Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Undergraduate School: University of Pittsburgh
Job: Associate at Morgan Lewis
I’ve always believed that the more you put into an experience or endeavor, the more you get out of it, so I became involved with Temple Law extracurricular activities as early as I could. During my first year, I served on the Student Bar Association (SBA) budget committee and as a first-year student representative for the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) and the Federalist Society. As a second-year student, I continued as a budget committee representative and became president of LALSA and treasurer of the Federalists. I also became a staff editor on the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal. As a third-year student, I became treasurer of the SBA and editor-in-chief of the Journal. I believe these experiences were crucial to rounding out my legal education. They helped me better realize the importance of time management and attention to detail, two skills that are essential for the practice of law. Getting involved outside of the classroom also helped me collaborate with other students to positively contribute to the law school community.
Favorite Faculty Member
I’d have to say Professors Jonathan Lipson and Tom Lin. I had Professor Lipson in the fall semester of my first year, and his formalism was intimidating to say the least. My stomach dropped the first time he called out “Mr. Riehle, let’s talk about this case.” To this day, I have no recollection of what was said during the Socratic back-and-forth that ensued after he called on me! I went on to take Professor Lipson’s Transactional Skills Workshop as a third-year student and he also served as one of my coaches for the LawMeets Negotiating Competition. His knowledge of the law and his pedagogical approach to teaching students are unparalleled. I know he’s had a lasting impact both on my legal education and my maturity as an individual. And I will absolutely use what he taught me in my practice as a transactional attorney in Philadelphia.
I also took two courses with Professor Tom Lin: Corporations and Corporate Scandals and Crises. Professor Lin was incredible at making the corporate law topics interesting and engaging; I was always excited walking into his classes. He stressed the importance of lawyers serving as gatekeepers. Corporate lawyers often counsel clients in a proactive rather than retroactive sense, and it behooves those attorneys to facilitate sound strategic decision-making from our nation’s corporate executives and directors.
Making an Impact
I plan to use my J.D. as a transactional attorney in Philadelphia. Inspired by Professor Lin, I hope to serve as a gatekeeper to proactively and productively counsel clients in the corporate law arena. Temple has given me the foundational tools and skills to effectively carry out this goal.
While known for its trial advocacy programs, Temple Law has also proven its excellence in other areas of the law, particularly transactional law. Professors such as Ed Ellers, Hosea Harvey, Tom Lin, Jonathan Lipson, Salil Mehra, and Rafael Porrata-Doria were all instrumental in teaching me various aspects of business law, and each contribution will positively affect my ability to manifest a gatekeeping function in Philadelphia’s legal and business community and to succeed as a well-rounded associate in Morgan Lewis’s business and finance practice group.
Carrying Temple Forward
Among other things, Temple Law has taught me the importance of collaboration. Law school is often perceived as a crockpot for cutthroat competition. Temple debunked this myth for me. I learned quickly that Temple students are willing and ready to work together in a variety of settings to the benefit of all parties involved. This team-based approach for tackling legal problems is something I will certainly carry forward throughout my career. Collaborating with others also reminded me how important it is to build deeply-rooted relationships with peers. Coming from Pittsburgh, I knew few people in Philadelphia, let alone attorneys. Temple Law instantly gave me access to a network of students and alumni who were always willing to discuss anything from test-taking tips to interviewing advice. As a result, I’ve been able to build relationships with both peers and practicing attorneys. I’m looking forward to joining the network of Temple alumni and helping future generations of Temple students excel during their schooling and beyond.
Advice for Future Owls
The people around you at Temple Law are ready and eager to help. Before coming to Temple Law, I had no idea how quickly current and previous students would respond to requests for help. When I started interviewing for jobs, I reached out to people who I thought might have personal experiences or insights that could help me better understand the legal job market. I expected these emails to fall through the cracks for busy attorneys who did not have time to respond to clueless first-year law students. Instead, as mentioned above, Temple students and alumni always took time to speak to me. Since then, I’ve tried to “pay it forward” by making sure I always make time to chat with younger students to help them out in any way that I can.