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Working on a political campaign might seem like a far cry from capital markets and banking, but New York associate Andrés Berry found similarities that helped him find his rhythm and prepared him for the rigors of a career in the law.

T H E I R   V O I C E S

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photo of Andrés Berry

I’ve always been interested in the field of government. I worked in politics before going to law school, including on Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 campaign for Mayor of New York and later at the NYC Housing Authority as a strategist and liaison with elected officials. It was interesting work, but after four years, I started thinking about Big Law.

I was craving the intensity of a campaign, but also wanted a more stable environment where I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a job if the campaign was unsuccessful. My experience in politics also gave me a good understanding of what it’s like to work long hours and under pressure, so I already knew that it was an environment I thrived in.

As a lawyer, most of your training is done on the job, and you have to jump right in. I’ve found it helpful to be thrown into the fire a bit – of course, in a safe environment – because you often don’t know that you’re ready for more difficult work until you take on those challenges. I also value the opportunities I’ve had to work with attorneys who are at the top of their field because it’s given me the chance to learn how they work through complex issues and, over time, to make some of those strategies my own.

Everyone works hard here, and I really like that. As a junior lawyer, you don’t always have control over when you work, but once you’ve shown that you can get the job done, the “how” and the “where” become less important – and you’re given the space you need to balance other priorities.

Now, if I need to work from home because my child is sick, I can do that, and we are provided the technical tools to help us carry out our work seamlessly. Finding that flexibility and respect for other priorities, particularly in a profession that is outwardly seen as rigid, was very welcome and allowed me to envision working in this industry long term.

Now that I’ve been here a while, I can see that part of the game is about trusting yourself and relaxing a bit – not about your work or being driven in your career, but more in managing emotions. To be honest, if someone had given me that advice when I was in law school, I probably wouldn’t have followed it. But I’ve learned that if you go the extra mile and do everything you possibly can on a project – every time – then there’s no reason to worry. Just give it your all and have no regrets.