What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Scott Woller currently works in-house as general counsel to an online travel startup based in Europe (Airfasttickets, Inc.). He also does freelance legal work and is Of Counsel to Gana LLP, where he handles appeals for the firm's clients and helps draft briefs in other cases where needed. Additionally, Mr. Woller helps business clients with their business and corporate needs.
Mr. Woller is an experienced litigator in the areas of corporate and securities litigation as well as complex commercial litigation. He is also an experienced in-house counsel and he frequently counsels small businesses on various regulatory and legal matters facing such entities. I asked Mr. Woller what made him specialize in this area of the law? He replied:
"My practice areas are litigation and appellate practice, securities law, corporate governance, and general business law, particularly for small businesses and startups.
I intended to become a corporate lawyer when I went to law school, and after my summer associate job at Weil Gotshal I accepted the firm's offer to join the corporate department. When I did so well in law school, I was encouraged to apply for a federal clerkship. I did, and received an offer from the Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. During my clerkship with Judge Rawlinson I decided that I wanted to switch to a litigation practice. Weil has a practice group that focuses on securities and corporate litigation and corporate governance, so I joined that group when I returned to Weil after my clerkship because it involved both litigation and also corporate and securities law. I then left and did another clerkship with Judge George B. Daniels on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, but returned to the same practice group at Weil after the clerkship."
What motivated him to work for Airfasttickets? "I was intrigued with the opportunity and challenge of joining a startup company. I always enjoy new challenges and new experiences, and taking this job gave me the opportunity to be an in-house counsel and help a company grow. In addition, this job presented the opportunity to eventually take a startup company public, which is great experience professionally."
Prior to working at Gana, Mr. Woller served in the Corporate Governance and Securities Litigation department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, a top tier international law firm, where he advised and represented Fortune 500 companies, investment funds, and large financial institutions in a variety of issues. He also worked for Labaton Sucharow LLP, an eminent plaintiffs' securities litigation firm, where he represented individuals and influential investors in securities class action lawsuits who wished to report fraud and intrusions of the securities laws to the Securities Exchange Commission in connection with the Commission's Dodd Frank whistleblower program.
Mr. Woller was born in New York City and was raised in East Windsor, New Jersey. He earned his B.S. in Human Resource Management from the University of Maryland in 2000. Mr. Woller also graduated first in his class and Summa Cum Laude from New York Law School in 2004. He served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable George B. Daniels of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Woller has been admitted to practice law in New York and Pennsylvania. He enjoys reading about world history, particularly relating to the world wars and the Middle East.
Mr. Woller's Memories and Motivations
Did Mr. Woller receive any awards, participate in any internship or have other experiences influential in his decision to go into the law? "No."
Does he have a most memorable law school experience? "Probably when I received my grades after the first semester of first year and saw that I did so well. I also really enjoyed the late nights and long hours spent studying with study groups of good friends."
How long has Mr. Woller been an attorney? "For about 10 years."
Why did he decide to become an attorney? "Primarily because I did not know what else to do after graduating from college."
What is the best part of Mr. Woller's job? "My favorite part of practicing law is helping clients solve problems. Whether it is helping a client vindicate his or her rights or defend against a lawsuit, or helping a business client with a contract or deal to help the client's business, I find satisfaction in knowing that I was able to help my client."
What is he known for professionally? "I would say that I am best known for finding solutions for difficult issues, whatever they may be; for making effective arguments; and for being a great writer and drafting winning briefs."
What are Mr. Woller's strengths as an attorney? "My greatest strengths are my ability to really get to the heart of complex issues and effectively analyze those issues, and also my ability to write persuasively and effectively. I am also great at finding solutions for difficult problems and negotiating favorable terms for clients."
Is there an area of the law that he is most passionate about? "I do not really have an answer for that. I cannot say I am more passionate about one area of the law or another."
Is there an area of practice that Mr. Woller would like to develop further into?
"I have been interested in tax law for a long time, and I recently began taking classes part-time towards an LLM in taxation. So hopefully I can eventually incorporate tax into my practice."
If he were not a lawyer, what would he most probably be doing? "I think about that almost everyday, but do not have an answer."
Where does Mr. Woller see himself in five years' time? "I am not sure. For now, I am just focusing on all the various things I have going on."
