I knew from an early age I was different, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that it began to crystallize. I went to college as far away from home as possible to figure out what it meant to be gay and pretty much lived as an out gay man whenever I was away from home. This was before social media, so it was fairly easy, but I did feel disconnected from my family for quite some time. It wasn’t until I graduated law school that I felt comfortable telling my parents, and while it was a rocky road at first, I’m grateful that we have come a long way and I’ve been able help make progress in my family’s views on LGBTQ life.
When did you become interested in the law?
When I was in high school, I was introduced to basic legal principles in a business administration class. From there, I took business law in college and was always fascinated by it. When it came time to think about graduate school, law school was a natural choice.
What inspired you to begin a career in legal recruiting?
My desire to help people undoubtedly motivated my inspiration to go to law school. While I enjoyed school, I realized that human interaction with my clients would be difficult to achieve in a law firm environment. I was a people person in a paper world, and while I tried my hand at public interest and in house practice at a fashion brand, neither felt fulfilling to me. At the same time, being the child of immigrants, I didn’t have an organic vast legal network and realized there were many diverse and minority attorneys much like myself that needed guidance beyond what was provided by law school career services departments. When I heard about the legal recruiting industry, it’s like a lightbulb went off in my head, and I immediately became invested pursuing a career in this field.
Who has had the most significant impact/influence on your career?
I have a wonderful mentor that took me under her wing and taught me not just the principles of fairness and honesty within this industry but also opened doors for me by introducing me to clients very early in my career. I will always be grateful for her taking a chance on me and planting the seeds for me to become a successful recruiter in my own right.
I knew from an early age I was different, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that it began to crystallize. I went to college as far away from home as possible, to figure out what it meant to be gay and pretty much lived as an out gay man whenever I was away from home. This was before social media, so it was reasonably easy, but I did feel disconnected from my family for quite some time. It wasn’t until I graduated law school that I felt comfortable telling my parents and while it was a rocky road at first I’m grateful that we have come a long way and I’ve been able to help make progress in my family’s views on LGBTQ life.
What does pride mean to you?
We live in a world where we are in fear of being ostracized, disowned, or berated for being different. People are afraid of the unknown, and that fear yields scary actions by many ignorant folks. Pride, to me, is to live unabashedly and authentically as me, with no holds barred. It was what I strive to do every day.
How do you navigate the topic of sexual orientation in the workplace?
Luckily, I was never in the closet (for the most part) in my adult life. I found it easy to be myself at MLA (thanks, in part to Bob Major being a named, founding partner at our firm), but of course, it took some time for people to become comfortable with my life when compared to theirs. While I never had an adverse reaction to my sexuality, it certainly took time for some to warm up. All I could do was live authentically and have faith that people could come around, which they certainly did. I’m grateful to have champions in colleagues who I was initially uncomfortable around myself because they fit into stereotypes of people I didn’t have the best interactions with in high school or college. I think it goes to show that just because people are different, it doesn’t mean we can’t all get along.