“Right place, right time.” That’s how Ronald Ussery, a McGeorge J.D. candidate in the class of 2021 who is interested in sports law, landed his new job with sports management firm, Accelerate Sports LLC. While attending a weekly event as part of the SCBA 1L Diversity Fellowship this past summer, Ronald was approached by a visiting lawyer. They chatted and exchanged stories from their student-athlete days and he was offered a job at the end of their conversation. There’s no way to anticipate something like this happening. All you can do is try to be prepared. “Everything happens for a reason, I truly believe that,” says Ronald, who’s been preparing for a day like this his whole life, and he’s taken the necessary steps to ensure that when an opportunity presented itself, he’d be ready.

Having established the goal of becoming a sports agent prior to attending McGeorge, Ronald knew what he wanted but needed guidance to achieve it. Encouraged by his GLS I professor, Prof. Leah Adams, Ronald applied and was accepted to the SCBA 1L Diversity Fellowship at Carothers, Disante & Freudenberger, which was the perfect opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a law office and develop impactful relationships in the labor and employment law field. Through the fellowship, Ronald was able to apply what he learned to his goal of becoming an agent.

“[J]ust like labor and employment law, you’ll find issues with athletes’ wages and discrimination, so [sports law] is really a broad area. My job has more to do with sports investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, transactions, negotiations, and league expansions; so, it’s really more on the business-side of things,” explains Ronald. Many law students might consider sports law to be strictly athlete-centric—negotiating a player’s contract, getting them onto their preferred team, etc.—but as Ronald has learned, sports law is much broader than that and can involve many areas of law. That kind of versatility has Ronald excited for the challenges ahead.

One thing that Ronald says has helped him on his career path is his diligence in attending as many networking events as possible and following up with each individual that he meets. Following up with an email or two will keep those relationships growing and show that you are serious and passionate about a legal career. Alternatively, following up with a phone call may be even more effective, as Ronald has discovered. With an infectious smile and self-confidence to go toe-to-toe with attorneys and partners in every networking opportunity, it was easy for Ronald to see the benefit a phone call can make. “It’s a lot more personal than just words [on a screen], and I’ve actually been told by a lot of partners that getting calls is what they prefer [after networking events],” says Ronald. Whatever method makes sense to you, be sure to include it in your standard networking procedures and you’ll greatly improve your chances of landing a job, too.

Students interested in a career in sports law are encouraged to join McGeorge’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society. All students should also keep an eye on your Pacific emails for announcements about upcoming networking events, including networking workshops designed to help you perfect best-practices before heading into the networking events themselves. CDO events can also be found on the Events tab here.

The Environmental Law Section is pleased to announce its Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship program for Summer 2020. The program provides law students an opportunity to spend 8 to 10 weeks over the summer practicing environmental, energy, land use, and/or natural resources law at a participating government agency or public interest organization. Each Fellow receives a $6,500 stipend, thanks to the generous contributions from our sponsors. The Section also matches the Fellows with mentors who practice in the field, coordinates gatherings and provides opportunities for the Fellows to meet other Section members, and invites the Fellows to attend the Section’s Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite® in October following the Fellowship with free conference registration.

The Fellowship program is designed to help foster diversity within the Environmental Law Section, which is one of the core principles in the Section’s Mission Statement. The Section strongly encourages applications from law students from diverse or underrepresented backgrounds (including but not limited to diversity arising from the applicant’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, color, race, religion, ancestry, national origin, familial status, marital status, mental or physical disability, or genetic information); as well as from students from backgrounds that may have presented obstacles to accessing the legal profession, such as family financial hardship while growing up, being the first in one’s family to go to college, or geographical circumstances such as coming from a rural or inner-city background that limited social interaction with lawyers. The Section will consider such information, as described in the applicant’s personal statement, as part of the selection criteria. Other selection criteria include interest in environmental issues, personal and leadership qualities, and academic record.

Further information about the Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship Program, including how to apply, can be found here and on the Environmental Law Section’s homepage. Please help us spread the word about the program by forwarding this information on to any law students you may know who may be interested in applying. Applications for the Summer 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship Program are due October 28, 2019.

