Showing posts from March, 2015

advice about law school and legal careers

[From a talk given at San Jose State University in March 2015]

Hi, I'm Travis Wise. I graduated from San Jose State with a degree in political science. 12 years after I graduated, I was hired into my dream job as senior legal counsel at Google.

I'll share a bit of my background and career progress, and then share my top ten list of suggestions on how to get your dream job after you graduate, and then I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

I was originally a psychology major here at SJSU, but I decided I wanted to go to law school. So I switched to political science, wrongly thinking that was the only way to get into law school.

I loved the poly sci program here, and I loved law school at Santa Clara. But I had no idea what legal field I wanted to work in. When I graduated from law school, I got hired by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the big-4 accounting firms, to do tax stuff.  I had no idea what that involved.  But I kept showing up to work, for 9 years. Duri…

advise about school

Good grades are necessary, but a perfect GPA will not offset a lack of the items below.  Demonstrate leadership. Being a “member” of a club is nearly worthless in resume value. Be the president of the organization, or start up a new organization. Leading people and ideas, and managing projects, is important.  Demonstrate entrepreneurship. Come up with an idea, and start a company or website to implement it. Learn how to code and write a program or app, even if it’s simple, and publish it. Making money is not important - taking the entrepreneurial risk is important. Publish. Get your name out there. Whether it’s a blog, a v-log on YouTube, photography portfolio, code on GitHub … put yourself out there. Just keep it professional - your future employers will find it.  Think broad, and outside the box. The job you do or the company you work for five years from now likely does not exist today. Certainly the task you do in your job will not resemble anything that exists today. Don’t pigeonh…