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Edwin Gonzalez: The Quest for Practical Experience

Edwin Gonzalez head shot

Reading his way through a career change

After being a teacher for six years, Edwin was ready for a career change. When trying to figure out his next step, Edwin did what he always does when facing a problem: “I just read my way out of it. I went to Barnes & Noble’s self-help career section, and found a book which gave me a bunch of different options that I could look into”. 

He realized he loved working collaboratively on projects and interacting with a diverse group of people and felt that law best aligned with his skill sets and interests. So off he went to Law School at Berkeley.

He needed opportunities to see what transactional practice was like

Edwin reflects that while law school provides a strong theoretical foundation for law, the assignments and case studies aren’t always true to life. In his words, “the most challenging part is having law school education and training that mirrors the kind of practice opportunities that are out there.”

While trying to decide what area of the law he was interested in, Edwin was looking for more practical and tangible experiences that showcase transactional practice in more detail and what exactly it involves.

Edwin Gonzalez quote banner

Enter Forage: an opportunity to gain direct insight and showcase his commitment 

Edwin came across Forage’s virtual experience programs after a friend posted about it on LinkedIn and immediately saw the programs as an opportunity to upskill and learn more about what a lawyer does. He completed two programs: the Latham & Watkins Banking Virtual Experience Program and a program from a different law firm.

The benefits of completing the programs were multi-faceted:

  • It solidified his interest in Latham: Edwin really liked being able to compare the work of two different law firms and was impressed by Latham in particular. He noticed the firm had a really detailed approach to producing high-quality outputs and was dedicated to achieving excellence. He loved the challenge of the tasks and felt confident the culture of Latham was right for him. 
  • He gained direct transactional experience: “Of all the things that I had done so far in my first year, it kind of gave me the most direct experience with transactional practice.”
  • He felt better prepared for interviews and was able to showcase his interest in the industry: “In future interviews with other law firms, I think that the certificate of that program was a really great way to kind of externalize my commitment to transactional practice.” 

His advice for future students 

Edwin recommends Forage programs to all students – he describes it as a great opportunity to connect directly with firms you are interested in and allows you to put yourself in the shoes of a summer associate. A great way to experience a guided walk-through of what it is like to practice as a lawyer. 

He is really appreciative of the team at Latham and Forage for facilitating the experience. He loved being able to connect more directly with the firm, explore his career options and learn through the process. 

Congratulations to Edwin for being offered and accepting a position with Latham as a Summer Associate in 2021!

Connect with Edwin on LinkedIn here.

Follow Forage on LinkedIn here.

By Annabel Gurney