Lawcountability, J.D.

As more law students compete for fewer jobs, our career services team is committed to helping each of you find more dynamic ways to stand out. But, simultaneously attending classes, networking, following up on career leads, strategically managing social media, and generally raising your profile can be overwhelming. To give you a significant advantage in your job search and career development, we are pleased to offer you access to Lawcountability,J.D., a powerful technology platform that will make it easier for you to achieve more in less time by offering:

On-demand programs that show you how to connect with the people you are trying to meet rather than collect random business cards.

Automated e-mail reminders to help you execute your goals.

The ability to identify your objectives and fit them into your busy schedule.

A unique game-like point system to measure your performance and compare it to your peers.

You are not required to participate, but those who do will be eligible to win prizes on a weekly, monthly, semester, and academic year basis. In fact, the students who consistently use and apply the system, as well as discuss their efforts on social media, throughout the academic year could win a full bar review scholarship from Barbri (valued at over $2,000)*. Learn more in this video –  https://vimeo.com/139815282

And, the best part of this approach is that you could see results by committing just ten minutes a week. It is open to all Duquesne Law students.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this tool that will help you achieve your career goals.   Please contact Maria Comas (comas@duq.edu) with any questions.

 

*Students who have secured employment with law firms or other organizations that will be paying the cost of their bar review course are ineligible to receive one of the four BARBRI scholarship

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ACBA 8th Annual Law Student Diversity Reception

RSVP 

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Business Cards Available

The Career Services Office will provide students with business cards to use for networking purposes.

If you would like to receive 30 complimentary business cards, please complete an order form by Wednesday, September 20.  Please double-check your information before submitting it and make sure it is correct and complete.

Complete a form and be sure to click “submit” to finish your request.

You’ll receive an email when the cards are available for pick-up in the Career Services Office. Please contact Maria Comas (comas@duq.edu) if you have any questions.

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Judicial Clerkships: Their Importance and How To Get Them Panel Discussion

Wednesday, September 13 * 5:00-6:00 p.m. * Room 203

Join us for this special program featuring current and former clerks to federal and state judges. Hear about their experiences and discover why judicial law clerk positions are outstanding professional opportunities.

Panelists include:

  • Brandon Betts (Duq. Law 2015) – Former Judicial Law Clerk to Justice David Wecht, Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Amanda Knorr (Duq. Law 2015) – Current Judicial Law Clerk to Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio, Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division
  • Brian Kravetz (Duq. Law 2007) – Permanent Judicial Law Clerk to Judge Nora Barry Fischer, United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Christina Manfredi McKinley (Catholic U. 2009) – Former Judicial Law Clerk to Judge Janice Rogers Brown, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and to Judge Michael Kanne, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

The panel will be moderated by Associate Dean Jacob H. Rooksby, Professor Rhonda Gay Hartman, Professor Julia Glencer, and Career Services Director Maria Comas.

Please RSVP via DuqLawConnect (under the “Events” tab).

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Free webinar: Attorney General’s Honors Attorney & Internship Programs

You’re Invited to a Webinar Answering Questions on:

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S HONORS PROGRAM AND SUMMER LAW INTERN PROGRAM  AT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Hosted by: Rena J. Cervoni, Deputy Director and Trisha A. Fillbach, Assistant Director

Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management

During the webinars, participants will:

  • Obtain a brief overview of this year’s programs;
  • Receive answers to questions about the application and hiring timeline; and
  • *Participants are encouraged to review the application prior to the webinars and have questions. *

 

Please RSVP to OARMposition@usdoj.gov for one session. RSVP will close on Thursday, August 24, 2017 or when filled. Please include your name, law school attended, and the webinar date you choose to attend.  (Participation is limited to the first 100 respondents for each session.)

Monday, August 28, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. (Eastern Standard Time)
Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 11:30 A.M. (Eastern Standard Time)  

 

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Equal Justice Works Conference & Career Fair

Equal Justice Works Annual Conference and Career Fair
October 27 & 28 * Arlington, VA

  • The Equal Justice Works annual Conference and Career Fair is the largest national public interest career fair in the country.
  • More than 1,200 students from 165 law schools attend for two days of interviews, workshops, networking, and other career opportunities.
  • Public interest employers conduct interviews for internship and full-time positions and meet with students in informal “table talk” settings to discuss public interest legal opportunities.
  • The deadline to register & apply for pre-scheduled interviews is Wednesday, September 13. 
  • The Conference and Career Fair also feature workshops on various public interest careers and job search advice, resume and cover letter review, mock interviews, and more.
  • The Career Services Office will pay for some limited expenses associated with student registration & travel to this career fair. Contact Maria Comas (comas@duq.edu) as soon as possible, but no later than October 1, if you plan to attend.
  • Check the Equal Justice Works website for registration details & more information, including a list of employers who have registered for pre-scheduled interviews and “table talk” sessions.

