Her career began as an intern with the Fashion Law Group.  As a managing associate, Anna reviews bylaws and corporate governance issues, files trademarks, protects trademarks and handles business immigration issues for creatives. Anna Radke is licensed in New York.  You may follow Anna on Instagram @aniaradke. Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
Erin Potempa-Wall is passionate about understanding the other side of an argument and situation. This passion led Erin to advocating for children, against evictions and was creating a vegan and cruelty free beauty brand. With an educational background in philosophy, Erin practiced law as a prosecutor and opened a law firm with a classmate. All of this prepared Erin for the challenge of creating The Beachwaver Co. and B. Bungalow companies, which Erin cofounded with her two sisters. The Beachwaver Co. has a line of styling tools and hair care products which has become an entire platform. B. Bungalow is a lifestyle brand with fragrances and clothing for adults and children.  Erin is involved in many aspects of both companies; everything from logistics and marketing to brand strategies and patents. While law school gave Erin an understanding of contracts and negotiations, Erin says that law school taught her how to find her own voice. Erin Potempa-Wall is licensed in Illinois.  You may follow Erin on Instagram @erinpotempawall and follow The Beachwaver Co. @thebeachwaver. You can find Beachwaver products on beachwaver.com, Ulta, and Sephora. Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
Ruth Jeremiah was originally interested in public interest law.  However, her career trajectory did not progress as she planned and Ruth found herself working in document review for six years.  Although Ruth did not enjoy every aspect of document review (and later e-discovery work), these experiences taught Ruth patience.  Growing up, Ruth enjoyed watching “Law & Order” and at the age of eleven, Ruth knew that she wanted to be a lawyer.  Although Ruth was interested in advocacy, legal aid, and immigration matters, Ruth had to fight to find a career that she would enjoy in Dallas.  Currently, Ruth is a legal analyst with Thomson Reuters.  In this role, Ruth reviews sales and use tax laws, manages data for twelve of the 50 states, and works with accountants and other lawyers.  Law school taught Ruth to think analytically, although Ruth notes that she could have learned advocacy without attending law school. Ruth Jeremiah is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas.  You may connect with Ruth on LinkedIn.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
Andrea Sager moves at her own pace.  The day after graduating from college, Andrea became an Army officer and was married.  After thrift shopping with her husband, Andrea turned this relatively small act into a thriving Poshmark store then her own clothing website, and ultimately, a physical retail store.  In law school, between studying, giving keynote speeches at Poshmark conferences, and living as a new mother and wife, Andrea would fly to California to buy wholesale merchandise for her clothing store. After passing the bar exam and participating in the minutiae of being a new associate, Andrea decided to leave Big Law and use her experience to support small business owners.  Andrea sold her retail store, moved to Houston, Texas, and opened the Andrea Sager Law Firm in 2018. Through her virtual law firm, Andrea offers legal subscriptions to business owners; a service that provides all-access representation to her clients.  In the last two years, Andrea has become the go-to attorney for entrepreneurs, protecting everything from their brand names to their courses and blog posts.In 2020, Andrea created the Legalprenuer podcast.  On this podcast, Andrea speaks with small business owners about the legal issues they have faced and Andrea shares legal necessities for small business owners. Andrea is a licensed attorney in the state of Kentucky.You may follow Andrea Sager  on Instagram @andreasagerlaw and visit her website andreasager.com to learn more about her legal subscriptions and podcast.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
Fearful of breaking her word to her mentee, Neena Speer created ‘Step 1-2-3: Mentor for Life Initiative’ to ensure that she could continue mentoring with the same child.  Neena is a strong advocate of maintaining mentorship relationships because continuity is integral in a child’s life and Neena did not want to break her word. Neena welcomes listeners to start their own branch of the Step 1-2-3 program in their community.Neena’s childhood inspired her to attend law school because she distinctly remembers disparities in busing different students in her neighborhood to various school districts. As a law student, Neena began journaling about her experiences.  This led Neena to write the book, “Dear Future Lawyer: An Intimate Survival Guide for the Minority Female Student.”  In this book, Neena explains the various people that one will meet in law school, the explicit biases that a student may encounter, and each chapter ends with a prompt for the reader to journal.  Neena focuses on her perspective being a Black and Indian student while enrolled in a predominantly white institution (PWI).Neena is a licensed attorney in Alabama and manages her own law firm where she specializes in trademarks, copyrights, business formation, contracts, criminal law, family and general law.You may follow Neena Speer on Instagram @neena_rani, her brand @dearfuturelawyer, her new venture @trademarkthursdays that brings attention to specialized and simplified trademark tips based on her experiences as an intellectual property lawyer.  You may also follow her law firm @nrspeerlawfirmllc and her mentorship organization @step123mentor.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
Deshani Senewiratne does not believe in linear learning for students or linear decision making.  Working as a federal judicial clerk, Deshani is observing the practice of law and helping other students gain access to graduate and law school through her company, GradAcheive.  With GradAcheive, members receive individualized course plans, study schedules and mentor relationships are offered between students and professionals, lawyers and judges. Born in Sri Lanka, Deshani discusses how being curious in life has led her to live in Chicago, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and Irvine, California.  Her employment experiences range from working in “think tanks,” spending two years with Teach for America, advocating for special education students, and attending graduate school for Public Policy and Education.Deshani Senewiratne is a member of the California bar association. You may follow GradAcheive on Instagram @GradAcheive, contact her at GradAcheive @gmail .com, and visit gradacheive.com to learn more about tutoring for graduate and law school admissions.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
Yladrea Drummond has found her legal education to be a great asset in the political arena.  Yladrea was the Deputy National Training Director for the 2020 Tom Steyer Presidential Campaign, where she trained campaign staff to organize and activate communities.  Currently working with DigiDems, Yladrea focuses on finding innovative ways to include technology in political campaigns, as the current pandemic means that we must look beyond phone banking and physically knocking on doors to reach with voters.Yladrea is the founder of Capital Strategies, an organization that focuses on financial compliance with political campaigns and nonprofit organizations and minorities in other underserved communities.  Yladrea is the author of “Through These Eyes: Surrendering the Ties of my Soul,” a memoir which will be released in September 2020.  In the book, Yladrea discusses multiple topics, including law school and her experiences after school.  Yladrea sat for the Texas bar exam.You may follow Yladrea Drummond on Instagram @iam.yladrea_d and order her book at yladreadrummond.com.  Pre-orders are still available.Follow the You Are A Lawyer podcast on Twitter @YouAreA_Lawyer, Instagram @youarealawyer and on LinkedIn.  Follow the podcast host, Kyla Denanyoh, on Instagram @kjd796.
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