One of Ours: Albin Leans on Law School Experiences as a First-Year Lawyer

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If you were around Cleveland-Marshall College of Law the past few years, there is a good chance you would recognize Kelly Albin.  The Delaware, Ohio native was as involved as any student on the Cleveland State University campus, as Editor-of-Chief of the Journal of Law and Health, a student clinician in the Community Health Advocacy Law Clinic, a member of the Board of Governors for the Moot Court team and a teaching and research assistant with Professor Kelly Curtis.  This year, the familiar face is not on campus daily and it is for the best as she embarks on a promising law career. 

The 2012 C|M|LAW graduate began working at Kropf Wagner Law Firm, LLP in October 2012 as an associate attorney.  Kropf Wagner Law Firm is located in Orrville, Ohio and is a general practice firm, active in areas including Real Estate, Corporate & Business Law, Civil Litigation, Family Law, Estate Planning and Administration, Criminal/Traffic Defense, Landlord/Tenant, and Taxation. By starting her career at a small firm, Albin is benefitting from the wide range of experiences such a firm offers. Additionally, she is getting the opportunity to handle tasks that typically do not fall on the desk of many first-year lawyers.

“The nice thing is I’m getting a lot of first hand litigation experience and I’m getting a lot of cases right away,” explained Albin. “The partners care and really encourage me to jump in and get that experience.  They are there if I have any questions but they really encourage me to make decisions for myself.”

The wide range of areas Albin has worked on in her time at Kropf Wagner include domestic relations law, real estate law, juvenile law and criminal law.  She has been exposed to hearings, motions and research and won her first case in court earlier this year, but what she likes most about her position is the client interaction. 

“Being an attorney, I was most looking forward to helping people,” explained Albin.   “The clients have problems that they don’t know how to fix and they come to you expecting you to be their guide.  It’s a service industry. You’re serving clients and that’s what I like most about it.” 

Albin earned her job after first applying for it through the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Career Services Simplicity network.  Even today, Cleveland-Marshall is never far from her thoughts. 

“I literally reference things I learned in law school every single day,” said Albin.  “I’m able to pull from law school experiences because I have such a broad range of responsibilities on a daily basis. One of the first things I did before my first trial was break out my old textbook and notes from a law school class to refresh myself.”

Albin also reaps benefits from all the extracurricular activities she was involved with in law school.  She feels those endeavors helped her build skills such as writing, working with others, oral advocacy and professionalism.

“What really makes Cleveland-Marshall so great is that you are able to seek out so many extra opportunities,” explained Albin.  “I took an aggressive approach to law school and had such amazing experiences including with Moot Court and the Journal of Law and Health. The skills that I learned from Moot Court and the Journal were just so different that I couldn’t choose between the two.”

Now that Albin no longer has law school activities to fill her spare time, she has become involved with several organizations giving back in the Northeast Ohio community.  Albin is on the planning committee for Human Rights Campaign Cleveland, is a member and guest speaker for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, and volunteers with the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and The Village Network, where she mentors troubled youth.

“One thing I’m really enjoying about being in practice is that I have a little more free time to give back… most weeks,” Albin said with a smile.

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