Seth is the managing attorney of Oath in San Diego. He attended Brigham Young University and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, before going on to earn his J.D. at the University of San Diego School of Law. Seth is a member of the California Bar Association and is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California. In his down time, Seth enjoys surfing, running, and playing the guitar and piano.
I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to two very young but loving parents. My parents both came from blue-collar families in a small town of less than 10,000 people, and after high school, they eloped and moved to Lincoln so that my dad could pursue a college education. We were very poor, but thanks to the help of friends and lots of hand-me-downs, our growing family survived. After my dad finished college, we moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he found work at a printing company. Despite my dad’s college education, our family was still very poor, and much of my youth consisted of free school lunches, doing odd cleaning jobs as a family on weekends to make money, and still more hand-me-downs from kind neighbors and friends. My mom worked hard doing day care to help support the family. Eventually, my dad decided to go to law school part time while working, and afterwards he graduated and became an attorney.
Unfortunately, our family’s lifestyle did not change much despite my dad’s new professional career. Still saddled with debt from student loans and a mortgage, my parents continued to live humbly on my dad’s modest income to support our family of six. Eventually my dad was offered a job out of state, and we once again moved to accommodate this job. But then the 2008 recession hit, and my dad was unexpectedly laid off when the firm he worked for could no longer afford to pay him. We moved back to Las Vegas where my dad worked for a while at another small firm. After years of moving and changing jobs, he was finally offered a job at a larger firm, where he now is a successful partner doing probate and trust litigation. My mom found her calling as a nurse, and she now works in the ER at the local Air Force base.
My family’s struggles with frequent lay-offs and finding work were formative in shaping my character today. I saw first-hand how my hard-working parents were negatively affected by life’s unexpected setbacks and curveballs, and how despite these struggles, they persevered to ensure financial security for us. As a teenager, I decided to commit to my studies in order to set myself up for success in my career. I graduated with advanced high honors from high school, which helped me to earn admission to Brigham Young University, a great private university with a very affordable tuition rate. It was there that I met my now-wife and the love of my life, and we quickly made plans to get married and move out of state so that I could continue studying to become a lawyer. My wife had grown up in San Diego, so she convinced me to apply to the University of San Diego School of Law, where I was offered a $40,000 per year scholarship. How could I turn down such a generous offer?
During law school, I loved the idea of using a law degree to serve my community, and I applied for prosecution jobs thinking that I would help victims of crime. But when I finally became a deputy district attorney, I quickly realized that although helping victims was part of my job, a prosecutor’s main goal is not to improve victim families’ lives, but rather to punish wrongdoers. This revelation was difficult for me, as it was always my intention to improve the lives of victim families, but the victims of crime very rarely get better after going through the criminal justice system. While talking with my wife, she reminded me that I went into law school wanting to do estate planning. I talked with my dad about why he loves estate planning and how meaningful it is for him, and I knew that it was time that I made the switch to estate planning. Now that I have a wife and kid of my own, I know first-hand the feeling of wanting to work hard to give the best to your family. It is my goal to help protect families’ hard-earned assets from life’s “unexpecteds” and “unknowns.”