In addition, the Section is seeking governmental agencies and public interest organizations whose work involves environmental, energy, land use, and/or natural resources law who may be interested in hosting a Fellow over the summer of 2020. If your agency or organization would be interested in learning more about participation in the program, please email the name of the agency or organization, and the name, phone number and email address of a contact person, to Julia Byrd, Section Coordinator, environmental@calawyers.org.

“Under the law, all people are created equal” – that’s the idea, at least. In a society saturated with tabloids, news outlets, and social media platforms, it’s nearly impossible to go a single day without coming across some kind of racially-charged issue. Much of the spotlight is given to issues of discrimination, and rightly so as many people need to see that these problems are real and flourishing in the volatile political climates around the world. But just as important are the people attempting to bridge the gap and fight the injustices levied against minorities. Among this group is the California District Attorney Association Foundation and their initiative, the California Prosecutor’s Diversity Project.

Minority under-representation in prosecution offices has led to a perceived legislative-bias against individuals of color, particularly as lawyers in the public sector often help advise elected leaders in matters of public policy. The Diversity Project works to increase the population of minority prosecutors, improving the perception of fairness under the law in the surrounding communities. Their website provides resources for minority law students and lawyers interested in a career as a prosecutor, including a job board, several internship opportunities, and minority associations. While diversity issues still loom large and heavy, initiatives like these are taking steps to a brighter and more equal future.

McGeorge students considering a career in prosecution should explore the Diversity Project’s website, as well as the various student organizations on campus, and utilize its resources to better prepare for the road ahead. For more information about how best to utilize the resources and opportunities available (such as the SCBA 1L Diversity Fellowship), make an appointment with a CDO advisor today.

The SCBA 1L Diversity Fellowship is a unique opportunity for first-year law students from McGeorge and UC Davis who are looking to gain practical hands-on experience in a law firm and are members of a racially or ethnically under-represented group, LGBTQ+, disabled, or are otherwise under-represented in the legal profession. According to a recent NALP study, less than 20% of equity partners are women and only 6.6% are racial or ethnic minorities. Statistics for associate-level positions are even more alarming: less than 4.5% of associates are Black/African-American; however, minority representation in the legal profession as a whole has seen slight increases over the past decade, particularly the representation of women in firms, showing that strides are being made to a more level playing field – albeit slowly. If you’re a 1L and are hesitant to apply because you’re not sure what practice area you want to pursue, or what type of firm or agency is right for you, don’t let that stop you from applying for this fellowship.

Adriana Garcia, class of 2020.

“I went into law school not knowing what to expect in any regard. When I heard about this fellowship, the idea of working at a BigLaw firm… was never on my list because I never thought I’d have any way of getting into [a place] like that,” says Adriana Garcia, a 2018 participant who did her fellowship at Carothers, DiSante & Freudenberger. The Diversity Fellowship not only opened the door to an opportunity that was considered a “long-shot,” but it also gave Adriana a better idea about the different career paths available to law students. For students that are still figuring out where and what they want to practice, the fellowship provides an opportunity to branch out and experience a side of law that may have previously seemed out of reach or not on their radar at all.

Most 1L students do not have much experience working in a professional office setting, if any at all, before starting the Diversity Fellowship. Even among students who previously had internships or other undergraduate work experiences in law firms, it is rare to have had the level of responsibility that comes with being a fellow. It can be a daunting task to prepare for: overcoming any nervousness you might have, maintaining a sense of self – often the very thing that makes you diverse and qualified for the fellowship – while adhering to company policies, and managing the flood of tasks coming from your supervisor and other attorneys in the office. But that’s why it’s important to remember the purpose of the program: to provide law students with real-world experience and promote diversity in the legal profession. Law firms that participate in this fellowship know that the selected students are there to learn and may not be able to do as many tasks on their own. While fellows will be treated like regular employees (e.g. being invited to work outings, writing briefs, attending client meetings, etc.), no one is expecting them to have the knowledge and skills of a Bar-certified and experienced lawyer, or even someone in their second or third year of law school.

