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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Meet Minami Tamaki’s Sean Tamura-Sato

 

Sean Tamura-Sato is an associate with Minami Tamaki. Sean’s practice focuses on employment and antitrust law and he represents employees on an individual and class basis in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage and hour claims. BASF Bulletin contributor Sara Ayazi recently caught up with him to learn more about his career in employment law and his advice to law students and lawyers interested in this field.

Sean Tamura-Sato

Sara Ayazi (SA): How did you decide to pursue employment law?

Sean Tamura-Sato (STS): I studied industrial relations and labor economics as an undergraduate, but came into law school interested in pursuing public interest and civil rights work. When I began volunteering at legal clinics as a 1L, I found myself drawing on my background in labor relations to address our clients’ workplace issues. I saw practicing employment law on behalf of workers as a natural transition.

 

SA: On a typical day at Minami Tamaki, what do you do?

STS: I am fortunate to work on a wide variety of cases and complex legal issues. On a given day, I can go from meeting with an employee to discuss his or her wrongful termination claim, to taking a deposition in a wage-and-hour case involving hundreds of laborers denied their rightful compensation, to drafting a motion in an antitrust class action alleging price-fixing of con-sumer products.

 

SA: What do you find challenging about practicing in this area of law?

STS: One of the challenges in representing employees is uncovering and gathering the relevant evidence that is usually controlled by the corporate employer. It gives me a chance to play the role of detective, and is one of my favorite aspects of litigating employment cases.

 

SA: What advice do you have for law students and lawyers interested in practicing employment law?

STS: Take advantage of employment-related clinics offered by your law school, or volunteer at legal clinics in your community. These clinics provide hands-on experience, as well as exposure to many of the substantive and procedural issues in employment cases.

 

SA: What do you know now that you wish you had known while in law school?

STS: I have a greater appreciation of the value of the professional relationships that you can build during law school, especially in the Bay Area. So many of the lawyers and fellow students that I met while in school have now become my peers, opposing counsel, referral sources, and even judges.

 

SA: If you were not a lawyer, what do you think you would you be doing?

STS: Public policy work on behalf of underserved communities.

 


 

Sara Ayazi recently relocated to San Francisco after working as an attorney for the University of Connecticut. She received her law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

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