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.

“Studying abroad is a marvelous way to immerse yourself in another culture, to challenge yourself to learn how people in other cultures live and experience life, and to learn how to communicate effectively across cultures.  As the world gets smaller, it becomes progressively more important for American lawyers to have these skills to serve their clients effectively, both at home and abroad.”

– Jeff Proske | Associate Dean of Administration, McGeorge School of Law

Having a well-rounded education is only the first step in becoming a successful professional, regardless of the career you pursue. Awareness and sensitivity to other cultures is especially important for lawyers because clients are as diverse as the cases they bring. Jeff Proske, Associate Dean of Administration at McGeorge, notes that studying abroad while in law school is one of the best ways not only to immerse yourself in another culture and learn about how others live, but also how to effectively communicate across cultures in a professional setting. Preparing to take part in McGeorge’s study abroad program in Salzburg for the first time this summer as the undergraduate professor of The Art & Science of Negotiation, Dean Proske is living by his words. Students who have participated in the Salzburg Summer Program say it is an incredibly unique opportunity and one of the best experiences they’ve had, in law school or otherwise.

McGeorge Salzburg Event
Salzburg Closing Dinner. From left to right: Abby Sedra (’21), Hannah Martinez (’21), Shereen Basi (’21), and Mondana Koshfam (’21).

“If you’re on the fence [about participating], I would highly recommend doing it,” says Shereen Basi (McGeorge class of 2021), who participated in both the 2019 Salzburg Summer Program and an international internship in Berlin with CMS Hasche Sigle as part of the full European Summer Experience. Taking advantage of both opportunities allowed Shereen to have a cultural experience whereby she was fully immersed in another culture both socially and professionally. Despite being selected to take part in a prestigious fellowship in California that ran simultaneous to the Salzburg Summer Program, Shereen explains that she ultimately chose to study abroad because “it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and even though the [fellowship] was another excellent program, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this again… [And] I still keep in touch with the attorneys I worked with.” Outside of the classroom, students are able to travel and experience all that Austria and the surrounding countries have to offer. From bustling city centers to mountainous landscapes, Salzburg has something for everyone to enjoy.

Just remember that things in Sacramento don’t come to halt while you’re overseas! The fall semester will begin shortly after the Salzburg Summer Program ends, and you can use your international experience to standout to employers during things like OCI. Shereen was able to secure a job offer through Early OCI immediately following her summer abroad, explaining that “the first question employers asked me during interviews was, ‘You were in Europe all summer – how was that?’ So people are just really interested in the experience and were excited to see that McGeorge offers this [program]. A lot of employers said I probably wouldn’t get another opportunity like that, so it made me feel like I definitely made the right decision to go.”

The program this upcoming summer will feature special guest lecturer Scott Boras (McGeorge class of 1982), one of the most successful sports agents in professional baseball and president of the Boras Corporation. Having negotiated Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $275 million contract with the New York Yankees and Barry Zito’s seven-year, $126 million contract with the San Francisco Giants, Mr. Boras will provide students with incomparable insights into legal negotiations and the world of sports law. With limited spots remaining for the 2020 session, all interested students are encouraged to apply for the Salzburg Summer Program and international internships now. The application deadline is March 15, 2020, and priority is given to early applicants.

Questions about the study abroad program can be directed to the Summer Abroad Program Office at mcgeorgesummerabroad@pacific.edu.

Now that 2020 is underway and you’ve undoubtedly researched every conference and event you want to attend (right?), it’s time to start thinking about how to make the events work for you. Approaching a networking opportunity with a game plan is the only way to fully take advantage of the connections you make. Walking in blindly and thinking you can simply “wing it” will only result in you wasting your own time and money.

Before the Bar

To help law students make the most of their networking, Lindsay Griffiths from the Before the Bar blog has detailed several ways for students to master networking events in her article, “13 best practices for attending networking events”. As you prepare for your schedule of upcoming conferences, be sure to review Griffiths’ article and employ her tips.

Remember: every event, panel discussion, job fair and lunch meeting held at McGeorge is a networking opportunity for law students – and you don’t even have to travel! Additionally, be sure to take advantage of the Career Development Office’s conference reimbursement policy, which allows all students to be reimbursed up to $150 each year for conference-related expenses. Click here to see further details and access the online form. Keep an eye on upcoming events on MCO, the weekly Docket, or the Events tab here, and put these best practices to work.

Each year, one McGeorge law student is selected to receive a full scholarship to attend the Peggy Browning Fund | Annual National Law Student Workers’ Rights Conference held in the Washington DC area. This year’s winner was Ashley Silva-Guzman (class of 2021) – congratulations, Ashley!

Following her experience at the conference in October, Ashley had the following to say:

Ashley Silva-Guzman; National Law Student Workers' Rights Conference
Ashley Silva-Guzman (right) at the 2019 Peggy Browning Fund | Annual National Law Student Workers’ Rights Conference.

I worked in business immigration for two years and while I had a ton of experiences on the immigration side of employment and labor law, I did not experience the breadth of the field. I felt this conference would provide me with more information and experience on labor law and I was right. I had an amazing experience at the conference engaging with law students from a variety of different law schools. I still maintain contact with my roommate who is a law student at UC Davis and that connection has been amazing, as well.

Additionally, I went to a number of workshops. The one that stood out to me was the workshop about unionizing immigrant workers. The speakers spoke passionately about the lack of information provided to immigrants regarding their rights and how to ensure immigrants can unionize safely without risking their status. The plenary speakers also left a lasting impression on me. The leader of Milk With Dignity spoke about his work unionizing milk workers and the horrible conditions they face milking cows for hours a day without breaks and with no opportunities for sick days or time off. The entire conference was such important context for the immigration work I have been practicing. It led me to enroll in Labor Law for the following semester to learn more about the rights provided to those unionizing.”

Students who are interested in workers’ rights and labor law are highly encouraged to attend next year’s conference and contact the CDO to apply for the same scholarship. Even if you do not a receive a fully paid scholarship, keep in mind that the McGeorge CDO will reimburse up to $150 of expenses associated with attending professional conferences and recruiting events for every student each year. While this may not cover everything, it will certainly help to mitigate some of the costs that might have you on the fence in deciding whether or not to go. There will always be more that you can learn, and as a law student, there are few ways to be better prepared than by hearing from and talking to people who are in the field every day. If you are passionate about something, seek out similar opportunities for whatever practice area you are interested in and experience all that you can!

Do you have a difficult time finding breaks between law school and work to attend career advancement events? It’s a common problem, but opportunities abound for those who seek them out. The U.S. Department of Justice recently held a webinar to share information about internship opportunities in their office, and a recording is available for those who missed it. The DOJ has volunteer positions available to all law school students throughout the year, as well as a handful of paid roles for eligible 2L and 3L students. Volunteer experience is crucial for law students who are looking for ways to showcase their passion for the law but do not have the work experience to point to when meeting with employers, and is an especially common hurdle for 1L students.

The webinar below is a short 30-minutes and can be viewed at any time. Check it out now to ensure your application is submitted on time (deadlines vary by position) and make an appointment with a McGeorge CDO career advisor to review your cover letter and resume!

VIEW HERE: DOJ Volunteer Legal Internship Webinar

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