FTG 0062 – The Importance of Connections with Attorney Jack Yoskowitz ’89 and Law Student Henry Deteskey ’21

Episode 4 March 12, 2024 01:20:32
FTG 0062 – The Importance of Connections with Attorney Jack Yoskowitz ’89 and Law Student Henry Deteskey ’21
Following the Gong, a Podcast of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State
FTG 0062 – The Importance of Connections with Attorney Jack Yoskowitz ’89 and Law Student Henry Deteskey ’21

Mar 12 2024 | 01:20:32


Hosted By

Sean Goheen

Show Notes


Attorney Jack Yoskowitz ’89 Lib and soon-to-be-attorney Henry Deteskey ’21 HHD join Following the Gong’s first ever vide episode to discuss legal careers and the power of leveraging resources, connections, and networks. Jack is a partner and attorney at Seward and Kissel in New York where he works on complex litigation primarily in the financial services sector. Jack is also a longtime volunteer with the Schreyer Honors College where he began to mentor Henry, who is, at the time of publishing, nearing the end of his law school experience at Fordham. Jack and Henry discuss their respective paths to Penn State as New Yorkers and first-generation students, their experiences in the College including their thesis experiences working with psychological testing and incarcerated individuals, respectively, and life in law school and in “big law.” Any Scholar can gain wisdom from this episode, and especially any interested in legal careers. Jack and Henry’s bios are available below along with chapter markers detailing the topics discussed.

Guest Bios:

Jack Yoskowitz ’89 Lib is a partner in Seward & Kissel’s Litigation Group where he specializes in complex commercial and corporate litigation and regulatory matters predominantly for financial services institutions and individuals. He graduated with a BS in Psychology with Honors from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts in 1989 and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1992.

Henry Deteskey ’21 HHD is a third-year law student at Fordham University School of Law in New York City. Upon graduation in May 2023, Henry will be starting as a first-year associate at Seward & Kissel LLP. Henry graduated with a BS in Biobehavioral Health and obtained Honors in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development in 2021. During law school, Henry has worked as an intern at the Queens District Attorney's Office, a paralegal at Schilling Law LLC, and a summer associate at Seward & Kissel. Henry is happy to speak further about going to law school straight through undergrad and being a first-generation law student. Henry's interests include blockchain, artificial intelligence, and investment management. Please feel free to connect with him on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/henry-deteskey-8b654b19b/.

Episode Topics & Chapters:

00:00       Introduction

00:20       What brought Jack and Henry to Penn State

04:31       Jack's experiences as a Scholar in the 1980s

07:22       Henry's experiences as a recent Scholar - like working with incarcerated individuals

10:14       The Honors Thesis!

18:37       Henry's experience as a Scholar in a fraternity

20:23       All things law school - from deciding to go to succeeding through graduation

23:22       The power of connections and utilizing resources, aka, how Jack and Henry met and what it's meant to both

28:16       Advice for law students in their summer internships

32:17       The differences between trial and non-trial work

36:12       Working pro bono

37:37       What a first-year associate can expect in their job after law school

40:21       What law school is like in the 2020s

41:56       Working in business law - without majoring in a business discipline

45:30       Continuing education for attorneys

49:18       Life outside of work for lawyers & company culture at work

55:06       Thing the host didn't think to ask about law school and legal careers

59:19       Success and mistakes for Jack and Henry

01:05:03   Thoughts on mentorship

01:10:25   Shoutouts

01:12:58   Final pieces of advice for Scholars and aspiring attorneys

01:14:37   How to get in touch with Jack and Henry

01:15:13   Which Creamery flavors Jack and Henry would be

01:17:41   Wrap up and final thoughts


Schreyer Honors College Links: 





Upcoming Events 

Scholars – Need Assistance? Book an Appointment! 

Alumni – Learn Why and How to Volunteer 

Make a Gift to Benefit Schreyer Scholars 

Join the Penn State Alumni Association 


Credits & Notes:

This show is hosted, produced, and edited by Sean Goheen '11 Lib (Schreyer), '23g Bus.

The artwork was created by Tom Harrington, the College’s Web Developer. 

The sound effect is “Chinese Gong,” accessed via SoundBible used under Creative Commons License. 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

