Arielle B. Adler first attended Lavender Law® as a law student in 2011, and has been drawn to the annual Conference and Career Fair ever since. “I went in with the mentality I would make the most that I could out of it,” said Adler, who felt incredibly fortunate to attend the conference with the financial support of Boston College Law School and its Lambda Law Students Association. Adler’s preparation, research, dedication, and poise led her to a summer associate position with Day Pitney LLP, and ultimately to her current position with Lowenstein Sandler LLP, where she is an associate in the Bankruptcy, Financial Reorganization & Creditors’ Rights group.
Law school provided opportunities for Adler to not only decide what kind of law to practice, but what her professional identity would be. She decided that being an out, bisexual attorney was important to her ability to do her best work and be comfortable in the workplace. “Being newly out, I really wanted to get a sense of what the state of the legal community was with respect to inclusivity and diversity for the LGBTQ+ community,” Adler told us. She wanted a workplace where she would be able to work in an “open and genuine” way and that demonstrated a firm commitment to diversity and inclusion. When attending the Lavender Law® Career Fair in 2011, she was drawn to Day Pitney both for the firm’s location in New Jersey and because it was one of only a few firms she knew of that officially incorporated LGBTQ+ client needs into its practice areas, specifically in the firm’s trusts and estates work. Although she wasn’t moving toward that practice area, she appreciated the firm’s focused service and saw it as an indicator of the “firm culture and fit,” something she identifies as integral to the work experience.
Adler now attends the Lavender Law® Career Fair as a practicing attorney and recruits for Lowenstein Sandler. An active member of Lowenstein’s LGBTQ Alliance and the firm’s pro bono Name Change Project in partnership with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Adler feels the firm provides exactly what she was looking for as a Career Fair attendee in 2011. She highlighted the importance for law students of considering firm culture and fit as they pursue different opportunities to speak with employers. “I still think having practiced for some years that it’s difficult to get a sense of what makes law firms different from each other just by reviewing their websites… there’s a lot of good information there but it’s hard to necessarily know what distinguishes [working in] one from the other.” Adler suggests that students think about what they’re looking for in an employer, including in terms of practice groups and geography, and that they research various factors including 1) whether the firm has a dedicated diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professional; 2) whether the firm has employee resource groups, including for LGBTQ+ employees; 3) whether it has been recognized by industry organizations and organizations that serve diverse communities and 4) the firm’s pro bono initiatives.
Additionally, Adler shared some practical advice for how potential candidates can shine in an interview. Reflecting on her recruiting experience, Adler stated, “I’m not really looking for a particular kind of candidate in a specific sense. I’m looking for somebody who is prepared, professional, genuine, and hopefully comfortable speaking with me. . . . I like to have the candidate share what they feel comfortable sharing and to show me what they believe to be the best version of themselves. I like to know what you would like me to know about you.” She suggests that candidates send materials in advance if there is a firm that they are very interested in to help set the stage for the conversation, but other than that, she prefers “to let the candidate present themselves in the way they want to present themselves and see what kind of rapport comes out of that.”