The last couple of years of the 70’s decade ware a lot of fun for me. Hard to believe that someone born in 1980 is now pretty much 40 years old. And someone born in 1970, well 50 years old. On the other hand in May of 1978 when I graduated law school I was still 24 years old. And in September 1978 I was 25.
I was waiting for the results of my first Bar exam and I didn’t yet have a job. I remember joining my father and watching him represent the Levittown School District Board of Education as they negotiated with their district teachers, who had gone out on strike. It was big news on Long Island as the strike went on for, as I remember, close to two months. It was very contentious.
It got so bad that local politicians got involved and tried to act as mediators to settle the dispute. One in particular, Hempstead SupervisorAl A’Damato got so involved that in a large sense he was given credit in helping resolve the strike. It lead to his candidacy for US Senate in 1980 which he won and served as a US Senator for 18 years. And it’s also how I got my first job out of law school.
Right after the strike was settled in October 1978 I was hired as a law clerk in the Town of Hempstead Dept. of Occupational Resources. My father had gotten friendly with D’Amato and he gave me a job working for the Town.
Federal money had been given to municipalities through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act to stimulate the economy and get people training and jobs. Our office administered the program. As Law Clerk I was responsible to administer all employment issues and grievances that might arise from the program. It was interesting work. I also had to write all the guidelines for the administration of the grievance program so as to insure procedural due process. For a young kid just out of law school it was a good job.
We also had a great, diverse group of people working there. They were a lot of fun. We socialized together. We had an office softball team and I found a way to have crushes on a few young girls I worked with there, none of which ultimately worked out. But it was a very good first job experience.