Julia Mosel may not have become an attorney if it weren’t for her mother. “I wouldn’t say my mom pushed me to go to college,” says the senior attorney of claims and general litigation at Southern California Edison. “I would say that she recognized my potential and wanted me to have that chance.”
Mosel grew up in a blue-collar household where going to college was a life milestone that happened in other families, not her own. Her parents came from humble beginnings, and she grew up in a community blighted by violence and poverty.
“My mom knew that there were opportunities that she didn’t get to take, and she was going to help me as best she could,” she says. Though she lacked savvy about campus tours or other traditional precollege strategies, Mosel’s mother researched obscure scholarships to ensure her daughter could afford to attend a great school.
Mosel enrolled at the University of California, San Diego. She was intent on becoming a doctor or veterinarian until she began working in labs. “I hated it,” she recalls. “It was so solitary; there were so few chances to interact with people and socialize. It just wasn’t the right fit.”
Instead, it was a civil liberties course—which not only drew upon her analytical skills but also allowed her the personal impact she craved—that piqued her interest in the legal profession. “It felt like there was a more direct connection to the people who were behind these cases and how these cases affected their individual lives.”
Concluding that law school was the correct next step was one thing. Affording it was a completely different issue. Determined to remain in California, Mosel applied exclusively to schools within the state. She especially had her sights set on the University of Southern California, which unfortunately wasn’t as economically feasible as other schools.
“There’s a degree of boldness that comes from having nothing to lose,” Mosel says with a laugh, as she recalls scheduling a meeting with the financial affairs office to see if she could negotiate a better aid package.
However, on the morning the meeting was scheduled to take place, she felt anything but bold. “I woke up that morning and I was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life,” she says. “I felt like I was dying.”
Mosel knew she was down to the wire if she wanted to start school the following fall. Canceling the meeting was not an option. She pulled herself together and presented her case.
“I just said very humbly and very sincerely, ‘I want to go to this school. I love it, but I can’t afford it. Could you look back at my application one more time and see if there’s any stone that went unturned?’ Even if nothing more came of it, I knew I would still be happy that I tried,” Mosel says.
Following the meeting, she learned she had come down with mononucleosis, causing her extreme fatigue. But as she slept, the financial affairs department reexamined her application and came back with a new offer: a full-tuition scholarship.
“I fell out of my chair,” Mosel says. “But my dad always said, ‘Ask for what you want, because what’s the worst thing they could say?’”
Chances are, the university doesn’t regret reconsidering her financial package either. Mosel went on to graduate first in her class, which put her in a prime position to pursue a career as a litigator.
“The thing that I love about litigation is that even if you were to master all the legal skills, you are still constantly learning. You get to poke your head into all these different lines of business and industries,” she says. “Every single case is an opportunity to learn a different industry, a different fact pattern, or a different skill.”
After clerking and practicing at a large firm, Gibson Dunn, for five years, Mosel’s curiosity landed her at Southern California Edison. She says the sheer scope of subject matter the company handles—from running the electric grid to supporting California in reaching its climate goals to managing construction projects and power contracts—makes the work engaging.
“It’s such a broad industry that you never get bored, and you never feel like you’ve learned everything,” she says. At Edison, she handles both torts and commercial litigation, including personal injury, contract disputes, consumer class actions, and real property disputes. She also counsels client groups in prelitigation disputes and litigation avoidance strategies.
Another major factor in Mosel’s satisfying career development has been the unique structure of Edison’s legal department. With more than eighty attorneys working in-house, it feels almost like a midsized law firm, which she says lends a collegial air to their practice.
It also gives her the opportunity to keep “litigator” as an important part of her professional identity. She spends time in the courtroom, taking depositions and participating in trials as well as taking the time to partner with outside counsel. “Whereas some in-house roles are more supervisory, I still actively litigate my cases,” she says.
Edison also helps Mosel maintain healthy boundaries around her home life.
“I am an ambitious person in my career, but I also have ambitions as a parent,” Mosel says. “Edison really supports that, and the expectations are set in a way that you can achieve a work/life balance. The culture of the department understands that people need to be both good at work and good at home. That’s something all companies and firms need to think about to keep their top talent around.”
Looking ahead, Mosel says she’ll continue to let her innate curiosity drive her work. “I’ve always been the type of person who raises their hand,” she says. “I sincerely want to know the answers to things and dig into things and figure out how to solve the problem.” And, like her mother did for her, she wants to provide a pathway forward for her family.
“I’m motivated by doing right by my family, and I want to be a good role model for my kids,” she says, adding, “I want to be there for my parents too, because they were always there for me.”
“Julia Mosel is an excellent attorney, and we have enjoyed working with her in support of Southern California Edison Company matters. Consilio is proud to be a partner of Julia and the Southern California Edison Company.”
–Gary Fictum, Director