Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Legal Elite – Employment 2011


LISA GRAFSTEIN Law Office of Lisa Grafstein PLLC, Raleigh

I guess it would be the Pacific Northwest, probably Seattle. It has all my basic requirements — ocean, mountains, coffee. The main difference in the practice of employment law would be the 4th Circuit versus the 9th Circuit, which are — let’s just say dissimilar. The 9th Circuit is perceived as very pro-plaintiff, and the 4th Circuit is viewed as pro-business. It might take a little while to adjust.

Vita: Born Sept. 7, 1966, in Amityville, N.Y.; bachelor’s from Northwestern University, law degree from UNC Chapel Hill; one son. Why she chose this field: My research and writing project in my first year of law school was a case of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. I found the law fascinating. Work is very personal to most people. It’s very satisfying to provide some guidance on such a central aspect of a client’s life. What she’d be if not a lawyer: Probably a bookseller. My prelawyer life was working in bookstores, and I loved the business. I’ll occasionally daydream about having a little shop of new and used books, and I am drawn to empty storefronts. Memorable case: A sexual harassment/retaliation case for a Hispanic food-service worker. The employer had written her off and never took her seriously. The jury was pretty unforgiving. Passions: Renovating a 60-year-old house. Recent reading: Home-improvement magazines and not much else. Don’t ask her to: Sing. I can’t carry a tune.

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