Category Archives: Resources

2015 Mock Interview Program

All students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Mock Interview Program coordinated by the Career Services Office. The program will take place from February 2 – February 13, 2015. In this program, local attorneys and recruiters volunteer to conduct mock interviews with students either at their law firms or at the Law School. Each mock interview is scheduled for approximately 30 minutes: 15-20 minutes for the mock interview and 10-15 minutes for feedback on the student’s resume and interview techniques.

The mock interview schedule will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis by sending an email to comas@duq.edu. Students may sign up for as many interviews as their schedules permit. We expect to add additional interviews to the schedule, and updates will be announced as necessary.

Students will be required to submit a copy of their resume prior to the mock interviews.  Information about legal resumes, including sample resumes, can be found in the CSO Handbook (available at http://www.duqlawblogs.org/cso/ ). Questions should be directed to Maria Comas (comas@duq.edu or 412-396-6279).

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Top 10 Career-Related Things To Do During the Semester Break

#10. Do a Self-Assessment. Spend some time figuring out what you want to do. Assess your skills, interests, personality traits and consider where you would most like to work . . . Law Firm? Public Interest? Judicial Clerkship? Government? Military? Non-traditional Career? Check out the CSO Handbook (under the Career Resources tab above) for a self-assessment checklist or stop by the CSO and borrow a book on a career path you are considering.

#9. Get a Letter of Reciprocity. If you are leaving town over winter break and want to begin searching for a summer job in another city, get a letter of reciprocity. Letters can be sent to law schools throughout the country. A reciprocity letter entitles you to use the Career Services Offices of other law schools. A copy of the reciprocity policies of various law schools is on file in the CSO and online at www.nalp.org.

#8. 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 comas@duq.edu) so we can review them for you.  The University will re-open on January 5, 2015.

#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. 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.

#5. 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.

#4. Create a Job Folder. If you’re working, keep track of your assignments: 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.

#3. Prepare Applications for Public Interest and Government Opportunities. Take time to review postings online for public interest and government positions – paid and unpaid. If unpaid, apply for the Law School’s Summer Public Interest Fellowship or McGinley Public Service Law Fellowship (applications to be distributed in the Spring Semester).  If you are a 2D/3E/3P student, apply for the Allegheny County Bar Foundation Summer Fellowship (applications on DuqLawConnect).  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.

#2. Prepare Applications for Judicial Clerkships. If you are scheduled to graduate in 2015 or 2016 and 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 and get materials in order.  Info sheets about applying to both court systems are available in the Career Resources tab above.  Many federal court applications will be submitted via www.oscar.uscourts.gov, so be sure to create a free account soon.  Note: due to a recent change, 2L students may submit application materials to federal court judges now; in previous years, the application window did not open until the summer.

#1. Check the Internet. Over the holidays, spend some time with your computer/tablet/notebook/phone that is focused on your career development and goals. This can be a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the career materials available on Westlaw, Lexis, DuqLawConnect, LinkedIn and the web generally.

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Law Practice Today – November Edition

The November edition of the ABA’s Law Practice Today is available.  Be sure to read this month’s articles, including:

“How to Win & Cultivate New Clients”

“Solo But Not Alone”

“Training of New Associates in Small Firms”

“Being an Active Alum Can Mean a Better Career”

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ABA Law Practice Today — New Student Resource

The ABA Law Practice Division created a new monthly publication, ABA Law Practice Today, especially for law students.  Each month, we’ll post a link to the new edition of the ABA Law Practice Today.  We hope you find the information valuable!

 

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Business Cards Available

The CSO will provide 30 complimentary business cards to law students to use for networking purposes. This is the last opportunity for business cards this semester. Orders must be submitted by Monday, November 10, at 6:00 p.m. via SharePoint (https://sharepoint.law.duq.edu/cso/Lists/Business%20Card%20Requests/newform.aspx). (Use your DORI log-in to access SharePoint.)

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Managing Your Student Loan Debt and Focusing on What Matters

Tuesday, October 28, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., Room 303
The session, presented by nationally recognized student loan expert, Heather Jarvis, will cover important fundamentals including managing student loan repayment and accessing loan forgiveness opportunities.  Flexible repayment options and forgiveness provisions are available, but the details matter and it can be confusing to figure it out on your own.  This engaging and practical presentation will help you get a grip on your student loans by clearly explaining:

  • Options for managing student debt
  • Strategies for reducing your overall costs
  • Income-driven repayment plans
  • President Obama’s Pay As You Earn repayment plan
  • Loan forgiveness that is not tied to employment
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness in Five Steps
  • Tax issues specific to student loan borrowers
  • Proposed changes to student loan debt relief programs

About the Presenter: Heather Jarvis is widely known for her depth of knowledge and accessible teaching style.  She has provided student loan education and consultation for universities, associations and professional advisors since 2005.  Heather graduated cum laude from Duke University School of Law in 1998 and dedicates her professional efforts advocating on behalf of high-debt student loan borrowers.  Heather contributes to student debt relief policy for the House Education Committee and others in Congress and has accepted appointment to the American Bar Association Task Force on Financing Legal Education.

The Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA), Duquesne University School of Law and University of Pittsburgh School of Law are pleased to co-sponsor Ms. Jarvis’ presentations to our respective students, alumni and members.  Duquesne Law students may attend the program at Duquesne or at the ACBA Office (9th Floor Koppers Building, Grant Street) on October 29 from 8:30-10:00 a.m.

RSVP by October 24 on DuqLawConnect (Events tab) or at www.acba.org, according to which program you will attend.

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DOJ Law Jobs Mobile App

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management,is pleased to announce that is has launched a new, free mobile app where law students and attorneys can easily search for legal internships and attorney positions with the Department. The mobile app is called DOJ Law Jobs and is available now on Apple iTunes for iPhone and will be available in a few weeks on Play Store for Android and tablet-based technology. The mobile app was developed by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management and Office of the Chief Information Officer. Users of the app will be able to create personalized job searches based on practice area, geographic preference, and hiring organization. To review the full press release, please go to: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/doj-law-jobs-be-available-itunes-and-play-store.
 
DOJ Law Jobs includes the following key features:
·        provides instructions on how to apply to attorney jobs and legal internships;
·        saves search criteria for quick access to future opportunities;
·        allows users to save, share, and email their favorite jobs; and
·        provides access to hundreds of attorney jobs and legal internships at the U.S. Department of Justice.
 

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Business Cards Available for Law Students

The Career Services Office will provide law students with business cards to use for networking purposes. You’ll have opportunities to use the cards at upcoming programs and networking events this semester. Other programs and events sponsored by offices and organizations here at the Law School, the local bar associations and other groups are great venues to meet and exchange cards with other professionals, as well.

If you would like to receive 30 complimentary business cards, please complete an order form by Monday, September 8, at 6:00 pm. You can find an order form and directions at https://sharepoint.law.duq.edu/cso/Lists/Business%20Card%20Requests/newform.aspx. (If you need to log-in, please use your Multipass/DORI log-in credentials.)

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

(Business cards are available through the CSO two times per semester.)

 

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AmeriCorps JD Program – Funding available for public interest & government internships

The AmeriCorps JD program has some additional slots available to start this month! Through AmeriCorps JD, law students focusing on any area of civil public interest law can earn a $1,175 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. AmeriCorps JD is also an exciting way to get connected to the various resources that Equal Justice Works offers to public interest law students.

We are looking for students who:

  • Can begin service in July 2014; and
  • Can complete 300 hours of service in a 12 month period (by July 2015).

Service includes training and substantive work, and can include research or additional projects for an internship even though a student may not physically be in the office past the summer months.

Time is of the essence — students must start this month! If you are currently at or planning an internship at an organization (including legal aid, public defender, nonprofit organizations, or local, county or state government agencies), you are encouraged to apply to AmeriCorps JD today.

If you would like additional clarification about the AmeriCorps JD program, please email AmeriCorpsJD@equaljusticeworks.org.  Please also consult their website (the May application deadline can be disregarded):  http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/americorpsjd.

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Summer Work Keys for Success

The CSO hopes your summer break is off to a great start.  If you have started a summer associate, law clerk or internship position, these “10 Keys to Summer Success” as written by Mary Crane will be useful to you.  Please let us know where you are working if you haven’t already.

If you are still looking for a summer position, please let us know that, too.  We’ve recently posted a handful of positions from employers still looking to hire for the summer.  Be sure to check DuqLawConnect for more details.

If you have any questions throughout the summer that we may be able to help you with, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Good luck with everything this summer!

 

10 Keys to Summer Success
The 2014 national survey of employers conducted by NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) confirms what many of us have long known: employers increasingly seek summer associates, interns and new hires who demonstrate a strong ability to work with others—including peers and senior employees as well as clients and customers—and who can plan, organize and complete their daily work without external supervision. With schools graduating so many talented students, today’s employers rarely view strong technical skills as a differentiator. Rather, possessing technical skills simply “meets expectations.”

If you are an intern, summer associate or new hire, here are ten “Things You Need To Know” to distinguish yourself in the hearts and minds of your employer.

1. Make sure your supervisor always looks good.
This means: no surprises. Keep your supervisor informed of the status of projects, especially delays and significant problems that you encounter. Turn in projects that are client-ready, i.e., free of typos and stains or stray markings. If you become aware of some inner-office or client communication that could affect your supervisor, make your supervisor aware of it.

2. Dress with respect.
The attire you wear to the office creates an impression that extends to your supervisor. Always dress in a manner that reflects well upon both of you. Your attire should also demonstrate respect for any clients with whom you’ll interact.

