Amanda Graham (JD ’12) and Katie Kizer (LAS ‘09, JD ’12) decided early on they wanted to work in the courtroom. They knew they wanted to go into criminal defense law and they also knew they wanted to work together.
“We weren’t the kind of people that wanted to do anything else,” said Graham. Kizer and Graham organized informational lunches and sat down with Chicago lawyers over drinks. They also retained a handful of mentors from their internship/externship with the Federal Defender Program. On advice from their contacts, they made the decision to forego a more affordable office in the Monadnock building in lieu of a pricier shared space at 190 S. LaSalle Street.
The defenders opened the Law Office of Kizer & Graham in September, working aside a group of four lawyers, which include College of Law adjunct professor Robert Loeb. The demographic covers significant ground; all of the lawyers are over 50, male and have been practicing criminal defense work for 20 to 40 years. Graham and Kizer said they appreciate the opportunity to casually consult their neighbors for operational questions and use them as a resource for oversight and feedback.