Professional Development News

ABA Student Staff Writer Position

The ABA's Criminal Justice Section has just started a new committee: the Young Lawyers Committee.  One of the Young Lawyers Committee's new initiatives is to publish a quarterly newsletter targeted toward law students and lawyers in their first five years of practice.

Each issue will include a quarterly review of criminal opinions issued by the various federal circuits.  The goal is to publish a "case summary" for each opinion, organized by circuit.

The Young Lawyers Committee of the ABA's Criminal Justice section is seeking several volunteer law students to serve as "Staff Writers" for this project.  Students will be responsible for monitoring the opinions issued by the particular circuit(s) to which they will be assigned.  For each opinion that impacts  criminal law, the writer will prepare a summary of the relevant facts and the holding of the case.  Summaries should be approximately one paragraph long, with reasonable leeway for more complicated opinions.

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is attached.  Applicants should review the case and prepare a case summary as described above.  The summary should then be e-mailed to Michael Dean at no later than October 15, 2012.  Applicants who have been selected will be contacted shortly thereafter. 


Ramble by the River

If you are a walker/runner, you won't want to miss the Ramble by the River sponsored by the Louisville Bar Association.  The walk/run will take place on Saturday, September 8 at Thurman Hutchins Park on the river.  A brochure containing the registration form and future details is attached.  Proceeds will benefit Doctors & Lawyers for Kids.

Attorney General's Honors and Summer Law Intern Program Information Session

Mr. Lou DeFalaise, Director of the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management at the Department of Justice, will be speaking about the opportunities available for new attorneys and interns at the U.S. DOJ.

TODAY’S Session is Part 2 of the How to Get a Government Job during the Fall Hiring Season.  

The session is at Noon in room 175 TODAY.  Pizza and drinks will be served.

Return Borrowed Books

Second-year students,

If you borrowed a copy of The Official Guide to Legal Specialties when you met with the Office of Professional Development as a first-year student, please return it. 

Meeting with Office of Professional Development

Second- and third-year students who are interested in meeting to have their resume and/or cover letters reviewed and discuss career opportunities or Professional Development resources may sign up with Debra Reh, room 184. 

Fall Hiring Season - Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy

Second- and third-year students may now "bid" (upload documents to a specific employer) for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.  Please note that the KY DPA is listed as a separate session.  If you are interested in interviewing with the KY DPA, please select that session.  The deadline for KY DPA bidding is Wednesday, September 5th.  

"Networking" Information Session to be Rescheduled

This is a reminder that the information session entitled "Networking Within Your Comfort Zone" scheduled for Thursday, August 30 is being rescheduled. A new date has not been set, but stay tuned. If you have this on your calendar, please remove it.

Attorney General's Honors and Summer Law Intern Program - Wednesday, August 29 at Noon - room 175

Part 2 of our presentation: How to Get a Government Job during the Fall Hiring Season - U.S. Dept. of Justice – Attorney General’s Honors Program and Summer Law Intern Program Information Session – Wednesday, August 29 at Noon in room 175

If you are interested in a career with the U.S. Dept. of Justice, please attend.  Mr. Lou DeFalaise, Director of the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management at the Department of Justice, will be speaking about the opportunities available for new attorneys and interns at the U.S. DOJ. 

Pizza and drinks will be served.


Networking - Part 3

Get Involved

If you are not meeting new people, put yourself out there.  Go to events held on campus and in the community.  Join the local bar association and be sure to participate.  Volunteer somewhere.  Check out, and find a group of people with similar interests just to hang out with.  The point, again, isn’t to ask every person you meet for a job; it’s to expand your social network in a way that feels comfortable for you.  If you are worried that you might not know what to say when meeting possible professional contacts, have an “elevator” speech ready.  (See attachment.) 

Informational Interviews

If you want to focus specifically on meeting attorneys, consider setting up informational interviews.  This means calling or e-mailing someone in a practice area in which you are interested and asking for a few moments of their time to pick their brain about what they do and how they got where they are.  (See attachment.) Once again, people like to talk about themselves, and most attorneys are happy to share advice with current law students.

Following Up

Finally, make sure to follow up.  You don’t have to bombard people with daily phone calls and emails, but an occasional email sharing a link to a topic that you know is of interest to another person is a way to stay in touch without being intrusive.  And if someone offers you advice or sits down with you for an informational interview, by all means, send that person a thank you note, and check in with him or her now and then to report on your progress through law school.

Remember – networking doesn’t have to be painful.  Your skills will improve with practice, and you may just find that it’s a lot of fun!   

The “Networking in your Comfort Zone” originally scheduled for Thursday, August 30th is going to be rescheduled.  Stay tuned for details.


Networking - Part 2

Where to Start

So how do you do this?  A good first step is to think about all of the people you already know.  If you think you don’t know anybody, just take a look at your Facebook page!  Start making a list of contacts including family, friends, former professors and co-workers, and other acquaintances, and don’t be shy about letting them know that you are now in law school and will be looking for opportunities to gain legal experience.

When you meet new people, pay attention!  Effective networking comes as the result of being genuinely interested in what someone else has to say. If you’re not a naturally outgoing person, don’t worry – people love to talk about themselves, and while you’re thinking that you’re being too quiet, they’re admiring what a great listener you are!  Ask for a business card and take a moment to write yourself a note or two on the back to remind you of your conversation with this person.