By Samantha Morales, 2L
On Thursday, February 21, Phi Alpha Delta and TJSL’s Professional Identity Group co-sponsored a lunchtime panel to introduce students to the dos and don'ts of interviewing, internships and social media etiquette.
The event, “Network to Get Work,” was moderated by Professor William Slomanson, a member of the Professional Identity Group chaired by Professor Steve Berenson and composed of students, faculty and alumni volunteers. The group focuses on aiding the development of integrity and professional identity for students and alumni.
“PAD prides itself on being an organization dedicated to the professional development of its membership,” said PAD Vice Justice Khouldoud Elmasri 2L. “We strive to ensure that our members have exposure to practicing attorneys that can provide them guidance.”
“We put on the event because we wanted to help 1Ls navigate the daunting internship and interviewing process that they will be encountering as they seek summer employment,” added PAD Justice Chelsea Halpine-Berger 3L. “We invited TJSL alumni panelists not only to build alumni relations, but to show students what they can accomplish after graduation in a wide variety of practice areas.”
Panel members shared their experiences in a wide range of law specialties ranging from criminal defense, sports law, bankruptcy, labor and employment law, business and estate planning, and entertainment law. Panelists included Phil Shapiro '85, Jeremy Evans '11, Zoi Jones '11 and Kim Carter '11, along with Taleed El-Sabawi and Brent Reitherman.
“To be successful, think outside the box,” said criminal defense attorney Phil Shapiro. “Get a business card caddy and expand your area of influence outside your specialty. If a client needs a good plumber, having someone I can recommend makes my service that much more valuable to my clients,” said Shapiro.
Kim Carter, specializing in labor and employment law also offered advice on succeeding in the labor market. “Find the best person that does what you already want to do and ask them what did you do to get there? Then focus your energy on where you want to be and distinguish yourself in that area,” Carter said.
The event stressed the importance of a mentor/mentee relationship. “Mentors can provide that introduction you need to someone,” said Jeremy Evans. “You need more than a mentor, you need a sponsor who will speak on your behalf,” added Carter.
“Be persistent in the right way. People respect patient persistence when you are reaching out,” advised attendee and TJSL Associate Director of Career Services Randy Reliford.
“Many people overlook how important significant networking and establishing a reputation for professionalism can be early on in your law school career. These two things can make or break your professional career,” said PAD's Professional Events Director Samantha Birkner 2L.
“Lock it down! If I Google you and I see something I wouldn't want to know about you before I meet you, it won't help you get hired,” cautioned Sony Electronics hiring manager Brent Reitherman. “Get a Linked-In account. Nowadays, it's a tool for recruiting,” said Reitherman. He also recommended students tailor their resume for the job they are applying for. “Make it easy for a hiring manager to see why you are a good fit for that job.”
“Don't be dishonest and say all you ever wanted to do is criminal defense,” said Shapiro. “Eat a sandwich before you write something on Facebook. Remember that texting and email is permanent.”