Losing your summer associate job may feel like the world is crashing down around you, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Alternatives to summer associate positions are out there, it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Future employers will want to see that you used your time wisely after losing a summer associate position, and there are many ways for you to show them that your work ethic and enthusiasm for the law didn’t dry up with the job market.

McGeorgeCareersOnline

If your summer associate job offer has been rescinded, one of the first places you should look to replace it is right under your nose: McGeorge. Not only are many alumni asking us to post open positions in their offices on McGeorgeCareersOnline (MCO), but professors at McGeorge are now hiring more Research Assistants than in previous years in an effort to aid our students. The increase in these positions means there are many opportunities available for those looking to get some practical experience on their resume. Not only are RA positions paid jobs, but they typically involve working just a few hours each night, allowing them to be combined with other full- or part-time positions if you’re able to line up something else, as well. Additionally, the CDO will continue to send out our “Hot Jobs” emails throughout the summer, which highlights various open positions found on MCO.

Pro Bono Opportunities

Although unpaid internships and pro bono opportunities won’t provide the income you may have been expecting, they’re nevertheless great sources of practical experience. Pro bono service is a fantastic resume builder, and with the current economic impact of COVID-19 there’s a surge in demand for lawyers and law students who are capable of offering their time and knowledge. Interested students can fill out this form to receive more information from the ABA about their ongoing pro bono project designed specifically for law school students.

Networking

Instead of working for an agency or firm for the summer, you can also use this time to create connections through McGeorge’s Alumni Advisor Network. Now, more than ever, building a strong professional network will be one of your most valuable tools when searching for a future job. With much of the country remaining under stay-at-home orders and unease about spending too much time in public settings, connecting with our alumni via Zoom or over the phone can be done quickly and from the comfort of your own home. The connections you develop and nurture this summer will play a major role in your career path. Be sure to also keep an eye on your email for invitations to join the CDO for our Alumni Q&A sessions every other Friday on Zoom starting June 5, which are great ways to connect with various McGeorge alumni in a casual setting over the lunch hour.

Non-Legal Opportunities

In an ideal world, everyone seeking a legal position for the summer would find one, but that’s not the world we live in. You need to pay rent and buy groceries, so it’s OK to take a non-legal summer job if that’s what it takes to make ends meet. Go ahead and take that retail job, bag some groceries, or temp in an office if you can. Try combining your non-law-related job with any of the other alternatives mentioned to make the most of an imperfect situation.

Take a Break

If all else fails, or if the stress of the pandemic is too much for you to bear, it’s alright take a break this summer. There’s no reason to feel bad about taking a couple months off for yourself, and there’s only so much you can do if the jobs and opportunities you’re looking for simply aren’t there. Take some time to reset mentally and prepare for the coming fall semester. It’s a time of uncertainty for everyone right now, and sometimes the best course of action is to simply relax and prepare yourself for whatever tomorrow may bring.

Looking into the finer details surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be surprised to find that the legal job market actually remains fairly strong, especially in comparison to the overall job market. While no industry has proven immune to the rise in national unemployment, legal occupations have the lowest unemployment rate as tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Check out TaxProf’s recent article to read more about the status of the current legal job market and the positive outlook for prospective lawyers.

At this time last year, most people could only dream of spending their days at home, “going” to class or working from the comfort of their couch. Today, that’s the reality the vast majority of us find ourselves in, and it’s not the cushy and care-free life we had envisioned. We’re not being “allowed” to attend class and work remotely – we have to do those things remotely because state and federal orders are prohibiting most people from leaving there house for anything but essential activities. With virtual classes and remote working presenting an unknown challenge to both students and experienced lawyers, now is the time to forge a new path yourself.

Above The Law recently published an article detailing a handful of tips for students and lawyers facing feelings of unease and uncertainty after the legal profession has seemingly been turned on its head overnight. For anyone stressing about how they’re going to find a job in today’s climate, or anyone who’s trying to progress their career goals, the tips here may prove invaluable.

You can read the article in full at the following link: “4 Steps To Growing A Legal Career In Sweatpants”.

In times like these we have to get creative and adapt our routines to maintain physical and mental health. The Sacramento County Bar Association has shared various resources for law students and legal professionals to maintain a healthy lifestyle while staying at home.

You already have everything you need at home to maintain a healthy body: yourself. The SCBA is partnering with Alexa Garcia Fitness to offer free live at-home workouts every Monday – Friday from 11:00am – 12:00pm. Exercising on a regular basis helps to maintain mental health and, obviously, makes you physically healthier – allowing you to be more productive and focused while you work. Perhaps best of all, you can participate from the comfort of your living room.

Addressing mental health more specifically, the mental resiliency needed to stay home all day, every day can’t be underestimated. Coping with the stress, anxiety, and challenges of stay-at-home orders is essential to maintain overall well-being. Attorney Dennis Warren, a former Clinical Professor at UC Davis School of Medicine and Medical Center, is offering free meditation sessions every Monday from 12:00pm – 12:30pm. Interested law students and SCBA Members can sign up by emailing Dennis at COVID19Meditation@gmail.com.

