by Madeline Shepherd, NCJW Legislative Aide
The year after I graduated from college I waited tables and worked in retail, just like my parents always hoped I would. Kidding! Truth be told, I had always envisioned going to law school but hesitated once it came time to send in a deposit. I hadn’t given much thought to the other options I had, and the commitment of so much time and money made me think twice. So after graduating Phi Beta Kappa, I donned an apron and slip-resistant shoes and got down to work.
I learned a great deal over the next few months working at a restaurant. My coworkers had mostly grown up in the area and still carried their high school rivalries. Some had gone to college and were waiting tables to subsidize their income from another job; others bounced from cook line to cook line in the area’s restaurant district and talked about going back to school. All of them were used to hardship, and faced it on a daily basis as they balanced taking care of family members, paying their bills, and seizing every opportunity to work a shift at our restaurant.