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Q & A with Haley Kopp

An attorney with Ferris & Britton, APC in San Diego, Haley C. Kopp joined the firm in 2024 after working at as a corporate lawyer in a boutique law firm. Kopp’s practice focuses on the representation of small businesses and trusts. She counsels clients on business transactions and general business governance.

Kopp graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she volunteered for the school’s Veterans Legal Clinic. Prior to attending law school, Kopp graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Before becoming an attorney, what was your first job?

I worked as a validation engineer for a few years before going to law school. My first position was working as a consultant, so I got the opportunity to work at multiple pharmaceutical, life science, and medical device companies throughout Southern California. It was my job to validate that a manufacturing process was completed according to standard operating procedures and was a replicable process so that all the products being made would be safe for human use.

What motivated you to pursue a legal career?

My love of learning! As an engineering undergrad, I always enjoyed learning different processes and getting to understand how to solve problems. Ultimately though, engineering in the corporate world tends to be very repetitive. Once you learn the project that you are working on, you work on that project for years to come. So, in deciding what I wanted to do with my life, I landed on becoming a lawyer – I still get to solve problems and learn something new all the time.

Who was your chief mentor and how did he or she influence your career?

My faculty advisor for my undergraduate senior project, Dr. Burkey. He was an incredible advisor throughout the project and ultimately it was because of his connections that I landed my first job out of college. We still connect every year, and he even wrote me a personal recommendation for my law school applications.

2024 July 02 - Weekly Q and A - Haley Kopp - December Nights
Decked out for the holiday season, Haley enjoyed the yuletide lights at Balboa Park in San Diego.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Take time to enjoy the moment you’re in.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?

Speak another language. I would love to learn Italian or Spanish.

What is your proudest career achievement?

Getting to handle my first financing transaction on my own and seeing it through to the end.

What other career path might you have chosen?

I was very close to becoming a choir teacher. Music is a passion of mine and I would have enjoyed having a music career of some sort.

What do you do to give back to your community?

I participate in and am on the board of Villa Musica, a nonprofit organization that provides music education and musical opportunities to the community of San Diego, including providing free music lessons to underprivileged communities and music therapy to community members experiencing dementia. I also volunteer with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program to provide pro bono legal services.

2024 July 02 - Weekly Q and A - Haley Kopp - Lake Poway
An outing to Lake Poway in San Diego provided a photo op for Haley Kopp (center) and her friends, Shannon Munemura (left) and Christine Lenz.
Haley C. Kopp

What is your most treasured material possession?

Hanging on the wall of my living room, there is a beautiful photograph of an abandoned home standing alone in the middle of the California desert. A friend of mine photographed it as a part of her master’s thesis in photography and I immediately fell in love with it. Every time I look at it, it elicits a feeling of peace.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

During the summers, my family would take a five-mile (one way) bike ride to the nearest town to get some ice cream at our local ice cream shop. It was always a fun ride and getting ice cream to celebrate was great.

What is your favorite movie and book?

Movie: “Life is Beautiful.”

Book: This changes frequently depending on my mood, but one of my recent favorites is “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab.

What is the most awe-inspiring place you have visited?

Greece! Not only was the country stunningly beautiful but getting to see some of the historical sites – the Parthenon, Delphi’s Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Zeus – was amazing. They were so incredible to see in person.

2024 July 02 - Weekly Q and A - Haley Kopp - Padres Stadium
The baseball beauty of Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres, was soaked up by Haley and her parents, Karen and John Kopp.

What are your favorite leisure time pursuits?

Hiking around San Diego, reading, anything music related, playing video games, and going to comedy shows.

What is your favorite famous or inspirational quote?

"I wasn’t a failed DJ. I was pre-successful." Jason Mendoza, The Good Place

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party?

Nicola Coughlan, Gina Rodriguez, Anna Kendrick, and Hilarie Burton

What are the top three items on your bucket list?

See cherry blossoms in D.C. (or Japan). See the Northern Lights from Iceland. Perform in a musical.