As part of CEB’s commitment to bringing together California’s legal community, our blog will post a short interview with one of your fellow attorneys.
This week, we profile Jeffrey Wohl:
CEB: What are your practice areas and how/why did you choose or start in your practice area?
Jeff: I’ve practiced management-side employment law my entire career, with occasional forays into commercial and civil rights litigation and transactional work. I also served as the General Counsel of my prior law firm, which made me something of a generalist. (Having lawyers as clients certainly kept me on my toes.) Employment law provides everything that a great law practice should have: interesting cases and characters; law that is always developing; and the opportunity to work with clients from a wide range of industries and endeavors. I can’t think of a field with a broader impact on people than employment law. And, as a junior lawyer coming up the ranks, employment law (which, in those days, meant single-plaintiff wrongful termination and discrimination cases) gave me the opportunity–in spades–to run my own cases. As a result, I grew up professionally very quickly.
CEB: What do you like best and least about practicing law?
Jeff: Best: Solving my clients’ problems. Winning cases for them. Helping them comply with the law while achieving their business objectives. Earning their trust and confidence. Often times, becoming their friend. Least: Attending to all the business aspects of the practice that have become necessary in today’s hyper-competitive environment.
CEB: What is the best legal tip you ever received?
Jeff: To succeed in the practice of law, know more about an area of the law than anyone else and be likeable enough that clients want to keep working with you.
CEB: What CEB book or program have you found most helpful in your practice and why?
Jeff: I’ve been honored to serve as the moderator for the annual CEB program on Recent Developments in Employment Law for the past several years. Our panels include leading plaintiffs and defense practitioners. There’s never been a program when I don’t learn something new.
CEB: How do you think the practice of law will change in the next 15 years?
Jeff: Technology will continue to drive efficiencies that will serve the interests of both clients (cost reduction, quicker response times) and lawyers (more thinking, less attending to the logistics of research and writing). Fortunately for employment lawyers, machines won’t replace people anytime soon, so there still will be enough human conflicts, miscommunications, and foibles to keep us plenty busy.
CEB: What is the most interesting book you have read (lately)?
Jeff: The Accidental Billionaires, about the founding of Facebook; the movie, “The Social Network,” is based on this book. Amazing story.
CEB: What is your contact information?
Jeff: Jeffrey Wohl, Partner, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, 55 Second Street, 24th Floor, San Francisco, California 94105; Tel: (415) 856-7000, Fax: (415) 856-7100; firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEB: Thank you, Jeff!
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