*GONG SOUND EFFECT* [00:00:05] Sean Goheen: Joining me here on following the gone from New York are alumni Jack Yoskowitz and Henry Deteskey. Jack, Henry, welcome to the show. I'm excited to talk with both of you today. [00:00:17] Jack Yoskowitz: Great. This is great. Thanks for having us. [00:00:20] Sean: So if you're a regular listener or watcher, you know, I always like to start off off by asking how our guests first came to Penn State and the Schreyer honors college, or in the case for Jack, the university scholars program. And Jack, you are a more seasoned alum out of the two of you here today, so we'll let you get started for us. Tell us your story. [00:00:40] Jack: All right, so I grew up in a middle class town on Long island in New York called Lindenhurst. Shout out to Lindenhurst. My dad was a New York City cop, so I was the first one in my sort of extended family to go to. You know, there was no Internet back then, believe it or not. And so I didn't know much about colleges, but my guidance counselor, who can't remember their name, said that Penn State was looking for out of state students and was looking to give them scholarships. So I needed money. So I went to Penn State for a weekend in May, took this very bizarre sort of IQ test scholarship, 30 questions in five minutes, blah, blah, blah, and ultimately got a full, basically paid for out of state tuition for Penn State. And so I loved the campus, went there, and when I was there, walked around all of that, met other potential candidates. So went to Penn State because of basically my grades, I guess they put me in the university honors program, so I didn't actually apply to that. I do remember sitting there with my dad when they were saying, these are the averages of the honors GPA sat. And I said to my dad, I'm in the wrong place. I'm going to fail out of this pretty soon. But anyway, so that's how I came to Penn State, and it was obviously best decision I ever made. [00:02:22] Sean: Well, spoiler alert, you didn't fail out because you're sitting here on this podcast, so we'll ruin that part of the story. So, Henry, what about you? How did you end up here? [00:02:31] Henry Deteskey: Well, first, I wish I got that full scholarship, but I definitely did. I got the Schreyer grant. That was it. But I have a similar story to Jack. I'm also from, like, a blue collar family from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. My dad was also a New York City police officer. That's part of how Jack and I connected, which I'm very grateful that happened, but I've lived in Brooklyn my whole life. And I went to high school in New York City, and when it came college, like, I loved New York. I knew I wanted to work there for the rest of my life, but I wanted to try something different. And I actually went to a football game my senior year. My dad brought me, and it was amazing. The two things that stick with me from it was community and opportunity. I still get chills thinking about sitting in that football stadium, around 100,000 people. I went to a high school where the alumni base is so strong, and I wanted to go to a university where I had that. And I felt like Penn State, especially Schreyer, could give that to me. And then in terms of opportunity, I just felt like everybody I met at that game and around Penn State, I actually tailgated with Shri professor, which was awesome. I didn't know what Schreyer was until I met him, but I felt like every single door was open for me. And I'm so grateful I came to Penn State. [00:03:59] Sean: Just out of curiosity, what was the game that you attended that sold you? [00:04:04] Henry: It was a Michigan state game. It really didn't mean much at all, but it still was unbelievable. I wish it was a year before, because then maybe it would have been, like, a more serious game, but still, it was a great experience. [00:04:17] Sean: And kind of ironic that it would be Michigan state, because, Jack, your daughter is a spartan. You have a son who's a scholar alum as well, but you have one child who's a spartan. So another connection there, and we'll get into some of those connections. But, Jack, you said you were here in the 80s, so give us a little insight into what was your experience like as a university scholar in that first decade of the program? [00:04:40] Jack: Yeah, so I was there from 85 to 89, believe it or not. So the Shriya program or the honors program at the time, I would say it was like the background of the. There wasn't. I couldn't tell you who the staff was. Like, maybe there was a staff member. Obviously, this is before Phyllis Schreyer gave his fantastic gift, and everything was expanded. So there was a dean, I think it was Paul Axe at the time, I think, had a barbecue at his house. Otherwise, you just kind of signed up for honors classes. I didn't live in Atherton my first year. I lived in east halls, which was not a mistake, because I made a lot of great friends there. But I kind of wish I'd gong to Atherton, given how far east halls was from everything else. That parking lot, which I think no longer exists, we used to call the tundra, because in the winter it would ice over and you would just see everyone falling as you made your way across. But I lived in Athens in my second and third year and really just had a great. Loved the honors classes, loved the professors that I. So I, I didn't fail out, but I started out as a physics major and failed miserably at being a physics major, and so ultimately switched to psychology. But I took a lot of science and math classes. I actually ended up with a bachelor of science from Penn State. So I had this higher level math class. It was like eight of us in it. It was like a full PhD professor. He gave us stuff on the test that he hadn't even taught us. None of us understood. We all got like tens on the test. And then he gave us all a's because he's like, well, I didn't tell you any of this, but I thought it was interesting that we would all figure it out together. It was like a great learning opportunity. And then in psychology, I had the opportunity with my honors advisor, who I do want to give a shout out to, Professor Rich Carlson. I don't know if he's still there, but just a fantastic know. He let me take a graduate level class. I was like a know guy. It was a graduate seminar at like 08:00 at night. It was like six graduate students and me and cognitive, like, it was really just a great experience that way. So it wasn't probably the big community that Schreyer is now, but it was fantastic to be in the honors program for those four years at Penn State. [00:07:04] Sean: Absolutely. And you referenced that parking lot, which actually ties into our story because lot 80, I think it was the infamous lot 80 that a lot of alumni from your era will talk about. That's where the creamery is now and the forest resources building where we host connect. But we won't skip too far into our story here. So, Henry, why don't you tell us about what you were involved with here, because you talked about community and maybe help us look at kind of the dichotomy of where Schreyer kind of started to where it is today. Because you're a very recent grad. [00:07:35] Henry: I think Jack and I story overlap similarly about changing your major. I came into Schreyer thinking I wanted to be a bio major. I was like, I'll go into this more later, but I kind of thought I wanted to be a doctor or lawyer just because of my background. Like, no one in my family has ever done that, but I'm sitting in shriek. I'm sitting in Napleston hall and my tour guide was like, I'm a biobehavioral health major. I was like, what is that? I ended up majoring in that. But I think that was just one example of how Schreyer led me to different things because I wouldn't have been happy as a biomajor. And I don't know if I went into the general campus, if I would have even found what BBH was. And on I in high school, I started projects with local correctional facilities. So I was doing service trips in Rikers island and Manhattan Correctional Facility. And I knew I wanted to continue that in some fashion when going to Penn State. And the network I created at try helped me do that. But also I was involved in restorative justice initiative. I was also involved in criminal justice research center. And my favorite of all those things was I started a program where I was bringing people from greek life into sci Benner just down the road from Penn State. And we were playing basketball and hockey with Penn State students and incarcerated people at the facilities. So that was awesome. And like I talked about, like, Penn State gave me those opportunities. It's location, its dedicated faculty, and Schreyer is like unbounding support. So I think that was around then too. [00:09:16] Jack: And if I could just jump in with one comment, Sean. [00:09:19] Sean: Absolutely. [00:09:20] Jack: So as Sean knows, I've been on committees, so I've stayed connected with Schreyer like the last 20 years. And so I meet students usually twice a year. I mean, the differences between when I was there and the students now, first of all, they're all a lot smarter. Like the people from my generation would say we would never get into Schreyer. Now, we all say that. And the second thing, the emphasis on service is just fantastic. And Henry is a great example. But I've heard other examples of people starting different charities and organizations and spending time. I mean, the emphasis that Schreyer puts on it or select students that are interested in it, it's really fantastic. And it's really great to hear that apart from all the other successes that you hear from know participants over the. [00:10:12] Henry: Years, real quick to jump off of that. I know a lot of universities have thesis programs, but honestly, I didn't know that. When I was applying to colleges. I felt that Schreyer really stressed that. And I knew that I wanted to do service work while at Penn State. So if I could write a thesis and put it all, I thought, wow, that would be an amazing thing to do. [00:10:30] Sean: Well, I think that's a nice tee up there, Henry. So Henry, and then Jack, why don't you tell us about your thesis experiences and Henry, talk about how your service element tied into. Jack, you know, you've been in industry for a good amount of time. How has the thesis impacted your profession to date? So Henry, we'll start with you. [00:10:51] Henry: So my thesis is a tongue twister, so I'm not even going to try to say the whole title, but it