By Wenxi Lu
Leah Brenner (she/her) is a 2L at Vermont Law & Graduate School, pursuing both a JD and a Master of Arts in Restorative Justice. She works as an advanced student clinician with the Vermont Immigration Assistance Clinic and the Family Law Project. She also serves as VLGS’s Vice President of the Student Bar Association and served as the former secretary of the Alliance LGBTQ+ Law Student Group. Before law school, she worked for a decade as a professional actor in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles. A jack-of-many-trades, she has also worked as an early childhood teacher, a mock witness, a standardized patient, a restaurant server, an administrative assistant, and more.
What was the first Lavender Law® Career Fair you attended, and did you find employment as a result?
My first Lav Law Career Fair was in 2022. I looked at some firms ahead of time, especially the public interest opportunities, because public interest work is what I am most interested in. I spoke with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and made connections with them. I also talked to many governmental agencies at the career fair and approached firms where I recognized faces from panels I had enjoyed earlier in the conference.
How do you think attending the career fair helped you find success at that point in your career? How was the networking atmosphere at the conference?
Lav Law helped me understand what is out there and what my true passion is. I am a first-generation law student and do not know many lawyers, so Lav Law was helpful for me to meet legal professionals and learn about the different fields where they practice. In addition, Lav Law built a queer-friendly space where I felt comfortable asking questions.
How did you prepare for the career fair?
I got my resume ready and looked up a lot of Chicago-based firms beforehand. I submitted my resume to the career fair portal and received an invitation ahead of time to stop by a specific firm’s table. I also prepared a list of firms and agencies I wanted to stop by and talk to at the Career Fair. In addition, because the Career Fair was after the panels, I was excited to talk to folks I had met or heard present in the panels earlier in the week.
What are your summer 2023 and future career plans?
I am still deciding between opportunities. In terms of future plans, I am interested in queer justice work and maybe queer family law. I hope to provide legal services for the LGBTQ+ community in Chicago or Vermont.