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Alumni Profiles

Alumni Spotlight - Jay Paul Deratany ('87)

Q: What advice do you have for today’s law students?

Do not give up and do not worry about your current predicament. In 1987, everybody was telling us as law students that there were too many lawyers and you are never going to find a job. Do not worry about your first job and do not worry about the money. I know that is a difficult message to share. However, think of your first two years after graduating law school as your greatest learning opportunity. If you put your heart into honing your craft, things will fall into place. Lawyers are lucky, as the business is always changing. Older lawyers will always need young smart attorneys, because the law is always changing. 

The law is not always an easy profession, but it is a rewarding profession. Last Christmas, I received a holiday card from a client’s family that I represented nearly twenty years ago. The client was a young girl that had suffered a brain injury from a birth injury. She was ten when I received the case and one of the damages contested was whether she could go to college or not. Part of the settlement we received was money set aside for her to attend college. Inside the card was a picture of the young women and her family at her college graduation. The law can be a lucrative profession, but at the end of the day, the reward as an attorney is success for your clients.

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