was on exploring the trauma related needs of young adult offenders throughout Pennsylvania and seeing how we could implement an intervention in order to change future outcomes. I had a lot of faculty members who gave me many opportunities. Diana Fishbine was a professor in human development and family studies, and she had gotten a grant to do this study in sci state correctional institution, Pine Grove, which is about 2 hours from Penn State. So I was traveling 2 hours every other week to this facility. And first we have to present the study, we have to get participants. Then we had to give out the surveys. It was an unbelievable experience and it honestly actually is still going on today. Hopefully we get published in a journal this spring. It's taken a lot of work, and yeah, I'm really grateful I've been part of it. But how that study helped me to where I am now. Well, first, it's one of the things that pushed me to go to law school because it taught me how to be an advocate. I had a passion in it. I loved researching, I loved finding out new things, and it was fantastic. And I think the whole thesis process, no matter what the topic is, is directly correlated to what you do in law school, research and writing. So yeah, it's been fantastic and happy to answer any other questions about the thesis. [00:12:29] Sean: Jack, what about you? [00:12:31] Jack: I really don't want to follow that. So I ended up as a psychology major, like I said, and I ended up, again, shout out to Rich Carlson. His work was in cognitive psychology and specifically how people learn skills. And so I ended up designing an experiment in skills. There had been a lot of studies on chess and how people learn chess and whether or not grandmasters just go by memory. Like they've studied so many books that they look at a chessboard and they say, oh, I remember that this is the best move for that. And there's like no skill involved that made no sense to me. There was a study that had been how long it takes to find a king in check in a published game, and then a randomized game where nothing makes sense. So I came up with this experiment where I used that experiment and then I created a new game called, I think we ended up calling it quasi chess, where I made the pieces move different ways so Bishop moved like a queen. I then played about 1000 quasi chess games with myself so that I could come up with actual quasi chess games. And then I randomized it. And then I had two groups of participants, people that knew how to play chess and people that didn't know how to play chess. So they first did that experiment in chess. They studied chessboards, randomized, whatever, found if a king was in check or not. I then taught them the rules of quasi chess, and both groups had to do it again. The interesting thing about all this is lots of things went wrong. People dropped out of the study. There was errors and everything like that, and I didn't take statistics. So again, Professor Rich Carlson assigned a graduate student to me to help me do with the statistics. After all of this, I had a bunch of statistically significant results. The quasi chess people got better in the second round, and the chess people got worse. So there was this great interaction chart. And so my hypothesis was, there is some rule learning involved, and the chess people thought it was the same task. No. Chess people thought it was a different task, so they got worse. The quasi chess people, who had no knowledge and no background, thought it was the same task and got better. Anyway, from what I remember, Professor Carlson said to know, these are great results, I think we can get this published. And it's not like a world earth shattering study, but it's significant. So he actually worked with me, knowing that I wasn't gong. By this time, I was going to law school. He worked with me. We submitted it to the American Journal of Psychology. It got peer reviewed, which I think is funny because they're not my peers, and in fact, they're blind studies. So you don't know who gives the comments. But it was clear to me, one commenter was a guy whose study I was kind of criticizing, and they came back with a bunch of comments and said, if you revise the study slightly, we'll get it published. So my first summer after law school, I went back to Penn State. Professor Carlson worked with me again for a couple of weeks that summer. We edited the comments and we got it published. So I was published in the American Journal of Psychology. How I used that was, as Henry referenced, I think, before we got on the podcast to OCI, which is on campus interviewing. So to get a job in the law, in sort of big law, what I do and what Henry does now is after your first year of law school, you do on campus interviewing with all the big firms. So I had 26 interviews in one week. They were 20 minutes, half hour interviews, twelve a day. Whatever it was, you were sprinting across campus to the next interview. My resume looks like everybody else's resume. I didn't even take a break from college to law school. I went straight through. So the only work experience I had was friendlies. What I did was I had a five minute or four minute synopsis of my thesis. Ready to go? Ready to. So, you know, an interviewer would look at that resume and say, oh, I see you have this psychology of quasi. Jess, what is that? And I would fire it off. A four minute thing to show that I could, as Henry said, I could research, I could analyze, I could explain something. And to me, that got me my know, my first job anyway, that separated me from everybody else. [00:17:25] Sean: I think that's awesome, Jack. And what's interesting to me is you've been out of school for 35 years. I can do math, I swear. I should know because it was, like, right before I was born, and you just recounted, like, the entire thesis project. [00:17:41] Jack: You realize I hate you right now. [00:17:46] Sean: Sidebar here. Legal term. I always mess with Donna Meyer here because she started in the university scholars program office in the fall of 1989, and I was born in January of 1990s. I would like to point that out to her. But it's interesting, Jack. You're talking about it like you just did it, turned it in last week. And so I think that's really powerful that it stuck with you. [00:18:09] Jack: Yeah. So my son and daughter, I have three, but my son is in med school in Katie's at Michigan doing. They. They go to that website, pub, whatever, which has published articles. You type in my name, that article comes up. So I showed it to them the other day. [00:18:26] Henry: Sean, we're going to be playing quasi chess at the law firm. [00:18:32] Sean: Pickleball was the big thing during COVID This is the next big game. So before we go into lost role, Henry, I do have one question I want to ask specifically to you. And you referenced this in your thesis. You said that you were bringing folks who participate in greek life out to play with the incarcerated individuals at SCI. I think you said Pine View and Rockview, which is literally down the road, right? [00:18:55] Henry: Yeah, Benner. Right down the road. [00:18:56] Jack: Yep. [00:18:57] Sean: If you drive out to pleasant gap, you'll see it right there. But my question is about greek life. I haven't had many recent grads who have been greek. So can you talk about your experience as a recent alum who was in a fraternity. And what that was like for you as both a scholar and a fraternity member. [00:19:16] Henry: There weren't, I don't think, too many Schreyer members in greek life. They definitely hovered towards thon organizations. I think it was like Apollo was a big one to form a community. For me, I came to Penn State knowing friends that were going to go into greek life. I sort of did it because I wanted the option to expand my community. I liked how Schreyer had a close knit school. It felt almost like a small liberal arts school or honestly like my high school. But I wanted to have the exposure to Penn State at large. And I think greek life is what you make of it. For me, I love the thana aspect. I thought that greek life did a great job at coming together for that. And I saw opportunities for me to bring my passions in school, like criminal justice reform, and bring that into the greek life community. So, yeah, I think it went well. I'm grateful for the experience. [00:20:23] Sean: So now we're going to pivot to law school. And Jack, you said when you were working on your thesis with Dr. Carlson, you knew you were going to law school, but talk us through how you decided that that was the track for you and how you decided on the law schools that you were going to apply to and then attend. And then, Henry, I'm going to ask a similar question. [00:20:44] Jack: Sure. So, again, when I first came to Penn State, I thought I was going to be a physicist, believe it or not. Can't even imagine that life right now. Did not do well, did not enjoy it at the end of the day, was looking around for something else to do. Ended up in psychology, after talking to a few people, thought briefly about going to become a psychologist, decided that was not for me. And then after some soul searching, couldn't even really tell you how I got there. Decided in my end of my junior year to go to law school. I had not been like a dream of mine or anything, but time and time again, people kept saying, you should be a lawyer based on your personality and everything else, right? And so I took the LSAT. This is not a humble brag. This is just a brag, I guess. Did very well. So based on that and the Schreyer again, graduating with honors, knowing I was going to graduate honors, everything knew I wanted to come back to New York and Sangria said, and practice in New York. So I only applied to New York City law schools, and I actually had always wanted to go to Columbia. So I applied, or a decision to Columbia law school, got in, I think that was the entirety of your question at that point. So it came back to Columbia. [00:22:12] Sean: Awesome. So, Henry, what about? [00:22:14] Henry: So I knew I wanted to go to New York, like Jack said. I sort of got it in my head that I wanted to go to law school, and then nothing was going to stop. So when I talked to career people at Penn State, they're like, oh, maybe take a year off or something to think about. Like, no. For me, it was like, I'm going to go to law school, which I'll talk more about later, but I think is an interesting decision that I made, and then why I went to where I went