Evening Student to Extend Storytelling Career as Employment Litigator
Loyola JD Evening Program student Misa Keelan ’18 credits the practical experience she has gained in classes such as Trial Advocacy for preparing her to succeed in her chosen career as an employment litigator.
After graduation from Loyola, Keelan will be working for JD Evening Program alumnus Ed Yun ’08, a founding partner in the boutique employment litigation firm Yun and Simonian, PC. Thanks to the flexible class scheduled offered by Loyola’s part-time JD program, Keelan began clerking at the firm in spring 2015.
“I'm not sure I would have been able to attend law school without a program like this. Loyola works very hard to accommodate evening students,” she says. “The range of experiences in the part-time program enriches the overall learning experience. There are students advancing their careers, making career changes or raising families. I think that creates a class of students who are very driven but also grounded,” says Keelan.
Keelan’s work experience has fueled her passion for serving the underdog. “My firm represents employees who were wrongfully fired,” she says. “As a clerk, there is only so much I can do. I'm looking forward to becoming an attorney so I can actually represent clients and advocate for them.”
Benefiting from the large roster of highly successful practicing attorneys who teach as adjuncts in Loyola’s JD Evening Program, Keelan has honed critical practice skills that have made her a better clerk – and will also make her a better attorney.
“I love that Loyola offers classes with practicing attorneys,” she says. “My trial advocacy class is taught by a law firm partner with extensive experience litigating cases. He offers very useful and practical advice on how to communicate with opposing counsel in a civil and productive manner. It’s extremely important to have basic professional skills like interacting with your peers in a litigation setting and maintaining civility and professional courtesy.”
Keelan sees litigation as an elaborate form of storytelling – a skill she originally acquired while working behind the scenes on productions at studios such as Warner Bros. Her immersive Hollywood experience prompted her to take storytelling to the next level.
“Entertainment inspired me to pursue law in a roundabout way,” she says. “I went to film school and worked in entertainment because I am interested in telling stories. I see litigation as an extension of that, with the added benefit that the end result can actually help a person who was wrongfully fired or damaged in some way.”
As it turns out, attending law school also has helped Keelan refine her time-management skills. In addition to attending classes and daily law-office work, Keelan is a Chief Production Editor of the Loyola International and Comparative Law Review.
“Balancing school and work for the past three years has taught me to be very organized and address problems before they become unmanageable. I think that is a good general life skill to have!” she says.