Julienne Correa(Class of 2022)

In the last article about diversity in the law, I discussed the need for diversity within the legal field. Here, I will discuss diversity efforts I have come across through law school.

Diversity fellowships, internships, and scholarships recognize the need for diversity in the legal field by providing equitable platforms for law students. I had no contact with the legal field prior to law school beyond what I learned in the undergraduate pre-law programs, and I was unfamiliar with how law school operated. The three programs discussed below showed me the importance of specific opportunities for diverse students.

Sacramento Bar Association Diversity Fellowship

During my first year, I learned about the Sacramento Bar Association 1L Diversity Fellowship. It encourages diverse law students to apply to firms and promote diversity in the legal field. Diverse students have an opportunity to apply to the fellowship, and if selected are matched with a Sacramento-area private law firm or organization. The program guarantees an interview for each applicant, which allows first-year students to practice interview skills for future opportunities. Further it shows students various firms’ commitment to diversity and inclusion. The program provides an equitable pipeline for diverse students pursuing legal careers in private firms.

Continue Reading 3 Diversity Programs from My Time in Law School

L-R Front row: Marisa Uribe (UC Davis) and Stephanie Allen (McGeorge). Back row: Omar Figueroa (McGeorge), Emma James (McGeorge), and Matthew Lanthier (UC Davis).

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office welcomed three McGeorge students to its 2021 Summer/Fall internship program: Stephanie Allen (3L), Emma James (2L), and Omar Figueroa (2L); along with two other law students from UC Davis. After a year of remote work, the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is excited to re-open its doors for in-person internships and externships. Students participating in the program have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience working under the mentorship of practicing attorneys with real clients. You can read the Office’s full press release here.

A couple years ago we shared a post about law student business cards. Since that time, a rather large event has occurred that may affect the demand for law students to carry business cards: the COVID-19 pandemic. With many people still wary of transmitting and catching the virus from contact with physical surfaces, not to mention the slough of new variants that seem to be discovered every other week, it’s fair to wonder if law students should bother getting business cards. However, it looks like the business card is one of those things that just won’t go away – after all, business cards have been around since the 17th century and survived through many epidemics already.

While many people may still be wary of handshakes and touching public surfaces, an old-fashioned business card is still an important tool for successful professionals, lawyers included. There have been a few waves of “digital business cards” throughout the years that would have been great for today’s world, but none of them were able to stick around for long (remember Bump?). One of the problems with these products is that there will always be security risks involved when connecting two smart devices; but likely the biggest inhibitor to going with fully digital business cards – at least for the time being – is Continue Reading Did COVID-19 Kill the Business Card, and Do Law Students Still Need One?

Are you looking for a unique post-bar opportunity? 2Ls, 3Ls, and recent graduates should consider using the summer to apply for project-based fellowships, that typically begin in the fall (often one year out). Fellowships are highly competitive and provide a unique opportunity to jumpstart a career in law, so it’s never too early to start planning. Fellows are able to use their legal skills to affect positive change for disadvantaged populations while receiving top-rate training and supervision. You’ll further refine many of the skills developed through externships and clinics, and the experience will be very desirable when applying for future positions. PSJD gave some great tips last summer which still apply today, on how to begin your fellowship search and how to organize your project with a funding organization and a host organization. You should also contact the McGeorge Career Development Office to refine your application materials and take advantage of our connections with a number of organizations and contacts across the nation.

Not all has been doom-and-gloom during the COVID-19 pandemic. McGeorge graduates earned an 81% first-time bar pass rate on the February 2021 California Bar Exam, the second highest pass rate among all California law schools and the second highest pass rate for McGeorge over the past 25 years – having passed at 86% on the October 2020 exam. The perseverance and dedication of our students was on further display as graduates in McGeorge’s Accelerated Honors Program, the only one of its kind in the nation, achieved a staggering 100% first-time pass rate.  Congratulations to all our bar passers!

Read the full press release here.

The National Black Prosecutors Association (NBPA), established in 1983, is a professional member organization comprised of over 800 prosecutors.  Their mission is to recruit, train, and advance the careers of minority attorneys as prosecutors at all levels of government.  This year’s annual NBPA job fair will be held online on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. There’s still time to register at a discounted rate, after which point the registration price will rise to $50 for students and recent graduates, and $100 for experienced lawyers.

