Have you ever wondered what career opportunities there are for an agricultural lawyer? I talk to a lot of high school, college, and law students who are interested in ag law, but aren’t sure what options that might offer. Because of this, I decided to host a five-part podcast series, “A Day in the Life of an Ag Lawyer.”
I recruited friends of mine in various aspects of agricultural law from around the country and asked them questions about what their typical day is like, what their favorite and least favorite parts of their job are, and what they love most about being a lawyer. If you’re interested in being an ag lawyer, or just curious about what exactly we do, these episodes are for you!
We kicked things off in Indiana with Brianna Schroeder, who gave us a view of working at a small law firm. [Listen to episode here.] I loved Brianna’s perspective as she has worked in both large and small law firms and she talks about the importance of figuring out what you do not want to do in order to find what you really do love!
Next up, we talked with Nate Huff about life at a large firm. Nate shares about his experience as an associate and now shareholder at Phelps Dunbar in North Carolina. [Listen to episode here.] I found this episode fascinating when Nate told us that one of his favorite things at a large firm is the entrepreneurial aspect of building a client base.
When it was time to talk agricultural policy, there was only one guest who would do. Ray Starling has worked in policy at the state level in North Carolina, as a staffer in the US Senate, as a senior advisor to President Trump in the White House, and as Chief of Staff for USDA Secretary Sunny Purdue. [Listen to episode here.] My favorite takeaway from this episode is that there does not have to be any one clear path to follow for a great career in agricultural law–Ray never planned to work in the various capacities that he has, but he just kept saying yes to open doors.
Then we turned to a discussion of in house counsel life with Mike Traxinger from South Dakota. [Listen to episode here.] I loved hearing about how Mike was able to find an in house job with the local co-op, which allowed him his dream of moving home to the family ranch.
Finally, we wrapped up the series with Peggy Kirk Hall. [Listen to episode here.] Peggy works in academia at Ohio State University and you can hear in our chat how much she really cares about the farmers she is able to help in her Extension work.
For those of you interested in agricultural law, I hope you will listen to these episodes and see there are tons of opportunities in this field. I hope you will take the opportunity to reach out to these folks, and I’ll promise you that they are more than willing to visit with you. Also, if you’d like to listen to law school advice from several ag lawyers, be sure to listen to this prior episode as well.