Chico Economics Graduate Careers - Law

Matthew BatistaMatthew Batista

Matthew Batista, who graduated with Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Economics in 2016, is a Juris Doctor (JD) candidate at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. He received the John G. Smale Award for Outstanding Economic Achievement in 2016. Matthew graduated with honors in the major and he presented his paper "The New NFL Disneyworld" A Cost-Benefit Analysis for Inglewood, California in May just before graduation.

During his senior year he received (1) the Rick Rees Unsung Hero Award for organizing the first California Student Veteran Conference for the State of California and (2) the Serving with Integrity scholarship award from Student Veterans of America and PNC Bank.  He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and SALUTE Veteran Honor Society.  In the summer of 2016 Matthew was a liaison between the San Francisco Giants Community Fund and the Chico Junior Giants

Matthew came to Chico State via Butte College after leaving the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant with over 5 years of service.  The Air Force awarded him the Air Force Achievement Medal for demonstrating meritorious service while serving overseas and the Senior Airman Below the Zone with early promotion. While in the Air Force Matt took courses through the Community College of the Air Force, the American Military University and Arkansas State University. In February 2014 Matthew became a Certified Personal Trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). He took classes at Butte College and Orange Coast College before enrolling at Chico State in 2014.

While at Chico State Matthew organized the first California Student Veteran Conference, which was held at Chico State.  He was a key member in the Student Veteran Organization when it received the 2016 Student Veterans of America and Home Depot Foundation $10,000 grant.  He also found time for the SALUTE Veteran Honor Society, Economics Club, and Phi Kappa Phi while making the Dean’s List with his high GPA. During 2015 Matthew coached baseball for the Durham Little League, interned in the Housing Law Department of the Community Legal Information Center, and began work as a Veteran Benefits Counselor in Chico State’s Office of Veterans Affairs until graduation.  

“An Economics Degree from California State University, Chico has provided me with many tools I will surely put to use in my future plans to become a lawyer,” Matthew stated in a recent email. “Chief among the tools is learning to think and work critically and analytically. Besides the many tools I have acquired through obtaining this degree, another crucial way this degree will aid my future career is simply by providing another base of knowledge outside strictly a legal education. In my personal opinion, lawyers who have expertise in areas outside of only legal issues are better positioned to find their legal niche and the capability to execute a wider breadth of legal work.”  (Last Updated 11/30/18)

Adam BialoskyAdam Bialosky

Adam Bialosky, who graduated with a BA in Economics with honors in 1983, is a lawyer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).   After graduation he enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center where he earned his J.D. in 1987.  He was a lawyer with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for 21 years before joining the FDIC in 2008.  His duties in both jobs are very similar.

Adam brings enforcement actions against banks and bankers that violate federal laws and regulations or that engage in unsafe or unsound banking practices. He also provides legal advice to the FDIC, and legal interpretations to the banking industry, concerning federal laws and regulations governing banking. In addition, he provides legal review of corporate applications filed with the FDIC concerning expansion of banking activities, bank mergers and acquisitions, the addition of officers and/or directors at problem banks, expansion of banking locations, change in bank control, and other areas.

In a recent email, Adam stated that "My economics degree from Chico State prepared me for law school at Georgetown University and a subsequent legal career in bank regulation by providing me with a solid foundation in economics and finance, and enabling me to develop strong critical thinking skills through rigorous coursework."  (Last Updated 9/25/18)

gulliver bradyGulliver Brady

Gulliver Brady, who graduated with a BA in Economics in 2013, is a J.D. candidate at William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Gulliver completed is Associate of Arts (AA) degree at Butte College in 2010 and enrolled at Chico State in 2011.  He has been the lead articles editor for the William and Mary Law Review since 2015.

Gulliver interned with the Democracy for Development in Pristina, Kosovo during the summer of 2016.  He “researched Kosovar and European legislation and drafted proposals to improve the Kosovar university system,” according to his LinkedIn site.  Gulliver expects to graduate in 2018.  (Last Updated 9/23/17)

Stuart CasillasStuart Casillas

Stuart Casillas graduated in 1996 with bachelor’s degrees in economics and strategic management. He went to Ohio State where he received his law degree in 1999. He is now a partner in the corporate group for Kirkland & Ellis LLP's San Francisco office. Stuart is a merger and acquisition partner focusing his practice on the representation of private equity funds and their portfolio companies. Stuart acts as lead counsel in various private equity transactions, including going-private transactions, leveraged and management buyouts, growth equity investments, divestitures, restructurings and workouts, executive compensation matters, and various senior and subordinated debt financings. Stuart's clients range from private equity funds to public and privately held companies, both domestic and international. Stuart has negotiated and completed transactions in a wide variety of industries, including software, manufacturing, consumer products, computer hardware, post-secondary education, food service, retail, airline, financial services, oil and gas services, and logistics.

