We Always Make It Work – A Chat with Prof. Bohmholdt

Alex Verdegem is an LLS student blogger.

Over the past two and a half year, I’ve written about some of my experiences and classes at Loyola. For this post, I asked to my legal drafting professor, Prof. Karin Bohmholdt, if she would consent to an interview so you could get to know one member of Loyola’s amazing faculty. She was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions, which are transcribed below. Due to social distancing requirements, this interview was conducted via email exchange.

Prof. Bohmholdt graduated from Loyola Law School in 2004 with magna cum laude honors after serving as the Articles Editor for the Loyola Law Review. She is now an adjunct professor and is also a practicing partner at Greenberg Traurig where is the co-chair of the firm’s Los Angeles Litigation Practice.

How long have you been a litigator?

17 years.

Why did you decide to become a litigator?

It was a natural fit for me out of law school, and I had no desire to be a transactional lawyer.

How long have you taught at Loyola?

Off and on as an adjunct for about 12 years.

Why did you decide to start teaching while still practicing?

I always wanted to teach, and my relationships with existing faculty at LLS led me to an opportunity to start teaching as an adjunct. I jumped at the opportunity.

Has your work as a practicing litigator ever conflicted with teaching? If yes, what did you do to resolve the conflict?

Growing up with many activities, when I would get upset, my mom would always say, “Don’t worry. You know we always make it work.” So that is what I do as best I can in life. I plan ahead as best I can, and pivot and swivel when I have to! Once, I was in a long jury trial during a semester I was teaching; I left my trial war room on teaching nights, went and taught, and went back to work after.

What has been your most memorable experience as a professor?

Every semester, there will be one or two students who reach out to talk about how valuable the class turned out to be in practice, and it makes it so worthwhile. Once, my firm wound up hiring one of my former students. He later told me that his wife, also a lawyer, had had an experience where another party had casually cited a case that really hurt their case. He told his wife, “Oh I learned from Professor Bohmholdt years ago to read all the cases!” I loved that.

What has been your most memorable experience in practice?

Too many to choose from. The most memorable times are the big trials with teams or those early moments where motions or cases won on theories I had identified and developed.

Between teaching and your practice, do you have any free time? If so, what is one thing that you like to do?

Like I said above, growing up with many activities, when I would get upset, my mom would always say, “Don’t worry. You know we always make it work.” I don’t have a ton of free time, but the time I have is spent with my family and friends. I love cooking and watching my kid’s various sporting and music events.

Why should law students take legal drafting?

Most law students go into practice maybe never even having heard of a “motion,” or understanding what a “complaint” or “engagement agreement” look like. It is such an advantage to take these types of clinical classes because you at least get exposure to how to even begin these things.

What advice do you have for anyone considering law school?

Be open. I went to law school on a true whim and when I got there, I fell in love with it. I had no preconceived notions about what I would do with my degree and it worked out for the best. I also think that students who have a little time off of school between undergrad and law school often find that they love law school more than many who go straight through. There is something new and exciting about going “back to school,” even if it is only a couple of years.

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