This month we catch up with Shane Black, associate at the law firm of Baumann, Kondas and Xu and prior Assistant Attorney General of Guam, who shares with us his excitement for surfing and helping those in need.
What did you do in the year following High School Graduation?
I attended the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Can you tell us about the career path you chose after college?
After graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School and passing the Oregon Bar, I worked for a small firm in Portland for a short time, but I always wanted to come back to Guam. The Guam Attorney General’s Office was interviewing in Seattle, so I went up there and was ultimately given a job as an Assistant Attorney General. I moved back to the island in 2007, and began enforcing child support, but soon transferred to criminal prosecution. I worked as a prosecutor until 2010 when I made the move to private practice after being hired at my current firm, Baumann, Kondas, & Xu, LLC. The firm is mostly recognized for our expertise in immigration law, but we actually do a lot of other things, including criminal defense, divorce and other family issues, bankruptcy, wills, probate, business formation, contracts, etc.
What do you love most about your current job?
The best thing about being a lawyer is also the worst thing about it. People don’t usually seek your help until something has really gone wrong for them, so you are required to take on a lot of other people problems. That can be bit of a drag at times. However, it also puts you in a position to really help people in a way they need it most, and if you are able to do that, it feels pretty good.
Outside of work, what other activities/organizations are you involved in and why?
I enjoy spending most of my time outside of work with my one year old son, Kai, and my wife, Leslie (who was actually in my graduating class at St. John’s too). Other than that, I’ve recently taken up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu again. It’s something I did while I was in college for exercise in land-locked Colorado (other than snowboarding), but I gave it up for many years until now. What gets me really excited though is surfing, which I do any chance I get. It is something that I started while at St. John’s around the 7th or 8th grade, and is a big reason why I wanted to move back to the island and this part of the world. There was always that great view of Tumon to let me know that the surf was up.
Do you still keep in touch with your St. John’s School friends?
Absolutely. Actually, we have quite a large number of St. John’s alumni from my graduating class that currently live on island, but even for those who are not here, they continue to be some of my closest friends.
What experiences from St. John’s are the most memorable?
When I was at St. John’s I was in the headmaster’s office more than I should admit, so a lot of my strongest memories come from how I ended up there. It was nothing ever really that bad, just typical young kid making stupid decisions. However, I made those bad decisions with some of my friends at St. John’s, who are still my closest friends. Now that we have all grown out of that phase, fortunately, we can look back on those decisions and laugh at ourselves.
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