Farris Riley and Pitt recently presented a panel discussion at Birmingham School of Law for third-year students and recent alumni. The event was the first of its kind at BSL. Practicing attorneys from a variety of law disciplines spoke to attendees and imparted practical advice on how to start a law practice. They also discussed perspectives from their own law careers.
“We wanted to give students and new graduates a glimpse of reality and put them a step ahead by teaching them things we wish we had known,” says J.D. Lawrence, an attorney with Farris Riley and Pitt. “School teaches technicalities, but the reality of managing a practice isn’t something you learn until you are submerged in it day-to-day.”
Jack Nolen, a graduating senior, said the event was beneficial. “Understanding the practical aspects of starting my own practice is critical to my success, he says. “Students sometimes forget that practicing law is not the same thing as learning the law. Hearing the perspectives of practitioners who are at various stages in their law careers was valuable.”
Another student, Jennifer Cox, says the discussion was one of the best events the school has presented. “To hear from and interact with successful graduates of BSL helped me understand that this undertaking is so much more than classes, cases, and rules of law. The practical information about networking and the mechanics of setting up a business was valuable,” she says. “It was truly inspirational to be exposed to people who love what they do and work so hard to be successful.”
Nolen and Cox say the event would benefit all students, and BSL Associate Dean Scott Garrett says they hope to partner with Farris Riley and Pitt in future years to provide this same opportunity for students and alumni.
Lawrence agrees. “We enjoyed working with Birmingham School of Law to offer this opportunity. We hope to partner with them to make this event a success for years to come.”