If you have opted to work for a more conservative organization—say, a white-shoe law firm or a state legislature—you should dress in a more conservative manner, which likely means suits for both men and women. If you have taken a job in a fashion-forward organization, you should dress in a manner that communicates your understanding and appreciation of fashion.

At a very minimum, avoid: dirty, stained, torn or frayed clothing; and any clothing bearing words or images that others might find offensive.

3. Act professionally.
Everything you do in conjunction with work should communicate your respect for internal and external clients.

Before you walk into an office building, remove your ear buds.  Acknowledge other people you know in the building lobby. Whenever you board an elevator, recognize any coworkers you encounter. As you walk to or from your workstation or office, greet others you meet along the way. First thing in the morning, check in with your supervisor. Do another check-in at the end of your workday.

Be punctual to all meetings. This demonstrates your respect for others’ time. Know your supervisor’s expectations regarding smartphone use during meetings. If he or she expects your complete attention, before any meeting begins, turn your smartphone off.

4. Complete projects on time.
Tackle every assignment you receive in a timely manner. Should you experience unexpected delays or interruptions, do not withhold this information from your supervisor until the very last moment. Remember, no surprises. Inform your supervisor as quickly as possible. This allows him or her to adequately manage the expectations of important internal and external clients.

Inevitably, you will require a coworker’s input to complete a project. Should your coworker fail to perform in a timely manner, in most cases you’ll remain responsible. Telling a supervisor, “I emailed Jim in marketing for his input, but he hasn’t gotten back to me,” won’t cut it. Find ways to work with others and to complete projects on time.

5. Interact professionally with clients and customers.
Clients and customers are the life-blood of every organization. Without them, you don’t have a job. Always ensure customers and clients feel treasured like the valued people they are.

Whenever a client or customer is present, give that person 100 percent of your attention. End all personal conversations, phone calls, emailing, texting, and the like. Yes, put away your smartphone and other electronic devices.

To demonstrate your respect, when you first meet a client or customer—especially one who appears to be older than your parent(s)—use the social titles of “Mr.” or “Ms.” Do this whether your first interaction involves a face-to-face meeting or an email. Once the client or customer requests that you use a first name, by all means do.

 6. Work as a team player.
As a student, much of your success has been determined by how well you’ve performed on individual projects. You’ve either scored well on a test or you didn’t. As a summer associate, intern or new hire, you will often be assigned to team projects. As such, your success will be measured by how well the entire group performs.

Understand your role. Have you been tasked with leading the group? Then you are responsible for developing an overall game plan, assigning specific tasks to individual team members, coordinating the effort, and driving the project to completion in a timely manner. Have you been assigned to a supporting role on a team? Then you must complete each specific task that has been assigned to you within the requisite time frame. Additionally, you must be prepared to assist other team members when your help is needed.

7. Good team members communicate & make themselves available.
Share all information relevant to the completion of a project. When in doubt, more sharing beats less. Avoid becoming known as the one team member who failed to share a critical piece of data.

Take advantage of each team member’s unique skill sets. Encourage “big idea” people to brainstorm and encourage “detail” people to create standard operating procedures for the team. Recognize others for their hard work. Say positive things about the team publicly. Give constructive feedback privately.

Be available. Avoid wasting the valuable time of other team members. If the team has been called upon to work in close physical proximity, let others know before you step away. If the team is scattered around the globe, let others know when you will be reachable electronically.

8. Work effectively with support staff.
Right now, virtually every member of the support staff knows more about the day-to-day requirements of your job than you do. You’ll catch up soon enough. For now, it’s important that you understand these staff members can make or break you. Give them lots of reasons to want to help you succeed. Always speak and work with support staff in a polite and respectful manner.

9. Handle differences professionally.
In the course of the summer, a disagreement may arise. You must manage those differences with tact and on your own—without elevating issues to your supervisor. Doing so not only demonstrates that you have good manners, it also demonstrates that you are a professional who can manage all of the exigencies of the day-to-day workplace.

Resolve differences of opinion via this three-step process: 1.) acknowledge the disagreement; 2) seek a shared understanding of the underlying facts and assumptions; and 3) jointly develop a plan for moving forward.

10. Develop an attitude of gratitude!
Every assignment you receive—even a month-long document review in a windowless room—gives you the opportunity to shine. Show appreciation for these opportunities. Express an interest in every project and in the customers or clients for whom you are ultimately working.

Please eliminate the phrase “no problem” from your lexicon. Every time a supervisor thanks you for your efforts, and you reply, “no problem,” you immediately devalue your work. Instead say, “You bet. I really enjoyed this project,” or, “It was my pleasure. If there’s anything else I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to shout.”

Every week this summer, find one person who has made a positive difference in your life at work, and go out of your way to thank that person.

 Copyright © 2014 Mary Crane & Associates.

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