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November, 2020 - United States of America



Buchalter Announces Kaufman Appellate Fellowship Program


Buchalter is pleased to announce the establishment of the Kaufman Appellate Fellowship Program, named in honor of California Supreme Court Justice Marcus Kaufman, who founded the appellate practice at Buchalter upon his retirement from the bench thirty years ago. The Fellowship provides recent law school graduates with appellate advocacy experience early in their careers and is intended to serve as a launching pad into a judicial clerkship or an appellate career.

The U.S. Solicitor General’s Office and state solicitor generals such as California and Colorado have similar fellowship programs, as do a handful of appellate boutiques across the country. This is the first appellate fellowship at an AmLaw firm.

The Kaufman Appellate Fellow Program is the brainchild of Buchalter’s new Appellate Practice Group Chair, M.C. Sungaila. “I am thrilled that the Firm will play a significant role in growing the next generation of appellate lawyers at Buchalter, by providing mentoring and one-on-one training. Appellate practice can be hard to break into, particularly right out of law school. This Fellowship aims to bridge that gap,” Ms. Sungaila said.

According to Buchalter chairman Adam Bass, “The Kaufman Appellate Fellowship Program honors the firm’s history and reflects our continued commitment to the appellate practice group, which is a key part of the firm’s robust litigation practice.”

The first Kaufman Fellow is Lauren Jacobs, a Pepperdine Law School graduate and former extern for Presiding Justice Tricia Bigelow of California’s Second District Court of Appeal, Division Eight.

Ms. Jacobs joins another new appellate hire, Joshua Ostrer, a UCLA Law School graduate and former judicial law clerk to the Honorable Patrick DeAlmeida on the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division (New Jersey’s intermediate appellate court) and the Honorable Karen E. Scott, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California. Mr. Ostrer joined the firm earlier this fall.


About the Fellowship:

Kaufman Appellate Fellowship Program 

The Kaufman Appellate Fellowship, named in honor of the founder of Buchalter’s appellate practice, former California Supreme Court Justice Marcus Kaufman, provides one or two year fellowships for recent law school graduates with a high level of academic success and an interest in appellate advocacy.

Fellows may come directly following graduation from law school or after completion of a judicial clerkship.

Fellows perform legal research, assist with the drafting of legal arguments, help prepare attorneys for oral argument before the California courts of appeal, California Supreme Court, and Ninth Circuit, work on articles and other projects, and perform cite-checking of briefs and motions.

The firm may extend an offer to a select number of Fellows to join the firm as associates once they have completed their tenure and secured commitments for post-Fellowship clerkships with a state or federal appellate judge.

About appellate practice group and M.C. Sungaila:

With one of the largest full-time appellate teams of any large law firm, Buchalter can match clients with appellate lawyers who offer personal experience with specific industries, procedural issues, and courts. Team members have argued appeals before the federal circuit courts of appeals and state supreme courts, and have set precedent for clients across multiple jurisdictions.

M.C. Sungaila, who leads the firm’s appellate practice, has briefed and argued appeals raising cutting-edge and core business issues. Clients call on her to craft approaches to emerging legal issues across multiple cases and jurisdictions and to provide pretrial and trial consultations in cases where an appeal by either side appears inevitable or a “key case” outcome might impact a whole series of cases for a client.

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