Meet This Month's LAWYER OF ATLANTIC COUNTY #LOAC
Modeled after the infamous HUMANS OF NEW YORK (#HONY) Site, the ACBA Young Lawyers Division started LAWYERS OF ATLANTIC COUNTY (#LOAC) to to get to know our members on a more personal level. Each month, the ACBA Young Lawyers Division Executive Board chooses a different attorney to be featured here as the Lawyer of Atlantic County. Attorneys are nominated by their peers; any attorney who is nominated but not chosen to be featured in a given month will automatically be put back into the running for each subsequent month until featured. Interview questions typically focus on the attorney's professional and life experiences.
Brett Yore, Esq.
Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, Mays Landing, NJ March 29, 2018
By: Jake Bayak, Esq., Assistant Prosecutor, ACPO
Brett Yore is an Assistant Prosecutor at the Atlantic County Prosecutors Office. He was born and raised in Cape May County where his parents both worked as high school music teachers. He studied writing at Eugene Lang College – the New School for Liberal Arts in New York City with concentrations in Poetry and Fiction. He graduated from Rutgers-Camden in 2011 and was the judicial clerk for the Hon. Judge John Rauh, J.S.C., from 2011-2012. In 2015, he won the Young Lawyer of the Year Award for Cape May County.
Thank you, Brett, for sharing your experiences and advice with young lawyers and readers of the #LOAC!
What do you like to do when you have free time?
Free time is hard to come by nowadays, but when I have it I try to spend time with friends, do something creative with music or writing, or just lounge about watching a movie or something on Netflix.
What made you interested in law?
Law has a lot of power to do good for a lot people.
When did you decide to go to law school?
It was kind of a happy accident. I took the GREs because I was applying to an MFA program. I didn’t get in, and then out of the blue, Rutgers-Camden sent me a letter saying that because of my GRE scores they’d waive my application fee. I applied and was accepted.
How did you end up at the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office (“ACPO”)?
As a judicial law clerk, I would talk to a lot of different voices in the legal community and get their perspective on legal positions and careers. The more I learned, the more that being a prosecutor fit what I wanted to do with law.
Because the purpose of being a prosecutor is not to punish someone, it’s to do justice. As a prosecutor, I can use the position not only to help the victim, but also the community, and sometimes, even the defendants themselves.
Can you tell us about your current assignment at ACPO?
I’m on a trial team which handles the disposition, from arraignment to trial, of all kinds of indictable crimes. I’ve also spent time in the appellate unit and the Grand Jury unit.
What kind of legal organizations are you involved in outside of ACPO?
I’m on the board of trustees for Cape May County Bar Association and the Atlantic County Bar Association, and for the past six years I’ve been coordinating the Vincent J. Apruzzese Mock Trial Competition for Cape May County. I’m also involved with the Young Lawyers Advisory Board for the New Jersey Law Journal, and this May I’m going to graduate from the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Leadership Academy.
Would you encourage other young attorneys to participate in legal organizations?
I think it’s necessary to be involved in some way, even if just attending a dinner or two. It’s hard at the end of the day to drag yourself into a room full of people you probably don’t know, but I’ve never left an event without at least one rewarding professional or personal encounter. We’re all in a unique career, and sometimes those commiserating conversations can quickly turn colleagues into friends.
For recent graduates and current law students, what can you tell them about a career in public service versus private practice?
They both have different benefits and burdens, so you need to have a long conversation with yourself about what matters to you and what you want to achieve. Once you start heading in one direction the harder it will be to change course. Not impossible, but just harder.
Do you have any general advice for recent law school graduates?
Get into an area of law that you enjoy and be supportive of the people around you. Our legal system is adversarial by nature and it’s easy to lose your composure when representing a client’s interest, but there’s absolutely no reason or benefit in being unkind to the people around you.
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Lawyers of Atlantic County
was created in 2015 by the Atlantic County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division