The Law Preview Lawyer Roundtable Series gives you a look into the minds of diverse lawyers from across the country. Get advice on everything from your 1L year to how to leverage a mentorship opportunity in law school, and throughout your legal career.
In celebration of Black History Month, we’re highlighting seven accomplished African American lawyers in this month’s edition of the Law Preview Lawyer Roundtable Series. Check out the interview below!
Law Clerk, U.S. District Court, Ohio
Attended the University of Chicago Law School
Law Preview Alumni
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My path to law started on the world’s most storied stages. Prior to law school, I was actor/dancer/singer on Broadway. I was privileged to perform in some of the most spectacular Broadway shows and loved my career. However, I always had a passion for the law. When I made the decision to go to law school, a lot of time had passed‚ years to be exact. I felt ill-equipped to handle the rigor of law school. Thus, Law Preview seemed like a useful course to help shed light on what was to come. It was more than “useful.” A significant amount of my success is due to Law Preview. Specifically, it gave me the arsenal to (1) conquer my 1L year; (2) secure a summer associate position working in-house at a fortune 500 company; (3) transfer to one of the top law schools in the country; and (4) obtain a coveted federal judicial clerkship.
Knowing what you know now about the legal profession, what advice would you give to students (particularly young men and women of color) who are about to begin their 1L year?
Although Law Preview gave me insight on how to navigate the classroom, crucial to my success was my ability to hone and exercise my emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). It allowed me to navigate the more complex facets of the legal world. Thus, I encourage all law students to find ways to advance their EQ‚ will catapult you over the competition.
In what is clearly a very impressive legal career to date, list one job, a specific project or a case you that you are most proud of, and describe why. If you can’t pick just one, it’s okay to list a few!
As a summer associate, I had the privilege of working on a bench trial–I essentially sat third chair. I spent the weekend working on a brief that was due a few days before closing arguments. My analysis of the law in that brief won a very important issue for our client.
Giving back is important. Provide one organization (legal or otherwise) you have volunteered with and what made that experience so meaningful to you.
As a former artist, I love giving back to the arts community. The Joffrey Ballet is at the top of the list.
We all need to ask for help at some point. Did you ever ask someone to mentor or sponsor you as a law student or early-stage attorney (or have you served as a mentor)? If so, given your experience, what is your best advice for leveraging that type of relationship?
I have several mentors. My advice for leveraging such a relationship is to apply your mentor’s advice and, if appropriate, allow them to see you in action applying their advice.