Alvin B. Carter III, Attorney at Law

By Andrea Payne

“It’s great to be your age.” This is Alvin B. Carter III’s message to high school students.

Realizing his audience may be a bit skeptical Carter, an associate in the Boston law firm, Brown Rudnick, adds, “It’s true. You can do what you want to do.  This is an actual turning point in your life.  You can change your world and change it again,” Carter asserts.  “High school is where it began for me.  High school was when I decided what I wanted to do.”

Carter was a guest speaker in a series curated for high school students participating in Boston

Design Academy (BDA) an advanced technology design course developed by the Timothy

Smith Network.  Delivered virtually in partnership with Boston Public Schools’ (BPS) TechBoston Academy, BDA is offered in conjunction with BPS’ own design course.  The guest speaker series intends to support students in connecting classroom learning to futures in today’s tech-centered workforce.

Elaborating on why it’s great to be a teenager in high school, Carter says, “There’s this time that you are not responsible for others.  You have the time to do what you want to do.  If you are someone who wants to make beats, you can do that.”  Carter is also a music producer.  Prior to attending law school, Carter was the associate director of the Hiphop Archive & Research Institute at Harvard University where he hosted well-known performers, including Chance the Rapper and J. Cole.

Plotting a course to a fulfilling life begins with planning.  “Think about the lifestyle you want. What is important to you?” Next, “Think about what steps you need to take to get there.  Start thinking about your plan.  How are you going to fulfill that plan?  These three things will lead you to a career path,” Carter asserts and adds, “It’s okay to fail if you learn from it.  You don’t want to fail, but things don’t always work out.  You can take another shot.  It’s not terminal to you or your career if things don’t work out.”

Only five percent of lawyers in the United States are Black, according to the American Bar Association.  In a nation still grappling with systemic racism, Carter, a graduate of Northeastern University School of law states, “I work at a wonderful place.  I don’t go to work worrying about being an African American man. I am lucky.  I am glad that I have a seat at this table,” he emphasizes.  “I have a lot of support.  But I know that is not always the case.  I am aware of that.”