Five McGeorge grads land at Porter Scott

An image with five female attorneys headshots and an orange background

McGeorge School of Law alumni Alison Southard, Lauren Orozco, MaryJo Smart, Susan Holland, and Brianna Nielsen were each hired at Porter Scott, a Sacramento-based law firm, this year. 

Five standout members of McGeorge School of Law’s Class of 2020 have started their legal careers at Porter Scott, a Sacramento-based civil litigation defense firm. Susan Holland, Lauren Orozco, and MaryJo Smart were each sworn in to the State Bar of California in January and immediately hired as associate attorneys at the firm. Alison Southard and Brianna Nielsen were hired in the fall.

Spring hires

Susan Holland is a mother of three. She earned her B.A. in political science from the University of California, Davis. In addition to her classes, she was the Student Bar Association evening division vice president and an editor for the University of the Pacific Law Review. Holland also externed at the U.S. Eastern District Bankruptcy Court with Chief Judge Ronald Sargis, ’82. Holland started working at Porter Scott during her final year at McGeorge and enjoyed the experience so much she continued working there.

"I am currently on the public entity team here at the firm," Holland said. "It's a great fit because prior to going to law school, I worked at the Yolo County Superior Court for six years in various positions. Being on the public entity team almost feels like I am still in public service."

Lauren Orozco was the Day Division salutatorian. She graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in criminal justice and legal studies in addition to being a volleyball standout. Orozco worked at a law firm founded by Ronald Alling, '70, in South Lake Tahoe for a year after Chico State. At McGeorge, she was a member of the school’s award winning mock trial team in her second year and was involved in several clubs including the Environmental Law Society.

"I'm in employment law section at Porter Scott and enjoying it," she said. "I had other job opportunities but chose a more hands-on workplace. I'm certainly getting that experience here."

MaryJo Smart hails from Reno, Nevada and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada where she double majored in economics and international business. At McGeorge, Smart earned induction into the Order of the Coif, a prestigious national organization, for finishing in the top 10% of her class. She was the chief articles editor of Vol. 52 of the University of the Pacific Law Review. Smart also served an externship with U.S. District Court Judge Morrison England, '83, and was a research assistant to two McGeorge faculty members during her time as a student.

"I've been assigned to the business team here," Smart said. "I love the fast-paced environment of litigation. I previously worked as a summer associate with the business team during law school and found that I enjoy the many different legal issues that arise in business disputes."

"We feel fortunate to have landed these first-year attorneys directly out of law school," Porter Scott managing partner Carl Calnero,'84, said. "Each of these three worked for us at some point while in law school. They are smart, and they got quickly up to full speed."

"They will make excellent attorneys. In fact, they have been so impressive that we hired two more 2020 McGeorge grads this spring," Calnero adds.

Fall hires

The newest additions to the McGeorge brigade at Porter Scott are Alison Southard and Brianna Nielsen.

Southard is a UC Davis graduate who majored in Spanish and history. She earned Order of the Coif status at McGeorge while doing three-month extern stints with a U.S. District Court magistrate judge and the Sacramento City Attorney's Office. She has also been a law clerk at two other prominent local law firms.

Nielsen is a Sierra College and California State University, Sacramento graduate with a B.A. in philosophy. She was a legal assistant at a Petaluma law firm for six years during her undergraduate studies and as a law student. At McGeorge, she completed the Business Law Concentration, completed mediation certificates, and served as the primary articles & symposium editor of the University of the Pacific Law Review.