A Passion for the Practice of Law: Alumnus Anthony Vanicek
An International Affairs major, Anthony Vanicek graduated from JCU in 2013 and then attended Georgetown Law. He worked as a Deputy District Attorney before accepting a position as a trial attorney in his native Colorado. While at JCU he was president of the Model United Nations Society and worked as an intern with the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs. He was also a member of STAND and the Theatre Society.
How’s life after graduation? Did you find it difficult to adjust to the work environment after college?
Life after graduation has been challenging, but I found that I have been able to handle all of the challenges I encountered in life. At JCU I was stimulated academically, an experience that prepared me well for law school.
What made you decide to choose JCU and major in International Affairs?
I chose JCU for the opportunity to live in Italy and experience its rich culture. At 18 it was hard for me to choose a major. I chose International Affairs because the subject allows you to learn about many different disciplines such as politics, economics, culture, history, art history and more.
Did any of the classes you took at JCU help with law school or your career?
Yes. At JCU I took a lot of courses that help me in law school and in my work as an attorney. The obvious ones include Legal Environment of Business, International Business Law, and Public International Law. Political Theory was also helpful in law school since the material we learned was very relevant to constitutional law. Thanks to these classes, I developed a perspective that made law school more engaging. Studying Italian was also useful: I would never have imagined that learning the language would help me navigate some of the Latin legal jargon one finds in law school.
What role did JCU play in sorting out your life plan? What led you to proceed with law school?
At JCU it was so easy to have a one-on-one relationship with professors, so I received a lot of guidance. I had many professors like Professor Pamela Harris who provided counseling on whether law was right for me, and she also helped me with the admissions process.
What did you most enjoy about being a Deputy District Attorney?
The best part about being a Deputy District Attorney is the opportunity it presents for public service. Every day you encounter people who are in a bad situation. As a prosecutor, you have so many opportunities to fight for victims of crime and to provide people with incentives to become better individuals. Working at the District Attorney’s Office gets you terrific trial experience as well.
What areas do you focus on now at BBL?
I handle several matters related to civil litigation. In particular, I work on products liability, breach of contract, negligence claims, surety and fidelity contracts, and complex litigation.
What are the advantages of working in a small firm like BBL?
I would say that the main advantage of working at a small firm is that I have been able to develop close relationships with the other partners at the firm. It’s a great experience to get great mentoring and learn quickly.
Do you have any advice for graduating students?
Graduation can be daunting when you don’t quite know what is around the corner (which is the position I found myself in when I graduated in 2013). Persistence and hard work are key and will eventually pay off. It has also been helpful to maintain contacts I had from JCU and law school.