Lawyer-Alumni profile: Eric B. Morrell (Political Science ‘94, Widener Law ‘97)

It’s been a while, but I am ready to restart our series of profiles of lawyer-alumni, in which I ask attorneys to respond to questions about their career paths.  If you’re an alum who’d like to be profiled, please just send me an email.  You don’t have to still be practicing law!  In fact, it would be very helpful for prospective law students to hear not just from happy and successful attorneys, but also from those who have left practice, who are not as satisfied as they thought they would be, or who work in a law-related field without a law degree.  For more contacts with our lawyer-alumni, join the UMass Amherst Lawyer-Alumni and Pre-Law Network.

Eric B. Morrell
The Law Offices of Eric B. Morrell

What is your current position and primary practice fields?
I own and operate a Criminal Defense practice with two offices located in New Brunswick, NJ and Westfield, NJ.

How did you get here – what led you to this field and practice?
Fifteen years ago I worked for a prominent Criminal Defense firm and enjoyed it.

How many hours/week do you work? How’s that work/life balance thing working out for you?
I balance work and my personal life as best as I can by taking time out to spend with my wife and young children. Also, I try to see as many Bruce Springsteen concerts as often as I can. This year I went back to Boston to see a show.

What do you like most about what you do?
I enjoy the challenge of defending clients and obtaining positive results at the end of the case. It is important to me that once I finish representing a client they are rehabilitated and they are confident that I fought as best as I could for their results.

What do you wish you could change?

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Teaching a class at UMass or Rutgers University, or becoming a judge in New Jersey.

Where did you go to law school? What’s your favorite memory from law school?
Widener University – School of Law, in Wilmington, Delaware. My favorite memory from law school was representing clients at the law clinic.

What did you major in at UMass? How has it been helpful to your law career?
Political Science.  It taught me how the world around me functions.

What’s your favorite UMass memory?
Spending time with my Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity brothers. Also, had great times going to UMass basketball games at “The Cage” and The Mullins Center.

Did you take time off before, during, or after college? If so, what did you do?

What non-law experiences have ended up being surprisingly useful to you in your legal career?
Working at my parents’ Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream stores as a teenager through my mid 20s. I learned how to relate to people in a professional environment.

Any choices along you career path that you particularly regret or are especially grateful for?
I appreciate all of the mentors I had while I was in and outside of school that helped me in my career.

If you couldn’t be a lawyer any more, what would you do? (Or: what’s your second career going to be? Or maybe even, what was your first career?

How do you respond when someone asks your advice about whether to go to law school?
I tell people it is a great degree to have as it teaches you how to think. After you pass the bar exams you are always an attorney.

If you could have dinner with any lawyer, real or fictional, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Robert Shapiro, the lead criminal defense lawyer in the OJ Simpson case. He grew up in the town next to where I live and raise my family.