is because of, like, in my head as a college student, I thought the decision as to where I went to law school was the biggest thing in the world. I remember being on the phone with Jack and being like, jack, I don't know where to go. If I go to, like, what will this do? I'd be able to get a job if I go Fordham if I get a job. But fordham kind of like lined up perfectly for me because I ended up living at home, saving money on rent, and I became very interested in the firm where Jack was working. And then now, luckily, I will also be working there. But, yeah, so I was able to go to Fordham and know that Fordham had a great connection with that firm and hopefully matriculate into it at some point. [00:23:23] Sean: So now let's intertwine your stories, know if you're looking at face value. Okay, we've got Henry. Jack, what's the connection here? Usually when I have two or three guests together on the show, there's some kind of common theme. Well, time to talk about that. How did you two first meet? [00:23:40] Jack: Henry tells the story better, so I'm going to let Henry do it on the spot. [00:23:44] Sean: I love. [00:23:49] Henry: So Lisa Krasinski, who was in the career office at Schreyer, I had never met with her before until, I think, my junior, senior year. Anyway, we're talking, and she was one of the people saying, like, take a year off, go travel, see if you really want to go to law school. I'm like, nah, it's not going to happen. And she's like, okay, well, you're from a blue collar family from New York. Your dad's an ex cop. I have the right person to put you in touch with. So I think she either sent out an email introducing Jack and I or gave me his contact information, but I shot him email right away. And from, I don't know if Jack regrets it, but from that initial email, I peppered him with emails and phone calls for a year straight. Honestly, more than a year, probably, but, yeah. So our connection came from Schreyer, and it's only developed since then. [00:24:46] Jack: So to put a finer point on that and the intertwining. So, Henry reached out to me because Lisa and I have worked. She's great. I worked a lot with her over the years through my work with the alumni committee. I had hosted potential law students at my firm over the years to come and given talks to people. And so she sent me to Henry. Henry and I had the normal conversations I had with people. Where do you want to go to law school? What are you thinking of? Here's my advice, for whatever it's worth. And then when know went to know, I had told him my know interviews at Fordham every year, and we have a ton of Fordham alumni, like, a lot. And so it's a great feeder school for my firm. And so I was not involved in actually hiring Henry, I will tell you. I mean, yes, I gave him the thumbs up when people asked me about him, but we were looking again. The way law firms work is we have a summer program. We hire ten people who start after their second year of law school, but we interview a few hundred people for that position in the fall. After their first year, we go to all different schools, Fordham, Columbia, BC, BU, all different places. And so Henry, I can't remember if he actually signed up for OCI or I just told him, here's the person you should contact. Henry aced his interviews, and he was a summer associate this past summer with nine other people, rotated through different departments, and then got an offer at the end of that summer for full time employee. So he'll be starting at our firm in the fall. Not working for me, by the way, not in my department. [00:26:40] Henry: I don't want to sell Jack short, though, because Jack mentioned it before, but we're both first generation law students, and we both had no idea of what law was like. And Jack was instrumental for me to just go into his office and see what a big law firm looked like. What does it mean to work in one of these buildings? And it was really cool. And just the conversations we had allowed me to. Okay, this is what it's like. This may be something that I want to do. So definitely this is like a plug to all Schreyer students to find people at Schreyer that you can connect with, and they will be your mentors for life and will help you out. [00:27:23] Sean: Yeah, it's almost like if you're listening to this or watching this right around the time that it comes out in March. We have our upcoming event, connect at the end of March. So look at the college's Instagram LinkedIn, your emails for information about that. And if it's a little bit after that, well, next March, keep an eye out for it. So it's a great event where you can come meet alumni like Jack and Henry in person and connect with them. So pick their brains. We have hundreds of alumni that volunteer in different ways, mentoring students. So if you want to get plugged into that, reach out to me. Reach out to Matt Ishler, who's our new director of career development, who took the role that Lisa Kraschinski held for a long time. So make sure you're reaching out to those of us here in the college. Dean Mather has office hours you'll see in the newsletter, so make sure you're taking advantage of that. So for any aspiring attorneys listening or know, you talked about that summer associateship, that process. What are some advice for going through that? And Jack, you're on the hiring side. Maybe not directly hiring Henry, but you've been around that and seen successful and maybe a few failures of associates along the way. And Henry, you just lived this. So what advice do you have for scholars who, as they go into law school and take on these experiences? [00:28:45] Henry: So what I'll say is that when you get to law school, at least in my head, I thought maybe that I would have exposure to various jobs. I'd be able to try different things. But when you're a one, l, you go to your classes, and the rest of your time you're studying. It's very academic, it's rigorous. You're not going out there and seeing what a day in the life of a lawyer is. So any opportunity in undergrad or the transition to law school to try something in the law, try it. I'm very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with a criminal defense attorney while I was at Penn State back in New York. And that was awesome. And sometimes I think maybe that career would have suited me, so I'd say that. And then also, Jackson talked about this on the hiring end. But at least from my experience, your pre professional experience is what you do doesn't matter too much when it comes to big law hiring. It really is grades, grades, grades. I wish that maybe preprofessional experiences could play a bigger role, and it definitely does in more public interest related work, like working at a DA's office. But, yeah, get as many opportunities as you could get before you go to law school, see what you want to do. Yeah. [00:30:04] Jack: So what Henry is saying is grades, grades, grades is exactly know. Again, the hiring takes place after the first year. Most law schools first year. The reason for that in part is most law schools first years are the same. You take contracts, you take torch, you take property, you take civil procedures. So it's easy to compare all the candidates at Fordham and all the candidates at Columbia and where they kind of sit. And every law firm sort of has their criteria on what they would take. Again, we have a big connection with Fordham, so we take a fair amount from Fordham, but also BubC, our feeder schools, some of the DC schools are feeder know. The advice is, besides do well or do as well as you can is go into that interview again, it's 20 minutes. You really need to show not how smart you are, but that you can sort of talk and explain things. Which is why again, thesis perfect. Be able to talk about your thesis in four or five minutes. That's the advice I give to everybody when we look at grades. But then for my firm, we really look like, can this person kind of get along with people? Everyone comes from different backgrounds, different scenarios, all that stuff. We're not looking for any one person like that. But is this person going to come in and sort of not be an arrogant whatever? Right? Henry is the perfect candidate really for this. I always say if I interviewed myself I'd probably hate myself, but we really do kind of look around for know different kinds. So just come in, know again, Henry's right. That kind of what you did pre law school doesn't really matter. It's interesting, people will ask you about it, but in terms of getting a job, it doesn't matter that, so just, just be prepared to be able to speak well, ask a lot of questions, do your research. [00:32:17] Sean: So Jack, I have a question specifically for you, and I'm going to quote something that you shared in the questionnaire. This might be the first time I've ever quoted somebody back at themselves in this. [00:32:26] Jack: Wow, okay. [00:32:26] Sean: But you said, I envision that lawyers are all in court and luckily I was able to make that happen, end quote. So can you give some insight into the sort of work that goes into commercial litigation? Because of course you're not going to be in the court every day. But can you highlight the kind of skills that you use and what scholars could potentially start working on now in undergrad that will help them not only in law school, but then actually as a practicing attorney? [00:32:51] Jack: Sure. So to explain that comment. We're not district attorneys, and we're not like personal injury attorneys who do the same. Not to disparage anyone, but do the same case a lot. They're in court every day. I see these lawyers at the courthouse. They know the judges, they know everybody. They run from courtroom to courtroom. That's not what we do in sort of big law. So in commercial litigation, you're on bigger cases. It's usually about money, obviously, and the cases tend to be longer and take a long time. And I had no idea. Like Henry said, I came from blue collar family. I didn't know any lawyers and talked to any lawyers in college, like I knew nobody. When I showed up at my summer job in a suit, first time I wore a suit, and people were treating me somewhat with respect. And so I thought, oh, lawyers go to court every day. That's not what lawyers do at big firms. In fact, most lawyers and what Henry is going to end up doing are corporate lawyers, and they never see the inside of a courtroom, and they're helping people with different, essentially, finance and deals. I was lucky enough to have very