In this episode I speak with Brian Potts. Brian is a Partner at Perkins Coie based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is an environment and energy lawyer with an active pro bono practice but is also an active speaker, writer, and serial entrepreneur (including inventing the LegalBoard (legalkeyboards.com), the world's first computer keyboard made just for lawyers). He is also deeply committed to demystifying the process of getting a legal job and helping young lawyers find their legal path. During the pandemic he has personally mentored hundreds of lawyers he met on LinkedIn and has started an informal lawyer mentorship network. His book, The Jobless Lawyer's Handbook (https://www.brianhpotts.com/), is scheduled to come out very soon.
Brian's professional story is one of patience and persistence. His firm bio includes the following anecdote about his own path his current position:
"In 2002, as a second-year law student, Brian applied to work at every one of the Top 100 law firms in the country. He received form rejection letters from all of them. Less than a decade later, Brian was among the youngest to make equity partner at one of those firms. And today, he’s an equity partner at Perkins Coie―where his form rejection letter from the firm in 2002 hangs on his office wall."
In our conversation we discuss his path from rejection letters to law firm partnership, how investing in yourself is one of the highest leverage things you can do as a young lawyer, techniques for more senior lawyers to serve as more effective mentors, finding joy and entrepreneurial success in his side hustles, and tips and techniques for standing out and getting hired in today's job market.
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