Elizabeth Post is an attorney at our firm’s Los Angeles office. She earned her bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and Spanish from Loyola Marymount University in California, magna cum laude. Before being awarded her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School as a Public Interest Scholar, Elizabeth served as a Peace Corps volunteer, during which time she worked and lived in the rural highlands of Guatemala. Today, her practice focuses on asbestos litigation, personal injury, premises liability, product liability, and toxic tort matters.
Here’s what Elizabeth had to say during our Women’s History Month Women In Law Roundtable Q&A.
Waters Kraus & Paul: According to the American Bar Association, there are approximately 1.4 million licensed attorneys in the United States. While there may be obvious overlap in experiences and reasons for choosing to become a lawyer, no two people are the same. What, or who inspired you to pursue a career in law?
Elizabeth Post: My grandfather was a practicing attorney for 50 years. During summers as a kid, I would sometimes help out in his office, pulling the old Cal App books off of the shelves as he shouted the citations to me from the other room. Early on, my exposure to my grandfather’s work led me to think about a life as a lawyer. My decision was not cemented until much later during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer. I suffered a serious dog attack and was left to navigate the local legal system, or lack thereof, to try to hold the owners accountable. I also witnessed numerous instances of angry citizens taking matters into their own hands with thieves and criminals because there was no real justice system to seek recourse. My experiences led me to realize the importance of a strong legal system and lawyers who could help others exercise their rights.
WKP: Determination and a tough work ethic are part of a universal code shared among successful attorneys. In fact, a career as a lawyer has been a hallmark of prestige for generations now. But what exactly enabled your career to flourish? How would you personally encourage young women who are thinking about becoming attorneys but are scared of the challenges that lie ahead?
EP: I believe self-confidence and self-worth are two big components to being successful in any field. It is important for girls and women to take their seat at the table, not apologize for being opinionated and assertive, and to find their voices and make them heard. For young girls who are thinking about becoming attorneys, I would tell them that the legal field needs them and that I can’t wait for them to join us.
WKP: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many routine aspects of legal work like working from the office and court attendance have been suspended or amended. How have these changes impacted your own career? As a professional, what are the biggest challenges faced when working from home?
EP: We have a separate back house and an incredible nanny, so my work-life balance has not really been impacted.
WKP: Where do you think we are in terms of gender equality in the legal profession? What do you think needs to change in our society, or globally, for women to receive their fair share in their legal professions and every other position?
EP: The legal profession is still very male dominant at the top, and that is where most of the progress needs to be made in the legal field in terms of gender equality. We need more female leaders and equity partners at law firms as well as both strong male and female leaders who do not subscribe to gender biases, which can make all the difference. The roles and responsibilities at home also need to be shared equally between males and females to enable females to achieve at the same level professionally as their male counterparts. All too often, women are expected to do it all, so it is not a level playing field.
To read more interviews with our attorneys, check out our Waters Kraus & Paul Virtual Roundtable Q&A: Women In Law.