Written by Lauren Thomas, 3L at Texas A&M School of Law and 2018-2019 FLSN Careers Chair
As Career Chair for the National Food Law Student Network for the past year and a half, I have seen quite a few remote food law internships and jobs become available to students who are interested in food law. This shift in an increase in remote food law opportunities is an excellent way for students to meet other food law attorneys and work on projects that are not typically accessible to them.
In fact, I took a remote job as a Fellow for the National Agriculture Law Center (“NALC”). NALC is a non-partisan center for agricultural law research, and is based out of the University of Arkansas. NALC accepts legal research Fellows from all over the country. Fellows work on a wide variety of projects with NALC employees and associated attorneys. Since the Fellows are located all over the country, NALC maintains contact with the Fellows through e-mail, phone calls, and monthly skype meetings.
It can be difficult to transition from working in an office to working in a remote job position. To adjust to working in remote job positions, here are a few things I have learned from my previous experience working in a remote position.
First: communicate. Actively choosing to communicate with my supervising attorney and other members of my team kept everyone informed and updated. Communication is key for getting the information you need to effectively complete a project. In remote jobs, there really isn’t a way to knock on someone’s door. Establishing positive e-mail rapport is crucial to sustain a working relationship.
Second: keep track of deadlines. When working in a remote position, it can be easy to forget about small deadlines such as turning in timesheets or replying to requested information by a specified date. Keeping track of the small deadlines, as well as the large due dates, will ensure that things are completed in a timely manner and not forgotten when the semester gets busy.
Third: designate time to work. Since I was not commuting to an office every day, I found it was best if I set aside specific time in advance to complete my work. Generally, remote positions are more project-focused instead of a typical 8 AM – 5 PM schedule. When I am working remote, setting aside a designated time in advance for me to put together my work helped me meet deadlines and complete the amount of hours I needed to complete.
For those of you considering applying to remote positions, I highly recommend it, and I hope you find my tips helpful!