Cecelia Xie

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After the early days of the pandemic ruined her birthday plans, Cecillia Xie decided that if she couldn’t spend time with her friends, the next best way to pass the time would be by making a TikTok.

Her first video was about working from home and riffed on a popular meme format: to frantic music, she, a lawyer, shuffled through court documents and later attempts a workout by her standing desk, only to be distracted by a frustrating phone call. In comparison, the video showed, were other remote workers painting their nails or enjoying a glass of wine during a team meeting, to the tune of Lana Del Ray.

It went viral.

“To my surprise, it kind of blew up,” said Xie, who’s a sixth-year privacy lawyer at Morrison & Foerster, one of the top law firms in the US.

She turned to TikTok as a creative outlet after her dance company closed at the beginning of the pandemic, but she quickly realized users on the platform were hungry for information about the legal industry. In the nine months since her first video, Xie, or @cecexie, has amassed 186,000 followers on the app, many of whom are high school and college-aged women curious about becoming lawyers themselves.

As an immigrant and the first person in her family to go to law school, she said there were plenty of things she wishes she knew about the LSAT, getting into law school, nailing the job interview, and having a successful career at a top firm.

“Even though I have super smart parents, they couldn’t help me navigate my legal career. But even though I thought I knew so little, some people know even less than I did, and I really want to help younger folks and pay it forward,” she said.

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A graduate of Harvard Law School, Xie interned in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. She was also a summer associate at the law firm Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett, where she worked as an associate for two years. She joined Morrison & Foerster in 2018.

She talked to Insider about why she decided to use her TikTok fame to educate young women interested in the legal industry, how it’s impacted her day-to-day job, and her plans for bringing her following into the office with her one day.

Xie’s account gained traction after she posted multiple educational videos about being a lawyer in New York.

There are only a few well-known content creators who post videos about the legal industry, like @thekoreanvegan, a cooking account run by a partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner, and law school students Averie Bishop (@averiebishop) and Callie Wilson (@okcallie). Still, the appetite for legal industry content is high: the hashtag #lawyersoftiktok, #biglaw, and #lawschool have received 178.4 million, 10 million, and 266.2 million views, respectively.

For Xie, the majority of her content is educational, and the hundreds of followers who comment on each of her videos provide her …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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