EMLF Member Spotlight: Kara Mundy
Current law firm or association: Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
Law School: The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Undergraduate: The Ohio State University
Children: Felicity (4) Wallace (3)
Current home town: Columbus, Ohio
Favorite bar or restaurant in current home city? Why?: I really like Hudson 29 in Upper Arlington, the suburb of Columbus in which we live. It’s delicious, consistent, and within walking distance of our home – which is always a plus for me!
EMLF Involvement: I have been on several committees with EMLF, presented at EMLF conferences, and was appointed to the Board of Trustees for 2021. Most recently, I presented at EMLF’s Fall Symposium on antitrust issues associated with common employment practices in the energy sector.
Do you have a favorite anecdote or war story regarding your time as a lawyer? I was asked as a first or second year associate what my job responsibilities were at the firm and what areas I practice in. I responded that my job was to “pick up the phone and say yes.” That got a good laugh, but I was being serious! That outlook on service, both to my colleagues and our clients, has served me well.
Where did you grow up? Akron, Ohio.
What is your area of practice? I am a member of the firm’s litigation group. My areas of focus are land use and antitrust (which most of the time have nothing in common with one another). In the energy sector, I have represented oil and gas companies in royalty litigation, lease disputes, and acquiring property through eminent domain for natural gas pipelines. Every day is something different!
How did you get involved in that area of law? My areas of focus were largely driven by the attorneys at the firm who I had the privilege of working with in the areas of land use and antitrust, as well as the need for associate help in those areas. For me, it’s not so much about the subject matter, as it is about the people I get to work with on a daily basis.
How much of your time is spent representing clients in the coal, oil and gas, or other energy industries? A significant amount of my time is spent representing oil and gas companies in litigation, lease disputes, and acquiring property through eminent domain for natural gas pipelines. I have also recently helped with some litigation aspects of solar projects the firm is representing.
You have spoken at a couple of EMLF events and have been involved in EMLF committees. Has that involvement benefitted you? If so, how? Yes. I have spoken at several EMLF events and had the opportunity to serve on several committees. Through those speaking engagements and service, I have been able to connect with industry colleagues across states, and broadened the depth of my knowledge on issues impacting the energy sector.
Now that some of the COVID-related restrictions on restaurants, gatherings, and travel are ending, is there anything in particular that you have done or look forward to doing soon, that you were able to do during the shutdowns? I tried to keep my life and my family’s activities as normal and consistent as possible throughout the pandemic, so in terms of travel and eating out at restaurants, we’ve been doing it (albeit with masks and hand sanitizer). The thing I am most looking forward to is getting to do all of those things without a mask.
You’re still a young lawyer, but have been practicing about a decade. Looking back, what two or three things have been most helpful to you in developing as a lawyer and as an attorney at your firm?
- Maintaining perspective. The things that would put me into a tailspin my first or second year of practice are merely a blip in the radar when they happen now. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will get with what you do and don’t know!
- Finally, know what you don’t know. Being able to identify when you need help or advice, and asking for it, is so important.
Is there any advice you would give to new lawyers and law students who are about to become lawyers? Say yes, even if it’s out of your comfort zone.