I Took the Road Less Traveled

I was around 7 or 8 years old when I first verbalized my aspiration to become a lawyer. I recall my middle school teacher encouraging me to pursue a career in law. In college, I studied history and political science because I had observed most individuals who went on to law school tended to study those subjects. I entered law school in the fall of 2013, graduated with my juris doctorate in 2016, and a year later, I am an associate recruiter at a professional staffing firm. Wait – what?

Attending college for a certain major, or even going to graduate school like me, does not mean you must, or even should, limit yourself to careers in your respective field of study. By doing so, you are closing yourself off to a world of opportunities, one in which you might just end up finding your passion. I applied for various legal positions after I graduated law school, but when I came across a listing on LinkedIn for an open position as a legal recruiter with Russell Tobin, I jumped at it. I use my degree daily, just not in the capacity of a practicing attorney. I speak to incredibly accomplished attorneys at top law firms ready to make a change for a better work-life balance. I connect with paralegals that have been in the field so long they essentially know just as much as the attorneys themselves. I chat with new college graduates seeking their first job as a legal assistant, looking to gain some experience before making the big leap into law school. Assisting these individuals in landing interviews, or delivering news of a job offer, is just as rewarding to me as it would be to write and file my first brief.

Each day, I help individuals who are seeking a progressive and fulfilling change, and that wouldn’t be the case if I had not opened myself up to an opportunity that was outside the “norm” for someone with my particular degree.

Considering it’s that time of year again when commencement ceremonies are being held, diplomas are being handed out, and family and friends are celebrating; allow yourself to be open to opportunities that are outside the projected career path you put yourself on when you chose a major. Maybe you’ll follow that path and have the career that you always pictured yourself having. Maybe you won’t and it will lead you somewhere you didn’t foresee but enjoy more than you could have predicted. I assure you, in either scenario, you’ll be glad you let yourself travel down several paths instead of one.

Abby Crist

Abby is an associate recruiter with Russell Tobin in Charleston, SC. She focuses on placing attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants and other professionals in various legal capacities across the country.

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