What do you do after graduation? That is a question that sometimes haunts students in their final semesters of college. For some, including alumnus Devon Skeens ’13, it takes years after graduation along with changing paths multiple times to figure that out.
During his senior year at Northern Kentucky University, Skeens saw a fork in the road. Applying to attend law school as well as Teach for America, he had a tough decision to make. Ultimately deciding to put law school off for two years to teach in Baltimore, Maryland as part of the Teach for America initiative, Skeens set off on his first path.
“Being a teacher was the hardest thing I ever did,” he says. After working for two years with teenagers in Baltimore, he decided to move back to Kentucky and attend law school at the University of Louisville.
He then faced another fork in the road. Would he apply for jobs or start his own firm? Skeens decided to work as a legal aid for clients and took a job at a private firm. “I really didn’t enjoy it,” he says. “I had always wanted to own my own business, be my own boss, and this wasn’t that.”
Deciding once more to take another path, Skeens decided to start his own law firm, Skeens Law, in March 2020. “Well, it was a crazy time to start a law firm, I will say that,” he says. “It was sort of an advantage though because while I was already adjusting and starting out, everyone had to adjust to the virtual world at the same time as me. It gave me some time to decide how I wanted to make this work. I didn’t have that pressure to hit the ground running, so I will take the good with the bad.”
Skeens has been in business since March 2020 and is starting to pick up momentum in the Louisville, Kentucky area. He also has some advice for any students trying to find their path and considering law school.
“Know yourself well enough to know where you want to go and where you want law school to take you,” he says. “I can count on one hand the amount of times I have been asked where I went to law school. Ask yourself what the degree will do for you and down what path it will take you.”