What motivates him to be an attorney every day? "I just like to do a great job in whatever I am doing, and I am motivated to do great work."
Serving as a Judicial Law Clerk, Gaining Valuable Experience at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and Labaton Sucharow, and Being Involved in Litigation With Refco
How were Mr. Woller's clerkships? "My clerkships were probably the best experiences I have had as a lawyer. I learned so much about practicing law, and my legal writing and legal analysis improved significantly. Moreover, my judges were both great people who have always been mentors as I have moved on in my legal career. Finally, I made lifelong friends with my fellow clerks."
How did working in the Securities Litigation and Corporate Governance department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges prepare Mr. Woller to be a better lawyer? He explained:
"Well, when working for a firm like Weil, you get to work with some of the most talented and experienced attorneys in their fields and on some of the most complex and high profile matters. The training you get as a young lawyer is top notch. A few things that really stick out for me is learning how to deal with very demanding clients, and also thinking about a matter holistically, meaning seeing how the particular matter fits within the 'big picture' of a client's business and affairs."
How did working for Labaton Sucharow improve his skills in the areas of securities and corporate litigation and complex commercial litigation? "It was interesting to be representing shareholders (or individual whistleblowers) rather than companies and their boards. It gave me a different perspective on the broader issues involved with securities fraud and securities regulation, and it was also interesting to see how plaintiffs' attorneys approached cases differently in terms of case strategy."
Does Mr. Woller have a case that stands out? "When I worked at Weil Gotshal, I was very heavily involved with litigation arising out of the collapse in 2005 of Refco, the large commodities broker. That was headline stuff and there were a lot of interesting and complex issues arising, so it was fun to be involved with that."
Pro Bono Work, Non-Profit Organizations, Mr. Woller's Goals and Final Thoughts
Does Mr. Woller handle pro bono work? "I did a lot of pro bono work when I worked for Weil Gotshal, but it is very difficult for me to find the time to do any these days, unfortunately."
Is he involved with any non-profit organizations? "Yes. I am a member of the Board of the Young Friends of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, and I am member of and act as General Counsel for the Community Security Service. I also recently became involved with the lawyers division of the Young Jewish Professionals.
Does Mr. Woller have goals? "My primary goals are to be happy and enjoy life as much as possible, and to be the best at whatever it is I am doing."
Is there anything else you care to share professionally or personally? "I am very interested in politics and foreign affairs, and would someday maybe like to work in one of these fields in some capacity."
Ms. Selby is another New York attorney. She is a partner and co-chair of BakerHostetler's Information Governance Team and established the Technology Management and E-Discovery Team. She also defends class action suits. Ms. Selby has tried cases in state and federal courts. This includes a successful ten-week trial on the matter of expectation and misrepresentation of injury. Click here to read about Ms. Selby's successful career and how she became one of the panelists for "Navigating Today's Cyber Environment: How Secure Is Our Data?"
Austin V. Campriello is a partner at New York's Bryan Cave. He served as a prosecutor for eight years before establishing himself as criminal defense attorney. Mr. Campriello has successfully represented clients in numerous investigations, including inquiries into allegations of criminal antitrust, conflict of interest charges, environmental crimes, minority business fraud, and election and health care fraud. Click here to read about Mr. Campriello's career and find out what he is currently working on.
Susan M. Karten is the founder and senior partner of New York's Susan M. Karten & Associates. She began her career in law by serving in the highest court of the state of New York, The Court of Appeals, as protégé to Associate Judge Jacob D. Fuchsberg. Click here to read how Ms. Karten's served the state's highest court and about the impact she continues to make.
Jennifer Oltarsh is the founder of New York City's Oltarsh & Associates, P.C. For the past twenty years, she has built a national reputation as a litigator who specializes in immigration law, discrimination, and civil rights. Click here to find out what Ms. Oltarsh said during our exclusive interview.
Milena S. Mishev is a partner at McCarthy Fingar LLP, a prominent general practice law firm with a 65-year-old history, located in White Plains, NY. For more than ten years, she has built a national and international reputation as an attorney who specializes in trademark, unfair competition and copyright law. Click here to read about Ms. Mishev's fascinating life and career in New York.