1L David Lamb: A Former Book Editor Embarking on a New Chapter
In the next installment of our "Meet the J.D. Class of 2024" series, we introduce you to 1L David Lamb, who spent years in the publishing industry editing nonfiction books. In coming to Minnesota Law, he is looking to flip the script and actively engage in some of the public policy issues he has been reading and writing about.
Could you discuss a bit about your background?
I grew up outside of Boston, studied English at Washington University in St. Louis, and spent most of my 20s in New York in the book publishing industry. But I never forgot my loyalty to the Red Sox.
How do your varied life experiences connect to your decision to pursue law as a career?
In my first career—as a nonfiction editor who focused in part on current affairs—I couldn’t look away from alarming trends in this country or the legal frameworks that sometimes underpinned them. I edited one book exploring the connection between online disinformation and violent extremism, and I learned how a regulation from the early days of the internet makes social media platforms immune to many lawsuits. After a couple insights like that, I realized that as a lawyer, I’d have a better shot at making a difference with respect to the trends that worry me.
What do you hope/plan to do with your legal education (realizing, of course, that may change during the course of your studies)?
I hope to have the chance to litigate defamation and free speech cases as well as trademark and copyright issues. In the big picture, I want to find ways to help people harmed by social media companies and to support so-called “legacy” media so that it can survive.
Why did you select Minnesota Law?
I selected Minnesota Law because of the outstanding tradition of public interest and public policy work. Living in Minneapolis over the past year and a half, I stumbled upon countless news stories about the fight to free Myon Burrell, where Minnesota Law faculty and students played prominent roles, and others about the cutting-edge research at the law school’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity.
Minnesota Law strives for a diversity of perspectives in the classroom. What are you hoping to add to the mix?
A lot of what I’ve done since college comes down to moving people to care about what they might otherwise overlook by persuading them to see the stakes in a different way. I know that my classmates will inspire me to think in patterns that surprise me, and I hope to be able to push some of them similarly.
Minnesota Law as an institution emphasizes leadership. What does leadership mean to you?
The leaders I most admire are unafraid to take stands that might be unpopular. When you look back, many important rights of a free and equitable society were once disliked by those in power, and quite a few remain unpopular among members of that group today.
What are you most looking forward to about being a law student?
I’m eager to understand the mechanics of how to challenge injustices in the courts. Coming from a liberal arts background, law feels highly utilitarian, which is exciting.
What are your hobbies/ interests?
I’m a competitive marathon and half-marathon runner. I love to train on the trails around Minneapolis and have added a couple local races onto my bucket list.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Either outdoors—bicycling, running, or walking with friends—or with PollyAnn, the (spoiled) cat I share with my partner.
Favorite inspirational quote, book, or personal hero that you would like to mention?
Though I don’t know if others would consider them inspirational books, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine are two novels that I believe have a lot to slyly teach about how to stay true to yourself.