Full Time Practice

Monday, April 1, 2013

Meet Joni Jamison

(I asked Joni a few questions--those written in bold below--and these were her answers.)

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I left there to attend college at Brigham Young University, where I majored in Communications.  I then attended The George Washington University Law School, where I met my husband, Derek.  We married two weeks after we both took the Nevada bar in 2009.  We have one daughter who is almost a year old now.

Why did you decide to go to law school?

I went to law school almost on a whim.  I had moved back to Las Vegas after graduating from BYU and was working in advertising.  I enjoyed it, but just didn't feel challenged enough.  I knew there was something more out there for me.

I remembered taking a Communications Law class in undergrad where our only assignments were legal research and writing assignments.  These assignments were so different from anything else I'd ever done in school, and I absolutely loved them. The professor who taught that class had urged me to consider law school at that time -- and I of course ignored her -- but I found myself wondering if a legal career was right for me after all.

I decided just to take the LSAT to see what happened.  Then I decided to apply to some schools just to see if I'd get in anywhere.  Next thing I knew, I was on a plane to Washington, DC and signed up for a future I never realized I wanted.

What type of practice do/did you have?

I am an associate attorney at a small commercial litigation firm in Las Vegas where I focus mostly on pharmaceutical and medical device defense litigation.  After I had my daughter, the partners at my firm were kind enough to allow me to move to a 3/4 time schedule, which has worked really well for me so far.

What do/did you enjoy most and least about practicing, or in other words, what do/did you find were the benefits and challenges?

I love to write.  Specifically, I love legal writing.  Even in that one comms law class I took in undergrad, something about the legal research and writing process just really clicked for me.  In law school, I began to enjoy it even more.  And now that I am a litigator and get to do it every day, I feel so lucky to have found something that I enjoy doing so much.

Obviously, there are always challenges.  It is a high-stress job and can be unpredictable at times, so time management is a constant concern for me, especially now that I have a child.  But I know that what I am choosing to do is the right thing for me and my family right now, and I find that if I just take it one week (or one day, or one hour) at a time, things always manage to work out.

You and your husband are both lawyers--what benefits and drawbacks has that presented?

We are both lawyers, but we are two completely different kinds of lawyers.  Derek is a patent attorney who almost never sees the inside of a courtroom, and I am a litigator who does not have a technical or scientific bone in her body.  I think we both can barely grasp what the other does on a day-to-day basis.  But as a woman who is an attorney, a wife, and a mother, I think it's been a huge benefit to have a husband who understands what my work requires of me and who supports me in all of my endeavors, both at work and at home.

I think the only drawback is how demanding and stressful both of our schedules can be at times.  Each of us are working under challenging deadlines a lot of the time.  I don't think it's ever easy to juggle the demands of family, work, and church (plus whatever else you can fit in), but I think we manage to make it work with a lot of communication, cooperation, and coordination (thank goodness for shared calendars on our smartphones).

(We want to regularly use this blog to highlight you: women of faith who have been trained in the law.  You are doing great things--in the courtroom, in your community and in your home.   Getting to know each other better will strengthen each of us individually as well as strengthen us as a whole.  If you know anyone you think we should highlight, please let us know at nanbarker@gmail.com.)

No comments:

Post a Comment