For Adriana, it helped to have a few mentors to guide her and be available to confide in. “I found a mentor in my office the first day I was there, and… we were able to share experiences and she made me feel more comfortable because we were the minority; that’s why this program exists.” She continues, “I also contacted a former fellow who worked at the same firm so that I could ask her how I can be better prepared. That really eased my anxiety about what to expect and feeling more comfortable to ask for help from my supervisor and the other attorneys in the office.” We’ve mentioned how impactful a good mentor can be, and taking the time to talk to past fellows is arguably the best way to ease any anxiety you may have when preparing for or actively participating in this program. At the end of the day, the SCBA Diversity Fellowship is about teaching under-represented law students and helping them be better prepared for a career in law, and gaining the perspectives of students who have recently gone through the program will assuredly ease your mind if you’re hesitant about applying or anxious to start.

“Even if you’re unsure if you’d qualify or if [participating in the fellowship] is right for you, I’d highly recommend applying because there is no other opportunity like it,” Adriana concludes. “It’s not like any other internship or program out there. It gives you the chance to take on a certain level of responsibility and interact with practicing attorneys that you really can’t find outside of this fellowship.”

We’d like to congratulate the students who were accepted and participated in the SCBA Diversity Fellowship this past summer, and for anyone interested in learning more about the program and applying for the 2020 summer cohort, please contact the CDO at lawcareers@pacific.edu.

A new school year is getting underway, and that means you’re one day closer to reaching your professional goals. Whether you’re targeting a career in advocacy, litigation, water law, or something else (maybe you don’t even know yet!), it’s never too early to make a plan.

Incoming students should keep an eye out for emails regarding individual orientations with a CDO advisor, while returning students should continue preparations for their ongoing job hunt. Even though the summer semester just ended, you’ll need to start thinking about your summer-/post-graduation job search for next year. Applications for experiential learning programs (clinics and externships) should be submitted well ahead of time in order to participate next spring and summer (take a look at the Externships Libguide for deadlines).

To ensure you’re on track and developing an efficient plan, make an appointment with a CDO advisor. We can review your application materials, hold mock interviews, help you prepare a job-search plan, and answer many other career-planning needs you may have.

Months of studying, sleepless nights, and (probably) an unhealthy amount of caffeine is about to pay off. You survived your clinics and externships, you survived law school – one more test and you’ll be a certified lawyer. As you finish your preparations for the bar exam next week, just remember: You got this.

Hopefully you’ve been able to take advantage of some of the bar prep tips we shared earlier, but if not, there’s still time to implement some changes! Over the next few days you’ll likely be trying to cram those last bits of information that just don’t quite seem to stick in your brain, and that’s ok. Just make sure you don’t fry your brain and mentally overwhelm yourself in these final days leading up to the exam.

So go ahead and have that extra coffee, read over your attack sheets, and get ready to pass the bar. We’re looking forward to celebrating with you at the post-bar reception on Wednesday night!

When searching for an out-of-state career opportunity, there are many factors that must be considered. Whether you are a law student preparing for life after graduation, a recent alumni, or a veteran lawyer with years of experience under your belt, applying to jobs in another state requires careful planning and preparation. Figuring out what kind of environment you’d like to live in (metropolitan areas will have more opportunities), getting to know the lawyers and groups in the desired location, and understanding the market for your practice area – both on a national level and in the particular city/state you’ll be moving to – will influence how successful your job hunt will be. In order to make your search as efficient as possible, there are a few things you should do well before packing your boxes and hitting the road.

Find more tips and checklists in your 1L Orientation binder!

First and foremost, make connections in the city that you will be moving to. The easiest way to do this is by joining McGeorge’s Alumni group, McGeorge Connect, allowing you to network with other alumni who work in your desired city or state. There are also hundreds of region-specific groups on LinkedIn: whatever your concentration and wherever you’re moving, there will undoubtedly be a networking group for you.

For in-person networking opportunities, explore sites like Meetup and Eventbrite to see what types of events and conferences are taking place near your future home and try to attend at least a few of them before you move. These are great not only for making connections with local lawyers, but it will also give you an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the city and learn about the issues specific to that area.

