I recently presented keys to success at a law firm as part of the Women’s Leadership Committee’s programming. These tips are things I learned along the way during my career, things I saw others doing, or things that I wish I had done differently or better while in practice since hindsight is 20/20.
My most recent Dinner with the Dean was incredibly fun and relaxed - the upper-class students and I know each other well by now. The first part of the night we shared about the insecurities caused by the economic divide – the challenges of going to school when you feel you have fewer resources than your classmates. The conversation was actually started because Seton Hall Law is establishing a Food Pantry for students living with food insecurity. And that got us talking about resources for students who don’t have a professional wardrobe, for which we also have sources through the Office of Career Services.
Prospective law students have always been interested in the bar passage success rates of schools they’re considering attending. After all, while a law degree is a prerequisite to taking the bar almost everywhere, passing the bar is a prerequisite to actually practicing law in almost all states.
I loved law school. I had great teachers, I made great friends, I was challenged daily with the material we learned in class, and (most importantly) I met my wife. It was a glorious time. And to all of the 1Ls, you’re in for the time of your life.
To help you through your journey over the next three or four years, I’d like to share some tips and words of wisdom that I wish I had when I was I was a law student.
The goal of Seton Hall Law’s Office of Career Services (OCS) is to provide support and guidance for our online masters degree students and alums through all steps of their career paths. To meet this end, we provide tailored counseling at every stage in the job search process. Additionally, our services can be offered in person, by phone or through videophone, with many potential appointment times. Below is a guide to the services we provide and ways to access those services.
It is one of the most confounding issues facing many first-year law students. No, it is not the parol evidence rule or the rule against perpetuities. (Two bar admissions later, I still haven’t mastered that one.) It is the first draft of a legal cover letter. Many students have had very limited experience in composing cover letters prior to law school. Add to that the fact that the legal cover letter, much like a legal resume, can vary greatly from that of different professions and industries.
Huge data breaches exposing the personal information of enormous numbers of people have become a regular occurrence, manifested recently by hackers’ theft of the data of 500 million Yahoo users. The risks of data breaches can lead to identity theft and can be magnified as businesses use Big Data tools analyze masses of information to attempt to predict our behavior.
It’s that glorious time chock full of barbeques, poolside relaxation, the smell of sunscreen, and sunshine-filled, long, warm days.
Not up here in the Office of Career Services, though. You’d think it was 6 PM on Christmas Eve in the jewelry department at Bloomingdales up here. It’s crazy time! For us, summer means that the clerkship application season is in full gear and Fall OCI is just around the corner. June is the time that cover letters and resumes by the ton are being edited, mock interviews are underway, and there is a massive outreach to the many employers who will flow through our doors later in the summer to scoop up our wonderful students. So as you are preparing for our little OCS “Christmas in July”, now would be a good time to consider some of our tips for job interviews.
Ever heard of the concept of a “happy accident”? No? Because I like food so much, allow me to reduce it to the place I am most comfortable, the kitchen—where my best metaphors are concocted. Like Chocolate Chip cookies? Me, I love them. However, those delightful little mouthfuls of dough and chocolate were not the product of some great baker who painstakingly mixed dough with chocolate chips and baked them into a chewy, crunchy, brown-edged sweetness that melts in your mouth and which I, along with countless Americans cannot do without. You can take a lot away from me, but deprive me of my chocolate chip cookies and you will find one angry sweet-toothed Assistant Dean. But I digress.
My last semester of college I was fortunate enough to be able to Intern in the White House under President Obama. I worked for the Office of Presidential Personnel, which researched and selected the nearly 4,000 presidentially appointed positions. Unsurprisingly, this was a life changing experience for me. I worked with some of the most hardworking, intelligent people I have ever met. Additionally, Interns were given the opportunity to meet and hear from Senior White House officials including First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.