good experience as a junior associate at my first firm and then made that happen when I got senior. And I'm considered sort of a trial attorney because I go to trial for big lawyers, big firm lawyers, a fair amount. What I do on a day to day basis is give advice and strategize. So a lot of my time now as a partner is getting on the phone for 20 minutes with a client, saying the client has a problem, and I tell them what I think it might be. I do a lot with investment managers and headphones who do trades. So they call me at 355, five minutes before the market closes and say, can I do this trade, or is it considered material, non public information? Because our clients are very concerned that they don't want to do that. And so I'll give advice on that. The rest of my job as a litigator is all strategy and tactics. Everything I do, every letter I write, someone's watching and is going to criticize. So every word matters. When I get on the phone with an adversary or whatever, every word matters. I was on the phone with someone, potentially litigation is going to occur. And she said to me, is there anything I need to know? And my response was not yet, which sort of sent a clear signal to her what it mattered. So what you can do in law school is, or to prepare yourself is, again, hone those research skills and hone those analytics skills and just hone the skill of being a student for the rest of your life. Because our cases are not the same. From case to case, you have to learn sort of a new dialogue, a new something. And for me, hopefully, I have to explain it to a judge or a jury at the end of the day. So I have to translate that into something. [00:36:12] Henry: And quick bouncing off of that, I also thought that lawyers were supposed to be in the courtroom, and that was it. But also, one other thing that I wanted to mention about Jack is he leads the pro bono practice at Stewart and Kissel. And it's very difficult for young lawyers in big law to get courtroom exposure. But the pro bono practice there allows young lawyers to work on real cases and to stand for clients. And that was an awesome experience as a summer to work on a divorce case and to be the primary contact between the client and the firm. So there definitely is opportunities to get into the court. [00:36:52] Jack: Yeah. So for that, just very briefly, for our summer program. So I had the pro bono program. As Henry said, we do lots of different pro bono things. One of the things we do for summer associates is we partner with an organization in New York that works with lower income women in family matters. So, orders of protection, divorce, child support, custody, and we staff summer associates on those cases. It's their case. I mean, I supervise for the most part, but there's two summers. The clients come in, they work with the clients, they put together papers, they get the filing done. We serve the husband, or whatever it is. Hopefully, there's a hearing during the summer that they might be able to attend. So there's a lot of good opportunities for them to work on those kind of matters. [00:37:37] Sean: Now, Jack, what can Henry expect as a first year associate in the firm upcoming? Can you give us and him a little sneak peek at what that first year in big law will look like? [00:37:49] Henry: Let me get my pen for this. [00:37:52] Sean: Good thing we're recording, right? [00:37:55] Jack: So, Henry, again, my firm is 180 attorneys. Only about 40 of us do litigation. We have a big group that works with investment managers, I. E. Hedge funds and private equity funds. We do financial services law, so we just work in that area. Henry, what did you preference? I don't even remember. [00:38:16] Henry: So I preference investment management, but I'll talk about later, is like, I like this blockchain crypto. [00:38:27] Jack: So we don't guarantee a spot in any group, but generally, we ask summers to preference, and then we put them. Generally works out 99% of the time. So if Henry was going into the investment management group on a day to day basis, he'd be working with some smaller clients. Investment management clients are two to three people who, for some reason, have more money than they know what to do with and have connections to people that want to invest. And they're very smart in the investing world. So we have a lot of smaller managers who, when I say small, they have like $20 million under management or something like that. Henry will be working on all those papers, putting together everything that's required by the government that regulates these entities, so prospectuses that go to managers. So he'll be doing a lot of sort of rewriting, hearing the client, hearing what their concerns are, hearing, the way they're going to invest, and doing that over and over again until he gets good at it, and hopefully spending a lot of hours, because that's how we all make money doing that for the first year, litigators are slightly different litigators. We're going to be doing document review. We're going to be putting together responses and objections to discovery requests. I was just in Delaware yesterday. I was telling Sean on a motion to compel, and I brought a senior associate and junior associate with me that had worked on the papers. So we all went to court, and I was the mouthpiece, but it was at work. I was arguing. Someone wrote me a note because we did very well. So one of them wrote me a note as the judge was talking. This is great, because we were getting a very good decision from the judge. So that's kind of what first years do. [00:40:21] Sean: Well, and before you get to that first year associate, you've got to finish up three l. So, Henry, you're finishing up law school. This is your last semester here. When we're publishing this episode in the 2020s, what should scholars headed to law school know to help them succeed? That's not going to show up in any kind of formal orientation program, no matter what law school you go to. [00:40:43] Henry: I had this idea, so I wrote it down so I didn't forget it. This is, honestly, I think, the best piece of advice I could give. When you're in the law school classroom, no one knows what they're doing. Just some people are better pretending that they do. Honestly, I think that's so true, and I wish I knew that, because it could be intimidating. No matter what school you go to, fording has been unbelievably supportive. It's been a great environment, great culture. But when you put hundreds of kids in a room that are battling for the same small amount of positions, there's obviously going to be some competitive nature, like you're going to want to meet the professor, get close with them and get the best grade. Like, just knowing that you're on equal footing with everybody in the room is super beneficial. It just makes your life a lot easier. Especially because, like Jack, I went straight from undergrad into law school. You're going to be in law school with people that have families, have had full careers already. So just knowing that, yeah, okay, I may be 21, I may be in this room with people who are a lot older than me, but we're still on the same playing ground. [00:41:56] Sean: So Jack, you majored in psychology and wrote your thesis on quasi chess and analytical reasoning skills development. Henry, you said you were in BBH, you worked on incarceration experiences. Neither of you were graduates at the smeel College of Business, and yet you work at a law firm that specializes in financial services. So how did you start developing your understanding of the world that your clients inhabit so that you can best serve them and their needs? [00:42:29] Jack: So I started out at a firm that at the time was bigger than Seward, although I think we've caught up to them and they didn't do financial, they just did general commercial litigation. Now, I still had to learn the language. Like, I had a power plant litigation. I visited power plants in Canada and all this stuff. But when I was coming to Seward, they said, oh, seward works a lot with investments and everything. You might want to buy the Barron's dictionary of financial terms. So I did that. I never cracked it, but I did buy it. I think it's still on my bookshelf. You learn from your clients. You learn what you need to know. The great thing about being at my firm and working with those kind of clients is we are on the cutting edge of anything you read in the Wall Street Journal. I have worked on. So I worked on Enron, I worked on Madoff when a couple of years ago when the meme stock hits and my son was buying GameStop. It's true. I represented one of the managers that was a short seller in GameStop that got squeezed by my son and then lost a lot of money. And then, to add insult to injury, got investigated by the SEC because they thought there was wrongdoing because of Robin Hood. For those of you that know the story, my client did nothing wrong and was absolved pretty quickly. But I work on all those things. And so you just kind of learn. You talk to the clients. That's your job as a lawyer, as a litigator, anyway. You talk to the clients, you learn their language. It's a different language, and you learn how to interpret that language. For, in my instance, court papers and judges and juries. In Henry's instance, he takes that language and puts it into a document so that investors are properly disclosed about the risks of whatever they're doing. [00:44:33] Henry: So, for me, first I got to give a shout out to my sister Jacqueline, who's smeel 2025. I think she would want me to say that I learned everything from her. But I asked this question to Jack while sitting in his office at one battery park, and you know what he did? He got up, went to the bookshelf, and put a book in front of. [00:44:56] Sean: You know, like, when I need to. [00:44:57] Henry: Reference financial terms, like, they're in here. [00:44:58] Jack: There you go. There you go. It's still there. [00:45:00] Henry: But when I got to law school, I had no business exposure at all, and I knew I wanted to just see what that was like. So I joined an organization. It was called Fordham's Business and Law association. And it helped me out a lot because it allowed me to connect with people in the field. And you learn from talking to people and hearing what they do in their day to day. And I think that's how I learned and will continue to learn as I transition into my first year. [00:45:31] Sean: So how do you know talking about people, talking about continually expanding