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ABA Law Student Division 9th Circuit Spring Meeting

March 6, 2012

ABA 9th Circuit
ABA 9th Circuit

By Megan Mulder 2L, Executive Lt. Governor ABA LSD

On March 3 the annual Spring Meeting and new governor election for the 9th Circuit ABA Law Student Division took place at Whittier Law School.   

The early morning panel consisted of four attorneys who are involved in the hiring process for their firms.  These attorneys discussed best and worst practices for interviewing.  Also, they gave tips on what to put on your cover letters and resumes. Not only did they give tips, but they also cautioned against writing general cover letters stating that it was obvious when people did not take the time to research the company before handing in their cover letter and resume.  Last, but certainly not least, they discussed thank you letters.  Each attorney stated that thank you letters were by far the most important thing you can do when looking for a job and when thank you letters were not received, those names were taken from the list of possible people to hire.  Mailing hand written thank you notes seemed to be the most popular choice, however, given that timing is key, emailing a thank you along with sending a hand written note seemed to be a good alternative. 

The second panel consisted of two judges and one research attorney.  Each of them discussed the court system specifically, and how to succeed.  However, more generally, they discussed tips such as knowing who your audience is, knowing the facts of the case, and other such valuable advice which could apply to any job. 

Lunch brought numerous attorneys from differing fields and  allowed students to network with whomever they chose.  This seemed to be one of the most valuable portions of the meeting as each student in attendance was able to receive business cards,  advice and tips for how to succeed in their specific area of interest.

After lunch, there was a stellar presentation by Hank Blank, a networking expert.  Blank spoke to students about the best networking practices.  His key theme seemed to be that you are always networking, whether it is at Starbucks or an ABA event.  Blank also spoke to students about social media and how to best network using the tools that are most popular for the current generation.

The afternoon brought the election of the new governor for the 9th Circuit.  In this election, two exceptional candidates ran for the position including: Steven Cometa from Whittier Law School and Susan Quassani from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. After two great speeches and a question and answer session by the voting members of the 9th Circuit ABA Law Student Division, Steven Cometa became the new circuit governor. Cometa will replace current Governor Joshua Goodrich, a Thomas Jefferson  Student.  Ending the two year run in which a Thomas Jefferson Student has held the ABA-LSD office of governor. 

Awards were also given at the Spring Meeting to celebrate schools that excelled in ABA membership as well as individuals that advanced the ABA.  Whittier and Chapman received bronze key awards for their increased membership in the ABA.  Michele Philo from Whittier Law School received a silver key award for the extraordinary work and dedication that she has put into her duties not only as SBA Vice Chair, but also as a member of the ABA Law Student Division.  Megan Mulder from Thomas Jefferson School of Law received a Silver key award for her hard work and dedication to the ABA acting as Executive Lt. Governor for the 9th Circuit. 

In all, the Spring Meeting was a great success, offering students in attendance a wonderful opportunity to network with both students and attorneys. Students who may be thinking about seeking a leadership role within the ABA-LSD can visit the ABA-LSD leadership opportunities page.  The deadline to run for Vice Chair-Student Bar Association and Division Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates is June 1.