The following information was contributed by Yolanda Monroe Galloway, an associate lawyer at the law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, in response to a questionnaire circulated by The Washington Post. The material is intended to provide students with an idea of what working as an associate lawyer might be like, and some steps students can take to prepare now for a career in that field. Galloway is a graduate of McKinley High School and Howard University in the District of Columbia.
NATURE OF THE WORK:
"In this international law firm which provides services in corporate law, government relations, and real estate and tax law . . . my primary duties are to research legal issues, draft legal documents and resolve complex legal problems. After I complete the background research, I then write the necessary papers to inform attorneys.
"On a given day I may research an issue and write a legal memorandum evaluating the issue, then I may spend time meeting with a client.
"The most rewarding aspects of my job are getting positive resolutions to legal problems; i.e. a favorable court decision, and the satisfaction of my client . . . but the job is also very demanding, requiring a lot of time and dedication."
"I would recommend that while still in high school you take as many English courses as possible to develop your writing skills, and science and math courses to get a well-rounded education and improve your analytical skills . . . and the Street Law classes offered in many high schools are very helpful. You should also join the student government, debate club, and sports teams to help build confidence and foster a sense of team spirit.
"To become an associate lawyer requires four years of undergraduate college and three years of law school . . . then to be able to practice in court, you must be admitted to a state bar, which means passing the bar exam."
MATCHING YOURSELF WITH THE WORK:
"In this field you need confidence, perseverance, the ability to listen, flexibility, assertiveness, an attention to detail and analytical abilities."