There are many questions that crowd the minds of 3L law school students. Aside from the looming bar exam, many stress over whether or not they'll land a job. The transition from law school to law practice can be overwhelming. Meet Theresa Viera, an associate attorney with the McIlveen Family Law Firm. Theresa knew early on that she wanted to become a lawyer, but finding her fit took a little longer. Here's her story:
As a child of a stressful divorce and a domestic violence situation, I wanted to become a lawyer by the age of twelve. After graduating high school, I knew I would be enduring a seven- year education path that would carry me through law school. I remember toward the end of my seven-year journey and during my 3L year I reflected on how far I had come and became nervous about the unknown moving forward. I do not come from a family of lawyers nor did I know many individuals in a professional industry. After multiple career fairs, meetings with career counselors, and searching online job sites, my biggest worry in my 3L year was transitioning from the mindset and living situation of a student to the mindset and living situation of a working professional.
Through my 3L year and the bar exam, I treated my employment search as a second job. I applied for any and all positions that interested me and many that did not. I would follow up with lawyers and business contacts I met along the way to search for more opportunities. Best thing I did? I never gave up even though I still was searching for employment a few weeks after completing the bar and hanging out at my mom’s place. After a number of interviews with various employers, I landed myself a position with the McIlveen Family Law Firm. The firm was built on the premise of education, learning, compassion, enthusiasm, and respect of both its employees and the community. Although I joined the firm as the first Associate Attorney, I could envision the firm’s future built on a strong foundation of values and innovation which was expressed to me during my first interactions and interview with the firm.
Now our firm is comprised of the partners and six Associate Attorneys. Not only is my firm not afraid to be different in terms of service by providing more education to the community than other attorneys in the area, but my firm is also willing to seek ways to make the practice of law more efficient with technology and more enjoyable with a fun and supportive culture. When coming out of law school, you can be proud of your accomplishments. With that stated, your journey of being a legal professional has only just begun. There is so much more to learn once your boots are on the ground and practicing law. Be careful to ensure you remain a sponge for more information for the years to follow.