In 2021, the peak of the coronavirus, the McGeorge Unity Caucus (UC) saw a gap in much needed resources. Specifically, our students were not receiving the same opportunities to network as they had been when we could be in person. Additionally, in reviewing the yearly goals, one such gap was the lack of education on how to review the diversity initiatives of employers. In the legal field it is currently trendy to claim diversity and diversity initiatives, but some such claims do not hold as much weight as others. After brainstorming methods to address this issue, the idea of a resume collect and mixer was discussed. It would be paired with a discussion going over methods students can use to check firms’ websites for their diversity initiatives and helpful questions to ask employers to determine their actual dedication to diversity issues.

The obvious issue was that we could not plan an in-person event and, during the pandemic, our students would benefit more from being able to practice virtual skills as well. McGeorge had worked with the Student Bar Association to purchase access to a novel platform, Remo, that allowed students and employers to sit at virtual “tables” together. Participants could also switch tables to engage with other employers and practice the skills discussed during the event. The Unity Caucus formed a committee made up of Ashley Silva-Guzman (’21), Sofia Schersei (’22), and Julienne Correa (’22). Ashley, Sofia, and Julienne contacted Dean Molly Stafford at the Career Development Office. She had already been contemplating this need and the work began.

It was well organized, smooth, and as an employer, it was fantastic to talk with students from such a diverse pool – both academically and professionally.  We have hired several McGeorge graduates (and I am one such proud member) and we will continue to do so.”

Sue Ann Van Dermyden, Shareholder. Van Dermyden Makus Law Corp.

The Career Development Office had already reached out to employers with trusted diversity initiatives and had previously provided opportunities to diverse law clerks. The UC committee worked on the student side, drumming up interest by creating posters and managing the day-of plans. In the end, fourteen employers signed up to attend or collect resumes and forty-two students RSVP’d and submitted their resumes. The committee sent out details for the event and instructions on how to use the Remo platform. Dean Stafford gave a stirring introduction reviewing and embracing the importance of diversity initiatives at firms and encouraging students to rotate tables. Students spent a successful hour and a half mingling with employers and discussing their resumes with recruiters and attorneys that could assist them in reviewing the diversity initiatives at their unique firms. The opportunities that are built at firms that value and embrace diverse law clerks are so much more successful when firms devote themselves to these initiatives.

The Diversity Mixer and Resume Collect Event allowed for employers and applicants to meet and share information when in the past, employers would typically be limited to interviewing applicants in the immediate area. I walked away with a sense of appreciation of the quality of the interactions and the number of applicants that we were able to meet.”

John Chang, Deputy District Attorney. Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office

 

About the event co-founders

Ashley Silva-Guzman graduated in May of 2021. After sitting for the July 2021 Bar she began working as a Law Clerk at the Corporate Immigration Partners out of San Francisco.

Julienne Alexis Correa is a 3L at McGeorge School of Law. She currently works at the Sacramento County Office of the Public Defender as a Legal Research Assistant.

Sofia Schersei is a 3L at McGeorge School of Law. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Pacific Law Review and has accepted an offer to join Van Dermyden Makus Law after graduating.

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