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Christina Morker-BrownChristina Morkner-Brown

Christina Morkner-Brown, who graduated cum laude and recipient of the Smale scholarship in 1989 with a BA in Economics and a Minor in Philosophy, is senior attorney at the California Air Resources Board in Sacramento, California.  She advises staff, defends the agency in litigation, and enforces their regulations. 

In 2004 Christina entered the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.  While a student at McGeorge Christina was president of the Environmental Law Society and treasurer of the American Constitutional Society. She was on the Dean’s Honor List for her last 3 years and she received the Witkin’s Award for the highest grade in environmental law.   Christina was a legal intern for Friends of the Swainson’s Hawk, the Sierra club, and the California Department of Justice.  She was a judicial extern for the California Court of Appeals

Christina graduated in 2008 in the top 2% from McGeorge with Distinction and the Order of the Coif, and she joined Keyon Yeates LLP as litigation associate.  After 2 years with Yeates, she joined the California Air Resources Board as staff attorney.  At the end of 2014 she was promoted to assistant chief counsel.

When asked about the value of her econ degree, Christian stated in a recent email, “I think it was a rigorous program that challenged me to develop my analytical and problem solving skills, which are essential to being a successful attorney.  A background in economics has also helped me understand our agency's market based programs better (ie. cap and trade for GHG emissions). Also, what I learned for econometric modeling has helped me better understand modeling my agency does for air quality e.g. forecasting emissions based on existing data.”  (Last Updated 12/20/16)

Meg MorrowMeg Morrow

Meg graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Santa Clara School of Law in 1989. While a law student, Meg participated in an overseas study program at Oxford University and was a visiting student at the University of Southern California School of Law. Prior to joining Russell & Mirkovich, Meg served as general counsel for Nova Container Freight Station and Nova Transportation Services, Inc.  She became a partner in the firm that is now Russell, Mirkovich and Morrow.

Meg's practice focuses on transportation issues involving ocean carriers, NVOCCs, warehouse keepers and other entities involved in ocean and inland transportation; defense of employers and vessel owners in Jones Act and other maritime personal injury claims; property damage and commercial litigation; and business transactions.

Meg has been a lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, teaching a class entitled "Legal Issues for Ocean Carriers and Intermediaries." She is currently an associate member of the Maritime Law Association and a member of the Long Beach Bar Association, serving as chair of its admiralty and community outreach committees. From 1998 through 2000, she was a member of the Long Beach Bar Association Board of Governors. Meg is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

Areas of Practice:

  • Admiralty & Maritime Law
  • General Business Litigation
  • Real Property & Commercial Transactions

In a recent interview Meg said that "Economics provides an individual with problem-solving skills on a focused and limited level as well as on a broad scope.  Those skills incorporate math, history, and language foundations that can be utilized in nearly every forum."

Michael PolsanMichael Polsan

Michael Polsan, who graduated in 1982 with a BA in Economics and a BS in Business Administration, is an attorney at law and an adjunct professor of management at Chico State. After graduation Michael enrolled in graduate studies in Yugoslavia in 1982 and 1983.  Michael worked for PG&E as a human resource representation from 1984 until 1987. 

Michael entered the University of California, Davis Law School in 1987 and earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1990.  He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1990 and to the Oregon Bar in 1992.  He practiced law in Oregon and Alaska before returning to Chico in 2001.  Michael has been practicing law in Chico since 2001 and he has been teaching law courses at Chico State since 2005.  He is also an administrator in Student Affairs

“My legal career took me north to Oregon and Alaska, all the way to Barrow and the North Slope, only to return to my dear town of Chico.”  (Last Updated 1/3/19)

sean o'tooleSean O'Toole

Sean O’Toole, who graduated in 2005 with a BA in Economics, is an attorney in Columbia, South Carolina.  He was a computer science major at Chico State when he took an economics class that inspired him to change his major to economics. After graduation from Chico Sean enrolled in the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2007 and received his JD in 2010. Sean primarily deals with health care and pharmaceutical litigation as well as contractual issues for a local clinical practice plan.

"Economics has allowed me to look at legal issues differently by viewing not only the direct consequences of an action, but also the many indirect consequences that are likely to arise as a result of that action."