It is also important to understand that area’s market. For instance, moving from Sacramento (or anywhere on the West Coast) to somewhere like Texas will likely mean less demand for lawyers specializing in employment law and higher prioritization on oil, gas, and energy law. Some practice areas may be more fluid than others: corporate attorneys, for example, can find opportunities all over the world – as long as the economy is stable. Litigators, on the other hand, are always in demand regardless of the economic climate, but may find it difficult to relocate due to licensing policies and varying requirements for practicing in a given jurisdiction.

Next, have a local address that you can use on your application packets. Particularly for government agencies, it is not uncommon for local residency to be a pre-requisite for consideration. If you already know the address where you’ll be living (and can use it as an active mailing address), then you’re in a great position and have little to worry about. For others, this may not be the case. If you find yourself in this situation, contact a friend or family member who lives in the area that you are planning to move to and ask them if you can use their address as your “temporary home address.” Alternatively, where you would typically put your address on your résumé simply state when you intend to move – e.g. “Relocating to Seattle in November 2019.” This will convey to employers that while you haven’t moved yet, it is planned and imminent, relieving some of the skepticism typically given to out-of-state candidates.

Why is having a local address so important? Generally, employers do not want to worry about relocation costs, particularly smaller law firms that simply don’t have the budget to cover those types of expenses. Another reason is the potential waiting period employers may face if the position is offered to someone who still needs to finish (or even start) their move. For those who are interested in local government, having an address in that state or county will also be much more appealing as they’ll be seen as someone who’s already invested in the community.

Lastly, you must be able to explain to potential employers why you are moving. Are you returning to your home state after completing law school? Are you following a significant other or spouse due to their job? Or are you simply looking for a fresh start?

There are many reasons people move, and employers will want to know what your reasons are and whether or not you’ll be committed to a new job after moving. If you explain that you simply love new adventures and new experiences in an attempt to show a level of openness to taking on new challenges, it may also be interpreted as a sign that you aren’t looking for a long-term commitment. Whether it’s in an interview or part of the application packet, your motivation to relocate will inevitably come up. Before you apply, make sure that you understand your reasons for moving and can convey them to potential employers in a way that makes your candidacy appealing.

Whatever your particular case is, the McGeorge CDO is here to assist you in any way we can, and there is undoubtedly an alum who has been through a very similar situation. Don’t hesitate to contact us or the Alumni Department as you navigate the ins and outs of your interstate job search.

Do law students need business cards? The short answer is, “it’s complicated.” 20 years ago, this question would have been laughable because business cards were the most efficient way to exchange contact information. Now, with everyone having an address book, email, and even networking apps on their phone, it is far more convenient to do everything directly on these devices. That said, there are many reasons that law students should still have business cards. While you won’t (and shouldn’t) be handing out business cards to every legal professional you meet and interact with, you’ll want to keep a few on-hand for when someone asks for it.

As a lawyer, it’s expected that you’ll have business cards. The biggest differentiator between a lawyer’s business card and a law student’s card lies in the general purpose of business cards: it is expected that the recipient will reach out to the card’s owner. If you’re a law student giving out business cards to everyone you talk to at a conference or networking event, you’re implying that the onus is on them to contact you, which can be seen as presumptuous. Instead, you should be collecting the lawyers’ cards, and if there are conversations in which you feel that a good, solid rapport has been established, then you may offer your card after receiving theirs. Keep in mind that different practitioners (including JD preferred positions and those in the Capital lawyering sphere) may have different expectations around a law student’s use of business cards.

As for what actually goes onto a law student’s business card (aside from your name and contact info), a personal website or blog, if you have one, is a great inclusion. If you want to also include your LinkedIn or other networking profiles, make sure to use the simplified URL or a QR code that can be easily scanned. Keep in mind that this is a “business” card, so social networking profiles such as LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. should be limited to no more than two of your most active accounts (you are a law student – your Instagram handle is NOT relevant).

Law student business card services are available to McGeorge students and will include the McGeorge logo and brand. Early in the semester, students will receive a personalized email invitation and link to purchase cards through MOO.com. Students and alumni who need help deciding how to design a business card or when to offer them can make an appointment with a CDO advisor to receive tips and advice on what to do. When you’re giving potential employers something that is meant to represent you and help you stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.

