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The World Isn't All Contracts and Torts

Beth McNellie (Miami, 1986) [Partner at Baker & Hostetler, LLP]: Going to Columbia for law school, I was very concerned that my classmates coming from the real Ivy Leagues would have a leg up on me, either in their academic background or their presentation skills or their writing or whatever. And I was very heartened to learn, when I got to New York and started to compete against those people, that the education I got at Miami was very comparable to the experiences that they had had and I didn't feel handicapped at all.

But to go back to the interdisciplinary thing, I think sometimes in the law that gets lost, because so many law students don't come from an interdisciplinary background. And they like to think of the world as contracts and torts, and a lot of times those things fit together. And I think there have been times where I've been able to look at a particular legal problem in a way that takes it out of those silos and can turn it in a new way that reflects that kind of interdisciplinary background that I've had. And I think that's been a benefit to my clients.

[September 2011]