The EXJ Interview

Over the past 12 months, we have interviewed 35 extraordinary lawyers.  All JDs who transitioned to find success in business, not for profits, government and academia.  Their backgrounds are all unique.  Some moved as law firm associates, others from a law firm partnership, still others were in-house attorneys and a few pivoted right after law school.  While each one’s journey is personal, they all share one common trait. They had an unshaken belief in the value of the JD skill set which they then leveraged to become successful in their chosen careers outside of law.

  • Industry

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April Rinne

Chief Change Navigator, Futurist, Advisor
Her latest book:  Flux:  8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change

Futurist predicts ‘bright’ for ex judicata

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Kellye Testy

President & CEO

Law School Admission Council (LSAC)

(Incoming Executive Director & CEO)

Association of American Law Schools (AALS)

From summer associate to the most influential person in legal education

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Jeremy Hamburgh

Autism Friendship and Dating Coach and Founder
My Best Social Life

Former prosecutor and bank litigator to autism and neurodiversity friendship and dating coach.

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David Perla

Co-Chief Operating Officer
Burford Capital

Critical thinking guides a legal entrepreneur to success

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Patricia Erikson Roberts

Dean and Charles E. Cantu Distinguished
Professor of Law
St. Mary’s University School of Law

Transforming lives through legal education at St. Mary’s

Alex Su

Alexander Su

Head of Community Development

If at first, you don’t succeed… Now legal tech executive and LinkedIn Star

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Nicole Clark

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Trellis Research, Inc.

From law firm litigator to legal tech titan

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Andrew Gold

Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
Pitney Bowes Inc.

Copy that: from law to HR head at Pitney Bowes

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Tanuja Dehne

Former, President & Chief Executive Officer
Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Leveraging the JD skill set: From law firm associate to transformative foundation CEO

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Mari-Claudia Jimenez

EVP, Chairman, Managing Director & Worldwide Co-Head of Business Development, Fine Arts

From law firm partner to fine arts leadership at Sotheby’s

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Katie Creedon

Chief Strategic Projects Officer
Wolf Greenfield

Legal experiences gives C-Suite legal executive valuable insights

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Scott Westfahl

Professor of Practice and Faculty Director of Executive Education
Harvard Law School

From associate to McKinsey to Harvard Law School

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Leila Rachlin  

Firmwide Legal Education & Development Manager Kirkland & Ellis

Court TV to Kirkland & Ellis = Law to Business


Brett Deutsch

Co-Owner and Principal Photographer
Deutsch Photography and Gotham Family Photos

Seeing the big picture

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Carol Anguilla

Classroom Teacher, Grades 6.7.8
St. Michael’s Country Day School

From dealmaking to the classroom

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Dan Tomson

Strategic Advisor Public Finance
Morgan Stanley

JD skillset fuels success in public finance

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David Greenberg

Member, Board, Audit Committee, Chair of Corporate Governance & Risk Assessment Committees
International Seaways Inc.

Board service: gratifying and challenging

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Elaine Chen

Head of Marketing, North America

The right narrative proves crucial in a move to marketing

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Geoffrey Stein

Slade School of Fine Art, London, MFA Painting
New York Studio School, New York, NY, Certificate in Painting

Former litigator finds inspiration as a collage artist

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Dana McLendon

Creator & Presenter, Universal Crazy Hot Matrix
Dana McLendon, Owner, McLendon Law Office

Criminal law, domestic law, comedy: it’s all in the matrix

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Maria Dunn

Manager of ESG and Sustainability
Phillips 66

ESG leader learns through doing at Phillips 66

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Mark Meyer

Wigle Whiskey Distillery

Former partner “Wigles” his way to success with whiskey

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Velma Lee

Designer and Creator of Custom Clothing
(Gowns, show costumes)

Passion drives a career in fashion

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Robert Dugoni

Attorney & New York Times
Wall Street Journal and Washington Post Bestselling Author

42 rejections to breakout novelist

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Keita Young

Senior Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Attorney and mom manages multiple transitions

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Sullivan Summer

Gap year
Formerly, Director, People Experience & Technology at Amazon

Labor law expertise leads to business career at Amazon

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Waleed Diab

Director & Global Head of Recorded Music Business Development

In tune with the business of music at YouTube

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Lisa Kurbiel

Head of Secretariat, Joint SDG Fund
United Nations

A life of adventure and inspiration at the UN

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Jack Flug

Managing Director
Marsh McLennan

A wealth of opportunities for nonpracting JDs in the insurance industry

Interested in Learning More?