Additionally, lawyers and law students are invited to attend a free Zoom event this Thursday, April 2 from 12:00pm – 1:30pm with Cami McLaren of McLaren Coaching to express, hear and overcome challenges presented by remote working. Thousands of lawyers are experiencing extended remote work for the first time, and many are feeling unproductive due to suboptimal work environments and a plethora of distractions. If you’re finding that working from home is a challenge, you can find comfort in the fact that there are hundreds of other individuals facing the same challenges. If you’re interested in learning how to improve your remote working habits and hear from others in similar situations, you can RSVP to Cami at cami@mclarencoaching.com.

As always, the McGeorge CDO is also here to provide remote support for students and alumni seeking career-related assistance. Email us at lawcareers@pacific.edu with all of your career-related needs and concerns.

With the anticipated end of social distancing and statewide stay-at-home up in the air, it’s time to expand our professional networking strategies. Phone, email, and videoconferences have all been available for years, but how can they be leveraged differently in today’s world of mandated virtual-learning and WFHing? What other tools and resources can be used to maintain a growing network when you’re directed to stay away from other people?

One of the biggest changes that law students can take advantage of is the surge in activity of online forums and discussion boards. With so many people stuck at home behind their keyboards, many online communities have exploded with renewed activity. Doing a quick search for discussion boards in fields you’re interested in can yield dozens of communities with a wide range of experts, some of whom may be willing to offer their personal insights if you reach out to them. Take this opportunity to connect with individuals from around the world whom you wouldn’t normally have access to.

Using the expertise you’ve gained from attending virtual classes this week, put that knowledge to further use and attend online conferences. Many conferences, lectures, and symposiums around the world are now being hosted online to avoid outright cancellation. Whether they’re hosted on Zoom, Webex, On24, or another virtual meeting platform, law students can seek out these opportunities and take advantage of the lack of travel time and expenses typically associated with attending these events. If you do attend a virtual conference, be sure to browse the participant list (if visible) and reach out to anyone that grabs your attention. Most video conferencing platforms allow you to chat with specific participants, and you can always try to find their contact information online if chat features are disabled.

Luckily, it’s not necessary to change all of your networking strategies. Some things that you can be doing on a regular basis include updating your LinkedIn profile and staying in contact with your current connections. The time normally spent commuting to work and school can now be used to maintain your online presence and re-connecting with professional contacts. Doing a little bit each day (even just 5-10 minutes) can make all the difference once the world returns to normalcy, and will also help to keep you on employers’ radars. Tune into the ABA’s webinar on April 17 to learn more about creating your personal brand and making your online presence work for you.

Just as you should consistently maintain your online presence and stay in contact with current connections, reaching out to mentors in McGeorge’s Alumni Advisor Network should be on your to-do list. Now that we have all been forced to slow down a bit, it’s the perfect time to finally get in touch with our experienced and insightful mentors. Exchange emails, have a phone call, or FaceTime them; you can do everything you normally would when seeking mentorship except physically meet.

For assistance with any of these tips or further advice on how to put them into action, the CDO is here to support you however we can, and is available at lawcareers@pacific.edu.

Are you tired of sitting on your couch and wondering what you can do to stay busy? Worry no more! The ABA is hosting several free webinars over the next several months exploring how COVID-19 is affecting law students and legal professionals, and how making the transition to a virtual workplace is not just a result of the current health crisis. A few upcoming webinars are detailed below, with many more scheduled and archived sessions available on the ABA site here.

 

Thursday, March 26 | 1-2 PM ET

Key Strategies for Managing Your Life and Work During Coronavirus: “With things changing on a minute-by-minute basis with the coronavirus, are you stressed and anxious about how it will affect your life and career? The ABA Career Center is here to support you by providing key strategies you can implement right away to manage your life and career during shelter in place, social distancing, remote work, and possible recession.”

 

Friday, April 17 | 1-2 PM ET

LinkedIn, Social Media, and Personal Branding: “In this workshop, you will get specific tools and strategies to use your online presence to define your personal brand and develop relationships. Professionals today have the opportunity to take your networking and business development virtual and global in an authentic and strategic way.  Tomea Mersmann has over 20 years as a career coach, law school professor, and branding expert helping lawyers and law schools craft messages that resonate.  Tomea will guide you through simple steps to quickly take your professional presence to the next level.”

 

Friday, May 1 | 1-1:30 PM ET

Building a Virtual Law Practice for the Modern-Day Client: The Coronavirus pandemic has shaken us to our core and left us searching for ways to serve our clients through virtual resources. In this webinar, you’ll learn how Rukayatu Tijani combined her Silicon Valley big law skills with modern-day virtual technology to open her own virtual law practice to provide streamlined trademark services for the modern-day entrepreneur. You’ll learn about her favorite tech and ways you can streamline the legal process and your own legal practice to best serve your clients, whether your practice is in IP or elsewhere.”

 

For those who are seeking CLE credit, the ABA has many Coronavirus-related webinars available here.

Don’t miss these career-building opportunities, and keep an eye on McGeorge @ Work for more webinars and career development tips during these uncertain times.

