image description

A Passion for Justice

“Boise has officially become my home,” said Concordia Law alum Brittany Kreimeyer, who goes by Brit. A 2016 graduate, Brit is a transplant from Las Vegas who decided to pull up roots for a fresh start to pursue her law school dream. “I liked the idea of being part of something bigger than myself,” she said about law school.

“So much of the law school experience has shaped the lawyer that I am today,” said Brit. And, the lawyer that she is will be celebrated by Boise’s legal community this summer. Brit has been chosen to receive the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Idaho State Bar during its annual conference.

Digging in

Brit left Concordia Law with real-world legal experiences that not only nudged her out of her comfort zone but also prepared her for the important work she is undertaking. Specifically, Brit points to the externships that, “…allowed me to dig in and get my hands dirty with the real practice of law.” Brit’s invaluable experiences included a clerk externship with a federal judge in Las Vegas, a position with the Federal Defenders in Boise (putting her limited license to use) and participating in the Criminal Clinic with the Boise City Attorney’s office.

While time in the trenches was vital, Brit explained that back on campus her courses also had a significant impact on her progression to becoming a lawyer—the Legal Research and Writing course in combination with the upper level writing courses was a “game changer.” “I was always told by lawyers and judges alike that if I wanted to be successful in law school I should take every writing course offered and do as many pro bono hours as they'd let me.” Lastly, Brit points to the practicum courses, particularly trial advocacy, for allowing her to experiment with different trial strategies. 

Of those leading her classes Brit said, “I am forever indebted to the professors.” She explained how they spent extra time mentoring her, helping her navigate complex subject matters, and offering insight on how to manage her time and anxiety during exams.

Defending Liberty

An attorney with the Ada County Public Defender’s Office, Brit’s decision to become a public defender stems from her innate passion to fight for the “underdog” and the lessons she learned from her father. “My father always taught me to speak up for those who don’t have a voice,” explained Brit. 

From spending entire days in court, to visiting clients at the Ada County Jail or doing video arraignments for clients who can’t afford bond, to prepping for a jury trial and watching officer body camera footage, Brit’s days are packed with activity as she manages as many as 100 open cases at a time. Which is exactly how she likes it. “I thrive in a fast-paced work environment,” said Brit adding, “the best part about my job is that it can vary day-to-day and I’m always learning new things.” 

Brit believes much of her job is about reminding the court and the state that her clients have redeeming qualities and have the ability to change. “I meet people on the worst day of their life and often under very unfortunate circumstances,” she said, adding, “Most of them want to take responsibility for their actions but are terrified about the consequences that lay before them.” Brit also believes she is there to remind her clients that “they matter to society and can get through a difficult situation when it might seem impossible.”

After all, the justice system is comprised of humans and, as Brit rightly notes, humans make mistakes,” adding, “we, as public defenders, are just here to make sure those mistakes don’t cost our clients their freedom and liberty.” 

“I love both our Federal and State Constitution and find it meaningful ensuring that all citizens are afforded their constitutional rights to counsel, to a trial, and to choose to testify or not testify,” said Brit. 

Shining Support

The Young Lawyer Award recognizes a member of the Idaho State Bar at the beginning of their career who exhibits professional excellence in providing service to the community. “I do not have the words to describe what an honor it is to receive this award,” said Brit. “Honestly I don’t feel worthy of it because I always feel like there is more that I can be doing to help those in need.”

It’s a recognition that Brit says wouldn’t be possible without the support, love and patience she has received from family, friends, classmates, professors, and other lawyers. “It’s so nice to be part of a legal community that fosters collegiality, professionalism, and kindness,” offered Brit. “These people set the example for me and showed me what big shoes I have to fill.”

Finding Balance

Dedicating time to volunteer as a coach with We the People teams at Boise-area high schools and chairing the Diversity Section for the Idaho State Bar offers a respite from her intense and hectic professional life. “Knowing that I’m making a meaningful impact in my community keeps me balanced,” she said. 

With a love of the outdoors, Brit hopes to find even more balance this summer by going camping, delighting in smores, reading, and listening to jazz. 

Learn more about Concordia University School of Law.