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OCI Advice from a 3L

By Lindsay S. Fouse
Third Year Day Student

2014 Summer Associate, Clark Hill
(Originally posted August 8, 2014.  Ms. Fouse is now an Associate at Clark Hill.)

As we begin to prepare for OCIs, think about three things:

First, be able to answer exactly what makes you different from all of the other applicants. Your answer should be sincere, specific, and personalized. Be mindful of the fact that if you get the job, that answer will be put to the test—so be honest.

Second, in the interview, be someone that the interviewer and his or her firm would want as a colleague. Nod when they say something, smile and be pleasant, and appear engaged and interested to be interviewing with their firm because that matters to them—that you are genuinely happy to have the opportunity to get to know them.

Third, have four pre-written, go-to answers that run the gamut. For example, inevitably, you will be asked about what you did this past summer (i.e. if you wrote for a judge- be able to explain one interesting thing that you worked on), what you are involved in at Duquesne Law (i.e. clubs, organizations, research or teaching assistant positions, jobs, journals), what are your interests outside of school (i.e. hobbies, family, sports), what are qualities/attributes that would serve you well in the field of law and what about your personality fits the culture and mission of the respective law firm. I find that if you have those down to a tee, regardless of the question, you can in some way, shape, or form tailor all of your answers to safely get back to those go-tos, and to really have a successful interview.

Some food for thought—the toughest questions that I have been asked at an OCI:

1)    Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?

2)    If you don’t get hired by this firm, what will you do?

3)    Tell us about your style of leadership.

4)    What do you do for fun?

5)    Tell us about a recent mistake that you have made.

6)    What’s the worst question you can think of to ask me?

7)    What constitutes “success” in your mind?

8)    What type of people would you have trouble working with?

9)    Describe yourself in one word.

10) What are some of the most imaginative and creative things that you have done in a job?

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Frequently Asked Questions – On-Campus Interviews

 

(PDF Version of FAQ’s)

Is someone in the CSO available to review my application materials?
Yes.  Students should forward documents (in Word format) to the CSO for review.  Documents should be forwarded to Maria Comas at comas@duq.edu.  Due to increased requests to review materials during the summer, please allow one week for the review of your materials.

The CSO will not review writing samples for content, so students should contact the professor or attorney involved with the writing sample with questions about content.  Students intending to submit documents written while serving as an intern, law clerk or volunteer must get permission to use such documents as writing samples, either with or without redactions.

How can I research firms and employers?
The firm’s website is the natural place to start your research, but you must do more.  Talk with other students who work at the firm or have interviewed with the firm in the past.  Some students submit Summer Employment Surveys to the CSO, and we keep them on file in the office.  Ask the CSO to identify students who are willing to talk with current students going through the interview process.  Thankfully, many students will make themselves available to answer questions for the benefit of those that follow them.

You can use the tools on Lexis and Westlaw to get an in depth look at the types of cases the firm handles.  Before you tell a firm that you have been interested in the practice of health law since you were 10 years old, find out how many cases involving health law the firm actually handles in their Pittsburgh office.  This not only will prevent you from including incorrect information in your cover letter or an embarrassing situation during an interview, it also allows you to show the employer that you have looked beyond their website while preparing your application materials.

The NALP Directory of Legal Employers, Vault, and Chambers offer detailed information about firms and their summer associate programs.  Links to each of these resources are available under the “Research” area on the left menu on this site.    Chambers also sends us books that include similar information.  The 2017 editions should be delivered to the CSO soon and are free for students.

