Rocketing to the Top

It took all of three months before Hiep Truong was made the head of his firm's workers' comp practice

Published in 2009 Northern California Rising Stars — August 2009

Success came incredibly fast for Hiep Truong. In 2001, seven years after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, two years after graduating from Santa Clara School of Law and less than three months after starting work at Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Truong's boss asked if he'd like to head up the firm's workers' comp and employment law practice. Truong accepted.

But then Truong wanted to give back to his community. So now when he's not trying workers' comp cases he volunteers for Berkeley's Incentive Awards Program (IAP). The IAP recognizes promising students among low-income and first-generation college students. Sixty-five new scholars are admitted each year for their four- to five-year college experience, and the program serves about 250 students at any one time. "The students must be committed to the program as well as commit time to assist others in school and out in the community," says Truong.

UC Berkeley organizes a mixer that allows each new batch of award recipients to meet with past alumni. This year students asked Truong plenty of questions, mostly concerning what would be the best career to get into during the current economic slump—banker, doctor or lawyer. "I just gave them the facts," says Truong, though he did tout the lawyer route. "If you want to be intellectually stimulated on a daily basis, being a lawyer will provide that. But it's not about making the quick buck. You have to enjoy [being a lawyer] because you're basically on call 24 hours a day."

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