Name: Leora Maccabee
Title: Senior associate, Maslon
Education: B.A., political and economic justice, Amherst College; J.D., Northeastern University School of Law
Leora Maccabee, senior associate at Maslon, sees her practice as a general business litigator and consultant as a bit of a throwback.
She’s crafted a practice ranging from defending companies to suing over trademark violations or breach of contract to bet-the-company litigation. It also includes product liability and estate planning.
“It’s sort of the way that I think lawyers used to be maybe 30, 40, 50 years ago, not boxed into one specialty,” Maccabee said. “Our world is changing so much that I didn’t want to say, ‘I’m going to practice this very specific kind of litigation’ because who knows if that’s going to be here in 20 years?”
The entrepreneurial Maccabee launched a nonprofit that runs the TC Jewfolk website to promote Jewish engagement and publicize community news and events.
Plans call for expanding beyond the Twin Cities soon, Maccabee said.
Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?
A. I’m a mom of two, a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. Talking about your kids and my kids is a good starter.
Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?
A. I went into law inspired by my mom and by Mike Ciresi. My mom was a politician. She is lawyer and works with Water Legacy as their advocacy director. I grew up watching her and watching Mike Ciresi when I was working on his U.S. Senate campaign. Learning about those massive court cases where you can use the law to change not just an individual’s life or a classes’ life but an entire country in the case of the Bohpal, India, disaster. That was pretty inspiring.
Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?
A. I’m reading “Unfinished Business” by Anne-Marie Slaughter for the second time. I also listen to a lot of podcasts especially about personal finance and financial independence. There’s one called “His & Her Money.” Another that I’ve listening to a lot is called “ChooseFI.”
Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?
A. I don’t let a lot of things get under my skin. I have an amazing boyfriend and occasionally he leaves wet paper towels around the kitchen. That’s probably the most annoying thing he does so I give him a pass for it.
Q. What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney or judge?
A. Both the scariest and the most exciting and most fun opportunity is being on my feet in court. That’s what I relish the most about being a lawyer.
Q. Least favorite?
A. I don’t think there’s anything about the work that I don’t like. One of the challenges of being a lawyer and probably being in any white-collar business is that you take the work with you everywhere you go. You want to be available to your clients at 11 o’clock at night on weeknights and throughout the weekend. Probably not my favorite thing but I’m happy to do it for my clients.
Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?
A. Outside of my work, every spare second I’m spending time with my kids and family, whether that means going to Guitar Center and watching them bang on drums and play guitar or going to a playground.
Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?
A. St. Paul is my hometown although I love the entire Twin Cities and now live in St. Louis Park. I love taking my friends who are visiting town for the first time to Grand Avenue on Grand Old Day, which I love going to, or any day to check out the restaurants as well as the interesting shops.
Q. Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?
A. [Maslon partner] Bill Pentelovitch. Bill is impressive as a litigator as well as personally. I’m lucky enough that he agreed to be my mentor here. So I try to learn from him as much as possible both personally and professionally.