From 2010 to 2014, Ms. Lefko was the Director of Legal Research and Writing at Vanderbilt Law School and taught legal writing, contract drafting, and advanced legal writing. Before joining Vanderbilt’s law faculty, she served as Associate Director of LL.M. Legal Writing and Advocacy and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Legal Writing and Advocacy at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Law Review, and she earned her undergraduate degree in economics and Japanese language and culture from the University of Michigan, magna cum laude. She began her legal career with a two-year clerkship for the Honorable Haldane Robert Mayer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., and she later clerked for the Honorable Laughlin E. Waters of the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles and worked as a research attorney for the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Ms. Lefko was an associate with Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles before launching her own private research and consulting practice. As a consultant, she wrote more than 100 custom research memoranda for LRN, a Los Angeles-based legal research company where she had previously served as manager of legal research. She is a member of the bars of California and New York and of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She is also a member of the Legal Writing Institute, the Association of Former Law Clerks and Technical Advisors to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and the Editorial Board of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute (through July 2018).
In her free time, Ms. Lefko enjoys going to live music and comedy shows and playing a number of musical instruments. She currently plays the vibraphone in the house band for a popular monthly show in Hollywood called Mortified. She also manages a local rock band and has done other music-related work, including music supervision for film. She was also a member of the production team for three DVD box sets produced by Judd Apatow: Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, and Loudon Wainwright III: 40 Odd Years.
- Online Patents: Navigating the Minefield, 14 Computer Association Bulletin 127 (1999) (with Gary N. Frischling).
- The Wild West Just Got Tamer: Appeals Court Considers Use of Trademarks in Domain Names, Computer Law (June/July 1999).
- Beyond Lost Profits: Maximizing Patent Damages (Parts I and II), Computer Law (January and February 1998) (with Morgan Chu).
- Note, Visual Artists’ Rights in a Digital Age, 107 Harvard Law Review 1977 (1994) (expanded version awarded First Prize at Harvard Law School in the Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)).
Representative Seminars and Presentations
- Diagram This! How Sentence Diagramming Can Help International Students Understand Statutory Structure and Analysis, Global Legal Skills Conference X, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, IL (May 2015).
- Hearing, Listening, and Lawyering: An Exploration of Listening Skills, with Jennifer Romig of Emory Law School, 16th Biennial Legal Writing Institute Conference, Philadelphia, PA (July 2014).
- Workshop on Critiquing International LL.M. Writing, with Susan Wawrose of University of Dayton School of Law, Global Legal Skills Conference IX, Verona, Italy (May 2014).
- Externs: The Ultimate Focus Group, One-Day Legal Writing Institute Workshop on Preparing Practice-Ready Students as part of a panel on Writing for Today’s Partners, Drake Law School, Des Moines, IA (December 2012).
- Paraphrasing, Citing, and Quoting: Oh My! Teaching Attribution to Law Students Educated Outside the U.S., 15th Biennial Legal Writing Institute Conference, Palm Desert, CA (May 2012) (poster presentation).
- Skills, Learning, and Rhetorical Preferences, Global Legal Skills Conference VII, Chicago, IL (March 2012) (panel moderator).
- Adapting Course Materials for International Students, with Julie Ryan of The University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Global Legal Skills Conference VI, Chicago, IL (May 2011).
- Prepared materials for online course on trademark issues related to the Internet for Richard Bernacchi, Partner, Irell and Manella LLP, for presentation on Legal Elite Online, http://www.legalelite.com, Los Angeles, CA (November 1999).
- Assisted Gary Frischling, Partner, Irell and Manella LLP, in preparation of materials for Continuing Legal Education presentation on patents covering business methods, Los Angeles, CA (October 1999).
- Conducted seminar on significant Internet-related decision, Brookfield Communications Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment Corp., 174 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 1999) for Intellectual Property Work Group of Irell & Manella LLP (July 1999).
- Assisted Professor Paul Weiler with chapter of his entertainment law textbook, in conjunction with presentation for his entertainment law seminar (Spring 1994).
- Assisted Professor Arthur R. Miller with materials for World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Symposium, Cambridge, MA (May 1993).