Thursday, October 23, 2014

          Amicable Outcomes from Litigation and Alumni-Student Mentoring

          A story of a non-contentious courtroom drama leads to 3L Miles Winder’s dream job offer.

          Sample alt tag.
          John Koeppel '76 and 3L Miles Winder meet at their favorite spot: Peet's Coffee.

          You never know what connection will lead to opportunity.

          Opposing counsel might turn into a friend, and an adversarial start doesn’t mean that tension will always prevail. Just ask John Koeppel ‘76, UC Hastings Board of Trustees Fundraising Committee Chair and Of Counsel at Ropers Majeski Kohn Bentley. When Koeppel was defending an uphill property owner in a landslide trial, he squared off with Tony Leuin of Shartsis Friese, who represented the plaintiff whose property had been damaged. 

          “There are two ways to litigate,” said Koeppel. “There’s Sherman’s march to the sea, where you destroy everything in your path. And the easy way, where rather than bury each other with motions, we litigate the case by trying to anticipate what the judge will do.” Koeppel and Leuin chose the latter path to get an agreeable outcome, and later bonded over having daughters in the same grade. Years go by, and the two fall out of touch, but Leuin still stands out in Koeppel’s memory as an admirable attorney.

          Enter 3L Miles Winder, who is also a fan of cordial litigation tactics.  When he first arrived at UC Hastings, he met with Koeppel through a connection in the alumni office in order to start learning about the real life of a litigator. Both natives of New Jersey, Koeppel and Winder hit it off, and met for coffee every few months. Koeppel mentored Winder, and helped him figure out which firms he might want to apply to while in his 2L year.

          During on-campus interviews, Winder became enamored with Shartsis Friese -- the small litigation firm in San Francisco. Koeppel remembered his opposing counsel from the landslide case and cold-called Leuin on Winder’s behalf. “He said he wasn’t part of the hiring committee, but he did pass along my highest recommendation of Winder,” said Koeppel.

          Winder got the gig. He was hired as a summer associate and spent 10 weeks diving into a broad spectrum of litigation, transactional and real estate matters. “Shartsis is not big law, but they do all the high end intellectually challenging work that big law does,” said WInder.  “I was blown away by how smart everyone was and loved that it was a place where they really teach you how to practice law.” At the end of the summer, Winder was offered a position to start after graduation next spring. “I’m sure it helped to have John Koeppel advocate for me,” said Winder.

          To find out more about alumni mentoring success, please see: Alumni Host Networking Dinners to Inspire and Connect with Students.

          ###

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Thursday, July 12, 2018

          A Q&A with Andrew Scott, UC Hastings College of the Law’s New Director of Human Resources

          "It's about everyone, as part of the team, being excited about the end goal and understanding that they play a big part in it."
          Friday, July 06, 2018

          Joe Veith '08 Defends Parents Separated from Children at Border

          He is on the front line of the family separation crisis in El Paso, Texas.
          Tuesday, July 03, 2018

          Thinkers & Doers: June 2018

          Inside the battle to save California’s water – Addressing rampant pregnancy discrimination at companies – Say Yes to Pro Bono – Enough with the racist gestures at the World Cup – Alum invests in properties to house the homeless in LA – Back to the Dark Ages of Rights for Women? – Hastings Law Journal article cited by Supreme Court – and much more
          Monday, June 25, 2018

          California Invests $4.5 Million in UC Hastings Diversity Pipeline Collaboration

          Initial offering of the “California Scholarship” at UC Hastings covers tuition, majority of living costs in San Francisco for students from HBCUs, AUA.
          Monday, June 25, 2018

          In Defense of Government Designation of Protected Areas

          "Now is not the time to turn away from a strategy that has produced such demonstrable progress," writes Professor John Leshy, former Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior, with Wyss Foundation President Molly McUsic.
          Go to News Archive