Jake Kaplan ’20 arrived at NYLS with plans to work at the intersection of law and journalism.
Having landed an Editorial Producer role at CAFE Studios—Preet Bharara’s production company—he’ll get the chance to do just that.
Kaplan will primarily write content for the CAFE Insider podcast, co-hosted by Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne Milgram, the former New Jersey Attorney General. The show, which focuses on national legal and political news, is popular with lawyers and non-lawyers alike.
“The role involves bringing entertainment value to intellectual discussions on complex political and legal issues,” Kaplan said. “It’s about finding the right balance.”
He’ll draw on his NYLS education and his prior experience as a pop culture journalist for BuzzFeed and Business Insider to help craft content that is nuanced, accessible, and compelling.
Kaplan says that two internships he held as an NYLS student were instrumental in preparing him for his new job. Working for the Law & Crime Network, he conducted legal news research and reporting for the show Brian Ross Investigates; as part of the same internship, he worked for the General Counsel at Abrams Media, the company that owns Law & Crime. He also served as a litigation intern for the Nassau County Attorney, which represents the county and its elected officials in a range of legal issues.
Kaplan, who grew up on Long Island, earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami. He had long-time plans to attend law school.
“Studying the Constitution, the law, and our government is not something most people can do in depth outside of law school, and I knew that having these skills, whether or not I practiced, would be valuable,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan also knew he wanted to live and work in New York City. That goal drove his decision to attend NYLS, as did his older brother’s experience at the School. (Zachary Kaplan ’15 now works in commercial litigation.)
At NYLS, he particularly enjoyed his Entertainment Law, Constitutional Law, and Legal Drafting courses. He earned a certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills, and he hopes to incorporate mediation work into his career long-term. Serving on the New York Law School Law Review helped him further hone his research and writing skills.
After graduating magna cum laude from the School’s Two-Year J.D. Honors Program, Kaplan explored both in-house counsel roles at media companies and legal journalism roles. Beth Dambriunas ’85, a Senior Director in NYLS’s Career Development Office who specializes in intellectual property and entertainment law advising, helped Kaplan refine his career path and flagged the CAFE Studios opening for him. Adjunct Professor Nancy Waite, who taught his Legal Drafting course, was also instrumental during his studies and job search.
“I was looking for anything related to media,” he said. “I didn’t expect to get such an exciting position immediately, and I’m so glad to have landed here.”
Preet Bharara was NYLS’s 2017 Commencement speaker. View his speech.