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 Adrienne Black (2L, 2022) under the mentorship of Ashley Harvey, an attorney at the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.

 

“Recidivism among felony offenders fuels the overcrowding of the United States prison system, while reducing public safety and subjecting the public to the threat of repeat offenders. [i] The United States has overly relied on incarceration while abandoning efforts to reform criminogenic behaviors, resulting in historically high recidivism rates.[ii] In 1994, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (“BJS”) examined a total of 272,111 inmates released that year, including their criminal histories and the financial impacts of their arrests. Of those former inmates, 78% had been incarcerated for a non-violent crime, and 67% former inmates had committed at least one serious new crime within three years of their release. The 272,111 inmates had accrued more than $4.1 million in arrest charges before their current imprisonment, and acquired an additional $744,000 arrest charges in the three years following their discharge; they had also averaged about 18 criminal arrest charges per offender during their criminal career.[iii]  As BJS’s study illustrates, the marginal benefit of incarceration for the purposes of crime control only restricts an offender’s ability to commit further crimes during his/her period of confinement, yet is ineffective in changing criminal behavior.[iv]

The discussion that follows is structured into sections that break down the issues of prison reform, rehabilitation, and recidivism. Section I examines incarceration rates, specific to California. Section II recognizes the importance of California implementing rehabilitation programs, specifically addressing the economic impact the programs serve, the correlation between correctional education and reoffending, and addressing an individual’s “criminogenic needs.” Section III highlights three key principles that the Legislative Analyst’s Office (“LAO”) has determined would maximize recidivism reduction. Section IV further narrows the scope of this discussion and identifies rehabilitation programs offered within the Northern Region of California. Section V illustrates the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs through an individual’s personal experience… “

 

Read the full article here.

You’ve made it into law school and are now wading through each semester. The question you face now is, what will you do next? It’s ok to be unsure of what kind of career path you should pursue. You’re certainly not alone – many 2L and 3L students (and even some practicing attorneys) have yet to figure it out. It’s important to not limit yourself to particular career paths due to preconceived notions of what types of tasks and responsibilities the various professions entail. Unless you’ve been lucky enough to work or intern in several different types of offices, agencies, and practice areas before even setting foot in law school, you shouldn’t eliminate potential opportunities from your choices based just on what you may have heard or read elsewhere. It’s another classic situation where you don’t know what you don’t know.

To help you plan your career path, consider these 10 questions about your practice goals and values. Give some time to really analyze why you’re here and where you want to ultimately be. If you are still feeling overwhelmed by the endless choices before you, make an appointment with a CDO advisor to relieve some of the stress and help develop a career plan.

FBI Seal
Source: https://www.fbi.gov/history/seal-motto

Figuring out what career you want to pursue can be one of the most difficult decisions you make during law school. There are myriad options available to JD, MSL, MPP, and MPA graduates; so how do you choose the right career path for you? How do you know that you’ll truly enjoy the profession you choose to pursue without having any firsthand experience? If you’re the type of person that wants to use your legal expertise to protect the American people, perhaps you’ll find your calling at the FBI.

 

Special Agent Justin Lee is a 2004 McGeorge alum currently working in Cyber Squad at the FBI Sacramento Field Office, and has been with the Bureau since 2005. While the mission of the FBI (“To protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States”) is enough to make anyone proud of the work they do, Lee also notes that his career has had very positive impacts on his personal  life, too. Not only did he meet his wife on the job (while they both worked in the FBI San Francisco Field Office), but he also has time to do things that he is passionate about outside of work – such as coaching soccer, basketball and baseball for his kids, acting as a Cub Scout den leader, and being able to take time off to visit his family’s favorite vacation spot in Hawaii. As much as the FBI values hard work and a commitment to justice, it also promotes a healthy work-life balance for all employees.

