Mentorship has been a key ingredient in helping Sonia Anderson’s career thrive, so much so that she now makes sure she takes time to mentor newer attorneys herself. As an associate attorney at Husch Blackwell, Anderson advises employers on compliance with various state and federal employment laws and litigates employment claims. She also serves as vice president of committees for the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.
Tell us a little about your work. What do you do, and what might a “typical” work day look like?
As an employment law attorney at Husch Blackwell, I both advise employers on compliance with various state and federal employment laws and litigate employment claims. The advisory part of my practice includes training employers on providing accommodations and leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. I also draft employment handbooks, restrictive covenants, and severance agreements. The litigation portion of my practice involves responding to allegations of workplace discrimination or workplace safety violations.
How did you find your job?
I accepted a summer associate position with Husch Blackwell during Colorado Law’s On Campus Interview (OCI) process. After my 2L summer at Husch, Chris Ottele and Jeff Miller offered me an associate position there. It has been a great place to work.
How did Colorado Law help you in your job search?
Colorado Law’s career services went above and beyond to help me craft my cover lever and résumé for my Husch application. They kept in contact with me after my initial interview with Husch to provide guidance about the next steps.
What skills do you utilize on a daily basis and how did your experiences or courses at Colorado Law help you develop these skills?
I rely on the foundational knowledge of employment law that I developed from the employment classes taught by Justice Melissa Hart and Professor Scott Moss.
Please talk a little about "people skills" and relationship building. How have your professional acquaintances (and friends) made a difference in your career?
As a first-generation attorney, I had to start from scratch in building my professional network. I started by getting involved with the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, following the advice of a great friend of mine, Amber Gonzales (’16). The members of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association have helped my career development by providing a vehicle for me to meet other Hispanic attorneys and to give back to the community.
Within Husch, I’ve learned the importance of developing my legal skills through mentorship. My mentor, Chris Ottele, has been instrumental in helping me become a better attorney. He and many other Husch attorneys have taught me the importance of taking time to mentor newer attorneys. Mentorship is a core value in my office, and it often gives me the boost I need to remember that I can succeed in this profession.
What advice would you give to current students with respect to finding a job?
What is important is finding people you enjoy working with and who are willing to teach you. You will come across many brilliant attorneys you want to learn from, so look for the brilliant attorneys that are willing to take the time to teach you. Those are the ones that are invested in your success and, wherever those attorneys are, that is the place where you’ll thrive.
If you were to recommend Colorado Law to a potential law student, what would you say?
The professors are amazing. I found that my professors were more than willing to take time out of their day to meet with me and help me navigate everything from their lessons to career advice.
Why did you choose Colorado Law?
I knew I wanted to live in Colorado (I’m originally from Texas), so I chose the best law school in the state to attend.