Working at a small, private law firm, Zephyr Jost JD'13 has a wide range of duties, from managing cases at all stages of litigation to representing clients in transactional matters. She is involved with appeals before the Office of Administrative Hearings, and practices in state district, superior and appellate courts, and federal district court.
"I like that litigation is dynamic. No two days are ever the same, and I am constantly learning something new," says Jost, an associate at Dungan, Kilboure & Stahl in Asheville, N.C.
Despite the variety, her experience has reinforced for her that, at its core, practicing law has a central theme: helping people.
"I enjoy having direct contact with clients on a regular basis," Jost says. "I like working with people, and being an attorney puts you in a unique position to help people who are often immersed in an extraordinarily stressful situation. I think attorneys are at their best when they act as problem-solvers. Sometimes that involves litigation. Sometimes the process is much more informal."
In her role as a problem-solver, she focuses on community association issues and environmental, commercial, corporate and real property disputes.
The ability to master a range of responsibilities is partly due to skills Jost gained at VLS. Working at the South Royalton Legal Clinic and interning with the Vermont Supreme Court were invaluable hands-on experiences.
Beyond Jost's achievements in her practice, she finds satisfaction in community service.
"I feel most proud professionally when I am able to give back to the community, and as an attorney there are a lot of ways to do that," she says.
Jost provides pro bono legal services through Pisgah Legal Service's Mountain Area Volunteer Lawyer Program. She's also on the board of the local Young Lawyers Division, which provides social and volunteer opportunities for new bar members.
"VLS inspired and solidified my commitment to public service. Although I practice in the private sector, I find there are still an endless number of opportunities to serve my community," Jost says. "At VLS, I was surrounded by people who were committed to having a positive impact on the world, and that is something that stays with you."