Adriennette is one of the newest members of the Alameda County Bar Association. She is a recent graduate of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and was admitted into the California State Bar in June. Adriennette is currently seeking her dream job in land use/municipal law.
1. When did you know you wanted to be a lawyer?
I first became interested in being a lawyer when I was in second grade. I did not know any lawyers personally at that stage in my life. However, what I knew about them was that the image of a lawyer was someone who was well respected, a hard worker, and someone who was well compensated for their work. Being raised in a single parent home, my mother often had to work two jobs to make ends meet. I knew that if I was a lawyer, my mother and I would be financially set.
Now that I am a lawyer, and focused on helping the public through practicing land use or municipal law, I know that lawyers that work for the public are compensated at a different scale. The work I envision myself doing will build stronger communities, which in turn will have the effect of leading people to increased financial security.
2. If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you be doing instead?
As a child I always loved science and nature, so I can imagine I would have been a botanist that would hopefully discover a cure to a major disease. Once I realized that an unconscionable amount of mathematics was required in order to pursue such a career, my botanist dreams swiftly morphed into becoming an advocate. Now that I am adult, I still love science, however, the science I practice daily is related to food preparation. I absolutely love cooking and would definitely be a chef if not an attorney. I am extremely interested not only in developing recipes, but also the story that food tells about people, families, geography, and the human spirit.
3. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were first admitted to law school?
I wish that I had sought out more mentorship opportunities and had made stronger connections. As a first semester student, I was so focused on reading and briefing cases, I barely made time for positive social interaction.
I also wish I had been able to learn the secrets of doing very well on final exams. At my school, there were tons of resources to help students excel at exams. I did not realize the importance of taking several practice tests until my second semester in law school. Once I figured that out, my learning and study style of the material changed and I was able to put myself in exam mode during my preparation so that I could do well on my exams.
4. What is the biggest challenge facing you as a lawyer today?
My biggest challenge has been securing a position that is right for me. I have several skills and can see myself working in several different environments. I have a BS in Urban Planning, and a double MA in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies. My educational background and passion points me in the direction of serving the public in either government or at a non-profit. The challenge is finding the right fit for myself with an organization that I can grow with and have a meaningful impact on.
5. What is your favorite part of being a lawyer?
So far, my favorite part is discussing the law with colleagues and my attorney friends. I love to discuss the legal issues of current events and explain the law to non-lawyers who may have questions. As a recent admittee to the California State Bar, I also really enjoy the fact that I passed the test and can now finally call myself an attorney. I am hopeful that I will secure the perfect position, in which I will be able to say that my work is my favorite part of being a lawyer. My end goal is to practice law with a community economic development focus.
6. What is your dream vacation?
I love any place in the world that has an amazing beach, delicious food, minimal insects, and has lots of sun. My current dream vacation would be to go to Playa del Carmen or Isla Mujeres, Mexico and enjoy the landscape and ocean. While at either of these locations I would envision staying in a beach side resort with access to lots of dancing and local cuisine cooking classes.
7. What are you reading now?
I am currently reading a book called Women United in Praise. It is a collection of several short stories on female empowerment, strength and overcoming adversity. The author of the book goes to my church and has learned to develop her career and family, in spite of adversity.
8. What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
One thing people might be surprised to learn about me is that I am a huge Big Bang Theory fan and that I also really love watching Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown. Both shows stimulate my senses because the Big Bang Theory appeals to my inner nerdy scientist while Parts Unknown appeals to my love for the connection between food and culture.
9. What person, living or dead, real or fictional, would you like to have dinner with?
I would love to have dinner with Cleopatra and learn just how she managed her rule and role as queen of ancient Egypt. I would also love to have dinner with Beyonce because I love her music, style, and philanthropic efforts.
10. Why do you choose to be a member of the ACBA? What is the greatest benefit you have enjoyed as a member?
I chose to be a member of ACBA to be connected to other local lawyers. The greatest benefit thus far is being able to meet and get candid advice from ACBA members.