Alumni Spotlight: Emily Kagan, Class of 2012

By Brian Metter

UConn Law School alumna, Emily Kagan’12, has found success as an associate at Day Pitney LLP.

Prior to working at Day Pitney, Kagan, a Connecticut native from West Hartford, studied geography, Arabic and French as an undergraduate at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Kagan originally planned on working for the United States government, but instead chose to attend law school after taking some time off after graduation. She began her law school career at Western New England University School of Law, transferring to UConn Law School after her 1L year. While at UConn Law, Kagan was an administrative editor for the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal as well as a research assistant to Professor Deborah Calloway.

Beginning her 1L summer and carrying through her 2L year, Kagan worked in the Immigration Law Clinic and Legal Services for Immigrant Communities clinic at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale University. She externed in Aetna’s Legal and Regulatory Affairs Department, where she analyzed guidelines and worked on complying with the newly enacted Patient Affordable Care Act. Kagan also held an externship at the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health in the Department of Public Hearings and Office of Research and Development.

With a strong academic background, extensive practical experience, and a natural wit and tenacity, she landed a summer apprenticeship position at the prestigious Day Pitney’s Hartford office.

Kagan had never worked at a large regional law firm, and described the experience as, “a whirlwind of spending time working in different departments, from litigation to transactional work, to attending witness preps one day to a closing the next.” Although Kagan now practices at Day Pitney in its corporate and business law department focusing on insurance regulation, M&A activities, emerging companies, and healthcare law, she credits the diverse experiences during her 2L summer apprenticeship as giving her a better understanding of the synthesis of different areas of law.

“The culture at Day Pitney is professional and collaborative; everyone is accessible,” said Kagan. “While the corporate law team in the Hartford office is smaller than the litigation department, you can get the information you need because each partner has a different specialty,” she added.

Currently, Kagan is seconded, working closely with one client. While helping clients on the legal issues they face, she gets to see the business side of the company as well. She relishes the variety at her job; in addition to good old fashioned due diligence, she has worked on projects such as helping a hospital with bond issuances and assisting an insurance company getting licensed in the state. Day Pitney has a high retention rate, with many of the partners have been working there for 30 years or more; though Kagan is more focused on working hard for the firm than on any long-term personal career goals.

When asked about her favorite memories at UConn Law, Kagan smiled as she said, “My job at the school gym. I was able to study while working.” Kagan is a prime example that hard work pays off, not only by transferring law schools, which can be difficult to do, but by obtaining significant success as a practitioner right after graduation. When asked about advice for current students, she recommends taking classes that have good utility and that will prepare you for the bar.

Kagan isn’t all about work, however. Although on a break due to an injury, she is a youth and high school women’s lacrosse umpire, having played herself in high school as well as at the collegiate level. She stays in touch with her law school friends, and credits her experiences at UConn Law as a major factor in her success.