Rising 3L Jeremy Schwartz is a Chapter Leader for Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy at UC Hastings. This summer he is working at Vicente Sederberg in Denver, a law firm that focuses on cannabis compliance, co-wrote Amendment 64 (the reason it's legal in Colorado), and was dubbed "the country's first powerhouse marijuana law firm" by Rolling Stone magazine.
Below, Schwartz shares thoughts on the industry, advice for aspiring cannabis attorneys, as well as some fun facts about himself.
Hometown: Born in San Francisco, raised in Kentfield, a small Marin County enclave. Attended Redwood H.S. in Larkspur. '09!!!
Hobby: athleticsnation.com, hiking (especially West Marin), and traveling.
Claim to Fame: The Grinch Defense, a poem I wrote for my criminal law class that defends the Grinch in the context of the Model Penal Code. Either that or dancing the YMCA in front of 7,000 people at the Epicenter in Rancho Cucamonga.
Personal Style: My personal style slowly grew over time. I used to wear sweatpants everyday in elementary school. I then graduated to wearing sports clothes or punk rock tees (e.g. Operation Ivy, The Circle Jerks, Slightly Stoopid) in high school and college. With the help of my incredible and stylish Mother I embraced the world of Bonobos and J Crew after college. Although I generally dress like an adult these days, you can still find my collection of concert tees in my closet.
Teenage Dream: G.M. of the Oakland A's! (Call me)
Initial Professional Plans: Real Estate Mogul!
First Legal Job: I was the Judicial Extern to the Honorable Elizabeth Laporte in the U.S. District Court; Northern District of California. Great experience! One of my fondest memories about that summer was shadowing one of Judge Spero's settlement conferences and experiencing a jury trial.
Best Summer Gig: In college, I was a summer intern for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes; the high-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. My responsibilities included: mascot, scorekeeper, writing articles, and being Tommy Lasorda's personal hotdog fetcher.
Pastimes: Following the Oakland A's. I'm a die hard fan that has had to tolerate a whole panoply of losses, free agent departures, Bobby Crosby, and the like. World Series Victories: Oakland Athletics - 9 > San Francisco Giants - 8. (Shots fired!)
Dad Memory (in honor of Father's Day): Skydiving with my Dad for his 70th birthday!
2L Summer Job: I clerk for a cannabis law firm called Vicente Sederberg ("VS"). I was introduced to VS through Students for Sensible Drug Policy's mentor-mentee program. I was fortunate enough to be paired with Andrew Livingston - Director of Economics and Research. One thing led to another and I started clerking for VS this past Spring. I'm now spending the summer at their primary office, cannabis ground zero, in Denver, CO. I'm rotating between several practice areas including CA licensing, corporate, and compliance. Some of the perks include team outings, yoga, and Mario Kart on Nintendo 64. So far the experience has been tremendous and the staff has been amazing.
What Do You Love About Denver? It has been sunny and clear almost every day I've been here. The people are incredibly friendly as I've not only been invited out by my colleagues but my landlord as well! There's a very cool vibe here that includes a rural ruggedness in an urban environment.
What’s Less Desirable? The weather fluctuations. It can be in the mid-70's for most of the day and then it will rain hard for 15 minutes then go back to being sunny and warm. I'm getting used to it.
Daily Fuel: Southeast Asian food. Just like rotating practice areas, I rotate my Indian, Thai, and Philippine dishes. Some of my favorite dishes include chicken vindaloo, gulab jamun, Thai curries, sisig and halo halo. You can find halo halo on Fisherman's Wharf. The owner will tell you it's the best halo halo in all of Fisherman's Wharf ... it's the only halo halo in Fisherman's Wharf.
End Game: Tastes change, but I hope to have a career in cannabis. I think it would be interesting to work in varying capacities including as an attorney, businessman, and compliance director. There are so many passionate advocates in the space to learn from. It's certainly an exciting time to be a law student.
Thoughts on the Industry: It's hard to generalize any industry. I've met some fantastic UC Hastings alumni that have greatly helped me navigate this path. I've also met countless advocates that exude passion. Not only that, but the War on Drugs is soooo 1971. Ultimately, this industry is constantly changing; I guess that's what makes it so exciting.
Advice for Aspiring Cannabis Attorneys? Volunteer, network, and read anything cannabis related.
Thank you. You're welcome.
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