Nancy Grace First Job Candy Counter Sears
March 26, 2012 by staff
Nancy Grace First Job Candy Counter Sears, First Job: Nancy Grace
Interviewed by Tom Van Riper 05.23.06, 3:00 PM ET
What was your first job?
It was at Sears Roebuck, working the candy counter during Christmas break, when I was in high school in Macon [Ga.]. Later, they put me into home appliances, which didn’t work out so well. A little later, I was a hike master at Indian burial grounds in Georgia. That was a tough time.
How old were you?
I was 16 when I started at Sears.
How much did you make?
I don’t remember exactly; a few bucks an hour.
What did you learn?
I learned how to deal with all sorts of people. Kids at White Eagle spoke several different languages, and many had disabilities. I had to listen to what they had to say, which really helped me once I became a trial lawyer. Also, I learned the value of the discipline of getting up every morning and going to work. I had no choice; I had to work every day, just as my parents did. You see, some lawyers have the talent, have the charisma, but no discipline. They come into court unprepared, without having done their research.
Who was your best, or worst, boss and why?
My worst boss was a federal judge I worked for when I was first out of law school, because he had stopped caring about his cases. The best boss I had was Lewis Slayton, the district attorney of Fulton County [Ga.]. It was the early ’80s, and few women and minorities were allowed to be trial lawyers. Most were confined to handling child-support recovery, which meant chasing down deadbeat dads, plus writing appeals. Lewis gave me the chance to be a litigator. He gave me the wings to fly and the legs to run.
What was your big break?
It was getting the chance to become a prosecutor in one of the most violent districts in the country, inner-city Atlanta. Also, there was the time I was invited to sit on a panel of so-called experts for a televised discussion on a rape case. I sat right between Roy Black, who was just off the William Kennedy Smith rape trial, and Johnny Cochrane. I got into a huge fight with both of them in good nature. That led to Cochrane & Grace. I moved to New York with two boxes of clothes and $200 in my wallet.
What has been your biggest failure?
I often get too emotionally involved in my cases. I take it as a huge disappointment when I lose. Then again, that’s what keeps me going.
How many hours do you work in an average week now?
More than 60.
What is the worst thing about work?
Dealing with lawyers all the time. You get some real buttheads.
What is the best thing about work?
It’s the chance to be the voice of people who don’t have a voice in our system–children, minorities, women–who are the most common victims of crime.
Nancy Grace hosts CNN Headline News’ legalanlysis program Nancy Grace .
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