GETTING STARTED | Order in the Court: Launching a legal career

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By Alison Bailin Batz

Those who work in law – whether as police officers, judges or attorneys – often consider their jobs more of a calling than a career choice. This idea stands to reason for those who work as attorneys, especially considering the years of additional schooling and enormous time commitment it takes to even get started. We sat down with some of the Valley’s most successful attorneys to learn what inspired each of them to make the decision to go into the legal field.  

Jose A. Carillo
Labor & Employment Attorney, Quarles & Brady LLP
As a kid, I was a rule-follower and loved learning about our justice system. After college, I worked at the state and federal level investigating claims of discrimination. In these roles, I worked closely with attorneys and witnessed firsthand the effects of their advocacy. This experience — coupled with my long-standing passion for justice — inspired me to go to law school.

Robert S. Reder
Managing Partner, Blythe Grace PLLC
From others’ generosity I started in the practice of law. Randall Stephenson suggested I attend law school. After graduating, the Blunt family hosted me in London while I studied for my Master of Laws. I then moved to Phoenix, where Thomas Littler gave me my start. Pam Gates and Jay Zweig extended me the opportunity to work at Bryan Cave, where I received the training needed to open my law practice.

Cathleen Yu
Co-Chair of Investor Services and Business Law Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP
In college, I volunteered as a translator for lawyers assisting undocumented immigrant children who came to the United States alone. I saw how knowledge of the law can allow you to make a difference in people’s lives and was inspired to attend law school.

Maria Lawrence
Owner, Lawrence Law Offices PLLC
When I was 10, my little sister got in a fight with a neighbor. When the police came, I told them everything that happened and how my sister was just defending herself. The policeman told me I was very convincing and I should go to law school. Ever since then, I set my sights on becoming a lawyer.

Nicole Stanton
Office Managing Partner, Quarles & Brady LLP
When I was young, I watched my brother get victimized by bullies at school. My parents, who knew very little about the law, were ill-equipped to respond to what my brother was going through. I wanted to help, but I didn’t know how. Growing up, I didn’t know a single lawyer. I certainly didn’t know any lawyers who were women. When I was in college, my mass communications law professor asked me if I had ever considered being a lawyer. I never had, of course — until that day. He told me he thought I would be good at law. That comment, which probably he doesn’t even remember, made all the difference in the world to me.  

Rachel Frazier Johnson
Family Law and Business Attorney, Rachel Frazier Johnson Law PLLC
When I was 7 years old, I told my family I wanted to be a lawyer. Since that time, there has not been any other career I have considered. When I was a child, trips to the library, movies or TV shows I watched always related to crime or investigation. My favorite class in law school was criminal procedure. This all fostered my love of the law.

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