Mary Alice (Madi) DiPietro: 2016 Best and Brightest

Madi DiPietro

Mary Alice (Madi) DiPietro

USC Gould School of Law

Hometown: Hemet, CA

Undergraduate School: UCLA

Undergraduate Major and Minor:

Major – Political Science / Minor – Society and Genetics

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During Law School:

  • Hale Moot Court Champion 2015
  • Am Jur (CALI) in Law, Language and Values and Business Organizations
  • Phi Alpha Delta Vice President
  • Student Bar Association Vice President
  • Peer Tutor for 1Ls
  • Peer Mentor for 1Ls
  • Research Assistant for Professor Keating (Torts)
  • Where have you interned during law school? (List firms and locations)
  • Judicial Extern for the Honorable Paul L. Abrams in United States District Court, Central District of California Los Angeles, CA (1L Summer)
  • Summer Associate – Latham & Watkins LLP in Downtown Los Angeles (2L Summer)

What practice area will you be specializing in after graduation? I will most likely focus in transactional law, but I am not sure which specific practice area yet. Thankfully, Latham allows their new associates to take up to two years to decide on a practice area. I am sure I will be trying different specialities out for awhile.

Why did you choose to attend law school? While I was attending UCLA, I had an amazing professor, Debra Greenfield, who sparked my interest in the law and how it relates to genetics, specifically gene patenting. Debra allowed me help her research an amicus brief that she was preparing for the Myriad Genetics case, which was decided in 2013. From that moment forward, the decision to go to law school (which was already nagging in the back of my head) was finalized!

What was your favorite law school class? My favorite class thus far has probably been Federal Income Tax. Knowing tax law is so useful! Not only was my professor (Joseph Sliskovich) hilarious and well-prepared, but it was nice to have to finally have a class in law school that had some concrete answers to its test questions (rather than just “it depends”). A close second would have to be Advanced Legal Writing with Susan Wright. This class completely changed the way I write and the way I think about writing.

Which attorney do you most admire? This might sound cliche, but I deeply admire Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I find her to be the perfect role model all around.  She is intelligent, sarcastic, resilient, witty, and (let’s not forget) fashionable.

What have you enjoyed most about law school? You really do learn a “skill” in law school… something that I felt I was lacking tremendously after undergrad. This skill now gives me the ability to help people in a whole new way and I love that! While at Gould, I have also met some absolutely amazing people who have made my hours in the library (and my nights at bar reviews) much more enjoyable.

What word best describes your professional brand? Prepared

If you were debt free, how would you spend your first paycheck after landing your first law job? I would use my first paycheck to send my parents on vacation to thank them for being so supportive.

“I knew I wanted to go to law school when…I sat down in my first class as a 1L. I don’t think I was completely 100% until that point.”

“If I didn’t go to law school, I would be…an astronaut.”

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? Winning the Hale Moot Court competition during the spring semester of my 2L year.

Fun fact about yourself: My nickname, Madi, is my acronym. M for Mary, A for Alice, and Di for the first two letters in my last name.

Favorite book: A Wrinkle in Time

Favorite movie: The Italian Job

What are your hobbies? Yoga, Reading Sci-Fi, Binge-watching trashy TV

What made Madi such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016? “In class, Madi showed herself to be smart, articulate, and always prepared. But to be honest, we have many smart, articulate, and prepared students. What really set Madi apart from her peers was her infectious good spirit. No matter how dull the topic – and they did get dull in first-year property – and despite the 8:00 start, Madi was always happy to answer questions or make arguments when she thought it would help me and her classmates. Unlike some frequent participants – who speak to be heard and admired – Madi participated as part of a communal project. She regularly made her classmates laugh – usually by making fun of me as I recall. Without her, the semester would have been markedly less useful and pleasant for all involved.

Madi’s role in the law school has grown significantly since her first year.  She has excelled as a student, especially in her awe-inspiring moot court performance.  And she has been a consistently welcoming presence in her various leadership and mentoring roles.”

Professor Scott Altman
Vide Dean and Virginia S. and Fred H. Bice Professor of Law
USC Gould School of Law