Career Paths: Sarah Childs ’22L Sarah Childs will be working for Parr Brown Gee & Loveless in Salt Lake City, Utah, focusing on Intellectual Property.
Sarah Childs ‘22L is from Salt Lake City, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Philosophy and a minor in Mathematics. Prior to law school, Sarah worked for the Huntsman Mental Health Institute in Salt Lake City. She spent her 1L summer interning for the International Trade Administration Advocacy Center in Washington, D.C. and her 2L summer as a Summer Associate for Parr Brown Gee & Loveless in Salt Lake City. As a 3L, Sarah worked as a Burks Scholar, a Managing Online Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, and an extern for the Honorable Elizabeth K. Dillon of the United States 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 Parr Brown Gee & Loveless in Salt Lake City, Utah. You build your own career path at Parr Brown, and I will start by primarily working under a shareholder who handles intellectual property, sports, and entertainment cases.
Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work in this field?
I didn’t know for sure, but I had a feeling that I would enjoy intellectual property. I had heard about the field from an old friend, and I liked its blend of the theoretical and practical—the boundaries of which rights IP conveys mixed with the growing need to draw firm lines sounded very interesting. That interest continued to grow in law school and I am excited to learn more out in the field.
What role did the size and location of the firm play in the search and decision process?
They both played a large part in my decision. Throughout law school I debated where I wanted to end up post-graduation, but by 2L I was confident that I wanted to move back to Utah and live in Salt Lake. I also knew I wanted a larger firm, but I didn’t want a 500-plus-attornies big-law firm. Parr Brown has around 80 attorneys, all working in its Salt Lake location, so it was the perfect fit for my life plan.
Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this career choice?
Definitely—I am the first lawyer in my family, and I did not work in the legal field before coming to law school, so my summer jobs and time at school were extremely informative on the kind of job I wanted. For my 1L summer, I worked for a branch of the government, and I realized that I did not love how large and widespread the community was. In contrast, even though I did not know every single student at W&L, I liked the close-knit community feel. My work at a psychiatric hospital prior to law school was more intimate as well—the hospital started small, and although it grew over time, the focus was always on community and looking out for one another. I liked that atmosphere, and I wanted to find a firm that had a similar vision.
What classes do you think are helpful to prepare for this job?
Legal Research and Legal Writing, first and foremost. Every single project I worked on during my 2L summer involved heavy amounts of both. Beyond those are courses on the types of cases Utah sees a lot of, classes pertinent to the subject area I want to go into, and foundational knowledge courses: Contracts, Property, Statutory Interpretation practicum, Administrative Law, Intellectual Property, and the Intellectual Property practicum. In particular, Statutory Interpretation and Administrative Law provided invaluable background knowledge and interpretive skills that allowed me to be an asset to the attorneys I worked with.
Can you describe the job search process?
For both summers, I started my process by talking to Dean Jarrett (Office of Career Strategy) about alumni opportunities. For my 1L summer, I wanted to work in D.C., so he connected me with lots of D.C. alumni. He also connected me with 3Ls who had worked in D.C. during one (or both) of their summers. My 2L summer was a little trickier because our alumni network is smaller in Utah. However, we still have some amazing alumni out there, and I was able to get interviews based off those connections. Dean Jarrett also encouraged me to talk with friends and family about any connections in the legal field. A lot more people than I realized had connections around the city, and several of these resulted in both screener interviews and callbacks. It was through one of these connections that I was able to land my position at Parr Brown. I also cold-called several firms and general counsel offices and was able to get several interviews that way as well.
What are you most looking forward to about this job?
Working with the people at Parr Brown. I loved getting to know the attorneys and staff this past summer—they are an amazing group of people. I am very excited to have them be my coworkers, mentors, and friends in the years to come.