Joe Richburg – CUP Fellow Spotlight

CUP Fellow Spotlight 

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I serve as Vice President, Assistant General Counsel of CBS Corporation in the Litigation Department.  After law school, I worked for two law firms practicing complex commercial litigation.  I believe that the general practice of litigation prepared me for the ever-changing roles of an in-house litigator.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?
Currently, the biggest challenge in my line of work is addressing the myriad of new technologies that infringe on CBS's copyrighted content.  These include illegal streaming and downloading sites that improperly carry CBS's shows without licenses.  We've had great success in our efforts, but the new technologies continue to emerge.

What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest professional moments have come from my pro bono work.  My successful representations include persuading a team of federal prosecutors to drop mortgage fraud charges against my wrongfully accused client; securing permanent citizenship for a client in need; and getting additional disability benefits for an Army veteran who served in Iraq and currently suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
On a daily basis, I most admire my mother, whose prioritization on education has had a profound impact on me and my sister.  More generally, I just finished reading "Simple Justice" which provides a comprehensive account of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP's school desegregation efforts over many years.  The book is particularly special to me because some of my family members were plaintiffs in Briggs v. Elliot, one of the desegregation cases from South Carolina that was consolidated with Brown v. Board.  Thurgood Marshall's unique combination of intelligence, wit and courage is truly inspiring to me.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Still in New York; still practicing law; still involved with CUP.

What is one thing you've learned from the CUP Fellows Program that you would pass along to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
It's important to strive towards balance in your personal, professional and civic lives, and to hold yourself accountable in all three.  You are your best advocate so don't sell yourself short.