 

 

 

What’s better than landing an interview with some of the best private firms and public agencies across the country? Getting an interview with them and doing it from the comfort and familiarity of your school’s campus. McGeorge is excited to host another round of early On-Campus Interviews (OCI) this August, and you can see a full list of participating employers by logging on to McGeorgeCareersOnline and navigating to the OCI tab.

BE AWARE: Application deadlines are less than a month away! Before applying, have the CDO review your application materials by sending them to lawcareers@pacific.edu. To make your bid for an interview, be sure to submit your documents for consideration by the following deadlines:

  • Early OCI Group 1: Monday, July 8
  • Early OCI Group 2: Monday, July 15
  • Early OCI Group 3: Monday, July 29

 

Need additional help with OCI? Email Isabella Hannon at ihannon@pacific.edu.

As many of you know, July 8 is the first deadline to bid for on-campus interviews (OCI) and it is quickly approaching. For those who have checked out the list of employers coming to campus, you might have noticed that both the Office of the Public Defender (PD) and the Office of the District Attorney (DA) will be accepting bids for interviews. If selected for an interview, you will want to give yourself enough time to prepare answers to questions commonly asked by their respective offices. Below are a few questions that you can expect to hear as a student looking to gain summer employment. Although the potential interview may be a month or two away, it never hurts to get a jump on practicing for what you may be asked. Practice makes perfect, and allowing yourself plenty of time to polish your answers will only increase your chances of securing the job.

 

Office of the Public Defender’s Office

 

1: Why do you want to work for the PD’s Office?

This question is asked in almost every interview; it’s an opportunity to show your personality and your passion. Prepare an answer that highlights who you are and why you would be an excellent fit in the PD’s office. If you have previous experiences or personal anecdotes that would relate to your reasons for wanting to interview, incorporate them in your answer which should be polished, personal, and succinct.

 

2: What qualities do you possess that would make you a good fit for the job?

This is another question that allows you to show your personality and passion. Craft a concise and creative answer that will make you stand out. This is the time to weave in past experiences and make personal connections. Try to take it beyond the surface level of: “I am smart as evidenced by my grades so, I will do good work.” Keep in mind that the job includes collaborating with co-workers and your demeanor in the office, in addition to assignments and cases.

 

3: How do you feel about helping defend people accused of serious crimes?

The PD commonly asks this question to determine if you are going to be able to work on cases where people may be accused of very serious offenses. They want to know that you are passionate enough to get through the days where the work may be tough. Think about this question thoroughly before you even apply and be sure to prepare a thoughtful response.

 

Office of the District Attorney’s Office

 

1: Why do you want to work for the DA’s Office?

Like the PD’s office, this is a commonly asked question in DA interviews. Follow the same advice above but know your audience. The answer you would give to the DA should be quite different from the one you prepared for the PD’s office. Especially if you plan on submitting a bid for both offices, make sure this answer is unique for both interviews.

 

2:Are you able to work on cases with situations and documents/pictures that may make you uncomfortable?

Likely if you were to be hired at the DA’s office you would see some pictures and documents that would be unsettling, and the interviewer is trying to determine if you will be able to handle some of the unfortunate realities of the job. Think about this question before stepping foot in the interview room so that you can answer confidently during the interview.

 

3: The DA’s office is known to ask on-the-spot legal hypotheticals.

Although the thought of combining test-like legal analysis and the pressure of an interview is the stuff of nightmares, you got this. Take a breath and allow yourself a few moments to think through the scenario. A quickly delivered but poorly thought out answer will not score you any points. The main purpose behind these types of questions is to see if you are able to think like an attorney and remain calm under pressure. The DA’s office is looking for an answer that is well thought out but also demonstrates a commitment to upholding justice.

 

These questions may seem impossible to answer but with some careful crafting and practice, you will ace the interview. Feel free schedule an appointment for a mock interview or interview coaching with the CDO. We also have sample hypos to help students get some practice before the big interview.