Posted Sep 20, 2011 10:00 am CDT
It will be a year before Mike Sacks celebrates his 30th birthday. But the Georgetown University law graduate has landed what many, including Sacks himself, consider a plum job, covering the U.S. Supreme Court.
Guest-blogging for the ABA Journal and posting at First One @ One First, the third-year law student took advantage of a schedule without morning classes to line up and report on life at the nation’s top court on oral argument days. That, he says, helped put him at the front of the line for his new gig.
Monday, after five months working as an associate at Reed Smith in the advertising technology and media practice group, Sacks started a new full-time paid job as the Huffington Post’s first supreme court reporter. In addition to covering cases, he will write blog posts keeping the general public informed of what’s going on in and around the U.S. Supreme Court.
A member of the “lost” law school class of 2010, Sacks, 29, looked for work as a law student and graduated in the midst of a struggling legal economy. With persistence and luck, however, he landed not only a BigLaw position but his dream job as a journalist. Facing more than the ordinary amount of rejection during these difficult times, he focused on staying positive. “I wouldn’t let any rejection keep me from hoping for acceptance,” he tells the ABA Journal, and he kept trying when common sense might have suggested that his likelihood of success wasn’t great.
He also aimed high, applying for work as a supreme court reporter in what he expected to be perhaps a decade-long quest. And, in a savvy move, he contacted media organizations that didn’t yet have such positions, including his current employer. Although the Huffington Post at that time wasn’t ready to create one, he got a call surprisingly soon after he started at Reed Smith, asking him to apply for the new job.
“I really paid my dues out in the cold on the Supreme Court sidewalk to get where I am now,” says Sacks, who describes his new career as a dream come true. At a time when many other young lawyers are struggling simply to find work in the legal field, he knows he is fortunate to have an opportunity to follow a passion.
While Sacks started work this week, it may not be until next week, when the court issues certiorari grants, that readers will regularly see his work online at his page at the Huffington Post.
And, he admits, there is one thing his dream job at least arguably lacks–the BigLaw salary he was earning at Reed Smith. But Sacks, who laughed when asked whether his new gig would compensate him at the same level, isn’t complaining.
“I took a pay cut,” he said, “but it’s well worth it in the job satisfaction I’ll be getting.”
ABA Journal: “First!”
ABAJournal.com: “By Dawn’s Light”
Last updated Tuesday to add Sacks’ age and a photo.