Kylee Reynolds was on the fence for a long time, unable to decide if she should attend law school. She majored in Secondary Education and Creative Writing at North Park University before serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone. It was in Africa, teaching English in a small mountain village, that Kylee finally decided that her future lies in the law. Some of the attorneys prosecuting Charles Taylor, the former leader of Liberia accused of war crimes, came to the village to hear stories from the women affected, and Kylee helped to translate. It was then that Kylee knew the power of law; she saw firsthand how the voiceless find allies in the legal profession.
Upon enrolling at Penn State Law, Kylee immediately joined its Outlaw chapter. Their president had previously attended Lavender Law, receiving an internship as a result, and encouraged all members to attend as well. Kylee’s interest in LGBT law drew her in and the opportunity to meet attorneys practicing in the field became a major focus in attending.
Penn State Law’s Career Services Office helped prepare their student attendees for what they should expect in an interview at Lavender Law, even setting up mock interviews individualized to each student’s specific firm or organizational preferences. Kylee, having been accepted to attend the Transgender Law Institute (TLI), researched the presenters, their organizations, and the materials they have published. She found articles by industry leaders such as Jennifer Levi and Kylar Broadus, learning as much as she could about the topics of discussion for TLI.
Kylee used Lavender Law events outside of the career fair to her advantage; “I had met Dru Levasseur of Lambda Legal at one of the mixers the night before the fair… He was doing exactly the kind of law I wanted to do at exactly the place I wanted to do it,” she said. She took the initiative to approach him and ended up touching base with him several times throughout the conference. Kylee also managed to network with other groups she was interested in, such as the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Transgender Law Center.
As follow up to the conference, Kylee made sure to email the individuals with whom she’d spoken, thanking them for their presentations and taking the time to speak with her afterward. Dru responded, encouraging her to apply to a position with Lambda Legal. Following an application and interview process, Lambda ultimately offered Kylee the position. Kylee’s reaction is one we always look for in our attendees, “I never dreamed that just meeting the right people at the right time could lead to a job with my dream organization.”
When asked if she had any advice for future attendees, Kylee encouraged students to step out of their comfort zones and approach those slightly imposing, but ultimately very kind, attendees who stand at the forefront of their profession. As Kylee said, “meeting them reminded me that while they’re bringing cases to the Supreme Court and I’m bringing my books to class, ultimately, we’re all fighting for equality and autonomy for all people.”