The Career Planning Office hosts a variety of programs and events designed to help students learn about practice areas and settings and gain professional development and job search skills. Attending career related events and programs is an important part of the job search and professional development processes and all students are strongly encouraged to attend a number of events throughout their years in law school. In addition, students can earn a Professional Development Certificate for attending certain Career Planning programs.
Many of our programs are recorded for those who cannot attend in person. To access webcasts, click here.
Professional Development Certificate Program
The Law School has implemented a Professional Development Certificate Program in order to supplement the subject-based legal analysis from law classes with the professional development skills that students will need in order to succeed in the practice of law. The Program was created to help prepare students for practice and to foster a culture of professionalism. The program is modeled on continuing legal education programs in which practicing lawyers choose from a menu of options in order to satisfy their CLE obligations. In the way that CLE continues legal education post-graduation, this program begins professional development prior to graduation.
Most Professional Development Programs are sponsored by the Career Planning Office. However, student organizations may apply to have a student organized career-related/professional development program approved as a Professional Development Certificate program. Applications will be reviewed by the program administrators. A limited number of student organized programs will be approved for the certificate program each semester.
Goals of the Program
- to help prepare our students for law practice
- to demonstrate to employers that the law school is responding to the expressed needs of legal employers to have students who are prepared for the demands of the work place
- to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate to employers their commitment to preparing themselves for law practice
Requirements of the Professional Development Certificate
- Upper class students must attend at least six programs per year, at least two in each semester, covering the following range of topics: a) practice areas (e.g., environmental law or immigration law) ; b) practice settings (e.g., small firm, solo practice, large firm, public interest); c) professional development skills (e.g., interacting with opposing lawyers and the courts, client development, networking); d) job search skills (e.g., interviewing, dress for success, resume/cover letter drafting); no more than two programs in the job search skills category may count towards the certificate.
- First-year students are required to attend Professionalism Classes each semester, and may pick two Professional Development Certificate Programs programs during the academic year to qualify for the certificate.
- Students will keep track of their attendance on the Professional Development Certificate Program course webpage. At the end of each academic year students will be informed whether they have met the requirements for the Professional Development Certificate, which they can then mention on their resumes.
- Evening students who cannot attend day programs may view webcasts on the Career Planning website. Students must certify that they viewed the webcast in its entirety by completing and submitting a Webcast Certification. A word version of the webcast certification form can be found in your Symplicity account under Documents: Document Library.
Structure and administration of the program
The program is overseen by a committee that includes Assoc. Dean Angie Baker, Career Planning Director Rebekah Verona, Professor Donald Joseph, and two SBA student representatives.
Record your attendance at a Professional Development Program on the Professional Development Certificate Program course webpage.
The Professional Development Certification Application for Student Organizations that want to apply to have their career-related program qualify to be designated as a Professional Development Certificate Program, which includes a small program grant (a word version of this document can be found in your Symplicity account under Documents: Document Library).