Meet Jason Mendro, a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Jason’s practice includes general litigation, class actions, securities litigation, and administrative law. Below, he discusses what he enjoys about practicing law and offers advice for aspiring attorneys.
1. What do you like most about your current job?
My favorite part of my job is the people. I feel privileged to work with some of the most intelligent and dedicated attorneys in the field. They have an incredible sense of integrity. They are also a really fun group of people. It is a great experience getting to team up with attorneys of their caliber.
2. What do you like about practicing administrative law?
My practice in the field of administrative has focused primarily on litigating the validity of rulemakings. I appreciate this type of litigation because of its overall aim – which is creating better, smarter regulations. I also enjoy working with the lawyers on the other side. In my experience, they have been extraordinarily smart and highly professional. High quality lawyering is important when you’re litigating the fate of a rule that may have a significant impact on people, industries, or the economy.
3. What are some of the challenges you face when practicing administrative law?
A significant challenge from the perspective of counsel to plaintiffs (or petitioners) who are contesting a rule is getting involved in the rulemaking process when you can maximize your impact. It’s often most beneficial for a client to consult us to express concerns about a regulation and explore their legal options during the notice and comment period. By ensuring that their views become part of the administrative record, clients can assist agencies in understanding their concerns and, if necessary, become better positioned to challenge regulations that may have a detrimental impact on them.
4. What led you to a career in law?
I always found the law fascinating. I also looked up to the judges and attorneys in my community. I was probably in my latter years of high school when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer.
5. Would you recommend a judicial clerkship for an aspiring administrative lawyer?
I would recommend a clerkship for anyone. I served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gerald B. Tjoflat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done as a lawyer. I have the highest respect for Judge Tjoflat and learned a great deal from the experience.
6. Do you have any other advice for law students generally?
I would encourage law students to take classes with the professors that inspire them the most. You can always learn different areas of the law once you begin practicing. What is most important to a successful and meaningful career in the law is remaining motivated and interested in being a great attorney.
7. Outside of the law, what do you like to do for fun?
I played the guitar since high school. I enjoy playing all kinds of music – pop, rock, blues, etc. I’m not in a band or ready to go on tour yet, but I can always dream. I also scuba dive, but don’t get to go as often as I would like.
This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.