Meet the New Associates

Meet the New Associates

News

This fall, WilmerHale will welcome 36 new associates to our US offices. Over the next few months, INSITE will interview members of this dynamic class to learn more about what drew them to the firm and about their interests outside the office.

In this first set of interviews, you’ll meet associates from the Litigation Department who share an interest in everything from pro bono work to traveling the globe.


(Cantin at the Acropolis in Athens.)

Name: Shirley X. Li Cantin
Office: Boston
Practice: Litigation/Controversy
School: Boston College Law School

WH: What is it about WilmerHale that made you want to practice here?
Cantin:
The first thing that attracted me to Wilmerhale was the firm’s reputation in the legal industry. I then met some very bright people throughout the interview process who were not only great lawyers, but also interesting individuals. I also took to firm leadership's vision for WilmerHale and its commitment to pro bono work.

WH: What are you most looking forward to as you begin your practice at the firm?
Cantin: I'm excited about beginning my career as a civil litigator! I'm also looking forward to working with the Diversity Committee and becoming involved in the recruitment process, particularly to attract diverse candidates to the firm. Finally, I'm looking forward to doing pro bono work.

WH: What did you do during your deferral period?
Cantin: I served as a special assistant district attorney in the Appeals Bureau at the Middlesex District Attorney's Office. I handled a variety of post-conviction assignments, but my favorite part of the job was writing appellate merits briefs and representing the Commonwealth at oral argument before the Appeals Court. I loved criminal procedure in law school, and to see it play out in the real world was fascinating. I recently found out that the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) granted direct appellate review on one of my cases, which means that I will be arguing before the SJC on an issue of first impression in the Commonwealth—the issue being whether the police can get a search warrant over the telephone (the law currently provides that the officer must "personally appear" before the issuing magistrate). Needless to say, I’m very excited and grateful for that opportunity.

WH: Tell us a fun fact about yourself...
Cantin: I watch Dancing with the Stars. And I vote on it. I also love to travel. This summer, I spent two weeks in Greece visiting Athens, the Peloponnese, Santorini and Crete.


(Ward teaching his nephew the tradition of excellence that is Alabama football.)

Name: JB Ward
Office: Boston
Practice: Litigation/Controversy
School: Harvard Law School

WH: What is it about WilmerHale that made you want to practice here?
Ward: WilmerHale’s reputation precedes it. What I loved most about the firm from the start is the sense of integrity that characterizes its attorneys. Two examples immediately come to mind. First, in my experience interviewing with the firm, attorneys never had bad things to say about competitors and relied entirely on the strengths of the firm to sell it to me. Second, WilmerHale recognizes that because we are privileged to be lawyers, we are obligated to use our skills to serve others. Pro bono isn’t an empty exercise here. While this is a profit-making enterprise, it is also a place committed to public service.

WH: What are you most looking forward to as you begin your practice at the firm?
Ward: I’m most looking forward to diving into the work. The energy of the place, the quality of the work and the talent of the lawyers here all really excite me. I’m ready to get started and be useful, and to learn how to litigate cases thoroughly and professionally from people who clearly know how to do that.

WH: What did you do during your deferral period?
Ward: I clerked for the Honorable Richard J. Holwell in the Southern District of New York. Working in chambers taught me a lot about how cases are litigated and how decisions are made, as well as about the traits common to excellent lawyers. The two qualities that struck me most about the judge (and what it takes to be a good lawyer) were his attention to detail and his good judgment. The emphasis he placed on judgment, as opposed to mechanically churning out answers, was really powerful. It was something I will always remember.

WH: Tell us a fun fact about yourself...
Ward: I’m a Southerner, which means that I love college football (no offense intended to Southerners who don't). I root for the team that my family has followed for generations—the University of Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s been a good season so far.

Name: Kimberly Renk
Office: Washington DC
Practice: Litigation/Controversy
School: New York University School of Law

WH: What is it about WilmerHale that made you want to practice here?
Renk: I was very impressed with the firm’s culture. During the interview process, the people I met were not only down to earth and friendly, but also seemed to genuinely enjoy what they’re doing. I was particularly attracted to the Washington DC office because the work here frequently involves cutting-edge policy issues.

WH: What are you most looking forward to as you begin your practice at the firm?
Renk: I'm excited about becoming a real lawyer. I’m looking forward to writing motions and handling complicated aspects of the law. I am also looking forward to working with and learning from the many impressive partners at the firm.

WH: What did you do during your deferral period?
Renk:
First, I traveled to Shijiazhuang, China and studied Mandarin. I then traveled to Liberia, where I worked as a Transnational Law Institute/Carter Center law fellow in the Ministry of Labor. My main jobs while I was there were coordinating the rewriting of the 50-year-old labor laws and heading a public awareness campaign. This was a lot of responsibility in a challenging environment, but it was a great learning experience that gave me a lot of confidence to take to the firm.

WH: Tell us a fun fact about yourself...
Renk: I love to travel. Although I was studying and working this past year, I was also able to take advantage of the free time to visit 10 countries: Argentina, China, Costa Rica, Ghana, Lebanon, Liberia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Name: Pablo Kapusta
Office: New York
Practice: Litigation/Controversy
School: Georgetown University Law Center

WH: What is it about WilmerHale that made you want to practice here?
Kapusta: I was first attracted to WilmerHale because of its excellent reputation in the area of pro bono and public service. Having worked in the field of national security law, I was impressed by the firm's representation of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. During my summer here, this impression was confirmed when I got to work on an amicus brief in the important Citizens United case. I also really liked the New York office's relatively small size, the friendliness of its attorneys, and its focus on securities and litigation.

WH: What are you most looking forward to as you begin your practice at the firm?
Kapusta: I’m most looking forward to learning what the practice of law is like and working with more experienced lawyers. I am particularly interested in international arbitration and working on cutting-edge, exciting cases.

WH: How did you spend your summer?
Kapusta: I studied for and took the New York State Bar examination. After that, I took some time off and traveled to Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Germany. Although I have been many times, I particularly enjoyed Paris. Every time I go, I discover some new and exquisite museum or cultural site. Plus, it was fun to practice my French.

WH: Tell us a fun fact about yourself...
Kapusta:
My last name means “cabbage” in Russian, Polish and several other languages. When I meet people who speak those languages, they insist on pointing this out, even though I have been hearing it since I was little.