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What kinds of jobs and/or experiences have you had prior to or during law school that have helped prepare you for the practice of law?

I grew up in a working class neighborhood in the northeast. Consequently, I had a wide range of jobs before going to law school. At age 14 I started working for minimum wage but quickly realized that there had to be a better way. By age 16 I was running my own landscaping business with employees. I learned how to interact with customers, do a good job in order to obtain referrals, provide advantages over my competitors, and properly budget my time (in order to study and do homework). During college I worked nights as a cab driver and learned how to deal with everyone from drug dealers to corporate executives. I had to think quickly to avoid being robbed on at least several occasions. In law school, I clerked for a small personal injury law firm in Los Angeles. I learned how to organize cases, identify issues and solutions, interact with clients, watch seasoned attorneys in depositions and arbitrations, and do many other things that readied me for the practice of law. Also while in law school (during my third year) I clerked for a judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. I observed many bench and jury trials and benefitted from hearing the judge’s critiques of the attorneys’ performances. I also got to hear what jurors had to say about what they liked and did not like. I helped write legal rulings on complicated cases involving product liability, famous actors, and jurisdictional issues. I am grateful to that judge who took me under his wing and essentially was my mentor.

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