As schools and employers move to telecommuting in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, students and employees across the country are testing the limits of their mental focus. Work from home (WFH) policies are not new, but the situation we now find ourselves in is ­­– one in which multiple people may be WFHing in the same household for a number of weeks. Students are finding that remote learning comes with new challenges on top of the standard rigors of law school.

Before the Bar’s recent article outlines several focus-maintaining tips to help law students make the most of their time in isolation, and most of the insights are applicable regardless of the current global pandemic. One thing that we at the CDO would like to add is to maintain perspective and know that “this too shall pass.” We are all in this together.

So be sure to take a few minutes out of your day to read Before the Bar’s article above, stay inside, stay focused, and stay healthy. If you have any career-related questions or concerns during this time, the McGeorge CDO remains available via email at lawcareers@pacific.edu.

As McGeorge staff and faculty transition to working remotely, we want to assure you that the Career Development Office will continue to be available to our students, alumni, and employers. You can make an appointment during normal business hours to speak with a CDO team member through email, phone, or video chat via Zoom (please specify your preferred method when making the appointment). Schedule your appointment through McGeorgeCareersOnline or by emailing lawcareers@pacific.edu or calling 916.739.7011.

 

Though we are transitioning to working remotely, we will continue to post new jobs on McGeorgeCareersOnline, review application materials, conduct mock interviews, strategize about your job-search, and provide other career-related support. Additionally, we intend to maintain our standards of reviewing application materials within two business days, and responding to schedule requests within one business day. As always, if you have a time-sensitive matter, please be sure to include that in the subject line of your email.

 

We look forward to navigating new territory with you, and seeing you when we return to campus.

-Your CDO Team

 

Leah Adams: ladams@pacific.edu

Isabella Hannon: ihannon@pacific.edu

Rydder Kramer: rkramer@pacific.edu

Erin O’Neal Muilenburg: emuilenburg@pacific.edu

Molly Stafford: mstafford@pacific.edu

Trina Grillo Retreat
22nd Annual Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat, “Advancing Social Justice from Within”.

On February 28 and 29, 2020, McGeorge had the honor of hosting the 22nd Annual Trina Grillo Social Justice Retreat, “Advancing Social Justice from Within.” Named after USF’s law professor Trina Grillo (1948-1996), the conference is hosted by various West Coast law schools on a rotating basis. Professor Grillo was renowned for her innovative teaching style and scholarly works that celebrated differences and focused on social justice issues. The two-day retreat emphasized helping individuals reconnect and re-energize from within, while also exploring ways to bring about change through one’s own actions as well as through the Capitol.

Students, faculty, and staff from eleven law schools—from University of Washington, to LA-area schools, to UNLV—were in attendance for the weekend event. The first day of the retreat began with a tour of the capitol building, immediately followed by a stirring committee room conversation led by McGeorge alum Aaron Brieno (2014), the Capitol Director in Senator Ben Hueso’s office. The evening was capped off with a fantastic reception co-hosted by McGeorge’s Capital Center for Law & Policy. Saturday session topics includedCareers In and Around the Capital;” “Education, Equity, and Policy;” “Voter Suppression: Election Protection;” and “Career Visioning,” along with several other insightful and moving discussions. Among the featured McGeorge speakers were Professor Ederlina Co, Professors Emeriti Brian Landsberg and Dorothy Landsberg, and alumna Elizabeth Kim. Representatives from various outside law schools, government and non-profit agencies also presented, including a former New Jersey Administrative Law Judge, a Director for the Office of Equity at the CA Department of Social Services, and a Legislative Advocate for the ACLU Center for Advocacy & Policy.

The scheduled activities and discussions promoted community building across law schools and between all involved. One student attending from another school reported that they had not realized how isolated they had felt before the retreat, and now felt reconnected to the social justice community.

Special thanks go to Associate Dean of Career Development Molly Stafford and Director of Government & Capital Employment Erin O’Neal Muilenburg for taking the lead in organizing this year’s retreat. Reflecting on the meaning of the retreat, Dean Stafford noted, “McGeorge is uniquely situated in Sacramento. Our proximity to the state Capitol and focus on educating the next generation of attorneys and activists working at the intersection of law and policy allows us to highlight the powerful justice work being done by lawyers, lobbyists and legislative professionals in the capital arena.”

Before becoming a licensed attorney, law students must apply for bar admission and, crucially, pass the character and fitness requirements. The last thing you want is for all of your hard work to be undone because of a simple oversight or omission from three years ago. It’s easy to think that you would never have done such a thing, but assuming that these words of caution don’t apply to you may result in a major headache later on. One of the most efficient ways to ensure that your bar application goes through without issue is by following these tips from Before the Bar’s article, which details the importance of maintaining accurate records of your character and fitness and how to properly amend any inconsistencies.

 

McGeorge students who want to review or amend their law school applications should contact Dean Carr to request access to their documents. In addition to amending discrepancies when you find them, remember that you have a continuing duty to keep the school informed of potential character and fitness issues that arise throughout your time in law school.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to starting your career as a licensed attorney.