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Career Development Office FAQs

Should I go to Richmond Law if I do not want to practice in Richmond?

Wherever you ultimately decide to begin your career following graduation, you will benefit from the top-notch 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.

What summer internship opportunities are available to Richmond Law students?

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 1L year, typically 30 – 40% of the class will work in a government agency or public interest organization, 15–20% in law firms, 10–15% in academic research or attend summer school, 10–15% in judicial internships, and 5–10% in business.

To ensure that each student 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. Students are guaranteed to receive at least one summer stipend during their time at the School of Law.

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.

What kinds of post-graduate opportunities do Richmond Law students secure?

Nine months after graduation, approximately 35–45% of each class will be working in private practice, 25–30% in business, 10–20% in government and public interest (12.8%), and 15–20% in judicial clerkships. Read more outcomes and detailed employment data.

What should I do if I do not know what type of law I want to practice?

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.

What should I be doing over the summer before entering law school?

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.

Does the CDO work with alumni?

The Career Development Office remains committed to assisting alumni, as well as students, with the employment search process. A dedicated alumni career advisor is available for one-on-one job search strategy sessions, document reviews and mock interviews. The advisor can also help you identify contacts, job boards and other resources to facilitate your career transitions. Especially in the first-year following graduation, the CDO advisor will stay connected with you as you work to gain a foothold in the profession.