Young Alumni Discuss Career Opportunities and Legal Education

“Law school changes the way you think,” said B. Slattery Johnson, a 2007 graduate of the Law Center and member of the Young Alumni Leadership Council. Four members of the council spoke to LSU Law students and Honor’s College recruits at the event held in late October at the Law Center. The program targeted top LSU undergraduates in the Law Early Admissions Program (LEAP), but was also structured as a Career Services program for current law students.

Panelists included Norma N. Bennett (’00), council chair and currently Of Counsel with Fish & Richardson P.C. in Houston; Kerrie S. Crockett (’05), A-Level Felony Prosecutor with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office; Russell L. Mosely (’02) of Mosely Law Firm L.L.C. and Preferred Title Company of Baton Rouge; and Johnson, associate attorney with Blanchard, Walker, O’Quin & Roberts in Shreveport.

Speakers offered advice on how to prepare for law school and getting the most out of the law school experience. They also described how their law degree prepared them for their chosen career paths, including careers in large out-of-state firms, smaller in-state firms, government, and business.

“Take what you see on Boston Legal and throw it away,” said Bennett. “Employers look for those who can write, work with clients … and relate to others.” She added that specialized backgrounds, such as the degree she earned in chemistry, can be of tremendous value when working in such areas as patent and trademark litigation.

Mosely advised students to, “Get involved with people who are different. The legal profession is a very social profession, and you need to work with a diverse group … judges, clients, and attorneys.” He also encouraged the students to do things that are hard, and to take a leadership role in something that they are not comfortable doing. “That training in undergraduate [school] is very important.”

“Tailor your law school experience to what you want to achieve,” advised Kerrie Crockett. She encouraged students to consider a law career if they care about making a difference in the world.

Johnson told the audience that, “If you’re in it for the bucks, you’re in it for the wrong reasons.” He said that law school can be the best time in your life, and he recommended that students not get caught in the “uber competitiveness” that can make law school unpleasant.

The Young Alumni Leadership Council was initiated in 2007 by Chancellor Jack Weiss. The council is comprised of two members of the past 11 graduating classes. The council meets each semester to advise the Law Center on a broad range of issues related to preparing students for the ever-changing practice of law.