We recently profiled retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Keys, and he pointed out what we already knew: it isn’t just older lawyers who have a lot of interesting things to say about the practice law. Mentoring flows both ways from junior lawyers to senior lawyers as well as senior to junior.
Minnesota Litigator (“ML”): Given the long line of success in your career, I thought you, Emily McNee, would be a great person to talk to from your insight as a relatively junior lawyer.
Emily McNee: I appreciate that. Happy to be here.
ML: How long have you practiced?
Emily McNee: Five years now. I graduated from law school in 2013 and then spent a year clerking for Judge Louise Bjorkman at the Minnesota court of appeals. And then, from there I joined Littler Mendelson. So, I’ve been with Littler about four years.
ML: Maybe you’re close enough to your own decision to go to law school to advise people who are now graduating from college and wondering, “What next?”
Emily McNee: And I also teach at the University of Minnesota Law School as a legal writing adjunct. So, I’m close to the law school in that way also. In terms of advice for people thinking about law school, I think they need to decide if being a lawyer is something that they’re interested in. There are a lot of people who find the experience of law school enjoyable, but then they finish school and it’s sort of, “Well, what now?” And they haven’t necessarily thought about that on the front end.
Going to law school and being a lawyer are two different things. I think there are a lot of avenues coming out of law school, but for people who are interested in working with people, helping to solve problems, intellectually-challenging issues, law school and being a lawyer can be a good fit.
ML: Anything about the practice of law come as a surprise to you?