 

Agent Lee admitted that although he had never considered joining the FBI prior to enrolling in law school, the excitement of the job – coupled with encouragement from his supervisor (former FBI Special Agent and current Sacramento County Superior Court judge, Hon. Delbert Oros) during an internship with the Sacramento County DA’s Office – drew him in nonetheless. “Being an FBI Agent is very rewarding and every day is different… Everyone in the FBI works hard to keep our nation safe and to become part of something bigger than themselves,” he explained. With a JD nearly in his grasp in 2003, Agent Lee knew that he could employ his legal knowledge outside of the traditional lawyering career path.

 

Having a JD doesn’t limit your career opportunities to practicing law in a courtroom or tracking billable hours. Taking legal concepts from the classroom and applying them to how the criminal justice system operates opens the door to hundreds of other law-related careers. When examining a job applicant’s qualifications, the FBI gives more weight to the individual’s alignment with the Bureau’s defined Core Competencies than to a specific academic experience – such as particular externships or legal courses. In fact, Agent Lee says that even within cyber investigations it’s not necessary to have a technical background because much of the investigative techniques used by law enforcement work well in both cyber and non-cyber cases. His legal education has provided him “a solid background and the skills to incorporate better logic and analysis into [his] writing… [as well as] presentation and oral advocacy skills”, which lends itself to more efficient collaborations with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and construction of affidavits. A combination of life experience, legal knowledge, and an advanced degree (whether it’s a JD, MPA, MPP, or MSL) can put you on the short list of qualified applicants for most entry-level FBI positions.

 

If you think your goals and drive align with the FBI, we encourage you to visit their online job board and explore the opportunities available. Lee recommends all interested applicants apply as soon as possible due to the extensive background check and testing required before entering the FBI Academy, noting from his own experience that it was “nearly two years between the time [he] applied and when [he] stepped foot into the FBI Academy”. Be sure to review the FBI’s eligibility requirements to ensure you meet the minimum standards, as well as the Special Agent Selection Process.

 

Once you’ve identified positions that fit your interests, don’t forget to schedule an appointment with a CDO career advisor to review your application materials by emailing lawcareers@pacific.edu.

Jordan Taylor; 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 Jordan Taylor (2L, 2022) under the mentorship of Lexi Howard (’15), co-creator of this program and an associate attorney at Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP.

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made social distancing a priority for public health and safety. Throughout the country, all but three states have enacted remote online notarization, either permanently, prior to the pandemic, or temporarily or permanently, in response to the pandemic, to support notary publics and signers in need of notary services. Remote online notarization (RON) allows notary publics to notarize documents by utilizing audio-visual communications through third-party platforms. In California, remote online notarization has not been enacted, so signers must still appear before a notary public in person, or signers must use a mobile notary public service. RON gives notary publics the ability to provide notary services to COVID-positive patients in isolation, using methods secured by multi-factor and knowledge-based authentications. Even with security measures in place, remote online notarization carries a potential for fraud and data breaches. The California legislature has twice rejected proposals for remote online notarization. Two bills introduced in Congress seek to pass legislation that enacts remote online notarization nationwide for interstate commerce. Whether or not California or Congress enacts remote online notarization, it should still be enacted, at least temporarily, in California until the passing of the COVID-19 pandemic…”

Read the full article here.

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 Samuel Kim (3L, 2021) under the mentorship of Christian Camarce (’07), a director in Sterne Kessler’s Electronics Practice Group.

“Given the current situation the world is experiencing with coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) — in which over 600,000 people have died worldwide, including about 150,000 deaths in the United States alone — corporations and universities race to develop a vaccine to slow the spread of the virus. Patents play a vital role in the research to develop the vaccine. Patents provide a safeguard to patent holders to exclude others from exploiting their innovations. With respect to vaccine-related patents, patent holders can exclude others from practicing various vaccine-related aspects concerning, for example, micro-organisms in a living but recombinant state, antigens and antibodies, and processes relating to methods for producing the vaccine.

This paper discusses aspects of patenting vaccine-related innovations in the United States in three sections. Section I describes patents and their purpose. Section II surveys patent requirements and whether a COVID-19 vaccine can be patentable. Finally, section III discusses the possible moral and ethical dilemmas that vaccine developer may face in view of deciding whether to obtain a vaccine-related patent…”

Read the full article here.

