Changing the Way Evidence Is Presented at Trial
Kenneth J. Lopez ’95 credits adjunct Professor Peter Hess for inspiring him to start his business, Animators at Law. “He told me, combine your law degree with your hobby, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” says Lopez before adding, “It was during the wee hours of the morning during law school that I taught myself computer animation and graphics. I was one of the few who had the knowledge to combine computer animation and the law, and that combination was the only thing that made me remotely special.” Now the successful head of his own specialty firm, he clearly took the advice to heart. “I run the premier trial presentation consulting firm in the country, Animators at Law, and I also just finished my second start-up, LawProspector, which provides litigation market intelligence,” he offers proudly.

“I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know that I was going to be a lawyer. It’s a profession that I really respected,” remarks Ken. Widener Law offered him the opportunity to pursue that early dream. “The experience that I had there – I actually attended both the Delaware and Harrisburg campuses – led me to the idea for the business I’m running now, thirteen years later.” Before the fateful advice from his professor, he imagined doing something quite different with his law degree. He explains, “When I was in law school, the corporate side of environmental law was really appealing to me. I thought that might be the field that I would go into.”

Ken credits the practical, working experience he gained at Widener with preparing him for the professional world, citing his work with Wilmington attorney Bruce Hudson as a particularly great experience, recalling “I had the chance to contribute to a Delaware Supreme Court brief.” When he left law school, he turned down several job offers for the opportunity to do something different. “When I first started the company,” he says, “the idea of using graphics in the courtroom was novel. Now it is routine. It’s been fun to be part of birthing an industry.”

Today, Animators at Law is among the top strategic trial presentation consultants in the country. “We have an impact on many of the most important cases going on around the country, everything from Hurricane Katrina to tobacco to the most important patent cases. It’s great to watch my team have such an impact,” acknowledges Ken.

Recently, Ken had the opportunity to return to Widener Law’s Delaware campus and speak to the students in the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program about the importance of being professional. He offers the same advice to incoming law students; “The day that you start law school is the first day of your career. It doesn’t start after law school. All of the contacts that you make at law school become your contacts for life. Be a professional.”