Natasha Alladina: Biglaw To Public Service, Recruiting, And Policy Work (TFLP 075)

Natasha Alladina started her legal career in Biglaw.

But a few years in, she knew it was wrong for her, and so she decided to explore other options.

Her path through jobs in public service, recruiting, and policy helped her figure out what she truly wanted to do—and how to figure out how to move towards what you want, versus simply running away from what you don’t want.

Meet former lawyer natasha alladina

Natasha grew up believing that she was going to be a doctor. But, when the time came to decide what she would major on in college, she realized she hated science.

Natasha enjoyed writing, and a mentor suggested that she consider law school. And so, as she shares on this episode, she decided to go to law school (and so many of us did!) because she didn’t know what to do with her career.

loving law school, but not ending up where expected

After a rocky start (i.e., a breakdown over Pennoyer v. Neff), Natasha loved law school. In particular, she loved being around tons of smart, motivated people and having the opportunity to work in her school’s wrongful conviction clinic. 

She thought she might go into criminal law after law school, but through various twists and turns, ended up deciding to take a job in Biglaw.

a winding path helped natasha find her way

So often, lawyers think that they need to take a straight path to one particular option. But as Natasha shares on this episode, she learned about what she wanted from her career (and what she didn’t want!) through the process of working in a number of different jobs.

Natasha shares about her time as a public defender, the public policy role that she loved (but ended due to funding), her stint as a recruiter, and more.

In this episode, natasha also shares:

  • How she didn’t learn until well after law school that it’s okay to walk away from something that isn’t working for you.
  • Why when people say a law degree is flexible, what they really mean is that it’s prestigious.
  • As a minority female, feeling like she never really fit in in Biglaw and hated having to put on a persona.
  • Learning (more than once!) that she doesn’t enjoy working alone in an office all day.
  • Loving the camaraderie of public defense, but being unprepared for the emotional toll.
  • Why she didn’t really stop to consider what she actually wanted to move towards, as opposed to get away from , for many years.
  • Feeling like people thought she was a failure because she had moved around to so many jobs.
  • How she sort of unintentionally started to move out of legal practice, and discovered how much she loved policy work.
  • The role that the suggestions of friends played in some of her pivots.
  • Why she thinks the first step when you’re unhappy in your job is to talk to other people doing other things.

the latest update from natasha:

Since this episode was recorded in October 2020, Natasha has since found a public policy role that she loves!

She writes: “As the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Director of Legal Affairs, I serve as point person on issues involving efforts to address legal climate initiatives and reforms at the Georgia State Capitol.

I also contribute to MAC’s public policy efforts broadly on business climate issues, especially as they relate to workforce, economic development, education, and infrastructure. Loving and very grateful for this new role!”

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