January 26, 2024
From Southwestern to Success: Meet Dan Kramer '08
As founder of Kramer Trial Lawyers in Los Angeles and the newly elected president of The Southwestern Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors, courtroom champion Daniel K. Kramer ’08 charts a bold vision for the future of the Board.
Daniel K. Kramer isn't just any trial lawyer; he stands out as a beacon of justice for families and individuals ensnared in life's most challenging predicaments. Through his expertise in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death matters, and employment discrimination, he's delivered justice in the courtroom time and again. This legacy of legal excellence took root at Southwestern Law School. Today, as the newly elected president of its Alumni Association's Board of Directors, Daniel is poised to inspire and guide the next generation of legal champions.
From his first steps on the campus, Southwestern became a cornerstone of his identity. "I was not admitted into many law schools, but Southwestern took a chance on me," he recalls. The institution not only gave him a legal foundation but also lifelong friendships. As Daniel put it, “Southwestern graduates are just a different breed. They're hardworking and gritty. So much of my success comes from what Southwestern instilled in me."
These ties to Southwestern were evident when, in 2015, he collaborated with fellow alumni Michael and Zhenia Burgis '08. Defending a Mexican immigrant wrongfully terminated after an injury, they faced off against a prestigious law firm. "Despite their Ivy League credentials and confident tactics, we held our ground," Daniel says. "After a rigorous seventeen-day trial, we secured a $1.8m judgment. It wasn’t about the amount but the principle of justice for a hardworking individual. That victory, grounded in our shared Southwestern spirit, holds a special place in my heart."
Also critical to his development was the guidance he received from two key mentors: Neville Johnson '75 and Cindy Johnson '00, two of Southwestern’s most accomplished alums. “They took me under their wing when I was a new lawyer," he reflects. Their genuine support played a pivotal role as Daniel embarked on forming his own law firm.
Elevating the Southwestern Legacy
Stepping into the role of president, Kramer's vision for the Alumni Association is clear and robust. Central to this vision is the Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund. "One of our biggest goals is to reach and then surpass that 1-million-dollar mark," he states, reflecting the Board's commitment to nurturing the next generation of Southwestern legal minds.
However, his ambitions extend beyond fundraising. He aims to restructure and reinvigorate. "I want to reorganize the board so that we can efficiently provide services to our alumni at-large," he emphasizes.
But what does that reorganization mean for Southwestern alumni? For starters, a surge in engagement. Kramer envisions an alumni network bubbling with activity and connection: “I would like to see more people attending our events or returning to Southwestern Law School." These aren't just social events. They're about professional growth and continued education, with regular CLE sessions featuring top alumni. Moreover, SIDEBAR will connect the alumni with judges, offering candid conversations about pertinent legal topics.
Another significant focus is on student-alumni relations. "We want to build bridges," he asserts, noting plans to enhance collaboration through committees, alumni-student organizations, and liaisons with SBA and career services. The objective? Ensure students are well-prepared to "hit the ground running" upon graduation.
In a nod to his personal journey, which began with Southwestern taking a chance on him, Daniel is now leading efforts to ensure that the institution and its alumni community continue to take chances on and support countless others. Through his leadership, he aims to cultivate a space where, as he beautifully encapsulates, "all boats rise together."