Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Richmond Law Students
At Richmond Law, you will become part of a community committed to your success. As your partner in the employment search process, the Career Development Office will help you identify your interests and evaluate the opportunities available to you. Below is a snapshot of the services we offer throughout the year.
Your career advisor, with whom you will be paired early in your 1L year, will coach you throughout your law school career. This individualized attention enables us to get to know you and understand your unique goals and interests. Your advisor will partner with you to develop an employment search strategy, review job search correspondence, including resumes and cover letters, provide advice on interviews and job offers, and direct you to various career-related resources. By building upon each successive interaction with you, we will be able to provide advice tailored for your situation.
Educational and Informational Programming
CDO skills workshops and informational programming will guide you in your professional development and employment search. The CDO coordinates weekly programs on topics such as interview skills, networking and developing a targeted job search strategy. In addition, alumni and other practitioners lead small group discussions on specific practice areas and on the hiring processes in various employment settings. Local alumni and other attorneys conduct one-on-one mock interviews and offer students their candid feedback and advice.
The CDO facilitates networking opportunities with alumni in Richmond and around the country. Career Progressions, an interactive three-course dinner hosted by an etiquette expert who reviews the basics of managing business-social interactions, is a signature CDO event. Students also network with alumni representing a dozen different practice areas throughout the evening.
To supplement your search efforts, the CDO coordinates On-Campus Interview (OCI) programs in the fall and spring semester. These programs attract primarily law firms from throughout the region. First-year students may participate in OCI beginning in their second semester.
Richmond Law co-sponsors a number of consortia interview programs throughout the year, including the Public Interest & Government Interview Program held on Richmond’s campus in February with approximately 50 employers from state and local governments, public interest organizations and non-profit agencies.
Reviewing and responding to job postings is one prong of a comprehensive employment search. Students, alumni and employers at Richmond Law use an online system called Symplicity to review job postings, apply for open positions, and conduct research on employers. Your career advisor will recommend other job boards and online resources depending on your practice and geographic areas of interest. While most employers do not formally advertise opportunities, the CDO will work with you to maximize your chances of being aware of posted positions.
Wherever you ultimately decide to begin your career following graduation, you will benefit from the top-knotch legal education and personal relationships developed with your classmates, faculty and staff during your time in the closeknit and collegial Richmond Law community.
Graduates of the School of Law live and work throughout the United States and the world, with a strong regional footprint on the East coast. Law alumni participate in events throughout the year in various regions, and the larger University sponsors 44 regional groups throughout the country.
The CDO will facilitate your connection to our network of loyal and engaged Richmond Law alumni who are eager to provide guidance and support to students. During the school year it is particularly convenient to have a face-to-face conversation over lunch or coffee with Richmond area alumni about your particular practice interests.
The CDO encourages you to pursue law-related employment during each summer during law school and will help you identify a government, public interest, law firm, academic, judicial or business internship that is right for you.
In the summer after their 1L year, 37.2% of the Class of 2015 worked in government or public interest internships, 17.8% in law firms, 16.5% in academic research or attended summer school, 10.2% in judicial internships, and 5.3% in business. (Calculated as of May 31, 2013.)
To ensure that each students has the opportunity to pursue a valuable summer experience and to support the public sector, where internships typically are unpaid, the School of Law offers a summer stipend program. During the summer of 2013, summer stipends were guaranteed to all first- and second-year law students working in a qualifying public sector position, and over 140 stipends were awarded.
Richmond Law created the Bridge to Practice Fellowship to support recent graduates as they participate in post-graduate fellowships to gain valuable experience and employer connections while they continue to seek post-graduate employment. Fellowships are available for public interest and government positions Ten 2013 graduates were awarded Bridge to Practice Fellowships.
Nine months after graduation, the class of 2012 was working in law firms (39.2%), business (28%), government and public interest (12.8%), and judicial clerkships (19.2%). [Detailed employment data]
Many entering law students do not have a clear idea of what type of law they want to practice, or whether they would prefer to do something less traditional with their JD. Other students initially gravitate toward one area of practice and change their minds as they continue through law school. The foundational academic courses during your 1L year combined with the variety of programs and networking opportunities offered by the CDO encourage such exploration. We will help you define your career goals and the practical steps to get there.
Connect and reconnect. The summer before law school is a great time to connect with attorneys in your hometown, introduce yourself, and ask for their guidance in approaching law school and future career pursuits. Reconnect with friends, family and acquaintances whom often are your best sources for networking and job referrals.
If you have never held a job in a professional setting, consider working in a law office or shadowing an attorney to observe client interactions, negotiations and courtroom proceedings.
Reflect on your professional persona. Approach your first year of law school as the beginning of your professional career. Take some time to reflect on your goals, strengths and motivations.
Review and audit your online presence. Remove inappropriate content from your Facebook profile, Twitter feed, and other social media sites. Conduct an internet search for yourself and clean up entries that could cause prospective employers to have an unprofessional impression of you. Adjust your privacy settings, and create a LinkedIn profile.
The Career Development Office remains committed to assisting alumni, as well as students, with the employment search process. Career advisors are available for one-on-one job search strategy sessions, document reviews and mock interviews. An advisor also can help you identify contacts, job boards and other resources to facilitate your career transitions. Especially in the first-year following graduation, your CDO advisor will stay connected with you as you work to gain a foothold in the profession.