Orrick White Collar associate Ciarra Carr was a featured guest on this week’s Law.com “Legal Speak” podcast, talking about being a first-generation lawyer who took an “offbeat path” to Big Law.
Some of us have the benefit of family members who are lawyers to inspire and guide us. Ciarra’s commitment to her family taught her grit and perseverance, ultimately shaping her career in a very different way.
A month before the start of law school, Ciarra’s mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, shifting Ciarra into a caregiver role and significantly altering her priorities. She notes, “It became all-consuming, in a sense. I went in thinking I’d go to law school and that would be everything I’d put my energy towards, but that changed.” That dual set of responsibilities carried over to the start of her career at Orrick, and the firm helped her carve out a role that enabled her to manage both professional and family responsibilities.
At the same time, the incarceration of Ciarra’s brother changed her perspective on the criminal justice system and led her from her original goal of becoming a prosecutor to the White Collar group at Orrick. “As soon as I got acquainted with them and what they do, I never looked back. It was exactly what I wanted to do,” she says.