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Alumni Spotlight: Elliott Gurnick '10

Catching up with Elliott Gurnick, Class of 2010.

Where have you been since Graduation? How was the college experience for you? 

After graduating from Sierra Canyon in 2010, I attended UC Riverside, where I majored in business management. I loved college; enjoyed my classes, held multiple positions on campus for work, and was active in a fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi.
 
One position kindled my interest in law. Chairing the Student Conduct Committee, I heard cases of students accused of violating campus policies, bad enough to warrant suspension or dismissal. I learned to listen carefully to testimony, and fully understand the whole person, all the circumstances and thoughts that brought them to an incident. This brought out my interest in law, which began as a young kid talking to my dad about his work as a lawyer.
 
After UC Riverside, I interned at SpaceX, where I helped build databases and trainings for personnel working to visit Mars. I learned from some of the most brilliant minds in the space industry.
 
Shortly after, I attended UC Irvine Law School. People talk about how hard law school is, and that made me nervous. Although it was a challenge, I found it fun and exciting. The workload required more discipline. It was an adjustment. The stimulating classes, cases and conversations with professors and other students made it worthwhile.
 
For three months after law school, I put the rest of life on hold to study for the dreaded bar exam. But when the exam days arrived, I felt ready.
 
After the bar exam, some friends and I road-tripped to Chicago, with stops in between. It is important to leave some time for fun and entertainment in between hard work.

When did you first come to SC? Are there any classes, clubs, coaches or teachers that greatly impacted you? Did SC prepare you for the rigors of college academic life?

I came to Sierra Canyon in the third grade, from Heschel and then Beckford Elementary School. My Sierra Canyon experience felt exceptional. To me Sierra Canyon was small, tight-knit, warm, and friendly. I enjoyed my time while working hard. Classes were interesting, like English taught by Mr. Schrode, and Holocaust Studies taught by Ms. Gilbert-Lurie.
 
Sierra Canyon prepared me well for college. I benefitted from Sierra Canyon’s robust college counseling program, with Jeff Oshen as my counselor. He lent a helpful hand in aiming for colleges that aligned with my interests, as well as through the application process.

Do you maintain contact with any SC people... classmates, coaches and/or teachers? 

Two of my best friends, David Liberman and Frank Taylor, were SC classmates. We keep in frequent contact and enjoy time together as often as possible, given our busy lives. They are basically family at this point.

Where are you and what are you doing now? Where do you see yourself in the future?

I am an associate attorney with the international law firm Foley & Lardner. I love the practice of law here. My group is called Technology Transactions and Outsourcing. I help companies in every law-related aspect of procuring new software, hardware, and related services. A typical representation involves drafting complex software contracts and negotiating with software vendors.
 
I see myself contributing to the technology practice at Foley & Lardner, advancing as an attorney, serving the community, and hopefully earning and contributing as a partner. I enjoy working with colleagues at the firm and am grateful that the lawyers here mentor and support me. I love the interesting and intellectually challenging work in tech law, and I learn and grow while striving to be as productive as possible for the firm and the firm’s clients.

Please feel free to add anything else you might think is important or special.

I am fortunate and ecstatic that I am dating someone who makes me the happiest person. We met about a year ago, and, while I have always been a happy person anyway, the happiness is more than ever now. “Important” and “special” are two well-suited words to describe a significant other who you love. It is also important to find someone special, who you can do anything and everything with, and who is along for the ride of your life, while you are theirs. I couldn’t be happier.
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Middle and Upper School: 20801 Rinaldi Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311  | 818.882.8121
Sierra Canyon School is a private, independent, non-sectarian, co-educational, college preparatory school for students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 located in Chatsworth, California. The highly cosmopolitan campus community is reflective of the Greater Los Angeles area and the world at large. Students are empowered to realize their greatest creative, ethical, intellectual and physical promise through small class sizes, a diverse student-teacher culture and a family-like environment.