Things I Wish I Knew, Vol. 13: Things I hope you’ve learned

Dear 1Ls,

First of all, how exciting is it that I can officially call you that? For so long, you were all “incoming 1Ls” or “almost 1Ls” or “soon-to-be 1Ls” and you finally made it! Tomorrow is the first day of your legal career (holy cow!) and I for one cannot thank you enough for letting me and every one of our talented BC Law Impact contributors be a part of your journey up to this moment.

I think I speak for all our contributors when I say that when we first started writing for the blog, we figured we would reach a couple dozen people — probably our friends and family who would click the links to humor us. But you truly have overwhelmed us, and certainly me, in the positive feedback for this pilot project. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to meet you all in person and to hear you say that you read one of my posts and how it helped you in such and such a way.

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Making an Impact: the Power of Pro Bono

Editor’s Note: Earl Adams, Jr. is of Counsel with DLA Piper in Washington, DC and Baltimore. Prior to this position, Earl was Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. He has also served in several different positions of leadership within the BC Law Alumni Association, including his current position as Vice President of the Alumni Board. All of us at Impact are pleased to be able to host his guest blog post.

earl_adamsBefore joining my current law firm, I had the honor of serving for five years in Maryland state government as chief of staff to the Lt. Governor, and one of the things I enjoyed most about my job was the knowledge that my efforts benefited more than a precious few. This feeling gave me a true sense of work satisfaction. Among the many things that I learned and got out of my BC Law experience was an appreciation of the maxim, “to whom much is given, much will be required.” So, when I decided to leave public service and return to private practice, I was, to say the least, concerned that I might not find the same contentment in my new job. Said more precisely, I was concerned that my work on behalf of individual clients would not be as rewarding. As a result, when I arrived at my firm, I actively sought out opportunities to find socially impactful pro bono work. One particular engagement caught my attention because of the potential to changes the lives of the people involved.

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Things I Wish I Knew, Vol. 12: Networking 101 – They can totally tell you just came for the food

(Let me preface this post by mentioning that I like food. A lot.)

So I figured I would post this now because, believe it or not, some of you have your first networking events looming on the immediate horizon. (Hint hint: orientation.) And I know many of you are probably a little nervous about diving in headfirst into the networking pool, so allow me to provide you some water wings:

The food is a trap.

Well, not entirely. You see, whenever you go to a networking event, you’ll see delightful, delicious, and most importantly, free  food laid out all ready to be eaten.

The spread at a BC Law Admitted Students reception

The spread at a BC Law Admitted Students reception

We college students are adept at eating anything that doesn’t run away from us, so the temptation is almost unwieldily at times. But you must resist! I don’t know why these employers torture us with food we can’t possibly eat in a polite way, but I know that you too will be faced with your culinary kryptonite (for me, it was spare ribs), and have to just say no. Continue reading

What You Need for 1L, Day 1

Starting off my 1L year, I was several years out of college. This was anxiety inducing for several reasons, but one, in particular, I didn’t expect: I had no idea what an adult human being in graduate school needed to bring to class. Do I bring notebooks? Every single one of my 50-pound books? Maybe get my hands on a trapper keeper? (Fun fact: I 100% owned that trapper keeper in the 4th grade.)

To help you avoid the onset of organizational stress, and facilitate your inevitable Staples run, I’ve compiled a list of some items you may want to think about bringing on the first day.

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Things I Wish I Knew, Vol. 11: Networking 101 – So what do I call them, exactly?

Dear incoming 1Ls,

It’s been a while since my last segment of TIWIK, and that’s primarily because I wanted to find a topic that would be most useful to you in the next month or so while you’re getting ready for orientation and school to start. (15 days! Whoo!) So I got to thinking and I remembered that my first year almost exactly a year ago, the first month was filled with what I soon came to regard as a four-letter word: networking.

If you’re anything like me, networking will be a totally foreign concept to you, and you really will feel out of your league for a little while. What is supposed to come from this?, you’ll ask yourself. What is the purpose of this except to make me feel awkward and have to stand in heels for two straight hours?

Fear not, friends. Because for the next few weeks, I will be doing a series on the do’s and don’ts of networking that will make you feel at least marginally better about putting yourself out there.

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