Category Archives: Resources

Top 10 Career-Related Things To Do Over the Holiday Break

#10. Update and Revise Your Resume and Cover Letter. Review the chapters in the CSO Handbook to assist in your edits and then send your documents to the CSO (at so we can review them for you when the University reopens on January 4, 2016. You can find the CSO Handbook on DuqLawConnect and this site under “Career Resources”.

#9. Catch Up on Lawcountability Videos. Earlier this semester, you started to receive weekly emails containing videos geared towards job searches and professional development. Now is a great time to watch these 10-minute videos so you can put the information to good use next semester!

#8. Renew and Make New Contacts. Get together with contacts, even if it is just for a morning cup of coffee. Also, find out if there are any bar association functions that you can attend. A number of functions involving lawyers are conducted over the holidays, and these are a great opportunity to network.

#7. Conduct Informational Interviews. Locate someone who is doing what you think you want to do and arrange an informational interview. Ask: What is a typical day like? What do they like most/least about what they do? How can you make yourself an attractive candidate in that field? Who else should you contact?

#6. Write an Article or Do Volunteer Work. If you are not working over the holidays, see if a local legal services/aid office could use some volunteer help. A good way to get your name noticed is to write an article for a bar journal, a competition, or a publication in the field you are interested in. Often, students can get involved in various bar sections & attend meetings – another great way to meet people! Information about scholarships, writing competitions and professional organizations can be found via the tabs above.

#5. Check Scholarship and Writing Competition Listings. We post numerous announcements for scholarships and writing competitions that are sponsored by schools and professional organizations nationwide. Take some time during your break to see if you qualify for any of them. You can find them on this website.

#4. Prepare Applications for Judicial Clerkships. If you are scheduled to graduate in 2016 or 2017, and you are considering a clerkship with the federal or state courts, use the break to gather info and prepare applications to submit in the spring. Ask your professors for letters of recommendation now; some of them are former law clerks. Do some research, talk to alumni who are currently clerking, & get materials in order. The CSO created helpful info sheets that you can find on this site under “Career Resources”. Some federal court applications will be submitted via, so be sure to create a free account soon.

#3. Prepare Applications for Public Interest & Government Opportunities. Take time to review postings online for public interest & gov’t positions – paid & unpaid. If unpaid, apply for the position & for a Summer Public Interest Fellowship or McGinley Public Service Law Fellowship through the Law School. If you want to work in this area, often you need to volunteer or work for low pay to make contacts, gain experience, and show your commitment to public interest work.

#2. Create a Job Folder. Keep track of your assignments as you work as a law clerk or intern: drafting pleadings & motions, preparing discovery, etc. Keep a folder in which you briefly describe what you have done. This is a useful tool when it comes time to update your resume & cover letter and prepare for interviews.

#1. Do a Self-Assessment. Spend some time figuring out what you want to do. Assess your skills, interests, personality traits, & consider where you would most like to work . . . Law Firm? Public interest? Judicial clerkship? Government? Military? Non-traditional Career? Check out the CSO Handbook for a self-assessment checklist or stop by the CSO & borrow a book on a career path you’re considering.

Comments Off on Top 10 Career-Related Things To Do Over the Holiday Break

Filed under Resources

Business Cards Available

The Career Services Office will provide students with business cards to use for networking purposes. Order your cards now so you have them for the semester break!

If you would like to receive 30 complimentary business cards, please complete an order form by Friday, November 13, at 6:00 p.m.
You can find an order form on Sharepoint. (Please use your Multipass/DORI credentials to log-in to Sharepoint.)
When the cards are available, they will be placed in your student mailbox. Please contact Maria Comas ( if you have any questions.

Comments Off on Business Cards Available

Filed under Networking, Resources

Business Cards Available for Upper Division Students

Order business cards to distribute at networking events this year!
The CSO will provide 30 complimentary business cards to law students.

Orders must be submitted via SharePoint by
Monday, September 14, at 6:00 p.m.
(Use your DORI log-in to access SharePoint.)

(Note – 1st year students may order business cards in October after the 1L CSO Orientation where we’ll talk about professional networking opportunities.)

Comments Off on Business Cards Available for Upper Division Students

Filed under Networking, Resources

Communicate Professionalism in Interviews

By Mary Crane (
August 2015 Newsletter

Every professional services organization seeks candidates who have a firm grasp of one term: professionalism. Recruiters openly tell me that they only hire candidates who look like a professional, sound like a professional, and most importantly, demonstrate professionalism in their behaviors and attitudes.

