Manager of Legal Recruiting
Ropes & Gray LLP
This month WALRAA is proud to feature Ed Lafayette. Ed is a proud Vermonter and got started in the legal field as a paralegal. He has been a member of WALRAA since 2014 and enjoys the quality interactions he's experienced there with other members. Read about his experience in recruiting, his favorite moments, and more in the questions below.
1. How long have you been a member of WALRAA? What has been your favorite experience so far?
I became a member of WALRAA in early 2014 when I joined Ropes & Gray. I have enjoyed so many parts of my WALRAA experience so far. The most impactful has been the amazing colleagues I have met and the many opportunities the organization provides for quality interaction between its members.
2. How has WALRAA helped you in your field?
WALRAA has introduced me to a tremendous community of peers who have always been happy to share their knowledge, insight, and support throughout every level of my recruiting career. WALRAA programming has helped me develop professionally while making meaningful personal connections at the same time. It is truly a bright spot in our profession that helps me enjoy what I do.
3. How did you first learn about and get started in Attorney Recruiting/Career Services?
I previously worked at another DC firm as a paralegal, and had enjoyed my interaction with the recruiting team there. After a few enjoyable years helping run a DC area law school admissions office, I decided to return to a firm. I found a posting for a coordinator position with a strong amount of overlap in the recruitment aspects of the admissions role, and thought it would be something I would really enjoy doing. I was lucky to end up here.
4. What is your favorite moment of your career so far?
I feel like there are so many great moments that really help me appreciate what we do. I still get excited every time a candidate calls or emails to accept an offer. I love orientation, when those students you spent the previous summer with return to the firm with a ton of opportunity in front of them. It's a great feeling when you see a student you first met in a hospitality suite getting recognized for their outstanding work at the firm.
5. What is it that challenges you most in your job?
It might be too specific of an answer, but navigating a fully-virtual recruitment cycle has certainly made things challenging. While this has limited the in-person interaction that I find truly enjoyable, it has forced us to expand our interviewing capabilities and develop new methods of connecting with candidates and colleagues who are in various locations, which should provide value well past 2020.
6. How do you balance your career and personal life?
It helps that I have a very supportive partner and it doesn't hurt that she is a teacher who has more free time than I do in the summer, when extra hours are needed. I do my best to dedicate as much time as I can for family, friends, and some fun travel.
7. What is the best professional advice you have received?
Not to fear change or a challenge.
8. What do you like to do for fun?
I love to play adult softball, go to Nats games, and coach or attend whatever sport my ten year old daughter is playing in any given season. This year there has been a lot more time spent walking, hiking, and doing puzzles.
9. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?
I am proud to be a Vermonter and I grew up across the street form Bernie Sanders!