Doug RiegelhuthDoug Riegelhuth

Doug Riegelhuth, who graduated in 1990 with a BA in Economics, is vice president and associate general counsel at TriNet  in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduation Doug entered the UCLA School of Law where he received his J.D. in 1993. He became an associate with Crosby, Heafey, Roach and May in 1996, and became of counsel in 2003 at the same time that Crosby combined with Reed Smith LLP. In 2010 he accepted a position as partner with Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLP before moving on to TriNet in 2011 where he is currently working.

In a recent email, Dough stated that “his degree in economics is a useful foundation in light of the many economics-related issues encountered in law and business.”  (Last Updated 1/10/2017)

John Rivers, Jr.John Rivers, Jr.

John Rivers, Jr., who graduated in 1996 as the Smale recipient with a BA in Economics and Sociology, is vice president and senior counsel at Comerica Bank.  After graduation from Chico State, John enrolled in the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his law degree in 1999 and worked for several years as a commercial lending attorney, representing lenders and borrowers at the law firms Orrick, Herrington, and Sutcliffe LLP and Downey Brand LLP. He moved to his in-house legal counsel position at Comerica in 2005.

“My economics major has helped in my legal career by teaching me analytical skills and the ability to look at all sides of an issue,” John stated in a recent email. “It has also helped me understand the business realities faced by his clients, in both good and challenging economic environments."  (Last Updated 10/27/16)

Douglas SmithDouglas Smith

Douglas Smith graduated in 1995 with bachelor’s degrees in economics and music. “Long before I went to Chico State, my long term goal was to become a lawyer. That said, after obtaining my econ degree I found myself looking at possible JD/MBA programs and graduate economics programs. I ultimately went with the law, but it was a tough decision,” according to Douglas.

He finished McGeorge School of Law first in his class of 250. Douglas is now a shareholder in Florida’s premier environmental law firm, Hopping Green and Sams, where he litigates cases that often involve real estate issues.

“Economics was extremely useful in law school, both in helping me grasp the subject matter and in problem solving,” Douglas recently stated in an email. He continued, “In practice it is even more useful. Too often, opponents (both principals and their clients) can lose sight of the economic constraints and opportunities posed by legal problems. My best clients are the ones who can keep their emotions at bay and look at matters from an objective, economic standpoint. The fallacy of sunk costs is another concept that arises regularly. Overall, economics is an excellent degree program for those seeking out careers in the law.

Kayla TauzerKayla Tauzer

Kayla Tauzer, who graduated with a BA in Economics with an Option in Environmental Economics in 2014, is a legal assistant at Schneider, Kerr and Robichaux Law Offices in Portland, Oregon.  After graduation Kayla worked as an administrative assistant at The Art of Medicine in Pullman, Washington.  While a student at Chico State Kayla worked as an immersion trip group leader with Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) in the first half of 2011.  During the summer of 2011 she worked as a server at the Ledford House in Albion, California.  In summer 2012 she was a camp counselor at Redwood Adventure Camp in Mendocino, California.  During the summer of 2013 Kayla was a sales associate at Dana Bordegaray, a clothing importer located in Cayucos, California.  In the summer of 2014 she was a unit leader for Girl Scouts of the USA in Soda Springs, California.  Kayla also worked in a number of other jobs while supporting herself as a student at Chico State including that of an exercise instructor at the University’s Wildcat Recreation Center during her senior year.  (Last Updated 1/27/18)

Michelle ZetahMichelle Zetah

Michelle Zetah, who graduated with a BA in Political Science and Legal Studies and a Minor in Economics in 2006, is an associate attorney at the Law Office of Rebecca Conradi in Oakland, California. After graduation Michelle enrolled at the Golden Gate University School of Law where she completed her Doctor of Jurisprudence in law and taxation and her Master of Laws in taxation in 2010. While at Golden Gate, Michelle was a law clerk for the Law Office of Rebecca Conradi from 2009 to 2010. During her semester in the LL.M. program, she worked at the Office of Chief Counsel for the IRS. After completing her LL.M. in Tax, she went to work for Andersen Tax as an intern in 2011 and was quickly promoted to associate. She became a senior associate in 2013 and a manager at Andersen in 2015. In 2016 she moved into her current position as associate attorney for Rebecca Conradi.

“I have worked with clients who were CEOs, CFOs, hedge fund managers, and employees holding stock options at companies that were going public,” Michelle stated in a recent email. “In order to effectively advise these clients, I needed to understand the effects that ups and downs in the economy have on my clients' investment strategies and their tax rates. I believe that the knowledge I gained in my economics classes at Chico guided me to understand the macro and micro economics that has helped me achieve success in law and tax. Due to this background, I am able to keep up to date on the changing economy and political climate, which have a direct correlation to each clients' tax planning strategies.”