Interview with Brittani Gordon '15

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Maryland Carey Law is incredibly proud of its amazing network of alumni throughout the world. Since graduating in 2015, Brittani Gordon has made a career working with startup and emerging growth companies through the NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers platform. She provides counsel on corporate formation and compliance, private equity, capital raises, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital transactions and general corporate matters. Recently, Brittani took the time to answer some questions about her career, her time in law school, and what advice she has for current students.

Q: Can you trace your path after graduating in 2015 to ending up at Shulman Rogers?

A: I can say that my time at Maryland provided me the opportunity to meet great people and exposed me to other kinds of legal practice that I was not considering on my first day of law school in 2012. My path from graduation to now is a series of curious events and opportunities not necessarily wed to a traditional or defined process. Throughout the journey, I have had the pleasure to meet and work with amazing mentors and colleagues who rather unintentionally have become allies. As I make transitions in my career and consult with those allies, they continue to keep me abreast of new opportunities, sometimes those that I don’t know I am looking for – to this point, I cannot overemphasize the importance of having and maintaining a supportive network.

Q: Why did you choose Maryland Carey Law?

A: I applied to many law schools, and I knew I either wanted to stay home (Washington D.C. area) or move to New York City. Maryland Carey Law chose me – quite literally! When I applied to Maryland Carey Law, I was waitlisted and did not find out that I was accepted into the Class of 2015 until one week prior to the start of classes. At the time I was preparing to move out of state to attend another law school. Upon learning of my acceptance, it was without a second thought and choosing to follow my heart, that I changed course to attend Maryland Carey Law. I am a spiritual person, and I knew that attending Maryland was a part of a higher plan. This experience is not unique to me – it is shared by so many other graduates of not only Maryland Carey Law but so many other educational legal institutions. My having been waitlisted for law school is not indicative of who I am or my aptitude as an attorney. Own your story!

Q: Why did you choose to join the Business Law Program?

A: I chose to join the Business Law Program after a conversation with Program Director at that time, now Judge Michelle Harner, and the former Associate Program Director, Hilary Hansen. I was finishing my 2L year and was the President of the Business Law Society. I was asked to consider joining the Business Law Program as I had taken almost all the required courses and was very active in all business law-related programming sponsored by the law school. Judge Harner and Professor Hansen were incredibly supportive and believed that I would be a great addition to the Program. We didn’t speak long, and they didn’t have to do much convincing…I was in!

Q: What attracted you to Business Law?

A: My first exposure to business law came while I was an undergraduate student at Hampton University. My undergraduate major was finance, and Business Law was a required course. I truly loved the class and the exposure that it would provide for my later career. While attending law school was always the dream, the pursuit of business law specifically was the manifestation of a desire to seamlessly marry my love of finance and financial services from college with the legal practice. For the sake of full transparency, at that time, Wall Street was also at the forefront of my mind! (My how things have changed!)

Q: Has being a member/graduating as a member of the Business Law Program helped in your career?

A: It gives you a community. The Business Law Program helps you to create relationships with those who you will undoubtedly come to rely on both in legal practice and potentially in life. Because of the program’s small size, you can learn everyone’s name, their background, what brought them to Maryland, etc. By that same token, you can keep up with those people after graduation, and as they continue through their legal careers – through more than just their LinkedIn updates.

Q: Was there a specific person or memory that you remember that made your time at Carey Law or in the Business Law program special?

A: This is a tough question. I have a lot of great memories from the Business Law Program, the Business Law Society, and the law school community, in general. I think one of the most significant memories that I have was choosing to run for President of the Business Law Society. At that time, Spring 2014, the organization had been dormant for a few years and there was a concerted effort to bring it back. I decided that if I were going to run for President, I would do something completely unheard of at Maryland Carey Law at the time and run with a Vice President on the ticket – typically if you ran for an office, you ran alone. I asked my very good friend to run with me as the Vice President – she agreed! It was significant for several reasons, but one of the biggest for me then, and now, was that we are both Black Women that wanted to practice business law (and still do) in areas of practice where you traditionally did not see people that looked like us. Our business community at Maryland Carey Law rallied and felt that we were the appropriate beacons to resurrect an organization that was meant to be representative of business legal practice, not only at the law school, but also in the larger community. For me, that was empowering! My Vice President and I remain very close friends.

Q: Any advice for current students?

A: Don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan. The greatest disservice you can do to yourself is become beholden to an idea of where you want your career to go. Be open to the inevitable twists and turns, and the indiscriminate opportunities that you will have with mentors, colleagues, and peers to develop new skills, meet new people, and potentially discover new areas of the law. Trust your voice, and everything will be okay! Equally as important, stay connected to your network – it will absolutely prove invaluable throughout your career!