Career Profiles

Gillian Greenfeld ‘12

Deputy County Counsel, County of Kern

Gillian Greenfeld ‘12

What do you do?
My current position is Deputy County Counsel, County of Kern. In my current position I handle all the mental health related legal issues for the county. This includes litigating matters related to the various holds of the Welfare and Institutions Code, drafting and reviewing all contracts for the mental health department, for approval by the Board of Supervisors, to advising the mental health department on patient’s rights issues.

What excites you most about your job?
My job always keeps me guessing. When litigating issues that are relevant to the rights of the mentally ill, no two cases are the same. Further, I actually get to make a difference in the lives of these individuals, specifically when I am able to get them the help that they need.

How did your experience at Whittier Law School prepare you for this position?
Well first and foremost, the skills that I learned while at Whittier were invaluable. But more importantly, the connections that I made through Whittier, and especially my involvement in Law Review lead me to the position that I have today. It was through a Whittier alumni that I was able to get my first job right out of law school, and without that experience, I would have never got the job that I have today. Further, those connections still assist me today. Kern County has a lot of Whittier Alumni in various practice areas, which turns out to be really beneficial in your own practice.

Do you have any advice for those seeking employment in your industry?
Municipal representation is both challenging and rewarding. For those seeking employment, I would say be persistent. Specifically, County Counsel positions do not always come up, but when they do, apply. These departments are not necessarily looking for the most experienced attorneys, but rather attorneys that are willing to work hard, and are there for the long haul.