Job Shadowing in the Legal Field
Last year, we shared a story about one of our mentor pairs, Stacie and Ja’Nysha. Their mentoring relationship continues to grow, and as intended in our Think Big for Kids mentorship program, Ja’Nysha is exploring career opportunities with Stacie’s help. Ja’Nysha has long expressed an interest in going into the legal profession, and Stacie sought an opportunity to connect Ja’Nysha with real-life experiences to help her learn more through job shadowing.
What is Job Shadowing?
Job-shadowing allows students to learn about the characteristics of careers that they are interested in, as well as about related competencies, skills, and behaviors by observing who actually does the job. The student will gain knowledge and understanding about the responsibilities and tasks in a particular career. Under the Think Big for Kids Job Readiness & Placement Pillar, our team can coordinate job shadowing experiences through our partner companies.
Benefits of participating in job shadowing include:
- – Increasing exposure to different roles and functions within the organization
- – Helping support the student in their career development
- – Sharing knowledge and expertise in a particular area, which allows the student to review and reflect on their career choices within that industry
- – Experiencing what a day in the life of that profession could look like
Ja’Nysha, who is going into her senior year in the fall of 2022, knew that she was interested in a career relating to the legal field. She wanted to explore what her life would be like if she goes to law school versus what she could do if she becomes a paralegal. Think Big for Kids partnered with three companies to provide Ja’Nysha a look into what those choices would look like.
Ja’Nysha’s mentor Stacie works at A-LIGN as a Corporate Governance & Privacy Analyst. A-LIGN is a technology-enabled security and compliance partner that mitigates cybersecurity risks. Stacie set up a job shadowing experience in June at A-LIGN with a focus on their legal department. Ja’Nysha met with three different employees on her job shadowing day that included the CEO, Chief Human Resources Officer, and the General Counsel and Secretary. Ja’Nysha shared, “Overall, I learned about audits, cyber security, and that basically every company needs a lawyer.” What an interesting look at the legal field from within a company!
In July, Stacie accompanied Ja’Nysha to local law firm, Johnson Pope. Ja’Nysha met with five different employees who shared a variety of viewpoints and careers in the legal profession. Ja’Nysha said, “My day at Johnson Pope Law firm was amazing. I conversed with Frank, Patti, Angelina, Victoria, and Nick who are all attorneys or paralegals but in different fields. I learned about the broad spectrum of law and was given advice regarding making my decision of which college I would attend in the upcoming future.” Ja’Nysha said she liked all of the different perspectives even though it made it harder to make a decision about which direction to go in the legal field.
Ja’Nysha’s final job shadowing opportunity in August was at Trenam Law where she learned about being a paralegal. After an office tour and introduction from Trenam’s Chief People Officer, Richard Pollack, Ja’Nysha met with six different employees in the firm. When she met with Brigid, an attorney/shareholder in the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group, she received advice about connecting with her counselors at high school and in college to make sure she gets everything they have to offer. Ja’Nysha next met with three paralegals who explained what they do for a living and the path they took to get there. She really appreciated seeing examples of the types of forms they fill out at work. She wrapped up her visit with a lunch chat about how important working in a positive environment is, especially when you are just starting out in your career. Ja’Nysha’s day at Trenam was full of invaluable advice and will be a day she always remembers!
Overall Job Shadowing Experience
We are so proud of Ja’Nysha for taking part of this experience. She showed up ready to learn every day, and one of her favorite parts was meeting her mentor Stacie in person for the first time! Think Big for Kids is proud to provide job shadowing opportunities for students to get a feel for a specific career field and the day-to-day responsibilities it requires. Stacie will continue to support Ja’Nysha on her path towards a career in the legal field.