While he works at Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell, a boutique law firm specializing primarily in environmental, land use, public lands, and transportation law, Christian Alexander and his colleagues represent their clients in a range of capacities, including regulatory compliance, negotiations and deals, and litigation. As a result, on a typical day his work varies from contract drafting, to researching and preparing client memoranda, to drafting regulatory filings and court briefs. While he spends the majority of his time in the office, Alexander has had the opportunity to participate in client meetings, on-site inspections, and legal conferences around the nation. He also occasionally makes research and other work-related trips to various federal agencies and courts in Washington D.C., including the offices of the Department of Transportation, the Surface Transportation Board, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
How did you find your job?
I first learned about my firm through a career fair I attended during the summer between my 1L and 2L years. At that time I interviewed with Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell for its summer clerk position, which I was offered and which I accepted for the following summer. Although summer clerking at KKR does not usually lead to a full time position, I was fortunate that the firm happened to be looking for an associate in their Washington D.C. office at the time I was looking to move there after graduation.
How did Colorado Law help you in your job search?
The Career Development Office staff helped me in all facets of my job search, from identifying various opportunities to setting up mock interviews and reviewing my resume. Getting involved in Colorado Law’s various interdisciplinary and extra-curricular programs has also helped in broadening my professional network.
Please talk a little about "people skills" and networking specifically. How has your professional network made a difference in your career?
Like many other people I know, the word “networking” can make me cringe. However, I have found it to be a critical factor in my professional development, and even fun when done right. Participating actively and interacting with others in your professional community not only provides insight into new opportunities but also helps you feel more connected to your work. For me, the key has been to identify types of networking events and activities that are more interesting to me, and situations in which I feel more comfortable.
What advice would you give to current students with respect to finding a job?
In my experience employers want to know three things: (1) that you are intelligent, (2) that you are dependable, and (3) that you have a genuine interest in what they do. Making the most of every opportunity to showcase any and all of these three characteristics puts you a step ahead when looking for a job. The more comfortable an employer feels about you and your capabilities, the more likely they are to find a place for you.
If you were to recommend Colorado Law to a potential law student, what would you say?
Colorado Law is a distinguished school with a strong reputation, particularly in the Rocky Mountain region and within fields such as environmental, Indian, technology, and entrepreneurial law. The atmosphere at the school is collegial and friendly, and the students, professors, and staff are capable and amicable. Plus, it is easy to fall in love with the region.