Do days seem to be more draining now than before remote work and distance learning became commonplace? If you feel this way, you’re not alone. In fact, the vast majority of people working remotely would agree that their energy levels are dropping by the day. The problem is that this sluggishness is creeping up on everyone despite the absence of rush-hour commutes, in-person meetings, and random drop-ins by colleagues to discuss another small project to put on your plate. So why is everyone so tired now, and what can we do to prevent it?

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

Much of what makes us tired can be attributed to the unedited sound of digitally transferred voices during video calls. A standard microphone (whether a laptop’s built-in mic or one attached to a set of headphones) transforms voices, which is why you can spend hours upon hours listening to music and podcasts but feel exhausted after a single video call. Raw sound transferred over the internet is taxing on our ears, and unless everyone starts using professional-grade equipment it will remain an issue we just have to deal with.

Additionally, much more focus is required during video calls in order to absorb information. Physical gestures, posture, and even a sense of ritualism are all lost when in-person meetings disappear. Without the ability to read body language and non-verbal clues, all attention shifts to the words themselves, making sure you hear and understand everything the second it’s said, and maintaining constant eye contact for the duration of the call. That, combined with the physical strain of listening to unedited audio, is why remote learning and remote working days seem so much more exhausting than a traditional work day.

Now the question is how to combat Zoom fatigue.

Step Away

One of the best ways to prevent digital exhaustion is by simply stepping away from your computer for a few minutes. Short breaks are a normal part of work and school days, so why should virtual days be any different? Walk around your house or get outside (safely) for 10 minutes every few hours. A quick reprieve from your screen will do wonders for your energy levels.

Focus on the Call

For the reasons outlined above, it’s important that you give as much of your attention as possible to the video call while you’re on it. It’s tempting to multitask while on a video call, especially if you don’t need to speak at any point. However, this is often counter-productive. The amount of focus required for video calls means that sharing your attention with another task will harm both the quality of that secondary task and reduce the amount of information you retain from the call. It’s a mistake to think of it as “splitting” energy between activities, as that implies you’d be using the same amount of focus whether you’re only on a call or multitasking; instead, you’d actually be multiplying you energy output, depleting what little reserves you may have left at an exponential rate. If it’s not something that needs to be done immediately, wait until after your call to send that email or continue work on your memo.

Limit the Number and Duration of Calls

Also be sure to limit the number of virtual meetings per day, if possible, and try to go no longer than 50 minutes at any one time. This will ensure that you have adequate time between calls to take care of other tasks or get up to address other issues at home. Going through a full day of back to back video calls is a quick way to ensure you’ll be exhausted for remainder of the week, and even just a few hours of nonstop calls will drain your energy for rest of the day.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable to spend all day on calls, but if you follow these tips you’ll be able to reduce the impact Zoom fatigue has on your days. And with remote working and distance learning looking like permanent fixtures at some level for the foreseeable future, every little bit will help.

We want to take a moment to offer our support to our community and all those reeling in pain as a result the systemic and historical racial injustices that have brought us to this point. We honor and acknowledge the lives lost as a result.

We at the CDO are here to support you and to stand in solidarity with the Black community and our students and alumni of color. We stand with those rising up against injustice and join those demanding profound and permanent reform.

If you are suffering, please know that you are not alone. We are with you. We hope that we can lean on each other and feel inspired to produce the just and equal society of which we all dream, and for which, as lawyers, we strive to create.

 

To those that we’ve lost, and their families, we acknowledge you, we honor you, and we mourn for and with you. Our world is worse because you were taken from us.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Please remember that McGeorge Counseling and Psychological Services continue to be available to all students. You can call 209-946-2315, ext. 2 to speak with someone.

Stay strong. Stay safe.

#BlackLivesMatter #JusticeForAll #EducationEmpowers #StandTogether #Allies #McGeorgeTogether #McGeorgeProud

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”.