ABA Journal

10 Questions

84 ABA Journal 10 Questions articles.

10 Questions: This Latina lawyer launched a makeup line inspired by her culture and community

Regina Merson didn’t feel represented—or respected—by the makeup brands she was buying. That realization eventually led the Dallas lawyer to launch her own cosmetics company called Reina Rebelde—Rebel Queen—in 2013, to celebrate the depth, diversity and beauty of the Latina culture and community.

Former NBA lawyer is changing the game with holistic legal consulting for athletes

When she joined the Clippers in 2015, Nicole Duckett was the first Black woman to serve as a chief legal officer for any NBA team. In July, she founded Nikki Duckett Collective, a full-service legal consulting firm that provides holistic representation to ambitious elite athletes. It’s about global branding, savvy deal-making and long-term success—things Duckett already has spent decades achieving for her clients.

This Boston lawyer has spent nearly 4 decades developing dual careers in law and advocacy

In 1986, Cooley partner Michael N. Sheetz was a freshly minted law school graduate heading to Boston to start his career in commercial litigation. But he knew he wouldn’t be satisfied focusing solely on his private practice. So he also began volunteering for the Anti-Defamation League. Fast forward more than 35 years, and Sheetz remains actively engaged as both a lawyer and an ADL volunteer, parallel pursuits he has likened to dual careers.

Just for Kicks: This New York City lawyer turned his sneaker obsession into a practice niche

This New York City-based lawyer not only rocks the latest kicks, he stands at the forefront of sneaker-related law, entrepreneurship and investment in both the physical world and the metaverse.

How to turn a career sabbatical into a permanent lifestyle

In 2018, San Francisco lawyer Roshida Dowe found herself at a crossroads. She decided to take a break. Four years later, she has yet to return to California—or to the practice of law. Dowe now runs her own business specializing in sabbatical planning for professional women.

Virtual Reality: From development to investment, this cryptocurrency lawyer is all in

The metaverse may be a virtual realm, but lawyer Amy Madison Luo is doing very real work there—and achieving very real success. As a new partner at DIGITAL, a billionaire-backed venture firm, she invests in metaverse-focused blockchain companies, from applications to infrastructure. But she’s been working full time in this space since 2018, when she left BigLaw to follow her passion for a new kind of currency.

Innovative nonprofit organization supports public defenders and their clients

A low-income defendant. An overworked public defender. An underresourced legal system and a cash-strapped local government. Most people wouldn’t look at this scenario and immediately think “opportunity,” but that’s what sets New York City lawyer Emily Galvin-Almanza apart—and explains her innovative approach to legal reform.

Lawyer-chemist’s career path includes research into psychiatric uses for psychedelic mushrooms

Andrew Chadeayne, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, is also a patent lawyer. His experience includes intellectual property work for pharmaceutical companies and a major freight forwarder. But it was his work for the revolutionary cannabis research company Ebbu that ignited his interest in developing and commercializing the mind-altering properties of much-maligned plants.

This New York City litigator advocates for transgender rights and is teaching other lawyers how to do it, too

“BigLaw requires a certain personality and way of doing things,” says Jillian Weiss. “I had always known I was transgender … and I just viewed it as something I had. I didn’t view it as bad, but I knew it was bad in the eyes of other people, so I had to hide it.”

This New York attorney uses TikTok to shed light on lawyer life

Unhappy young lawyers often share a common lament: “If only I’d known what being a lawyer was really like.” It’s easy to understand the disconnect. After all, TV shows, movies and the media focus primarily on the endgame—the trial, the closing, the conviction. There’s rarely much about the day-to-day legal work leading up to that big moment—assuming there is one at all. Cecillia X. Xie is out to change that.

This voting rights advocate and ‘Jeopardy!’ champ is ready with the right answers

In addition to appearing on Jeopardy! last year, Zach Newkirk was involved with a lawsuit against then-President Donald Trump on behalf of those injured during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in Lafayette Square.

This NYC-based lawyer runs a talent agency for internet-famous animals

Loni Edwards is the founder and CEO of the Dog Agency, a talent management company that connects animal-focused social media accounts with commercial opportunities. Among her most influential clients: Tika the Iggy, Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund, Harlow and Sage, and Toby Toad.

Son of Holocaust survivors exposes the harms of bystander complicity

Amos Guiora’s book Armies of Enablers: Survivor Stories of Complicity and Betrayal in Sexual Assaults set him on his most recent path. The book explores institutional complicity in relation to the victimization of young people by college sports coaches, trainers, doctors and Catholic priests. As a result of this work, Guiora has become not just an academic but also an advocate for sexual assault victims.

Meet a new chief public defender in Texas working to end criminal justice disparities

As a public defender in the Bronx, New York, for almost a decade, Adeola Ogunkeyede saw firsthand how patterns of institutional racism and systemic inequality impacted her clients even before they entered the criminal justice system. This spring, she moved to the Lone Star State to establish the first-ever public defender’s office serving Travis County, which includes Austin, the state capital. Travis County had been the largest jurisdiction in the country without a PD’s office.

After nearly a decade in the MMA industry, this general counsel now keeps NASCAR on track

Not many lawyers can say they’ve worked with the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, with cage fighters nicknamed The American Psycho, Cyborg and Rampage, and with the first family of stock car racing. But not many lawyers have a career like Tracey Lesetar-Smith’s.

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