“If we want we look”, my mother would playfully tease, as I frantically searched for something that was obviously right in front of me. I’d l down and there it was! I never thought that my mother’s silly maxims would be so useful to me now that I’m in law school. I’ve been warned of the tumultuous job market; however, my optimism remains intact for “if we want we look.”
From the time we enter elementary school to the time we graduate college we’re constantly asked about our future plans. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What do you plan to do after you graduate?” While I’ve somehow always been able to come up with a response, internally I’ve been frantically looking for an answer to those questions. I have an especially strong sense of urgency to answer those questions now that I’m in my final year of law school; my mother’s adage has kept me motivated.
Thanks to technology the opportunity to have in-person interviews with up to ten employers was right at my fingertips this summer. While the rise of technology conveniently makes information easily accessible, it also deceitfully leads people to expect a lot for less. While there are many students that are aggressively approaching the job market, there are also many others that have an arrogant sense of entitlement. “Okay. I have a law degree. Hire me now!” “ I’ve sent two whole applications!” Today’s job market is tough, but if you haven’t applied anywhere and have continually passed up opportunities to network, you have no right to complain. I’ve learned very quickly that it’s not only what you know, but also who you know.
As I’ve continued my search, I’ve found that the most useful resource has been right under my nose: networking. I’ve built so many great relationships through my involvement in the TBA Diversity Leadership Program, legal clinics, Lawyers Association of Women meetings, Napier Looby Bar Association events, and the list goes on.
The term netWORKing should have given me some idea as to the amount of effort it requires. It’s definitely been a challenge at times to stay actively involved in the legal community while tending to a full class schedule and my primary responsibility, my husband and two children. But the people who I’ve met and the invaluable advice that I’ve received have made it worthwhile. In addition to my regular networking, I set aside some time to hop on my computer and search for opportunities. As a result I learned about National Black Prosecutors Conference in Orlando, the Rocky Mountain Diversity Job Fair in Denver, and the TBA Diversity Job Fair in Nashville.
Although, it’s not always easy to juggle being a wife, mother, and student, I’m hoping that in the end it will pay off in the form of a fulfilling career. The proof of desire is in the pursuit. “If we want, we look.”