Assistant Attorney General New York, asbestosdefinition.com | Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has made New York the most progressive state in the nation for its affirmative action programs.
In fact, a recent survey found that 80 percent of New Yorkers would be at least somewhat amenable to more preferential treatment for minorities. Assistant Attorney General Edith Ramirez makes that explicit by making her office “the most black” office in the state.
Attorney General Schneiderman is not alone. In fact, “a plurality of a representative sample of young people (aged 18-29) in four major American cities agreed that their personal and professional lives are better now than in the past,” according to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. So how do you fit in New York?
The quick answer is through being a mentor. First, you must research the New York legal community and find someone who is willing to sit down with you and listen to your concerns.
“An initial meeting with a prospective employer or counselor could help you determine whether you will be able to work well with them,” says Richard B. Goldstein, senior counsel and dean of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Next, decide if you are a good fit for New York. “The New York Bar Association offers up-to-date information about the type of lawyers available in the New York State area and the types of issues that they specialize in,” according to the New York State Bar Association.
Here are three examples of issues that are often addressed by law firms and lawyers in New York. (Note: This is not a complete list. A New York lawyer might not offer any of these issues.)
If you know where you want to go, you will have a better chance of finding a New York law firm willing to mentor you. When you look for mentors, they should serve as “people to talk to in order to learn more about what it takes to practice law in New York,” says Jeffrey A. Cohen, a law professor at Pace University.
“At the same time, I think that we have a tendency in New York to use our Attorney General’s Office as a political football,” he adds. However, you can’t take your worries out on the office, but you can turn it into a way to get inside and learn about the law and how it affects you.
“A lot of people that join the bar right out of college don’t know that there are four or five subcategories within the attorneys’ field that are worth studying more deeply,” says Maryann Bernardo, a professor of law at Georgetown University. A mentor will allow you to move from knowledge to expertise. He or she can also help you get an idea of how the legal industry works.
To get started, you should ask some of your friends and colleagues, including those with careers in the law or who are attorneys.
That way, you can get to know each other first before asking an attorney you are interested in working with to mentor you. Afterward, you can discuss the situation with your coach, a lawyer who was in the same situation as you.
A mentor can also help you by helping you put together your case, helping you decide on an attorney and sometimes even preparing briefs and statements for you. If you want to go into private practice, a mentor can help you build a client list, which will prepare you for the start of your career.
In addition, a mentor can take you to the different administrative offices of the New York Bar Association, such as the Office of Special Litigation, Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, or the Office of Legal Practice. These offices can help you learn about what the New York lawyers do and how you can make a difference in New York law.
If you’re already in New York, one way to help you relate to your mentee is to meet your mentors outside of the legal profession.
The New York Bar Association allows its partners to meet with non-practicing partners or former partners from other fields. this way, they can learn more about the career paths that are open to them in their line of work and how your career interests might fit them.