Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alternative Legal Careers Panel, Mon., 10/5 at 12:30, rm E112

Have You Ever Thought About an Alternative Legal Career? While most law grads go into the practice of law, some students know early on that they don’t want to practice. Some have entered politics, some have moved to government or non profit organizations, while others have moved into business or become entrepreneurs. More and more lawyers have realized that their varied and valuable skill sets can often be applied to law-related and non-legal career opportunities.

Find out more about alternative legal careers at the panel on Monday, October 5th, 12:30-1:20 in room E112 of the new law school building. Panelists include:

Gary Hediger, Esq., Director, Deputy Head for Human Resources for Citigroup Corporate and Investments Banking;
Brett Cooper, Esq., College Professor of Sports & Business Management & Owner of First Job in Sports;
Melissa Gorsline, Esq., Lexis-Nexis; and Kimberly Brown Douglas, Esq., EEO/AA Unit-NJ Judiciary.


For more informaion on alternative legal careers check out the alternative legal careers section of our website.

Job Search Secrets Revealed, 10/19 at 12:30, rm E112
Small and Mid-Size Law Firms, 10/28 at 1:30, rm E112

The End of an Era: Law Students Must Create Opportunities

If you’ve had an appointment with a Career Counselor in the last year you’ve already heard that the rules for legal recruiting have changed. We’ve blogged about it too. It’s on the minds of your classmates. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that your path to a legal job after graduation will be very different than you imagined when you entered law school. Ari Kaplan of Ari Kaplan Advisors does a terrific job in a recent National Law Journal Article of discussing why the legal recruiting landscape has changed so much, and how students can make opportunities for themselves that would not otherwise exist in today’s economic landscape.

Kaplan proclaims that expectations have changed, and uses examples from both legal education and legal employment to back up his assertion. "Thinking of law school as an assured meal ticket or as simply a safe harbor in which to weather the economic storm is probably not appropriate in today's world, particularly given the substantial debt that law students typically incur in order to pay for their education," Kaplan quotes University of Miami School of Law Dean Patricia White in a letter offering a one-year deferral to accepted law students. “……the nature of the legal profession is in great flux. It is very difficult to predict what the employment landscape for young lawyers will be in May 2012 and thereafter” she continues. On the employer side, Kaplan offers San Francisco’s Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, a large firm dating back to the 19th century, that has changed its lock-step system of compensation. The firm is seeking to get “the right talent at the right cost”, says Laura Saklad, Orrick’s Chief Lawyer Development Officer. Firms can no longer afford to hire young associates at high salaries and pass on the cost to their clients.

But Kaplan doesn’t stop with the bad news. He goes on to discuss specific ways to create opportunities. Law students must “forge a unique footing” along the path to success, he says.

Those who flourish tend to: 1) highlight an area that is most interesting to them; 2) identify the people with whom they want to associate; and 3) understand where key issues in their areas of interest proliferate. These factors give them a sense of direction. Students who take the time to craft this brief plan are not just looking for a job; they are architecting a career. It is a mindset that has been passed from senior partner down to junior associate, and must now be transferred from practitioner to pupil…. For that reason, students (and their now-licensed alumni of the past few years) need to immediately begin developing the techniques that rainmakers have honed over their careers. The advantage for them will be that because they are making the investment earlier, their dividends could be much greater than that of their predecessors.

Modern law students (and associates) must change their mindsets and begin thinking about how they can benefit their colleagues, clients and friends, which is the hallmark of the great opportunity makers. These individuals effortlessly position themselves so that when opportunity arises, they are the recipients because they are always seeking to create value for others, which yields exponentially greater rewards.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, what he’s talking about is networking – developing relationships and making yourself memorable so that people think of you when opportunities arise. Kaplan has some good information on networking on his website ( http://www.arikaplanadvisors.com/index.htm ) - it’s worth checking out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Center for Constitutional Rights: 2010 Ella Baker Summer Internship Program

CCR created the Ella Baker Summer Internship Program in the spring of 1987 in honor of Ella Baker, a hero of the civil rights movement, in order to provide students with legal and other training and a background in movements for social change. The goal of the program is to train the next generation of social justice lawyers.

