Career Paths: Lauren Robertson ’22L Lauren Robertson will be working with the litigation group at Holland & Knight LLP in the firm’s Tampa office.
Lauren Robertson ‘22L is from Sarasota, Florida. She received a B.A. in English from Florida State University. Prior to studying law at W&L, she worked in commercial insurance. Lauren spent her 1L summer working as a judicial extern for the Honorable Judge Julie Sneed of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and her 2L summer working for Holland & Knight LLP in Tampa, Florida. As a 3L, she served as the Editor in Chief of the Washington and Lee Law Review, a Burks Scholar for Legal Writing, a Research Assistant for Professor Brandon Hasbrouck, and a judicial extern for the Honorable Judge Joel Hoppe of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?
I will be working for Holland & Knight LLP in the firm’s Tampa office. I accepted an offer to practice with the Litigation group after graduation.
Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in this field?
Before law school, I learned the initial legal career interest bifurcation was litigation versus transactional practice. Answering this question was always easy because I’ve loved public speaking since I was little. This resolve strengthened after my first year. I loved legal writing and legal research—essentially, the job description of a young litigation associate. But beyond knowing I wanted to be a litigator, I had no idea what I want to specialize in. Thankfully, Holland & Knight doesn’t pidgeonhole. I’ll be able to work on a variety of cases to learn firsthand what I want to specialize in. I’m excited to figure out exactly what that is!
What role did the size and location of the firm play in the search and decision process?
Location was important to me because I wanted to live in proximity to my family. But I also wanted to work at a big (ideally, international) law firm for the challenge of it. Tampa checked both of those boxes. I applied to the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida for my 1L summer because I wanted my resume to illustrate how important returning to the area was. That strategy was, and is, instrumental for close-knit legal communities like Tampa.
Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this career choice?
When I worked before law school, I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. As wonderful as the people I worked with were, I knew that it wasn’t the right career fit. That experience enabled me to recognize the opposite. It may sound a bit corny, but law school as a whole has validated that this is what I’m meant to do. I loved my classes. I loved my extracurriculars. I loved my job experiences. These past three years have only reinforced that being an attorney is my calling.
What classes do you think are helpful to prepare for this job?
Without a doubt, Legal Writing and Legal Research were the most important classes. Though I have developed beyond what I learned as 1L, the lessons I learned there informed my capacity to get on Law Review and perform during my summer judicial internship. Those experiences shaped my work product during my second-year which, in turn, facilitated my success during my summer associateship, etc. Taking those two classes seriously snowballs into something worth a lot more than the assigned class credits.
Can you describe the job search process?
As a disclaimer, I don’t think I’m the best example of how to approach the job process. Purely because I decided that I wanted to work at Holland and Knight during my 1L Fall and then exerted all my energy into the one outcome. I think my success derived from heavily relying on OCS (Office of Career Strategy) and having the initiative to intensely network with the attorneys in H&K’s Tampa office. Luckily, one of the litigation partners, Stacy Blank, attended W&L, which helped make that process easier.
What are you most looking forward to about this job?
I am most looking forward to working with the people I worked with last summer again. Everyone in the Tampa office was welcoming and helpful. I know that I will be working long hours in a big law firm, so I’m grateful to already like the people that I will be spending those hours with.