Josie Jeremiah: A Hands-On Approach to Business Law Success

Josie Jeremiah’s pathway to fulfill her dream of becoming a business lawyer was not easy. Through hard work, hands-on learning experiences, and support from Oregon law faculty and peers, Josie achieved that goal.

Josie, JD’17, joined Tonkon Torp LLP as an Associate in the Business Department in fall 2021. Tonkon Torp is a Portland-based law firm serving public companies, substantial private enterprises, entrepreneurial businesses, and individuals throughout the Northwest.

Shortly after graduating law school in 2017, Josie worked as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Darleen Ortega at the Oregon Court of Appeals. From 2019 to 2021, Josie was an Honors Attorney at the Port of Portland. This position was designed to allow the Honors Attorney to obtain both litigation and transactional experience. It is a well-rounded role from which an attorney can launch their career in either the private or public sector. Throughout Josie’s two years there, she got to know the Port of Portland divisional clients and their business needs and became the point of contact for specific transactional work.

Josie credits a lot of her success to her practical experiences during law school. Specifically, Josie points to her experience during her 3L year in the Business Law Clinic as pivotal during her time at Oregon Law. Her Clinic work laid the groundwork for her legal career post law school. The Clinic provides the opportunity to represent business clients in a simulated law firm environment under the direct supervision of the Clinic’s attorneys. Clinic students are responsible for all aspects of client representation – from the initial interview to performing and explaining their legal work for the clinic client.

“The supervising attorneys at the Clinic really took the time to provide the foundational skills necessary to become a business lawyer,” Josie said.

Aside from her studies as a law student, Josie was an extern with the Honorable Ann Aiken at the US District Court for the District of Oregon and worked as a law clerk at Watkinson Laird Rubenstein. She also participated in the Black Law Student Association and the Oregon Law Review.

For those just beginning the law school journey, Josie offers this advice:

Take advantage of all the practical experiences during law school! Explore working at a law firm, extern at a court, or participate in a clinic. The best way to discover your career path is to work in the field.”