What Do You Do?
“What do you do?” I have been asked that question many times. I used to have a very easy answer: “I’m a government attorney.” However, a career change precipitated by my passion for design and technology has made the answer to that question a bit more complicated.
My legal career coincided with huge advances in science and technology. 2007, the year I started practicing law, saw the first iPhone. In 2011, before I left the legal practice, scientists were printing human kidneys.
Simultaneously, I was working on some innovative legal assignments - software contracts, intellectual property issues with post-disaster housing designs, and the legality of Verizon’s communications infrastructure in New York City. I even helped organize the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as part of OEM's parade task force. Driving down the middle of a completely vacant Broadway to inspect the route for obstructions and wind speed meters is an unforgettable memory I will carry with me forever. Inspired by these assignments, all dealing with the intersection of science and the humanities, I left the profession to explore new ways to make a difference.
Now, one way I am trying to make a difference is by managing the website of a Philadelphia law school in an effort to promote what I believe is a much needed novel approach to legal education. I also volunteer with an organization that aims to use technology to promote openness, participation and efficiency in municipal governments.
A desire to fulfill civic needs has also driven me to attend business school and seperately study the principles of user experience (UX) design in my spare time. I am hoping these pursuits yield one result, to change the way the world works. To combine the “big-picture” perspective of business organization with UX principles of strategy, empathy, research, synthesis, problem-solving and collaboration. Injecting these values into educational institutions, municipalities, and even corporate entities can, hopefully, effectuate real beneficial change.
We will see. For now, I remain focused on accomplishing this on a smaller scale, both in my current position and one or two projects outside of work. In the meantime, maybe my answer to “what do you do?” should be: I am trying to do something that I hope will change things for the better.