MHB WEEKLY: By the students, for the world

Speaker Series: Karina Sterman | April 27, 2011

Each Friday, the MHB program hosts an industry pro with insight into career opportunities, marketplace trends and new ideas who engages students for two hours of class time. On March 25, 2011, the speaker series featured Ms. Karina Sterman, a partner at Los Angeles law firm Ervin Cohen & Jessup with expertise in litigation and employment law.

Ms. Sterman provided students with insight into the world of employment law. In discussing her field of work, she emphasized and re-emphasized the importance of integrity. She provided thorough descriptions of several litigation cases she had dealt with in the past and showed the steps that she would typically take in each of those situations. Contrary to popular belief, she explained, the outcome of the case is not what ultimately matters for the employer — it is the integrity of the employer’s response to the case. Another piece of advice Ms. Sterman provided was that an employer or an HR representative should never assume that one person is guilty and one person is innocent. This was supported with several cases she had worked on in the past, where the initial self-proclaimed “victim” turned out to be the “villain” in the end.

Overall, Ms. Sterman provided an engaging examination of how business litigation and employment law can affect us in the professional world — whether from the employee or employer standpoint. For those interested in human resources, she presented a much-appreciated “heads up” in terms of what to expect in the years to come. In general, she taught a crucial lesson about the importance of compliance and thorough follow-through, regardless of the task at hand.

Continue reading for more on Ms. Sterman and her work at Ervin Cohen & Jessup.


You can find Ms. Sterman’s company profile here, which details her accomplishments and educational history. You can also find her listing on Lawyers.com, an online directory for the legal field, here. To read a published opinion from a 2009 case concerning comedy clubs and trademarks, in which Ms. Sterman acted as counsel, head here.

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    Established in 2009 at USC, the Master's of Science in Human Behavior is designed to equip students with knowledge of consumer psychology, social media and market analysis skills. This is our blog. Subscribe

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