Lena Mirilovic Talks About Her Work and Her Passion for Film and Travel

06.10.16 | Permalink

While Lena Mirilovic, an associate in RKC’s Orlando office, may not have owned a car until she moved to Florida in 2011, she has since become much more intimate with them and their many components due to her work defending automotive clients in product liability cases.

“I grew up in Chicago and then moved to Washington D.C. after graduating law school, so there was no need for a car,” explained Lena. “My husband, who is from Serbia and who used to live in New York City, never even learned how to drive until we moved here,” she added. “It was a little challenging to teach him,” she admitted.

Lena and her husband moved to Orlando when he was offered a tenure-track position at University of Central Florida. “When I left Washington D.C., I had been doing insurance coverage, mostly professional liability, so when I joined Rumberger I naturally worked on insurance coverage and bad faith cases,” said Lena. “One of the things I’ve enjoyed about working at Rumberger is the opportunity to grow my practice and expand into product liability and commercial litigation, as well,” she continued.

Lena thrives on learning the technical aspects of her product liability cases and working with experts to uncover fraudulent claims or weak arguments. She currently spends most of her time working on airbag cases. “I like that I’m always learning something new and different and it’s really interesting to be a part of something you see in the news,” she added. “Each case represents so many different factors and situations, so there is a lot of variety.”

The most challenging aspect of her work involves reviewing plaintiff injuries and learning medical terminology in order to understand each case. “At first it was really strange looking through medical records and at pictures of the injuries and evaluating damages,” said Lena. “The cases can vary from very serious injuries to those where there aren’t any injuries at all,” she continued.

“I was initially attracted to law because I was drawn to creating logical and persuasive arguments,” said Lena. “I’m thrilled that I get to do that and so much more.”  Lena particularly enjoys being challenged. “Before I had decided to go to law school, I had a job that was fairly boring and offered no real opportunity for promotion or growth. I knew I had to move on before my brain turned to mush,” she said.

Lena spends her free time mostly outdoors taking advantage of the warm weather. “My husband and I enjoy walking or hiking on weekends,” she said. “I do miss Chicago's cultural activities and museums, but I do not miss the frigid weather of the north, especially the Chicago winters that just go on and on,” she added. “It’s so much easier to enjoy the outdoors here and you can tell the air is so much cleaner than in a large city.”

When she’s not spending time outdoors, Lena likes watching movies. “There was a time when I wanted to study film,” she said. “In college, I volunteered at the student-run film theater where students did the programming and ran the 35 mm projectors. Of course, everything is going digital, now, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn how to run what will soon be obsolete.”

Lena found it very difficult to name a favorite film, but she did say that she really likes Billy Wilder movies. For the non-film buffs, Wilder, an Austrian-born American director and producer of many Oscar winning films created sixty films over a fifty year career. He is considered one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age. Interestingly enough, he originally planned to become a lawyer, but pursued a career in journalism that eventually led him to creating films.

Pressed to pick a more recent movie that she enjoyed, Lena chose Mad Max: Fury Road. “There’s very little dialogue and it’s interesting how they were able to tell a story without having to say very much, she noted. “I also thought it was great how they didn’t use CGI and actually did all of the stunts and crazy chase scenes,” she added.

In their travels, Lena and her husband visit her family in Chicago and have been to Europe to see his family, yet it is India that Lena places on her list of most intriguing. “We’ve been to Italy, Germany and Hungry in Europe, but we’ve also had the opportunity to travel to Vietnam and India,” she said. “My husband’s father was in India working, so we were able to travel there twice and I’d really like to go back,” she added. “There are so many fabulous and beautiful things there, from stunning architecture to amazing landscapes,” she said. “There is a huge contrast between all of the beauty that surrounds India and the enormous poverty that is so difficult to see,” she added.

While Lena hopes to return to India one day, her travels for now will likely center around family as her and her husband are expecting a daughter in August. “I’m hoping to take her to Chicago for Thanksgiving to be with my family,” said Lena. “My parents are retired, now, so hopefully they will be able to visit often,” she added. “This is the first grandchild on both sides, so there is a lot of excitement and anticipation for her arrival.”



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