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Attorney, writer, and world traveler Gina Scialabba is doing exactly what she set out to do as a young child. Scialabba, a Senior Writer in FindLaw's Core Content team, said she wanted to be either a lawyer or a writer ever since she was six. Luckily for her, she gets to do both in her current job. Having worked a couple of stints for FindLaw as a contractor, Scialabba was recently hired as a full-fledged member of the staff; and we couldn't be happier.
She took a few moments out of her busy Monday morning to shed some light on what makes her tick, including her earliest inclinations toward the legal profession and her life outside of the office. Below is an edited transcript.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be only one of two things: a lawyer or a writer. As a young child I would play a game called "courtroom," where I would put my stuffed animals on trial (my poor teddy bear was tried and unjustly convicted for first-degree murder based on shaky circumstantial evidence). I would make my family sit in the audience (read: our living room couch) and watch me conduct the trial.
After I tired of that, I'd go to my room and write a story about it.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in San Jose and have lived throughout the Bay Area, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Francisco's Castro District and, finally, Noe Valley. I grew up primarily in South San Jose, which was a lot of farmland. I've seen that area grow and expand over the years. Most of the farmland has now been overtaken by big shopping centers and strip malls.
The biggest change is just the pure influx of people that now live in the Bay Area. The traffic has gotten worse over the years, and the rents have skyrocketed.
What do you do at FindLaw?
Right now I am working on the Core Content team, writing legal articles for a consumer audience. I am concurrently working with Annie O'Donnell [Senior Writer for Core Content] on editing and refining articles for the Legal Professional side of our business. I also work on a side project with SuperLawyers, writing content for law firm websites on a variety of topics.
What do you enjoy the most about working at FindLaw?
I really enjoy the ability to combine my legal training and experience with my passion for writing. I love explaining complicated legal concepts to a consumer audience.
I also really enjoy my co-workers on the Core Content team.
What is the most interesting job you've had, prior to FindLaw?
I was a deputy district attorney for a little over four years, and a criminal defense attorney thereafter.
When I decided to leave the law and take up journalism, I began working at KQED, the Bay Area's NPR affiliate. I started as an advanced intern and worked my way up to on-call radio producer for the popular live show, "Forum" hosted by Dr. Michael Krasny. I also reported for such shows as "The California Report" and wrote for various KQED blogs.
What do you like to do on your free time? Any particular long-term pursuits or occupations that don't involve a paycheck?
In my free time I like to stay as active as possible. I workout six days a week. I am an avid cyclist, having participated in the AIDS/LifeCycle for the past two years, a 545-mile charity bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
I also really enjoy traveling. My goal is to travel to as many countries as possible in my lifetime. I've been to places such as Argentina, Uruguay, Europe, and Southeast Asia. My next big vacation will be to Paris, Amsterdam, and England.
I'm also a voracious reader. You'll always find my nose in a book.
Although there are no bylines in our Learn About the Law section, Scialabba is certainly making her mark and contributing to our already industry-leading collection of legal resources for non-lawyers.