your knowledge base, how do you grow your networks and your professional skills, given that laws constantly change? At the local level, you're in New York City, in the state, and at the national level, technology changes, geopolitics changes, and even work modalities. Jack, looks like you're recording from home today. How do you keep up with these constant changes? [00:45:57] Jack: Part of it is required to. Lawyers have continuing legal education requirements, so you have to do 24 credits every two years. You can do it whatever you want. I actually teach a bunch of classes both at my firm and at some city bars, but I join a couple of bar associations to kind of find lawyers in the same keep up again. I try to keep up on what's going on in the financial world. Again, I'm not an investor. I would never want to be one investment manager. But I do peruse the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and other things to find out what's going on. You spend a lot of time doing sort of non billable work. You read cases that are important to you. I read SEC guidelines that are important, so I know what's going on in their world, and I know what's coming. Write. I write articles with associates on different things so you kind of study that law, so you kind of keep up on it. I expand my network again through the bar associations, through organizations that I'm interested in. Like, you know, like know I'm on the external advisory board for Schreyer, which has a lot of business people on it, and it's nice talking to them and hearing about their experiences. I try to do all the oxy opportunities that Schreyer alumni have. I'll just give a shout out to Sean and his team and everything else, but I mentor Schreyers whenever I can. I just did six Schreyer interviews for the incoming class of, you know, I go to the EAB meetings. I've told Lisa, and know you can send people to my firm, so you just kind of keep reaching. And I use LinkedIn. I'm not a huge social network kind of person, but I do use LinkedIn to kind of expand those opportunities. There's different conferences that I attend in my profession that I also go to. And so you try to do what you can in that area for me. [00:48:14] Henry: So younger generation, obviously, people expect social media to be the number one thing I've actually done, sort of a social media cleanse. Other than LinkedIn, I think LinkedIn is an unbelievable resource, just connecting and finding out people who you don't even know that you're connected to through people that you know. I think that is really important for all shire students to be on LinkedIn to build their network. Aside from I'm really, really excited to go to connect the first year as being on the other side of the table, I'm excited to further pursue my network within Penn State. I'd love to be on an advisory board one day. Jax will have to talk about think, and then also in terms of learning and staying up to date to law. I'm a student, so most of my seminars are on cutting edge topics and require a lot of research and know what's going on. But when I join the workforce, we'll see. I'll have many questions for Jack on how to stay up to date. [00:49:18] Sean: So law school, big law firm jobs, boutique firms, public service, they're all incredibly stressful, no matter what kind of legal position you are in. So how do you both ensure your own wellness, stay involved in the community, whatever that looks like for you, and generally find meaning outside of the law, but not outside of the law, but you know what I mean. [00:49:44] Jack: Well, it depends. [00:49:50] Henry: Take this for me. I knew that in law school, similar to when I transitioned to undergrad. I'm from high school to undergrad. I wanted to keep my service work going. So when I got to Fordham, I joined the young executive board of a prison project called Thrive for Life, which is focused on reentry. And that's been amazing to see that organization grow. I think I'm going to have to focus on this question a lot when starting work next year, because it is going to be an intense and it's a big life change. But I've recently discovered that if I drive an hour and a half north of the city, it's a whole new world. You go into wilderness and hike and do things, and I think it's really important, whether you're in law school or as you start your legal career, to prioritize yourself and define balance. And it's very real to burn out. I'm sure Jack has seen many people burn out over his years as a lawyer, so, yeah, let him continue. [00:50:54] Jack: So I grew up in the generation that had no work life balance, and I don't actually think there's anything wrong with that from when you're in your 20s. These days, honestly, it's so much easier because I am working from home. It can be remote. When I was a first year associate, I worked until midnight in the office, would go in on the weekends to open up my know, all that. It's a stressful job, but you do have to commit to, you know, I found ways to de stress the entire know. I met my wife when I was a summer associate. Honestly, as Henry knows the know, I'd been married the entire time. I'd been a lawyer, have three great kids, and probably didn't see them a lot when they were younger, but have a great relationship with them now and spent as much time as I could. And you find ways, primarily to find ways that I find to destress is that I've been in the martial arts since I was 17, and so I regularly just get punched in the face and punch other people in the face. And so when you have that kind of stress, the stress of getting papers in on time is less to other people, that translates as have a good exercise program, go hiking, which is great. Mine's slightly more stressful than that. And then the other thing that I do is I do a lot of pro bono work. I'm in the courtroom in the pro bono stuff almost as much as I'm in the other stuff, because I find that rewarding. It's stressful in its own regard, but I find it rewarding to do that kind of work. I find it rewarding to mentor honestly, as many people as I can. So I mentor people through Schreyer, I mentor people through the city bar. I have one. And just in general, people like Henry that come to the firm that know junior litigators that I've bonded with, and they've now gone on since I've been around a long time, they've gone on to do other things. They leave the firm. They still call me with questions. I just find it great to sort of talk to people and do all that kind of service, work that way, and spend time with my family. Like I said, just was in Michigan state with my daughter and all of that. [00:53:29] Henry: Real quick on that. One of the reasons, probably the biggest reason why I chose Stewart and kistle to work there is because when you become a law student and you go through the OCI process, you're gong to meet with hundreds of firms, and each one of them is going to say, we have a great culture. We don't have screamers here. What I found with student Kissel is that it really is an environment where you can grow your career in a way, with balance. Just one small example is like, student and kissel is fully remote during the month of August. And when I saw that, I was like, wow, that's pretty awesome. I could do work from wherever I want to work. So, yeah, just example and plug. [00:54:07] Jack: And then we went fully remote for the week between Christmas and New Year's. The powers that be. I'm not a hand in the decision making, but they're great at working for our staff, the non lawyers, and for the associates. And we choose August to be remote, honestly, because that's the worst month for childcare between sort of people coming back from camp but before school starts. So they made the decision the last few years to just go remote in August. So it is a great. Honestly, Henry's right. It's a great firm for work life balance and for just coming there and a place to really start your career and really develop as a lawyer. [00:54:50] Sean: Awesome. That's something really important to look at for any employment law firm or any other interest. If you're not intending to go to law school, but you're watching or listening, and go back and listen to our episode with Ken Graham. We have a great conversation about culture and how to identify things. So, Jack Henry, are there things that I should have asked you about law, law school, this whole space that I didn't think to because I'm not an attorney, or perhaps another way to ask this question is, what are questions that you get from mentees or friends or siblings about this space that we can talk about here towards the end of our. [00:55:30] Jack: So Henry referenced the question about whether or not you should take a year off between college and law school. And that's like one of the questions I get every year, either at connect or straight from candidates. And the answer is, for purposes of getting a job, it doesn't matter at all. We get resumes all the time. It's normal to see a one or two year gap in that. So one way or the other doesn't really matter for purposes of getting the job. I think it matters when, unlike Henry and I, you're not sure if you want to go to law know, Henry and I, we knew we were going to do it, whatever, so it didn't make sense for us to take a year off into the workforce. I do tell a lot of people a common thing is to spend two years as a paralegal. I actually hired another shriek grad, or helped us hire another shire grad a few years ago who ended up as a paralegal at our place and then went on to law school. And that can help you decide if you want to be a lawyer or not. It's funny, I ran into, I gave a speech on the phone to a bunch of Schreyer students a while ago, a few years ago, said exactly this, and then went to my firms before COVID Holiday attorney party, where people bring their significant others, and this associate brought their significant other. And the significant other said to me, oh, I was on the phone and you gave that advice, and I became a paralegal and I decided not to go to law school. It was the best advice you ever gave me. But that's a way to do it. And that's like one of the questions that I actually get every year. And it really just depends. [00:57:20] Henry: I think that's a really important question. Another one that I think is spot on is like, when you get to law school, everybody asks, oh, do you want to do litigation or do you want to do transactional work? And from people with backgrounds like Jack and like, all we know is