June 06, 2011 Articles

The Road to Judging

The author recounts her road to becoming a judge and how her journey has allowed her to build upon her strengths and meet new challenges.

By Hon. J. Michelle Childs

My road to judging has been a fortunate, yet unexpected path. I began my legal career the traditional way. I clerked for law firms during the summer months of law school, then eventually I worked for a large law firm and practiced in the areas of employment and labor law, general litigation, and domestic relations. During my tenure there, I performed the typical tasks of advising clients, researching and writing documents to be filed with the various administrative agencies and courts, and handling complex legal matters. Of course, as in any firm, in addition to performing the daily tasks associated with the business of the firm, I had to formulate a marketing plan to seek opportunities to procure new clients and eventually become a partner with the firm. I found that the most enjoyable and productive way for me to meet these goals was to join and assume leadership positions within bar organizations, do community service for programs in which I had a sincere interest, and speak at seminars to develop expertise in my practice areas. These activities resulted in business referrals, highlighted the importance of networking, enhanced my legal skills, and contributed to my personal development and ability to foster meaningful relationships.

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