Hartman Simons associate Jared Lina isn’t your typical lawyer. After all, rare is the barrister who has an Emmy on his resume. You see, before going to law school, he got a chance to live out the dream of many an American male: he worked as a producer for ESPN. We recently got a chance to speak with Jared about his time at the sports network and the factors that led him to switch to a career in law.
HS: You enjoyed an unusual path to becoming a lawyer. At one point, you were an associate producer at ESPN, where you won three Emmys. Tell us about your time there: What was the scope of your duties and what shows did you work on?
Lina: I spent most of my first year at ESPN watching live sporting events every night and producing highlights for shows like “SportsCenter,” “Baseball Tonight” and “NFL Primetime.” I spent the rest of my career in Bristol [the Connecticut town where ESPN is headquartered] as an associate producer, splitting time between the network’s NFL shows (“Sunday NFL Countdown,” “Monday NFL Countdown” and “Primetime”) and “SportsCenter.” I worked with and met a lot of fantastic people, produced a lot of features and other content for the studio shows, and covered a lot of great sporting events.
HS: What were you favorite sports and events to cover?
Lina: I primarily covered professional football, but college basketball is my favorite sport. I had the privilege of covering the Super Bowl in both 2003 and 2004. I also spent a couple of months working exclusively on the 2004 NFL Draft with Mel Kiper Jr., which was one of the best experiences of my life.
HS: What compelled you to leave broadcast journalism and enter law school?
Lina: The dreaded question! Usually there’s a “you idiot” followed by an exclamation point at the end of that question. I absolutely loved my time in Bristol. I was in my early 20s and single and didn’t mind working 100 hours a week, travelling all over the country, and working every holiday and weekend.
I ultimately knew that if I wanted to grow up and have a family, I needed to make a drastic change. It turned out to be a mature decision with a great ending. I now have a beautiful wife and two wonderful daughters and no regrets whatsoever.
HS: Give us a brief description of your legal practice and tell us what you most enjoy about practicing law.
Lina: I’m a commercial litigator, which basically means I represent clients in business disputes when things get too messy for the transactional attorneys. Other than reading “Four on Friday” every week, I’d say the thrill of going to court is the best part of my job.