litigation. When we think about law, we think about people in the courtroom. It's really difficult to understand what transactional work means, and it's difficult to just put every sort of legal career into two buckets, litigation and transactional work. Because then what am I going to do? What is investment management that doesn't really feel like transactional work? And then if I want to do work across practice areas, like, if I want to do research into blockchain matters? Well, if I'm doing legal research, isn't that more like litigation work? So I think on that, when you get to law school, people throw these buzzwords around and these questions that don't really matter. So just breathe and relax. I don't have the definition of what exactly transactional work is still. And I'm going to be taking the bar in July. [00:58:25] Jack: And what I tell people when they ask that question is go to a place like my firm. And there's many firms that have it that as a summer associate, you actually get to experience all the different practice groups. So Henry, when he was a summer associate, he rotated through litigation with me. He hated, he, I loved know. He rotated through the investment management group. He rotated through bankruptcy. He rotated through different finance groups. And so you get to experience, and a lot of it is who you end up, who the people are in that group. And did you click with that group? You're going to be working with these people for hopefully a very long time. So is it a group that you can work with so you will find out what all those different things mean at the end of the day? [00:59:19] Sean: Well, all right, we are at the back end of our chat here today. So, Jack, no humble brags. Just brags for this question. I'd love if each of you could share what you would say is your biggest success to date. [00:59:32] Jack: I'm going to say meeting Henry. No. So I thought a lot about this because I've had a fantastic career. I love being a lawyer. I tell that to people. The other thing that you run into when you're a potential law student is you find a lot of people who hate being lawyers. Like, even when I was interviewing the interviewers, hated being lawyers. I love being a lawyer, as I tell people all the time. My best year was a year that I had four. Again, we don't go to court a lot, but I had four jury trials in one year. Pretty much won all of them. I had back to back trials, which was insane. One was in federal court, and we won a $36 million verdict. No, $69 million verdict. That one got overturned. So I don't really point to that one. But the next month, I did this case in New York state court, jury case. Our client really, the facts were against us and kind of the law, and we, my trial team and I did a great job, and at the end of the day, just had an absolute win against another big firm and just did a great job. And it was just a great, I mean, I can tell war story after war story on that case, and it was just great. And so that whole sort of year and that specific trial was, to me, one of my greatest successes. [01:01:00] Henry: So mine is being here today talking to you guys. I also thought a lot about this, and I was shocked how difficult it was. But one thing I landed on was after my one l year, after going through the entire OCI process, I received an offer to come to Stewart and kissel as a summer associate. And looking back on it now, is able to share that with my family and especially with my grandparents who have supported me my whole life. They were amazing and who really wanted to see me as a lawyer. And I lost them over the last year, but they grew to know Soren Kissel. They always researched it. They were so proud of me. So being able to achieve that and for them to see it was really special for me. [01:01:51] Sean: That's great, Henry, and I'm glad that that worked out that you didn't take that gap year for that to happen. [01:01:56] Henry: Exactly. Yeah, I didn't even think about that. It gave me chills. [01:02:01] Sean: So on the flip side, though, so those were really great successes that you've had, and obviously you'll have many more ahead. But what is a transformational learning moment or mistake that you've made, and most importantly, what you've learned from that, that could be helpful for a current scholar or young scholar alum like Henry. [01:02:22] Jack: Any accurate trial attorney will tell you that for the most part, no matter what the chances at trial are, 50 50, for the most part, no matter how good or bad your case is. So I've been to trial enough that I've also lost. And those are actually the ones you learn the most from. You take away what you could have done differently and everything, but the thing that for law students who may never be in that position, what will happen is you will mess up. I mean, there will be times when you mess up. And the best thing that you can do in that situation is own that mistake and go in and admit that mistake and say, I made this mistake, and here's how I think we should fix it. And if you do that, what I always tell people along the way in their career is you build up credit. You meet a deadline, you did a good research project, you did this, you're building up credit. And then eventually you will have to call on that credit because a mistake will be made. And it's the way you deal with that mistake that ultimately will probably impact whether or not you keep your job or not. If it's that big a mistake or whether or not you maintain that relationship. And it's really owning that mistake that I think, at the end of the day is the best thing to do. [01:03:50] Henry: So for me, I actually wrote about this in my essay Fishryer. So now this is a cool full circle, but when I was in my senior year of high school, I was in Manhattan Correctional Facility. We were in a prayer circle with incarcerated men, and it was around Christmas time, and one of the guys broke down crying and said, I wish I could just be with my family on Christmas morning. That experience really touched me because it allowed me to see that no matter the context, everybody's human, everybody feels. And one thing I could take away from that and give shire students is like, be grateful you're in shriek. Be grateful of all the opportunities that you have. You're given so much, and so you're expected of so much. Yeah. And then the other thing, more, I think, practical into the law sort of thing field. I talked to this earlier, but when you transition into law school, you're going to meet so many different people. Each person that you meet, just learn something from them, form connections, and, yeah, you'll do your best. [01:05:03] Sean: Awesome. So we've talked a lot about people, and obviously, I think this fits the bill particularly well for you two. As a pairing of guests here, how do you each approach mentorship, both as a mentor and a mentee at different stages of your career? Obviously, Henry, you're just starting out. Jack, you're seasoned, but you both play both of those roles. What advice would you have for students in this space? [01:05:26] Jack: Henry, you want to go first? Because I always just feel bad after you finish talking. No. [01:05:33] Henry: Well, Jack taught me everything about how to be a mentor, so I know that I could be an annoying mentee, honestly, especially because at Fordham, my mentor was fantastic, but I was very much the mentee who would ask these questions at 1130 at night. What is this? There's this need for an instant response or this obscure question at a random time. So now, as I've become a mentor, I sort of want to form a relationship with a mentee where I can be whatever they need me to be. I think one thing I want to work on is to put more structure into that, but I think it's important to just be able to be there for the person in whatever capacity they need. But, Jack, you're the seasoned, like, I. [01:06:26] Jack: Want to be you when I grow. I was what I tell people as a litigator, know a, you just want to look for all the opportunities. So when I was a mentee, I didn't have a formal mentorship program, but I worked for as many different lawyers as I could by never saying no to work. And so I just learned different personalities. Like, I have a personality that may be the classic sort of litigator, but I know you don't need that personality to meet a litigator, because I work for different people that were quieter and calmer and smarter and just knew what they were doing. And so I learned from them, and I learned all the time. The thing about being a lawyer is you can get locked into thinking you know everything, especially when you become a partner. You don't have to learn anything. And like Henry, I try to learn from every person that I meet, whether it's another counsel or someone junior, like, what are they doing that I could do better? And I think that's what you can take away as a mentee, as a mentor. I agree with Henry. I try to give the person, I'm not going to be everything to everyone. I come from a certain background, but I try to answer their questions. And as you can tell, I try to sort of be real with them and not sort of repeat the same advice that everybody gives. And I do that with sort of all the people that have come through sue and Kissel again, I have a network of former associates that have left and gone on. They've moved to different. They've gone into public service work. They've gone on, and they still call me because I can sort of tell them, no, this is how it is. And I think if you know that people come from different backgrounds and you work with people on that, everyone has something to say, and you can take those voices along the way. And that's what I try to do on every case. I work with, obviously, a team of junior people on every case, and I try to listen to their voices along the way, knowing that I'm ultimately responsible for what happens. [01:08:40] Henry: And Jack's perfect example of a mentor, because you meet so many stiff, rigid people in the law that are so difficult to talk to. So having somebody that you could just say anything to and just expect anything in response is great because it's, like, real, not, nobody's putting on a play, which is fantastic. [01:09:03] Sean: Yes, I think authenticity is definitely a good thing to look for. And, Jack, I think you make a really good point. Like, obviously, if you're a scholar, you've got the Penn State and the Schreyer networks. You're going to have your law school networks, but then also your former coworkers