I am a person who learns through experience. While I value formal education strongly, I feel that grades rarely reflect what students learn from their studies. What I am looking for is a job with a truly mentoring environment with an employer who is eager to show a hardworking and interested apprentice how to be an attorney. From my conversations with attorneys I have worked for in my experience as an intern, law students leave law school as “attorneys in training.” What I am look for is training. I am a focused and driven person, but I am also solutions oriented. I cannot stand to be in a situation where I have to spend 30 hours on something that can only take 10 hours if I had the right plan of attack. My hope is that whoever my employer eventually is will take the time to initially invest the time in showing and explaining to me how they would solve a problem using their knowledge and wealth of experience. My personal experience is that employers that want employees to, “figure it out on their own,” are using this as an excuse for a bad policy that results from their own schedule being to busy. The result in the “figure it out” situation is a one way relationship where the superior contributes nothing and generally receives a substandard product and the employee learns very slowly through a trial and error process that produces poor quality. I want to be shown “the right way” to perform a task first so that I can always do it that way, as opposed to wasting a huge expanse of time and effort trying and guessing how to do something “the right way.”
In terms of my commitment to working hard and working long hours, I feel my outlook follows my previous statement about my attitude towards my employer. An employer who is sharing valuable insight with me and providing me with experiences that help me to grow professionally can expect my sincerest loyalty in the form of long hours and commitment to the firm. You can also expect me to work hard in situations where I know that the firm depends on something getting done- even if the work I am doing may not be the most glamorous or exciting. On the other hand, I am not interested in working underneath a never ending mountain of work that merely fills up time. I want to be proud of what I do and I would like to work for someone who understands that desire. With that outlook in mind, I feel family, my relationships, and my interests are important to me and the opportunity to spend time with those people and to do those things a reasonable amount contributes just as much to my quality of life as my career does. Additionally, I think adequate time to spend with my family and friends makes me a better employee and hopefully a better attorney when I am at work. Life is not about work and I do not want to be employed by anyone who has made the very tragic mistake of believing otherwise.
In terms of compensation, I am not greedy and do not expect to get rich in my first few years out of law school. I am mindful of my qualifications, where I went to school, and my experience at this point so I do not expect more than those characteristics warrant in terms of salary. However, I would like to work for someone who respects the fact that whoever they hire will likely have a very large amount of loans to pay off, must live in an area within a reasonable proximity to their office, and leaving law school have little or no savings. As a result I would like to work for someone who respects their employees enough to pay them the most reasonable salary they can afford.