Is your career based on considered choices you planned or has it unfolded as part of a process you didn’t necessarily foresee?
Coming to the law school allowed me to pull together some diverse previous experiences — both legal and non-legal — including several years as a full-time parent. It would be fair to say that I made considered choices that worked for me at each stage, but I wasn’t executing a well-thought-out career strategy. Despite (or maybe because!) of this background, I now counsel students to be proactive and take ownership of their careers while at the same time embracing the power of serendipity.
What do you enjoy most (and, if you’re willing, what are the least enjoyable or hardest parts) about your current role?
By far, the most enjoyable and gratifying part of my job is creating programs and materials to help students find their place in the profession and grow as lawyers-in-training. Navigating in a large academic institution can be challenging at times, but it comes with the territory!
What skills and personality traits lend themselves to success in your field?
Good listening skills are hugely important, as well as the ability to stay focused on the big picture.
What advice do you have for someone who hopes to find a job similar to yours/in your field?
Many law school professional development and career services professionals have experience in recruiting and/or professional development in a legal practice organization. It also helps to have practiced law, which enhances credibility with students. Mentoring and prior counseling experience is very useful and highly valued.
What has been the best surprise in your career?
How much I like working with people since I’m a big introvert!
What might you do differently, in hindsight?
If I had taken time early in law school to think through what type of work would be truly meaningful and motivating to me, then I would have had a framework for making career decisions all along the way. I got there eventually, but finding a job where purpose, skill and enjoyment align requires self-investment.
What do you do outside of work that helps you be successful?
The usual stuff — hobbies, exercise, getting together with friends and family — and not taking myself too seriously.