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Phillip Lee

Associate, Los Angeles/Silicon Valley

"Prior to joining McKool Smith, I had the honor of clerking for two federal judges. The terms of my clerkships were longer than average. Although the time spent as a judicial law clerk was invaluable, I had growing concerns over the fact that as time passed I became that much more behind in terms of garnering litigation skills as compared to my peers in practice. When I completed my clerkships, I set out to fill what I perceived to be a gap in my litigation experience. Luckily, I found McKool Smith. 

During my first year and a half at this law firm, I was involved in all phases of litigation, including pre-suit analysis, written discovery, expert discovery, taking and defending fact and expert depositions, drafting and arguing claim construction briefs, drafting and arguing evidentiary and dispositive motions, and preparing pre- and post-trial briefing. 

The work was challenging and rewarding. The opportunities to be around high-caliber attorneys were intimidating and enlightening. By the end of that short time span, I had done more than many of the same peers from whom I thought I was lagging behind. I am pretty sure McKool Smith afforded me experiences that I would not have gotten at any other place. 

Also, it was a pleasant surprise to find out the flexibility I had to work on a number of pro bono cases. For example, since joining McKool Smith, I have been representing veterans at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. It has been comforting to know that even in the midst of a busy schedule I have the flexibility to continue my involvement with veterans.

McKool Smith is a unique place that places extraordinary significance on going to trial. At every step during the course of litigation, this focus remains the same in all of our cases. If you want to grow as an attorney, and specifically, if you aspire to be a trial attorney, there is no better place. I feel fortunate to be a part of the McKool team."

(Law clerk to Evan J. Wallach, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Honorable Otis D. Wright II at the U.S. District Court for the CDCA)

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