With this in mind, job candidates and recruiters should focus on the following:

Dress the Part
Dressing the part is a cinch. In most cases, a nicely tailored navy blue suit, with a white shirt or blouse, and a tie for the gentlemen works perfectly. Virtually everyone—tall and short, thin and not so thin—looks like a gazillion dollars in an interview outfit of this nature. Besides, every political consulting firm in the county has tested this “uniform” with focus groups, and they consistently find that it communicates competence and trustworthiness.

Ladies, you have a little more discretion than your male counterparts. To the extent you opt for an outfit other than a navy blue suit, make sure that your attire does not detract from the key messages you wish to convey throughout your interview. Choose conservative over flamboyant.

Sound the Part
Sounding professional can be a bit more challenging. To succeed, focus on three big concepts:

Concentrate. Many students spend their lives texting and tweeting, something you must not do during an interview. Please do not take your smartphone into an interview. If you expect an emergency message—and I do mean a genuine emergency—carry your phone with you, turn it to vibrate, and slip it into your suit coat pocket or a portfolio. At the very beginning of your interview, explain the situation to your interviewer and then concentrate on each question you receive.

Communicate confidence. Avoid verbal mistakes that can make you appear less than secure in your own abilities, including: speaking too quickly; speaking too quietly; and discounting your own comments. In the latter case, know that whenever you start a sentence with, “This probably isn’t important, but …,” you have discounted any words that immediately follow.

Avoid space fillers. When they don’t know what to say next, lots of job candidates use space fillers, including “uh,” “ah,” “you know,” or “like.” As soon as you hear a couple of these creep into your language, stop, look directly at your interviewer, and say, “This is important. Please give me a moment to gather my thoughts.” Then do just that. Think about what you wish to say and then express yourself succinctly.

Prove Your ProfessionalismInvariably, an interviewer will say, “Tell me something about yourself.” This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you already possess attitudes that embody professionalism. To the extent you can reference specific behaviors that demonstrate your professionalism, be prepared to share these.

Following are five key professional attitudes and behaviors that most employers seek:

Preparedness. Employers seek workers who are prepared to tackle tasks from Day One. You can demonstrate your commitment to preparedness by discussing how you currently participate in several study groups in order to avoid last minute cramming for exams. If you worked during the summer, explain how you learned to set aside time each weekend to prepare for the upcoming week. By the way, show your commitment to preparedness by carrying several extra copies of your résumé with you to each interview … just in case an interviewer misplaces your paperwork.

Initiative. Employers seek workers who look for opportunities to solve problems without being asked. If you’ve returned from a summer job, discuss how you constantly stayed on the lookout for opportunities where you could contribute, from never leaving a copy machine without paper to offering to come into the office over the weekend to assist a document review team. If you have not entered the work world yet, talk about a time where you took initiative on a school project.

Feedback. Employers have zero interest in all the positive feedback that you’ve received throughout your life. They are deeply interested in the constructive feedback that you’ve received, and more importantly, how you responded to that feedback. An interviewer learns about your commitment to growth when you explain, “I was told my writing skills could use some improvement. So I immediately met with a recruiter and asked about retaining a writing coach. Within two weeks, my supervisor sent several emails with positive feedback indicating that I had shown improvement.”

Client service. Every professional services provider knows that providing superlative client service is fundamental to success. To the extent you’ve worked in a service industry—even if your employment was limited to waiting tables—explain your commitment to client service. For example, you could say, “I learned that it didn’t matter whether or not the chef thought some item should be served medium rare. If my customer wanted his steak ‘well done,’ I insisted on it.”

Grit. A whole body of research coming out of the University of Pennsylvania indicates that the best indicator of success is grit. It turns out that good old perseverance is more critical to long-term achievement than IQ or GPA. So tell an interviewer about a time when you showed resilience in the face of long odds. By the way, if you want to know just how gritty you are, visit Professor Angela Duckworth’s website.

Copyright © 2015 Mary Crane & Associates.
(Permission granted to share this article with law students. 8/18/15.)

Comments Off on Communicate Professionalism in Interviews

Filed under Interviewing, Resources

Student Debt Webinar & Free E-Book

Two great resources are available for students & alumni from Equal Justice Works:

*Free Webinar on Thursday, July 23

Equal Justice Works’ free student debt webinars provide you with the help you need to manage your student debt and control your career and financial future. They include in-depth information about programs like income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. We also include updates on the Obama Administration’s proposal to cap Public Service Loan Forgiveness at the undergraduate loan limit (currently $57,500) and the House Republican budget proposal to eliminate the program.

Our next webinar, JDs in Debt: What Law Students & Lawyers Need to Know about Managing Student Loans & Earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness, will be held Thursday, July 23, 2015 3 PM EDT.

