Check in with Tilman Larson

This summer, we would like to share a series of profiles on our former library interns and alumni of Seattle University School Law. We love to hear what they’re up to!


Where do you work and what is your role?
I am an associate attorney at the Law Offices of John M. Hyams. My career path to this point has been a non-traditional path. When I graduated from SU, I had been hired by Thomson Reuters to work as a Westlaw Account Manager in Pennsylvania. I worked in this position for about 6 ½ years before the company went through a major reorganization and eliminated several positions, including mine. By that point, I had taken and passed the Pennsylvania Bar. So I opened up my own law firm and worked as a solo practitioner until July of 2016. I then merged my firm with the Law Offices of John M. Hyams.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Court room experience. I practice Family Law, Criminal Defense, aspects of Bankruptcy, Unemployment Compensation, Employment Law, Landlord / Tenant Law, Estate Planning and Administration, Business Law, and some civil litigation matters. Much of my work requires drafting pleadings, motions, and being in court. Although being in court can sometimes be terrifying, the thrill of presenting evidence, examining and cross-examining witnesses, and hearing the judge rule on the merits is also very exhilarating.

What did you do before law school, and what led to you pursue a law degree?
Prior to law school, I worked as an inventory specialist as a local hospital. On a part-time basis, I was also an assistant track coach for a local high school team. My pursuit of a law degree began when I was in 9th grade after taking a personality test. My number 2 profession was Attorney. However, I really didn’t think about that again until about two years before graduating from college. At that time a very good friend had just taken the LSAT and encouraged me to pursue a law degree because of its versatility in the business profession. Having not had much success in securing an internship or work generally in my field of study, I began studying for the LSAT. And the rest is history in the making.

What have you found most valuable during your law school education?
The training and now ability to look for solutions to a problem from all perspectives.

What advice do you have for SU students or grads?
Network. Network. Network. It sounds so cliché, but it really is true. You really never know where one simple connection may lead you. I did not expect an invitation to lunch from my current employer while I was a solo practitioner to discuss the possibility of merging firms. And at that time I was simply looking to network and possibly connect with him for referrals.

What was your most memorable experience in the library or at SU generally?
In the library, I really enjoyed researching and working on the history of the Bluebook exhibit that was displayed for a short period of time. At SU generally, I really enjoyed simply associating with such a diverse and brilliant group of peers and colleagues, whether that was in class, studying with them, or socializing with them outside of SU.


 

Check in with Katie Brown

This summer, we would like to share a series of profiles on our former library interns and alumni of Seattle University School Law. We love to hear what they’re up to!


Where do you work and what is your role?
Charleston School of Law, Deputy Director of the Law Library

What do you enjoy most about your job?
That it is different every single day. One day in the library could have me teaching, managing student employees and other librarians, meeting with the dean, performing faculty research, gathering statistics or writing a survey or blog post. I recently took over the Instagram feed for the library and I am having a blast as it taps into my passion for both photography and social media marketing.

What did you do before law school, and what led to you pursue a law degree?
I was an acting teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. I loved teaching but I was a bit lost in my career. The school where I taught had an attorney on staff that handled grant writing and all things IP. We started talking and he planted the seed that I may be interested in becoming an entertainment attorney. As the year went on I decided law school was the next step for me. I moved back home to Maine for a year to save money and get my applications together and after that year I found myself moving across the country to Seattle, Washington.

What have you found most valuable during your law school education?
This is going to be an odd answer…my opportunities in law school helped me to discover that I did not want to be an attorney. Through experiences with Washington Lawyers for the Arts, the Law Library, Choices conference, the art clinic and candid conversations with professors I learned I was not happy performing “attorney tasks” and that I could use my JD as a dual degreed librarian. I truly love what I do and if not for the opportunities in law school, I could very easily be miserable today as a practicing attorney.

What advice do you have for SU students or grads?
Listen to your inner voice, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and take risks you will learn so much more when you don’t operate from fear. Finally, for those trying to get a job, remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. What looks good on paper may not be the ideal job in reality.

What was your most memorable experience in the library or at SU generally?
In general I gained some wonderful mentors. One specific project that still brings me joy when I think about it was the Brown v. Board exhibit. That project was a behemoth, but I learned a great deal and in the end had a really cool visual piece to display in the library.


 

Meet Michael Zubitis

mzubitis-001If you’ve ever needed help at the circulation desk, chances are you’ve been assisted by Michael Zubitis. Michael is the Assistant Supervisor of the Circulation department.

What does your job entail?
It seems my job entails different facets: There are the overdue and fine notices to review and send out, assigning and doing loose-leaf filing, reshelving library materials, assisting Susan Kezele with interlibrary loan requests, processing Summit books, helping students and other library patrons locate materials they need, answering directional questions, and many other tasks related to helping library procedures go smoothly.

How long have you been at SU and what are the most striking changes you’ve experienced over the years?
This February marks my 22nd year of working for the law school.  Of course, the move from Tacoma was the most striking change; it really was a life-changing experience for me as I had commuted from Seattle to Tacoma for 11 years (apologies to the “Tacoma people” who now know what I mean). Also, the dominance of computer usage in our work has certainly changed things immensely! In many ways, it has been for the good, but in some respects, technology has increased or expanded our jobs.

On an average day what types of people do you interact with in the library?
Naturally—our students. We often have alumni returning to do research. At circulation we are frequently assisting our law faculty with their research needs. From time to time, we welcome the “public visitor” and others who have specific legal research questions.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not working?
When weather allows, I really enjoy hiking, getting up into the mountains to enjoy the great natural beauty one finds there. On nice spring or summer days I enjoy going for long drives to visit interesting and beautiful places in the Northwest. On cold, rainy days I enjoy hunkering down with a good history book, cooking for friends, or watching a great, old movie on TV. I enjoy listening to music, especially classical music. I participate in my church choir where, we sing pieces composed by Palestrina, Vittoria, Byrd, Tallis and many others. I also am a member of my church’s “Schola Cantorum” which, from time to time, perform Gregorian chants which I find particularly uplifting and beautiful.

You often bring Latvian chocolates to share with the library patrons, what is your connection with Latvia?
My father was from Latvia so, of course, I’m interested in all things Latvian. I speak the language, at least enough to make myself understood. I’ve had the privilege of traveling to Latvia twice, the first time in 1992, then in 2002. It would be nice if I could go back again sometime. It’s a beautiful, pastoral land with a violent, and yet interesting, history that many Americans don’t know about.

As the Assistant Circulation Supervisor, you’ve seen a fair share of interesting happenings at the library. What is one piece of advice you’d give to library users?
Communicate with us. We will try to our best to help you with your library usage. What are the specifics in your research? The more details we know, the better we can help you find it.