How can I distinguish myself in my cover letter?
As noted in the previous question, do your homework by learning as much about a firm or organization as possible.  When writing your letter, consider your audience.  Generally speaking, an employer wants to know how you can help them by furthering their business objectives and addressing the needs of their clients.  Cover letters are very often the most difficult document to prepare during the application process.  You must convince the employer that you are the best candidate for the job without rehashing everything on your resume or overstating your qualifications.  This art takes practice.  Consider “Cover Letters: 7 Steps to Creating a Great True First Impression” as you write (and re-write) your cover letters.

Should I tailor my cover letters?
Yes.  Each letter should be tailored to the firm to which you are applying.  You should include the specific contact information for the firm in your letter (Name, Firm Name, Address) in the appropriate place in the letter.  You should address the letter to that contact (Dear Mr. or Ms. ____:).  You can find the contact information in the OCI listing.  You should let the employer know why you are writing to them in particular.  This is where your research comes into play.

Should I include my class rank and/or GPA on my resume?
Yes for OCI applications.  Most employers who participate in OCI specify required or recommended class rank or GPA’s.  It’s essential to include this information on your resume so the recipient does not have to guess if you meet their specifications; if they have to guess, they’re probably going to guess that you don’t and move on to the next candidate.   (Any time an employer asks for a particular GPA or class rank and you meet or exceed their request, be sure to list the information on your resume, regardless of if it’s OCI or not, for these same reasons.)

You should not round your GPA when you list it on your resume.  List the GPA as it appears on DORI and your transcript.  You may list your class rank as it is listed on DORI (__/__) or as a percentage (Top 30%).  If you list a percentage, triple check your math so you do not (unintentionally) misrepresent the information.

Where can I find sample legal resumes and cover letters?
The CSO Handbook includes a chapter about each of these subjects, as well as other topics such as interviewing skills and follow-up correspondence.  You can find The CSO Handbook on The Common Plea (under the Career Resources tab) and on DuqLawConnect (under the Resource tab).

How do I get an unofficial transcript from DORI?
Current students may access their unofficial transcript on DORI by selecting “View Academic Transcripts”. Students may print the transcript as a pdf file, which allows you to save the document as a pdf file and upload/submit it as necessary. Unless an employer specifies otherwise, an unofficial transcript is fine to submit with your application documents. The CSO does not recommend ordering pdf files through the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) for use in OCI or other employment applications. Employers have reported difficulties with opening the files from NSC, so we do not recommend that you use them as part of your application materials.

Are OCI application materials sent to employers all at once or on a rolling basis?
The CSO will not release any application materials to the employers before the application deadline.  After the deadline passes, every application received by the deadline will be sent to the employer for review.  Check out the process at a glance.  Check out the process at a glance.

Can I make a change to a document after I submit a bid?
You can update your documents any time prior to the application deadline.  However, you must withdraw your bid, upload the revised document, and re-submit your bid.  These steps must be done before the application deadline.

Will the CSO forward late applications?
No.  Only materials submitted by the posted deadline will be forwarded to the employer.  Students who miss the application deadline must submit their materials to employers directly in order to be considered for an interview.

Does the CSO rank or screen applications?
No.  The CSO submits all materials submitted by the deadline.  The employer then reviews the application materials and provides the CSO with a list of students they would like to interview.  The CSO does not use any type of ranking, screening, or lottery system for student interviews.

What does “Total Slots” mean on the OCI listing?
This indicates the number of candidates the employer intends to interview at the time they register for the On-Campus Interviewing Program.  The employer may end up interviewing more or less students, but they typically interview the number stated.

How will I know if I have been selected for an interview?
Employers tell the CSO who they would like to interview.  After receiving notification from the employer, the CSO sends an email to all students who applied for that particular employer – telling them that they have or have not been selected for an interview.

Are interview times assigned?
No.  Students who have been selected for an interview will receive an email notification informing them that they must go to DuqLawConnect to select an interview time.  The interview times determined by the employer will be listed accordingly, and times will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Will I know the names of the people interviewing me?
Most employers provide the names of the people (either attorneys and/or recruiters) planning to conduct the interviews.  However, it is not uncommon for a firm to contact the CSO prior to the interview with a change.  If time permits, the CSO notifies students of the change in interviewer.  Time does not always permit, though, if the change is last minute.

While you are researching each firm or organization, you should also research the interviewers.  Lexis and Westlaw provide tools to conduct searches about attorneys, as well as firms.