*Free Student Debt E-book

Don’t forget to download our free student debt e-book, Take Control of Your Future: A Guide to Managing Your Student Debt, the most comprehensive guide to managing student debt for lawyers and law students.

Comments Off on Student Debt Webinar & Free E-Book

Filed under Resources

OCI Preparation & Reminders

OCI Interview Skills – Part 1 – Featuring Legal Recruiters
Tuesday, August 4
5:00-6:00 p.m.
Room 208

This program will feature Jacki Herzog (L’07), Legal Recruitment Manager at Clark Hill PLC, and Jennifer Ross, Senior Manager of Legal Recruiting at Reed Smith, LLP. Ms. Herzog and Ms. Ross have a wealth of experience with the interviewing process and will offer law students some insight into a law firm’s expectations during the interviewing and recruiting processes. While this program will be focused on OCI preparation, the information shared should be relevant to most interviewing situations.

OCI Interview Skills – Part 2 – Advice from 3L’s
Tuesday, August 4
6:15-7:00 p.m.
Student Lounge

Students who are currently working as summer associates and who participated in OCI last year have been invited to talk with 2L students about their experiences. Refreshments will be provided.

If you plan to attend either program, please RSVP on DuqLawConnect (Events tab) so that an accurate amount of handouts are available. RSVP’s are encouraged, but not required.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about OCI check the July 2 post on this site.
Reminder – The first application deadlines for the Fall On-Campus Interview Program are Monday, July 27, 2015, at 12:00 noon.

Please contact Maria Comas at or 412-396-6279 if you have any questions about the Fall Recruitment Program.

Comments Off on OCI Preparation & Reminders

Filed under Interviewing, Resources

Summer Resume Updates

Students – Be sure to keep a list of your accomplishments thus far at your summer internships and law clerk jobs. If you haven’t started a list yet, why not start one today? You’ll be glad you did when it’s time to update your resume at the end of the summer! Consult the “Career Resources” section of this site for sample resumes or to watch our new resume webinar.

Comments Off on Summer Resume Updates

Filed under Resources

Business Cards Available

The Career Services Office will provide students with business cards to use for networking purposes. This is your last chance to order cards this academic year!

If you would like to receive 30 complimentary business cards, please complete an order form by Monday, April 20, at 12:00 noon.

You can find an order form on Sharepoint. (Please use your Multipass/DORI credentials to log-in.)

When the cards are available, they will be placed in your student mailbox. Please contact Maria Comas ( if you have any questions.

Comments Off on Business Cards Available

Filed under Networking, Resources

Student Debt News from Equal Justice Works

Get Free Help with Your Student Debt. Win $50. That’s a win-win!

Three lucky lawyers or law students who download Equal Justice Works’ comprehensive student debt e-book, Take Control of Your Future: A Guide to Managing Your Student Debt, before Friday, April 3 will win $50 Amazon gift cards. Just download your free copy today and you’ll be automatically entered to win.

Take Control of Your Future is a comprehensive guide to managing student debt, with chapters on understanding student loans and loan consolidation, planning before borrowing, income-driven repayment plans and a step-by-step guide to earning Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

One reviewer noted “This book is particularly helpful for anyone working in the non-profit field who earns a lower wage and has mounds of student loan debt.”

And another said “I’ve been dealing with my student loan holder for the last three years on my past due account. It wasn’t until I read ‘Managing Your Student Debt that I discovered the loan holder wasn’t giving me all the options. By using the guide I’ve been able to work things to my benefit. I encourage everyone to read this book!”

Upcoming Free Student Debt Webinars

Equal Justice Works will host the following free student debt webinars in March and April:

Keep Up To Date on Student Debt Issues

Make sure to follow our blog on the Huffington Post to keep up to date on student debt issues. We’ve been writing recently about Campus Debit Cards: Good for You or Your University?, Have We Already Solved the Student Debt Crisis? and 6 Reasons to Love (Okay, Grudgingly Accept) Your Student Loans.

Share and Get Involved

Please forward this email to anyone you think might benefit. To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter (@EJW_org, #studentdebthelp) and on Facebook.

(Via email received from Equal Justice Works 3/11/15.)

Comments Off on Student Debt News from Equal Justice Works

Filed under Resources

Employment related apartment sublet

K&L Gates offers its out-of-town summer associates information about housing options available to them in Pittsburgh.  Any law student looking to sublet their apartment for 9 weeks in the summer is invited to contact Emily Coon, Legal Recruitment Coordinator, at  K&L Gates does not formally endorse or find housing for its summer associates, but it will offer the information to them.

Comments Off on Employment related apartment sublet

Filed under Resources, Summer