By Lindsay Nichols • December 28, 2018•Writers in Residence
By: Lindsay Nichols, Melanie Lazor & Elise Hoffer
The number one piece of career advice we have received is to pick an area of law that, at its core, is interesting to you. In other words, don’t just sign up for “General Rotation” as a summer associate because that’s what everyone else does - think through what you hope to accomplish as an attorney and try to find a practice area that will give you opportunities to do that.
Lindsay: I really like Labor & Employment for two reasons: one, because people sometimes do crazy things at work and then we get to deal with the after effects! And two, because employment counseling is all about working hand in hand with employers to create best practices and put policies in place that will help make the company better for everyone who works there. So I feel like I’m making a difference and improving people’s working environment. Also, I am frequently entertained!
Melanie: Litigation is a practice group that is always providing me with some kind of surprise - it keeps me on my toes! No two days are ever the same, which prevents the job from getting boring and stale. Litigation is also challenging and requires that I think critically on how to best present facts and arguments to the judge or jury.
Picking a practice that is inherently interesting to you will help power you through annoying research projects and the stressful days that are undoubtedly going to occur as an associate. If you feel engaged with the subject matter you practice, it will be much easier to both learn the substantive concepts, and to enjoy the process!
Elise: While I didn’t pick a practice area per se, I definitely have career advice I have received that I found valuable: Don’t be afraid of failure or to ask for help. A lot of people think independence is a sign of career success, but no one in a job position of power got there without the support and help of others to develop their career. When we experience failures or setbacks, we also usually learn a lot about ourselves and I think that is a huge opportunity to grow and learn.