Early experience: High school work at law firm shaped view of the law


Law student Badri Yono worked part-time for a law firm in his senior year of high school and is now clerking for a law firm.

Photo courtesy of Badri Yono

By  Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Working during high school at George P. Mann & Associates in Farmington Hills gave Badri Yono Jr. his first exposure to the legal world.

“Immigration law is very intricate—it touches all types of practices, such as family and criminal law,” he says. “When I first took the job at GPM, the tasks were limited as I wasn’t too experienced. My position was compiling legal documents and reports. Looking back, they were small tasks, as I now see they tested my potential.” 

Offered a part-time position in his senior year, his job capacity immediately increased. Tasked with obtaining information from other organizations and agencies and filing correspondence, he also assisted attorneys with preparation for trials and hearings. 

The work experience shaped Yono’s view of the law and started him along a path to a law career. 

Now in his 1L year at Detroit Mercy Law School, he finds it to be a good fit for its supportive and smaller environment. 

“Everyone here pushes each other to become the most capable,” he says. “I experienced day-to-day lawyering from day one. Professors want their students to succeed, which in turn, provides an inspiring learning environment. Above all, the feeling of community is unmatched.”

Yono who earned his undergrad degree in political science and government from Oakland University, notes his journey along a path into law was an exceptional one. 

“From a young age, I was taught to serve—it gave me a sense of belonging and joy to serve my community by developing a deep bond with them. I enjoy studying law because it evolves. Law requires analysis and understanding of every issue by looking at situations from many views. Striving to help those around you with the skillset and knowledge we learn in law school.”

Currently clerking for the Cronin Law Firm in Bloomfield Hills, Yono collects, examines, and drafts legal correspondence and documents, and researches regulations, laws, and legal articles to prepare reports. 

“This experience shows my progress through time, being the best version of myself—progress from the person I was yesterday and the one I will be tomorrow,” he says. “I’ll be able to take the skillsets I learn in law school to hone my understanding and better serve society. All these experiences have built me into the person I am today.”

He wrote a blog for Cronin that provided the opportunity to research topics that would attract reader attention. 

“For example, if I were writing about handling employment discrimination, instead, I would write about work productivity, how to get a promotion, and resolving conflicts with coworkers. The goal was to attract a readership of potential clients before they even needed a lawyer.”

He also worked as a manager at Magnuson Hotels, providing daily revenue management support.  

“I really enjoyed the work I was doing, especially in the hospitality industry,” he says. “All while analyzing and optimizing revenues from all available sources helps fill hotel rooms with the right guests, from the right booking channels, at the right rates.”

His career goal is to give back to the people and communities that have helped him on his journey. 

“My family was built by small businesses, and because of that, I learned how important they are,” he says. “I’ll help safeguard small businesses as that’s the backbone of what America was built on. In addition, I hope to mentor other students embarking on a similar path.”

A native and current resident of West Bloomfield in Oakland County, Yono is very close to his parents and sisters.

“As a first-generation student of immigrant parents who have worked their entire lives to get me to where I am today, my parents infused in me a love for education—they told me I could achieve anything through education,” he says. “I have so many opportunities my parents didn’t have growing up. My parents and three sisters are my support system. We all help and push each other to become the best person we can be.” 

Other leisure pursuits include hanging out with friends, traveling, and working out—something he considers to be the best detox for keeping a healthy and straight mind. 

He also enjoys spending time in Detroit, especially exploring different restaurants.

“The city has many wonderful places and institutions—three hundred years of history and counting— In addition, I’m a foodie, Detroit has an emerging foodie scene that’s coming into its own,” he says.

A Chaldean Catholic, his faith is very important to him, as is service to others.. 

“My immigrant parents taught me to serve—it showed me the joy of serving my community and developing a deep bond. My culture heavily relies on tradition—this has helped and taught me the value of ethnic diversity. All these services and activities have shaped me into the person I am today.”

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