Career Profiles

Vanessa Haberbush ‘12

Attorney, Haberbush and Associates

Vanessa Haberbush ‘12

What do you do?
I work with my father (also a Whittier Law School graduate) at his firm, Haberbush and Associates, LLP, a bankruptcy law firm in Long Beach.

What excites you most about your job?
Bankruptcy intersects many other areas of practice so I am required to have a diverse and varied understanding of the law. It keeps interesting things coming across my desk – one week, I could be working with the legal difficulties of selling a co-owner’s interest in real property and the next with serving an individual in a foreign country. I often have the opportunity to work in areas of the law I have never dealt with before, so it keeps me on my toes. I am always learning. That keeps things engaging.

I also really enjoy dealing directly with clients and helping them navigate through their legal difficulties, something that working at a small firm facilitates. I manage a client’s case from beginning to end, and I get to appear in court quite frequently.

How did your experience at Whittier Law School prepare you for this position?
Whittier was a perfect fit for me from day one. The school has such a strong sense of community. This is true both among the professors and the students. Whittier places an emphasis on legal writing, which is invaluable to real practice and while I was a judicial extern in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Judge Clarkson. I cannot overemphasize how important strong writing skills are now that I am a practicing attorney.

Do you have any advice for those seeking employment in your industry?
If possible, do an externship with a Bankruptcy Judge. That will allow you to see the inner workings of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in a way that practice can never do. I would also recommend taking bankruptcy courses or working with a bankruptcy attorney part time prior to seeking full time employment in this field because bankruptcy can be a tough field to jump into if you have no framework to get you started.