Wayne Law Career Services Office responds to economic reality
DETROIT (Oct. 19, 2010) – In this time of economic challenge, the Wayne State University Law School Career Services Office (CSO) is increasing its efforts to reach out to employers and develop new programs to help students and alumni identify their ideal career path and launch a successful job search.
“Change is afoot in the legal job market, and Wayne Law is responding accordingly,” said Kathy Fox, director of Employer Development. “The Law School is taking a proactive stance on assisting our alumni and students in finding new and unique opportunities for employment.”
|An Evening at the Ballpark with Wayne Law
In early August, the CSO hosted An Evening at the Ballpark with Wayne Law. The event attracted some 120 attorneys representing 60 Michigan law firms who mingled with law students to kick-off the fall recruitment season.
“This event has paid dividends thus far, with the number of on-campus employers increasing to 55 this year from 45 last year,” Fox said. “For those firms that attended the event but were unable to interview on campus, the event opened doors for students to meet individually with attorneys for networking purposes.” One firm has worked closely with Diane Fears, CSO director and pro bono coordinator, on a unique pro bono opportunity wherein law students assist the firm’s efforts to ensure that Michigan prisoners receive adequate medical care and treatment.
Increasing Wayne Law’s visibility in the Detroit metro legal community is another goal of the CSO this year. In June, Fox was appointed to the board of directors for the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, and she also works closely with the Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA). Fox is a member of OCBA’s public service committee to engage Wayne Law in pro bono activities, and she works with OCBA’s New Lawyers Council and its student committee. As a result, there has been an increase in interest by Wayne Law students, including the appointment of second-year law student Emily Thomas as vice chair of the student committee.
The CSO also focuses efforts on practice areas that are experiencing growth and alternative career options outside the traditional practice of law. The office has seen an increase in interest from the accounting firms seeking to hire Wayne Law students and graduates, as well as more government opportunities and clerkships on campus this fall. The office also is working to publicize opportunities in personal injury law due to the changes in law that the McCormick case has provided.
“Wayne Law’s on-campus interview program now extends beyond the traditional big firm summer associate recruitment, said Krystal Gardner, CSO assistant dean. “We have been visiting legal employers and making personal connections that are beginning to generate job opportunities for Wayne Law.”
In addition, two new programs are now offered by the CSO. Find Your Focus field trips give students the opportunity to visit legal employers who provide a tour of the office, discuss their work, offer career advice and answer student questions. Job Shadowing allows students to follow an attorney on the job for a day. It is a unique chance to learn about an employer and a practice area and make an invaluable networking contact.
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Wayne State University is a premier urban research university offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students.
For more information about Wayne State University Law School, visit law.wayne.edu.