Students work with teams of lawyers on various legal issues, doing legal and factual research and writing on active CCR cases. They also have the opportunity to work with the Education and Outreach Department on various campaigns and produce documents for public distribution. Ella Baker interns attend weekly discussions with scholars, activists, and clients on such subjects as human rights, racial and economic justice, government misconduct, and corporate accountability. In addition to seminars with prominent litigators and activists, students will have the opportunity to see films and plays about movements for social change.

For more informaiton and spplication instructions click here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

2010 Presidential Management Fellows Program: Application Period 10/1 - 10/15

The PMF Program attracts to Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. The PMF Program, administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), is the Federal Government’s cornerstone succession planning program to help agencies meet their critical need for leadership continuity. OPM will select more than 700 graduate students for its 2-year program, which places applicants in public policy and management positions with a variety of federal agencies and departments. Typical placements for law students include policy analyst, budget analyst, tax law specialist, and other non-attorney positions. Upon completion of the internship, PMFs are eligible for conversion to career or career-conditional status.

Applicants apply online at USAJOBS Oct. 1 to Thurs., Oct. 15, 2009. Once you have completed your online application, you will be able to print a Nomination Form. All Nomination Forms are due to the Career Planning Office by October 19th. Please include an updated copy of your resume along with your Nomination Form.

For more information on the program and how to apply to become a fellow, visit the PMF website.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What every first-year associate should know about developing a business plan

You may not have decided to pursue a law degree to show off your keen business sense. But, the practice of law is indeed a business and a solid business development plan is a key component of a successful law practice. In a September 16th article in the Legal Intelligencer, 2008 Rutgers Camden law grad Eric Frank, an associate at Duane Morris, talks about business development from the perspective of a first-year associate. Frank observes that cultivating marketing and business development skills is as essential to becoming a great lawyer as learning to take a deposition or draft a corporate charter. It's all about uncovering client needs, listening more, talking less and helping create solutions for the clients. And while a firm likely will not expect the same type of marketing plan from a first-year associate as it would from a senior partner, adopting certain marketing habits early is far better than waking up one day and wondering why clients aren't beating a path to (your) door when (you) haven't planned for (your) own success.

To find out what a first year associate’s business development plan should look like and to read the entire article, click here. For more information about the article’s author, click here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clerkships: Judicial Biographies

The NJ Courts Online website now has a judicial biography directory for all NJ state judges. Though not a biography in the traditional sense of the term, the directory does list where a judge went to law school, when the judge was appointed, past and current division assignments and some other useful information.

In addition, Career Planning has print resources that contain some biographical information about many judges. These resources primarliy focus on federal judges, but most state appellate and supreme court judges are also listed, as well as some limited informaion on state trial judges. You can stop in the Career Planning office and ask to review these print resources. In addition, since judges are public figures, they can usually also be researched on the internet and in legal publications. You may also research published opinions on Westlaw and Lexis.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

LexisNexis Webinar: Professional Networking, Job Finding & Interview Preparation

The LexisNexis Professional Networking, Job Finding and Interview Prep Webinar will show you how to use your LexisNexis account to find a job and set yourself apart from other candidates during your interviews. This webinar will introduce you to the following resources that are all available through your LexisNexis account:

• Martindale-Hubbell Connected for professional networking,
• Martindale-Hubbell's Career Center for job finding, and
• LexisNexis & CourtLink for interview preparation

Click here to view the webinar.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Jersey State Trial Court Clerkship Panel Discussion, Monday, September 14th in room E112, 12:30 to 1:20

Thinking about a clerkship after graduation? Did you know that Rutgers-Camden grads have a strong tradition of clerking in the New Jersey Trial Courts? Come hear three New Jersey Trial Court Judges and their current clerks discuss the responsibilities and benefits of working as a Judicial Clerk. Learn about what judges look for in a candidate and what the application process entails. Find out about opportunities for post-clerkship employment. The judges will also talk about internship opportunities for 1L’s. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn first-hand about clerking in the New Jersey Superior Court. Please welcome the following judges to the Rutgers-Camden campus:

The Honorable Charles M. Rand, Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage Family Division, Presiding Judge
The Honorable Charles W. Dortch, Jr., Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage Family Division
The Honorable Stephen M. Holden, Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage Criminal Division

ALL students are invited to attend, but 3Ls who are planning to apply, or who have already applied, to NJ trial judges are strongly encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Latham & Watkins 2010 Diversity Scholars Program

Latham & Watkins LLP invites applications for their 2010 Diversity Scholars Program, which awards four second-year law students a $10,000 non-renewable scholarship each for use during their third year of law school. The goal of this program is to increase diversity in the profession at-large. Consequently, this scholarship is not contingent upon receiving or accepting an offer of employment from Latham & Watkins.