from different places you've been. That's also a nice alumni network of its own to tap into. [01:09:21] Jack: And it doesn't have to be in your a. She'd be fine, I think, giving her a shout out. But Asia Grant, who I'm sure you know, Sean. So Asia Grant is not a lawyer. I laugh at her because she calls me her mentor, and then I yell at her because I'm not her mentor, I'm her friend. [01:09:38] Sean: I've personally witnessed. [01:09:39] Jack: Right, exactly. And, but again, Asia will call me up and she's in a different world than I am doing fantastically, but will call me for some real world advice. And I learned from her as well because I'm not in that world. And so I think that you can definitely just maintain those, it doesn't have to be like a formal mentor mentee relationship, but you can just reach out to people, have a barbecue at your house with five people, and everyone learns from everybody, which is what I've done over the years. [01:10:13] Sean: And if you want to learn from Asia as well, go back and listen to the very first episode of this podcast. Asia was our first guest here, so get to learn a little bit about being an entrepreneur and the cosmetics industry. So you've both referenced a few people like Lisa Kirchinsky and Jack, your thesis advisor, and you had a nice shout out for yours truly. But are there any other folks from Schreyer or Penn State that you want to give a shout out to? [01:10:39] Jack: So again, just to know Professor Ritzkalson was instrumental in my career, I would say, even though I didn't ultimately go into psychology. And then just over the years, honestly, the different Lisa and Sean and the other people that I've met through the Schreyer College, the new dean, Mather, he's a great guy and I enjoy just meeting with him. The reason this podcast came about because the dean was visiting me in my office during the summer with Sean Miller, who I also give a shout out to, is a great guy that everyone, especially alumni, should reach out to. I hope you're listening, Sean, and donate money to. Sean Miller is in development, but they were in my office visiting me and I said, you need to meet Henry. And so I called Henry down into my office and we had a great sort of four way conversation. And then this podcast came out of it, basically. So I enjoy sort of working with the triers. I think the staff do a great job. Again, I go twice a year to committees and we have a great dinner and we meet great students. So those are my shout outs. [01:11:56] Henry: So that four way conversation in Jack's office, that was pretty big for me. I really felt like a real alumni then. And I would have reached my pocket and pulled out a checkbook, but then I remembered I was still a law student, so, yeah, that wouldn't work. [01:12:11] Sean: Don't worry, Henry. You've got give it a year. [01:12:15] Henry: Other than that, yeah, Lisa definitely. She put me in contact with Jack, my sister, who's a current student at Penn State, and then Diana Fishbine and Jacoba Rock. Those were the two people who were instrumental in my thesis. There are so many people I've met at Penn State, and I know I will continue to meet. So hopefully I have the opportunity to do one of these podcasts again, and then I'm sure I'll have a much longer list. [01:12:42] Sean: Awesome. And I think Sean Miller actually called me as soon as he got out of that meeting, was like, I have a podcast episode for you. Get this story. And I was like, oh, this is perfect. We're going to save this one right before connect. And if you're watching around the release date, you'll see that this actually went according to plan. As we're wrapping up our time, is there a final piece of advice that you would have for scholars, potentially ones who are interested in law or just scholars generally, that you wanted to leave. [01:13:06] Jack: Off with my advice? Generally know, follow your. Henry would say heart. I would say follow your heart in that you're going to have a lot of negative advice from people who everyone has an opinion of. Lawyers. Even lawyers have opinion of lawyers. And if you really want to become a lawyer, it is one of the best professions you can possibly be. I think you can help people. You can use your analytic and research and student skills for the rest of your life. It's just a great thing. And don't let anyone dissuade you from being a lawyer. Get all your information. Decide if it's right for you. But at the end of the day, don't be dissuaded by the negative stuff that's out there. [01:13:55] Henry: I don't know if I could follow that one up now. The only thing I'd add is, while you're at Penn State, I miss it. Enjoy it. Stay present when you have a paper due, when you have an exam, yes, get your work done, but prioritize the people there. See friends, do things that make you happy. Those people will be with you for the rest of your life. The a or a plus you get on an exam, you're not going to remember that in 1015 years, or I guess in my case, like three years. Yeah. Enjoy your time there. [01:14:30] Sean: Excellent advice. Time at Penn State flies by faster than I think it does elsewhere. [01:14:35] Henry: Absolutely. [01:14:35] Sean: Make the most of it. [01:14:36] Jack: Absolutely. [01:14:37] Sean: So you both mentioned LinkedIn. I'm assuming that's going to be the answer to this question. But if a scholar wanted to reach out to you and keep this conversation going after finishing up this podcast episode, is that the best way to get a hold of both of you? [01:14:49] Jack: Yeah, definitely. I mean, you can find my email online at my website, so you could email me too, but LinkedIn would probably be the best way. [01:14:58] Henry: Same cold. Call me also. [01:15:02] Sean: Perfect. Well, definitely get in touch. Both of them. They're going to have really great perspectives from the law. They're both involved with the college. And if you were watching this before, connect, come meet them at the event. Now, finally, the hardest hitting question that I asked here on following the gong, if you were each a flavor of Berkeley creamery ice cream, really still need to get them to sponsor this show. Which would you be? And most importantly, as scholar alumni, Jack and Henry, which would you be and why? [01:15:33] Henry: Jack, I think you're more of an ice cream guy, so you got to go. [01:15:36] Jack: Wow. I actually have to look it up, but I did do my research. [01:15:42] Sean: Like a good lawyer. [01:15:43] Jack: Like a good lawyer. I did do my research. So I came up with monkey business. A, because it has bananas in it and I just love bananas. And b, because I think it just epitomizes the way I practice the law. You really just need to have fun with what you are doing. And the one quick ten second war story I always tell you is at a deposition with probably a summer associate who I brought to a deposition, I'm screaming at the guy on the other side for whatever reason, and then I turn to the summer associate and I wink just to let them know. Like, this is just a game. You can enjoy it. Not everyone has to do it that way, obviously, but just enjoy your career. Have fun with it. Never take yourself too seriously at the end of the day, honestly. So that's why I chose monkey business. [01:16:37] Sean: That was a great, well thought out answer. [01:16:39] Jack: Thank you, jury. [01:16:41] Sean: Jury approves. Jack. [01:16:44] Henry: The reason why I said that is because one of my regrets from Penn State is I didn't go to the creamery enough. But looking at the flavors, I love monkey business. Also because I think it works for me and Jack with our New York accidents. If I was in a courtroom, like my cousin Vinny sort of style, but other than monkey business, Jack's here. He's been a mentor to me. I got to go. Alumni swirl. I feel like Penn State, and I'm sure this is a common answer, honestly, but Penn State has an awesome alumni network. I wouldn't be where I am today without them. So, yeah, alumni swirl, perfect. [01:17:22] Sean: Well, Henry, it is a common answer, but you gave a little bit of a different answer than normal, so I'll let it pass. So we'll chalk up one for team alumni swirl, and we'll monkey business for team rest of the menu. No votes for WPSU coffee break on this episode, so add those to the tally. Jack Yoskowitz, Henry Deteskey, seasoned attorney and rising attorney, respectively. We really appreciate all of your insights and time that you gave today, and I will let each of you have the last word here on following the gong. [01:17:54] Jack: Wow. See this? I wasn't prepared. Look, as Henry said, enjoy your time at Penn State. Make the most of Schreyer. The best thing about Penn State, I always tell people, is it's 40,000 people on campus, or whatever it is. But you can find the ten people that will be your best friends for the rest of your life. And some of those will be Schreyer, and some of those won't be like, I'll give out a shout to my son Noah, who graduated 30 years in Schreyer after I did, went to med school. Just make the most of those opportunities to explore how you can really be the best person and the best career that you can do. And that's what I would suggest. [01:18:39] Henry: I just say, have fun, enjoy yourself, have a great time, and in March, come out and meet us. We'll be there. It'll be at Penn State. And, yeah, come to connect now that. [01:18:50] Jack: Since I shout out, no, I have to shout out the rest of my family. Shout out my wife Libby, and my son, Justin, and my daughter Katie, and my animals. So there you just. Because otherwise I get yelled at.

Other Episodes

Episode 1

August 22, 2023 00:46:41
Episode Cover

FTG 0050 – Executive Perspectives for Success and Happiness with Former Fortune 500 CEO Lou D’Ambrosio ’86

Overview: Lou D’Ambrosio ’86, is a Partner at Goldman Sachs, having previously served as a Strategic Senior Advisor to the company. Lou has also...


Episode 1

January 11, 2022 01:03:59
Episode Cover

FTG 0015 - Making the Most of Mentoring with Attorney Kathryn Pruss Zeltwanger '98 and Law Student Kathryn Czekalski '17

This episode is both for any Scholar looking into a legal career AND for Scholars – or Scholar alumni – who want to learn...


Episode 4

October 03, 2023 00:54:47
Episode Cover

FTG 0053 – The Art and Science of Law with Attorney and Law School Career Advisor Anna Han ’10

Overview: Anna Han ’10 Eng is the Director of Judicial Clerkships in the Career Development Office at the University of California, Berkeley, School of...