Emilia McKee Vassallo

Experience Prior to Law School

I was born and raised in Philadelphia. After graduating from high school, I attended the University of Pennsylvania. I graduated from Penn with a Bachelors in International Relations. After graduation, I worked for Penn Medicine for three years. In my last position with the health system, I managed a family care and neurology practice in center city Philadelphia. I also began courses at Fox Business School.

Student Groups

I was a member of the Temple Law Review and the National Trial Team. As a staffer during my second year of school, I wrote a Comment on Pennsylvania’s Dead Man Statute. My third year, I served as a Note and Comment Editor, and worked with ten staffers to complete their Comments. Participating in Law Review was both challenging and rewarding. I learned a lot about legal writing both by drafting my own Comment and by editing others. I know that the skills I obtained through my participation with the Law Review will be instrumental as I begin my career.

I also participated on Temple’s National Trial Team—an experience for which I will forever be grateful. Through my participation with Trial Team, I learned how to craft a case theory, draft exams, and deliver speeches. But the skills I gained didn’t end there. I learned how to use the rules of evidence persuasively. I also learned how to be confident in my abilities. The skills I learned from participating in Trial Team will be of great use to me as I enter the profession.

Favorite Faculty Member

My favorite faculty member at Temple was Professor Eddie Ohlbaum. Eddie expected each and every one of his students to be the best they could be. At times, this meant that he expected more from us than we expected from ourselves. He taught us how to use the rules of evidence as advocacy tools. As my trial team coach, Eddie taught me how to believe in myself, and how to challenge myself to be better than I ever imagined.

Law School Memory

My favorite memory from my time at Temple is sweeping the regional trial competition in February 2014. I, along with three other advocates, represented Temple at a hotly contested tournament. We tried five strong rounds against strong competitors. When the dust settled after the final round Sunday morning, Temple won the entire tournament. As a result, we were one of two schools nationally to send two teams to the national tournament in Austin, Texas in March. I remember standing in a circle around Professor Ohlbaum after the winners were announced. It was in that moment that I knew all of the hard work and long hours were worth it. I knew we had made Temple, and Eddie, proud and that was a great feeling.

How I Will Use My J.D.

I came to law school knowing that after graduation I wanted to spend my days in the courtroom. To gain the experience and skills necessary to do so, I took the Integrated Trial Advocacy program. I also joined Temple’s National Trial Team. These programs let me learn on my feet in the courtroom. After graduation I am joining the litigation department of a large firm. While I may not be in the courtroom day in and day out, the skills that I learned at Temple will help inform my practice.

What about Temple Law will you carry with you as you leave to pursue your career?

As I leave to pursue my career I will carry with me a sense of pride that I am a Temple trained J.D. This is a phenomenal institution, and I am grateful that I was able to be a part of it for three years. I look forward to seeing what my classmates do, and to staying involved with the alumni association.