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Alumni Success Stories: Justin Kesselman ’13, Litigation

Like many law students, Justin Kesselman came to law school not knowing where, exactly, his JD was going to take him. But his first-year Civil Procedure class with Professor Jordan Singer introduced him to the legal specialty of litigation—and that changed everything.

“The process of it, the constitutional aspects of it, the due process issues: all of that sparked my interest,” Kesselman says. Then his 1L summer internship with Community Legal Aid gave Kesselman his first real litigation experience. “I was hooked,” he says.

Professor Singer was one of several faculty members who had a “tremendous impact” on Kesselman’s career trajectory. Another was Professor Kent Schenkel, who encouraged Kesselman to participate in a national legal writing contest and counseled him through the process. Not only did Kesselman win the contest but he says the honor “led to a chain reaction of positive events,” including getting a judicial clerkship in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. “These experiences really solidified the direction I wanted to go in,” Kesselman says. “I don’t know that that would’ve happened at another law school.”

And it was adjunct professor Frank Morrisey who helped get his foot in the door at his current firm by introducing him to a contact there. “The professors, including adjuncts, are huge resources,” Kesselman says. “They were interested and engaged, and they made me interested and engaged.”

Today, as an associate in the Complex Litigation and Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring groups for Arent Fox, Kesselman draws on that varied experience as he works on everything from IP disputes to insolvency issues to commercial contracts. “Being a litigator, part of your expertise is in the process and being exposed to different areas of the law,” Kesselman says. And that’s just what he got at New England Law. In addition to his internship and clerkship experiences, Kesselman participated moot court, the New England Law Review, and more.

“I like working on difficult problems,” he says. “Litigation is intellectually stimulating and it’s rewarding. I’m really happy with the direction I chose.”

“I would encourage other people to take advantage of everything the school has to offer.”

Learn more about studying litigation.