Career Paths: Jenna Lorence ’17L
Jenna Lorence grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and received her B.A. in Government from Patrick Henry College. She is the Chair of the Moot Court Board, a Lead Online Editor on the Law Review, and a member of the Federalist Society. She will join K&L Gates after graduation.
When I came to law school, I wasn’t planning on working for a law firm. I imagined that I would likely go into non-profit work. However, I also knew that I wanted to stay in the Washington, D.C. area where I grew up, so when OCS (Office of Career Strategy) started sending us information about law firms who were hiring in the D.C. area, I decided to apply. My search was limited to the DC area only, so I interviewed with six firms and went on three call back interviews. My mentors encouraged me to use that time to interview the firms and figure out if they would be a good fit for me.
I realized as I visited the different firms that I had been too focused on subject area of the law, but instead needed to look for the type of job where I could excel. I found that as a summer associate at K&L Gates. Each day involved putting together legal puzzles, interacting and working with smart people, and a hands on, mentorship approach to training law students and young lawyers.
I was grateful that I had taken some of the basic business law classes at W&L, but I was even more grateful for the intense writing training W&L professors had given me. When asked to put together memos and documents for partners, I had the tools I needed to produce quality work.
W&L’s alumni network also was an amazing tool for me as I worked at K&L. The other W&L alumni at the firm quickly took me under their wing and were always willing to offer advice or help. After my summer at K&L Gates, I was happy to accept an offer to work in its D.C. office starting this September. During the summer I did projects in the public policy and government enforcement practice groups, and I will find out what practice area I’ll be in sometime this summer.