Lora Krsulich: 2016 Best and Brightest

Lora Kruslich

Lora Krsulich 

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law 

Hometown: San Bruno, California

Undergraduate School: Boston College (undergraduate); New York University, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (MPA)

Undergraduate Major and Minor: Major in political science and minors in Latin American and Eastern European Studies

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During Law School: California Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, Volume 104; Ecology Law Quarterly, Senior Executive Editor, Volume 41; National Appellate Advocacy Competition, 3rd Best Oralist, San Francisco Regional Rounds, March 2015; First Generation Professionals, Leadership Council, 2014–2015; First-Year Skills Program, Teaching Assistant, 2014–2015; First-Year Best Brief in Written and Oral Advocacy.

Where have you interned during law school? (List firms and locations)

  • Extern to Judge Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco, CA; May 2014–July 2014)
  • Summer Associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP (Oakland, CA; May 2015–Aug. 2015)

What practice area will you be specializing in after graduation? Litigation

Why did you choose to attend law school? Law school not only puts you in a position to participate in important public debates, but also equips you with the tools you need to make a meaningful and lasting contribution. I chose to attend law school because I wanted to develop a more complete set of tools to address complex public policy problems. I’ve gotten what I expected and so much more!

What was your favorite law school class? My favorite law school class is Immigration. I’ve enjoyed reflecting on my own parents’ journey to the United States and how it compares to stories of today’s immigrants. The class is so dynamic, with new information coming out each day about the Syrian refugee crisis, for example, or the President’s deferred action initiatives. This makes for a challenging but also incredibly rewarding class.

Which attorney do you most admire? I’ve admired David Boies since watching his oral arguments to prepare for the first-year Written and Oral Advocacy Competition. He is patient, humble, and extraordinarily creative, and I’m incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to work for his firm this past summer. Boies has tried a number of high profile cases including Bush v. Gore and Perry v. Schwarzenegger, but few would know that he is also dyslexic. Boies has been quoted to say, “Life is not a timed examination. There are few times in life when what really matters is whether you can do something in 50 minutes, as opposed to 75. What matters is how well you’re able to do it.” This is particularly good advice for first-year law students and those considering law school. Exams will come and go, but the passion for the work is what matters in the long term.

What have you enjoyed most about law school? The people! The first year of law school comes with an incredibly steep learning curve, and through that process, it’s common to experience self-doubt and anxiety. It helps to be surrounded by people—family, friends, professors but especially classmates––that share your common experience and can help you get through it. You realize just how important that common experience is in your second and third years when you’re working together on journals, moot court competitions, and clinics. The relationships you’ve built make the experience much more rewarding. And I’m sure the same will hold true in practice too.

What word best describes your professional brand? Anxiety-eliminating. I’d like my clients to rest easier when they bring me a legal issue.

If you were debt free, how would you spend your first paycheck after landing your first law job? I would save it to put a down payment on a home.

“I knew I wanted to go to law school when…I watched my previous boss and friend, Ingrid Johnson, dissect and revise a proposed city council resolution and, on the same day, help one of our prisoner reentry clients find legal assistance with his child support payments. She is a rockstar and my inspiration for going to law school.”

“If I didn’t go to law school, I would be…a Ph.D. student, most likely in operations research.”

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? Helping to unify a network of prisoner re-entry services in Newark, New Jersey, that placed more than 2,500 people in long-term employment on their release from prison, jail, or halfway house, and building lasting relationships with my co-workers there, especially Earl Scott, Kareen Motley, and Ingrid Johnson.

Fun fact about yourself: My family is from Olib, a small island in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia, and I grew up speaking the island dialectic with my grandmother and parents, and listening to songs from the Dalmatian Coast. On a different note, when I get time off, I enjoy driving out to the mountains and spending a few days off-roading, target shooting, and generally, spending time without my phone.

Favorite book: Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Favorite movie: Crazy Heart

What are your hobbies? Watching baseball (go Giants and/or Yankees!) and playing softball.

What made Lora such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“Lora is simply a marvel. The conspicuous attributes — her stellar grades, her clerkships, her *CLR [California Law Review] editorship — speak for themselves. But what impresses me most is Lora’s generosity in sharing her intellectual gifts. As a Teaching Assistant in the First-Year Skills Program, Lora spent countless hours poring over 1L papers, diagnosing weaknesses and thoughtfully articulating paths to improvement. The bright student masters a skill, but the exceptional student deploys that skill to improve the intellectual life of her peers. Add to this a warm spirit, a quick wit, and a humble demeanor, and you have Lora — a truly incomparable member of the class of 2016.”

Sarah Laubach
Lecturer-in-Residence
First-Year Skills Program
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law