By Kassie Parisi
CLIFTON PARK — A local law school graduate snagged her dream job, despite the fact that she originally started on a completely different path.
Elizabeth Yoquinto, 28, was recently hired at the Albany-based civil litigation and general practice law firm Maguire Cardona, P.C.
A Clifton Park native, Yoquinto attended Shenendehowa High School, then graduated from Connecticut College in 2010. She attended Fordham Law School and graduated in 2015.
Though Yoquinto has now embraced the law world, that wasn’t always the case. Her parents are both local lawyers, and her major in college was film studies. Yoquito said that initially, she was a bit resistant to venture into law and wanted to try something new, but has since found a way to combine her film studies with her career.
Film, Yoquinto said, is a compelling way to tell stories. Practicing law, she said, presents a similar goal. One of the most important things she learned while studying film was how to think outside the box, and to always keep her eyes open, two things that she added are also crucial to being a successful lawyer. Also important, she said, is the ability to look beyond what you are expecting to see.
But law school isn’t about learning the ins and outs of every area of law, she said. While at Fordham, Yoquinto explained that a lot of her work involved her own research, and her piecing things together.
“It teaches you how to think like a lawyer,” she said.
One of her favorite experiences during law school, Yoquinto said, was her work at the Fordham University Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, providing pro bono legal services to low income tax payers in New York City. She described it as one of the most meaningful things she has done to date, but ultimately, she returned to the Capital Region to work.
“It was a really great opportunity to help a lot of people,” she said.
Right now, Yoquinto mainly does medical malpractice defense work, which she said is fascinating. She also has hands-on experience with film, and worked on a documentary for the Gender Fairness Committee of New York State
“I learn something new every single day,” she said.
Her colleagues are always willing to help her and give her guidance, she said, and noted that her situation differs from other young lawyers, who might get stuck doing busy work during their first years of practicing law.
Yoquinto isn’t quite sure where the future will take her, but she’s happy with the path she’s on right now. She enjoyed being able to walk everywhere in the city, but she is also enjoying being back in the area with her friends, free to utilize the open space that the city did not provide. She isn’t ruling anything out right now for the future, but she is also content to keep learning.
“I’m so happy where I’m at,” she said. “I think I’m one of the luckiest people that I know.”