Click here for more information.

Third Annual Student Health Law Conference, Friday, October 16th at Seton Hall

The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) and Seton Hall University School of Law will co-sponsor the Third Annual Student Health Law Conference on Friday, October 16, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey, from 8:30AM to 5:00PM.

This conference, which is attended by law students from law schools throughout the country, seeks to expose law students to the myriad career paths for attorneys in health and life sciences. The conference provides an introductory session on health law, panels on a variety of employment opportunities in health law, and a networking reception with the conference speakers. In the past, over 180 law students from dozens of law schools as far as the west coast attended the conference. Career paths that will be represented include academia, compliance, private firms, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, drug and device companies, health insurers, and hospitals. Speakers for this year's conference have been chosen for their health law expertise. They know the hiring process both as prospective employees and as employers and they are well suited to provide support and guidance to the next generation of health attorneys during these tenuous economic times.

Click here for more information.

Registration is Open For The 2009 Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair

The 2009 EJW Conference and Career Fair, Titled “Public Service Does Not Stop Because Of The Recession. It Gets Bigger”, will be held October 24th and 25th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC. The Conference and Career Fair will consist of workshops, plenary and discussion sections, as well as interviews and table talk with public interest employers. Registration is open to all law students and alumni, although 1L’s are not eligible to interview with employers. However, 1L students may informally talk to employers during the table talk sessions.

The annual Conference and Career Fair is the premiere national public interest job fair. Employers from all over the country come to interview students and alumni for summer and permanent positions in public interest law. The conference sessions provide essential information on how to get a public interest job, hot topics in public interest and leadership development. And its location in DC makes it easily accessible to Rutgers-Camden students! The two-hour drive is well-worth the things you will learn and the connections you can make with other public-interest law students and employers from across the country.

To register, you will need to create an EJW-specific Symplicity account, which is separate from your Rutgers Symplicity account. See the Equal Justcie Works website for specific instructions and excellent tips on how to prepare for the event. Look for more info in the coming weeks on EJW prep sessions offered here at Rutgers too!

Hiring Surge by Federal Government Predicted by New Study

Back in July we blogged about the predicted increase in hiring by the Federal Government. Now, a study by the Partnership for Public Service has reached the same conclusion. In fact, it estimates that the feds will need to hire 270,000 workers for "mission-critical" jobs over the next three years. The good news is that the legal sector is one of five fields where more workers are needed.

The Washington Post reports that the majority of new hires will be needed in five broad fields -- medical, security, law enforcement, legal and administrative. This hiring surge is prompted in part by the large number of baby-boomer federal workers reaching retirement age and in part by Obama administration's intent to take on several enormous challenges, including the repair of the financial sector, fighting two wars, and addressing climate change.

For resources on how to land one of these jobs with the feds, see our blog post from July, visit the Career Planning Website Government Resources page or email careerplanning@camlaw.rutgers.edu to make an appointment to work with a counselor to help you plan your federal government job search strategy.

No Big Surprise: Hiring at Big Law is Down

Those of you who participated in OCI this season already know that recruiting by the big law firms is down this year as compared to last. Several articles in the national and legal press are reporting the same. In a New York Times Article on August 26, 2009 Gerry Shih writes about the percentage decrease in on-campus interviews at several top law schools, and the effect the lack of big firm jobs is having on applications for government employment. Gina Passerella writes in the Philadelphia Legal Inquirer on August 28th about Philadelphia area firms and how the area law schools are dealing with the changes in recruiting patterns.

And, predictions about fewer offers to 2009’s summer associates at the biggest firms are proving true. The New Jersey Law Journal reports that Morgan Lewis made offers to less than 30% of its summer class firm-wide. And those offers are to start work in the fall of 2011.

These developments are not surprising given the economic hit that big law took over the last year-and-a-half. We hope that, over time, large firms begin to develop recruiting plans that both meet their needs and provide stable opportunities for new law grads. Until then, be prepared for a longer and more difficult search for a legal job.