How's life? We catch up with what alumni are doing 5, 10, 15 and 25 years out of law school.
Marley Ann Brumme '11 | Associate, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Boston
Describe your work: I’ve worked for Skadden since graduating from the Law School, first in New York and now in Boston, where I represent a variety of corporate clients from around the country. Most of my work involves high-stakes commercial litigation, particularly securities and health care fraud matters. I also defend clients in government investigations.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? Since moving to Boston, I have become an avid runner. I’ve run eight half-marathons, and I am training to run a full marathon next year. I also enjoy cooking and am a devoted college football fan (sorry ’Hoos, but go Gators!).
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life? As a native Floridian, I hoped never to experience a Boston winter. But personal ties brought me here about three years ago, and I found a great group of colleagues in Skadden’s Boston office. I may not have expected to be here, but I am very happy and fortunate that I am.
What do you like about your life 5 years after law school? I have an interesting and challenging career that has pushed me to grow as a lawyer and allowed me to play a meaningful role in many cutting- edge cases. Outside of work, I have a fulfilling personal life, including a happy relationship with a fellow UVA Law alum, and supportive family and friends. I’m looking forward to what the next five years have in store— hopefully some more trips to Charlottesville.
Trevor McFadden ’06 | Partner, Baker & McKenzie, Washington, D.C.
Describe your work: I am a white-collar litigator. Most of my clients are multinational companies that are seeking to comply with U.S. anti-corruption laws, sanctions laws and other federal regulations.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? I love spending time with my wife, Kelly (Lynch) McFadden ’08, and our two young kids. Kelly and I also co-chair the D.C. chapter of UVA’s Federalist Society.
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life? I probably expected to still be a prosecutor. But after six years at the U.S. Justice Department, I was ready for a change, and this job has been a great fit. In this role, I can help clients navigate the complex legal requirements involved in doing business in multiple jurisdictions.
What do you like about your life 10 years after law school? I enjoy being at a stage where I am always learning from colleagues who are experts in our field, but I’m also able to help out younger lawyers and law students who are just starting out in their legal careers.
Wendy Richards ’01 | Pro Bono Counsel, Miller Canfield, Detroit
Describe your work: I manage our firm’s pro bono practice, which means coordinating the volunteer efforts of more than 200 attorneys worldwide. We work on a wide range of matters, from high-impact First Amendment litigation to the creation of greenways in underserved urban areas to expungement clinics.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? Spending time with family. My two boys, ages 6 and 9, keep me on my toes.
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life? Surprisingly, yes, though I took a few detours on the way. I spent the last several years working for a Detroit-based nonprofit that focuses on economic development in distressed areas. While it was incredibly rewarding, I missed the practice of law. Now I have the best of both worlds. Our pro bono work improves access to justice in communities that need it most.
What do you like about your life 15 years after law school? Professionally, the realization that “thinking like a lawyer” is actually a unique and positive skill. Personally, the joy of watching my sons grow and appreciating every day I have with my husband, who is a cancer survivor and the bravest person I know.
Errol S. Phipps ’91 | Vice President and Associate General Counsel, AT&T, Dallas
Describe your work: I supervise a team of 16 lawyers and three paralegals who support AT&T’s Technology Operations, Wireless Network Architecture & Design, and Corporate Strategy organizations. Combined, these organizations have more than 100,000 employees.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? My favorite activities outside of work are traveling and spending time with family and friends. I got the traveling bug later in life, but over the past 12 years, Kim [Phipps ’91] and I and our beautiful daughters, Sara and Sydney, have traveled to 55 cities in 20 countries. Some of our most memorable trips were with Charles Durant ’91, his wife, Lois, and their children, Chelsea and Chris. We traveled together to Spain, Australia and New Zealand—where, in a moment of insanity, Charles and I both jumped 630 feet off of Auckland’s Sky Tower. I have the T-shirt to prove it. I also have a video that is not available for public viewing!
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life? That depends on how far back you go. In 1991, I had no expectation about where I would be 25 years down the road. I was more focused on things like finding my way in a new city far from home, passing the bar and trying to bill enough hours at a large law firm. Even if I tried, I certainly would not have envisioned my career and life as they are today. That’s more a function of how clueless I was back then than anything I have accomplished.What do you like about your life 25 years after law school? Despite not becoming an internet billionaire, I am blessed in more ways than I can count. Kim and I have been married for 26 years and counting, Sara is a 2016 graduate of the University of Michigan and Sydney is a junior at Penn State. We are all healthy. I have been continuously employed since graduation, including the last 21 years with AT&T. We have everything we need and most of the things we want. I’m still proud to be a lawyer and a graduate of UVA. Life for this kid from the Bronx is pretty good.