For the last full week of NDEAM/National Disability Employment Awareness Month, meet Zack Weinstein, a quadriplegic from Massachusetts, who first made a name for himself as an actor and is now a full-time attorney, as well as a husband & dad.
In the comments below, please share if you are ❤ working post spinal cord injury, 💚 when you started, and 💙 what you love most about your job 👍
Where Do You Live?
How and When Were You Injured?
“I was injured when I was 19 years old. I have function through C6.”
Were You Employed Your Injury?
“When I was injured, my only jobs have been as a camp counselor and cashier at Gap.”
What is Your Current Job and What Do You Do?
“I graduated from Harvard Law School in 2021 and got a job as an attorney at a law firm.” “I’m an attorney at Goodwin Procter. I work on corporate litigation and criminal defense matters.”
How Did You Find Your Job?
“I worked at Goodwin during the summer after my second year of law school and was offered a position for after I completed my third year and graduated.”
How Long Did You Search for Your Current Job?
Please Name Any Programs That Supported You Finding or Maintaining Your Current Job:
“When I was in law school, and before school when I was regularly underemployed, I worked with organizations like Full Circle Employment Solutions to navigate the complicated-even-for-a-lawyer social security, Medicare, and benefits landscape.”
What Kind of Disability Accommodations, If Any, Have You Requested and Received from Your Employer?
“I’m fortunate to work for an extremely supportive company. They have provided me with Dragon Naturally Speaking voice activated technology for my work computer, automatic doors in the office building, and an office big enough for my wheelchair to fully turn around in.”
Do You Have Any Tips or Tricks to Share on Finding a Job?
“I went to college to train to be an actor. When I started college I was able-bodied and when I graduated I had an SCI. I still went to Los Angeles to be an actor. I booked some great roles, but after 9 years I had an intuition that it was time for a shift. I decided to take the LSAT and apply to law school. I was unashamed to ask for appropriate accommodations on the test and I wasn’t too proud to reach out to a friend with an SCI who had already taken the test and been to law school for guidance. That was the key: finding the courage to put myself out there and having the same courage to ask for help. After that, it was still my job to do the work.”
Do You Have Any Tips or Tricks to Share on Maintaining Employment for the Long Term?
“Having an SCI makes just about everything harder. It’s not fair, but I haven’t figured out how to stop the obstacles from being there. What I try to do well is give myself grace when I fall short and get back to work the next day.”
If You Could Go Back in Time, What Advice Would You Give Yourself Before Pursuing Your Job or Career Path?
“I would tell myself to develop a habit of making written to-do lists, with deadlines, and sticking to them. This has nothing to do with my spinal cord injury.”
Is There Anything Else You’d Like to Add About Your Job Search or Employment Experience?
“I tiered my work hours up which allowed me to understand how much I could commit and work for a job.”