Registration Period
Law Students & 2021 Graduates
Experienced Attorneys

General Registration

May 12th – June 30th

Free $25

Late Registration

July 1st – July 23rd

$50 $100

For additional information about the NBPA and to register for the conference, visit www.blackprosecutors.org.

What is a Judicial Clerkship?

A judicial clerkship is a full-time position working for a federal or state judge that often (but not always) starts right after you finish law school. Clerkships may be with any level of court (supreme, appellate or trial court). In addition to the traditional courts, consider special federal courts such as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, U.S. Tax Court, U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s EOIR Immigration Courts.

Law clerks research and draft opinions and orders for the court. They also participate in many phases of the court’s decision-making process. There are “fixed-term” clerkships, which generally last one or two years, and there are “permanent” law clerks, also called “staff attorneys” or “research attorneys”, whose terms are indefinite. Most of the opportunities we are discussing here are fixed-term, though our graduates have been hired directly from law school into permanent Appellate Court Attorney positions with the California Court of Appeal recently.

Continue Reading 6 Common Questions About Post-Graduate Judicial Clerkships

Jade Gasek (Class of 2020)
Jade Gasek, class of 2020

I recently sat down with Jade Gasek (’20), who shared a bit of his story and some helpful insights for our current law students. Following his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College, Jade spent a few years out of academia to decide whether law school was the right choice for him. Having spent that time reflecting on his goal of helping those who can’t help themselves, Jade came to McGeorge with a renewed focus and readiness to face the rigors of law school. With a JD in hand, Jade is now preparing to join Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in January 2022 as a litigation associate.

After the COVID-19 pandemic delayed Orrick’s start date for first-year associates, the firm offered them the opportunity to participate in a fellowship where they could work for a year with a community nonprofit organization of their choice before officially joining the firm. Jade is currently in the middle of his fellowship with the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law, where he provides pro bono services relating to police violence, mass incarceration, and reparations.  This includes litigation under Section 1983 for claims of excessive police force by police and prison officials. Jade has also worked with local leaders in Washington D.C. (where the Center is located) to figure out how to effectively reduce harm during police interactions, such as during traffic stops and other daily occurrences. This involves re-evaluating current traffic laws and enforcement therein to mitigate the potential for violence.

Continue Reading Student Spotlight: Jade Gasek (Class of 2020)

Alexander Ames, 2L (Class of 2022)
Alexander Ames, 2L (Class of 2022)

The McGeorge Alternative Summer Advantage Program (“McGeorge ASAP”) is a self-directed volunteer summer legal research project created by alum Lexi Purich Howard and Asst. Dean of Career Development Molly Stafford in response to COVID-19.  The program matched McGeorge students who lost summer opportunities due to the pandemic with local attorneys for guidance on a research project on the topic of the student’s choosing. This week’s ASAP paper was authored by Alexander Ames (2L, 2022) under the mentorship of Nathaniel Jenkins, an associate at Littler Mendelson P.C. This paper was written during the summer of 2020 and shortly after the enactment of California Executive Order N-62-20; however, Mr. Ames’s insights on the issues remain pertinent and will inform how future cases may be ruled in the event of another, or continued, pandemic.

In early 2020, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began spreading rapidly across California. Currently in California there are more than 420,000 cases and over 8,000 deaths.[i] Initially, there was a statewide shut down that left many people either without work, or working from the safety of their homes, remotely. In the following months, many industries have started to open, and many workers are returning to work. This poses several questions, such as who would be held liable if an employee contracts COVID-19 while at work? The answer on the surface may be simple, but there can be rising, troublesome complications that follow…”

Read the full article here.

On May 7, 2021, Assistant Dean for Career Development and External Relations Molly Stafford received the University of the Pacific’s Podesto Award for Excellence in Student Life, Mentoring and Counseling. This is a well-deserved award that recognizes the care and tireless commitment Molly shows while serving McGeorge students. Her leadership has helped raise our students to new levels of excellence and success.

“[Molly] does her work with her heart and her head. Under her leadership, not only has the McGeorge Career Development Office achieved the best U.S. News Jobs rate in the law school’s history (during a pandemic!), but also has demonstrated commitments to the whole student (by emphasizing work-life balance, student empowerment, and students’ dreams for themselves) and to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

– Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz, McGeorge School of Law

Thank you, Dean Stafford, for all you have done and continue to do. McGeorge is lucky and proud to have someone of your caliber leading us and our students.