What should I wear to an interview?
You should wear conservative attire to interviews – this includes your suit, shirt, ties, shoes, and jewelry.  Although a firm might have a “business casual” dress policy for its employees, you should wear a conservative suit to all interviews.  The CSO Handbook includes a chapter about interviewing skills, including professional dress attire.  You can find The CSO Handbook on The Common Plea (under the Career Resources tab) and on DuqLawConnect (under the Resource tab).

Where are initial screening interviews held?
Employers may choose to hold their initial screening interviews at the Law School or at the firm.  The location of the initial interview will be noted on the OCI listing.  Interviews to be held at the Law School will be held in Rooms 205 and 206.

If the interview will be held at the firm, additional instructions may be sent to you from the CSO or the law firm recruiting office.  This may include details about parking, security check-in, and where to report once inside a building.  Students should consider a test drive or walk to the firm location in order to give themselves ample travel time.

Where are call-back interviews held?
Call-back interviews most often are held at the law firm or organization.  Each firm conducts these interviews differently. These may include a panel of interviewers, multiple interviews with different individuals (1-on-1), or interviews during lunch.  Any interaction with the firm’s lawyers, recruiters or employees – from the time you enter the building to the time you leave a cocktail party –should be viewed as being part of the interview process.

How early should I arrive for an interview?
Regardless of the interview location, students should plan to arrive 10 minutes prior to their scheduled interview time.  While you are encouraged to give yourself ample time to walk or drive to the employer’s location, you should not check-in at the firm itself (e.g., the reception area, recruiter’s office, etc.) until 10 minutes prior to your interview.

Should I do a mock interview before the real interview takes place?
Yes.  The CSO’s formal mock interview with local attorneys takes place in the spring semester.  The CSO staff is available to conduct mock interviews by appointment by sending an email to lawcareers@duq.edu.

Preparation is key.  While you don’t want to sound rehearsed, you should verbalize your answers to potential questions before the actual interview takes place so you can rework any answers you think sound awkward or not right.  While answering questions, remember that the interviewer is looking for someone who has the professional skills to do the job, who fits the job requirements, and who wants the job.  Be engaged in the interview – be sure your nervousness doesn’t outshine your interest in the job and in the employer and take the time to answer the questions asked of you.  Think of a few questions you can ask the interviewers when you have the chance.

Are resources available about interviewing skills?
Yes.  The CSO Resource Center includes many books and publications about interviewing skills.  The two most popular resources in recent years have been Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams by Kimm Walton and An Insider’s Guide to Interviewing: Insights from the Employer’s Perspective by NALP.  Multiple copies of Guerrilla Tactics are available for students to borrow from the CSO.  The CSO purchased enough copies of An Insider’s Guide for students to have their own copy of this informative booklet.

What else should I read as I prepare for interviews?
On a regular basis, you should read The National Law Journal (www.law.com), The Legal Intelligencer www.law.com/pa, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (www.postgazette.com), and the Pittsburgh Business Times (www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh).  Free copies of the Post-Gazette are available in the Student Lounge during the school year, and you can find the daily paper in the Center for Legal Information.  The CSO and Center for Legal Information have copies of the Pittsburgh Business Times available for review year-round.  Of course, if you are interested in another city or state, you should become familiar with the news in those areas.


Additional information about Fall Recruitment, including on-campus interviewing, can be found in the memo distributed via email on June 20, 2017.

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Fall 2017 Recruitment

Greetings from the Career Services Office (CSO)! We hope that your summer has been productive and enjoyable so far. This letter is designed to provide you with information about Fall Recruitment, including On-Campus Interviews, judicial clerkship deadlines, and other upcoming deadlines and programs.

Fall On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) begins on Monday, August 7.  Students may view OCI postings and submit applications beginning on Friday, June 23.

Please read the entire Fall Recruitment memo so you can be as informed as possible about upcoming fall recruitment activities. Please contact me with any questions you have about any of this information. I can be reached at comas@duq.edu or 412-396-6279.

 

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Law Practice Today – The Finance Issue

Check out the latest issue of the ABA’s Law Practice Today – The Finance Issue – a resource written for law students & young lawyers.

Some articles include

Eight Financial Tips You (Probably) Never Learned in Law School

Keeping it Practical: Tips for Pricing, Billing and Client Communications

Buying Technology: A Different Look at Cost-Benefit Analysis

 

 

 

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