Date of Degree: Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy, 2008
Current Position: Associate at Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe LLC (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
I’m a member of the Personal Client Services group at Metz Lewis. My practice is concentrated on providing focused estate planning and estate administration solutions to individuals and their families. After 5 years of practicing law, I still follow the same writing principles that History professor Tony Novosel taught me in my first course with him.
In my practice I draft very complex business succession plans through which tens of millions of dollars pass to future shareholders. I narrowly tailor each sentence to effectuate the precise intent of my client. I’m so good at drafting these documents that business executives and professional athletes happily pay hundreds of dollars an hour for me to put together plans that require hundreds of hours to complete.
I first nurtured this skill during the spring term of 2007 in “HIST 0302: Soviet Russia.” I had no interest in the Soviet era but I needed the credits. It was an introductory class, so I was sure it would be easy.
It wasn’t. There was a lot of writing and Tony’s comments were direct and unforgiving. I saw a lot of red ink that semester. It was the hardest A I ever earned, but I earned it. I learned more in that class about writing than I did in any other class I ever took, or would ever take, including classes at Pitt Law.
Indeed, the things I learned in History back in 2007 I have built on throughout my career. Back then, I thought that I wouldn’t need half of what I learned in college, and that once I got into the groove of my career life would be far easier than writing a paper on the October Revolution. I was wrong. Becoming a proficient writer is humbling and often painful. Without those skills I would not be where I am today.