Monday, January 26, 2015

BEAT THE CLOCK 2015 MCLE EVENT

Golden Gate Law alumni, students, faculty and staff are invited to our Annual MCLE Event Seminar and Networking Lunch.

Golden Gate University School of Law will be hosting the annual Beat the Clock MCLE event on Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 8:30 am to 5:10 pm. All sessions will be held at GGU, 536 Mission Street, 2nd floor. The networking lunch will be held in the 5th floor auditorium.

Registration fees (includes any or all sessions):
  • GGU Alumni (classes of 2012 or earlier): $150 
  • GGU Alumni (classes of 2013 or 2014): $75 
  • Non-GGU Alumni: $250 
  • Current GGU Students: FREE 
  • GGU Staff/Professors: FREE 
More information regarding topics, schedule and registration form can be found at: http://law.ggu.edu/alumni/alumni-events

Deadline to register is: Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Contact: Mateo Jenkins at mjenkins@ggu.edu or 415-442-6541

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Find a Mentor—January is National Mentoring Month

by Andrea Loh
Director of Employer Outreach, Law Career Services

Now that 2015 has officially arrived, many of you may have made resolutions relating to your personal life. Why not make a resolution to help with your professional goals as well? January is National Mentoring Month and now is the perfect time to start building a relationship with a mentor.

Why Should I Have a Mentor? Mentors can be a terrific resource for guidance on what courses to take, effective study habits, how to network, successful job search strategies, and interviewing tips. A mentor who has personally lived through similar experiences can provide helpful information about what steps you should take as well as pitfalls to avoid. And even if your mentor does not have all of the answers, he or she likely knows someone who can provide you with the information you seek.

How do I find a Mentor? Mentor relationships do not have to be formal—oftentimes the most successful relationships are created informally because two people belong to the same organization, participate in similar extracurricular activities, or know the same people. If you are looking to form a mentoring relationship, we encourage you to participate in our 30 Minute Mentorship Program, accessible via LCSOnline. There you will find a database of GGU Law School alumni and friends who are interested in speaking with GGU law students about their professional experiences. Simply search for individuals based upon practice area or other criteria then send your mentor an email requesting a 30 minute meeting that fits with his or her schedule.

What do I Talk About with My Mentor? Start by asking your mentor to tell you more about their academic and professional background. Questions could include:
  • “Tell me about your experiences in law school?” 
  • “What courses had the biggest impact on you and why?” 
  • “What do you wish you knew when you were a 1L/2L/3L/recent law school graduate?” 
  • “How did you decide to go into this particular practice area?” 
  • “What are some of the reasons you enjoy your current practice?” 
  • What characteristics do you look for in junior attorneys? 
  • Which professional organizations do you find to be the most valuable?
  • What publications do you read to stay current in your field of practice? 
If you are looking for additional tips or would like to discuss ideas for your first mentor meeting, give us a call at (415) 442-6625 to set up a time to speak with one of our counselors.

Now is a great time to seize the opportunity to form a valuable mentoring relationship—all it takes is a few minutes and you are on your way!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Law School Fashion Statement: Law Student Shopping Experience

by A Fellow GGU Law Student

During my 1L year, amid the stress and worry, I realized I needed a formal suit. It was time to tear away from the books and go…shopping.

My first thought: Where do I get a formal suit and business attire?

I knew I had some basic expectations: comfortable, affordable, modern, simple. I did a lot of browsing and lot of research and realized it was more difficult than I anticipated to find the right suit. Business casual was easier since the selection was greater. After an extensive search, found what works for me. Below is what I gathered from this process. Keep in mind this was a personal experience, you might have a different one.

Macy's: This department store has a wide selection of suits. The prices are somewhat decent, considering you can usually get 20% off your purchase, and the quality is decent as well (somewhere between average and above average). I found it difficult to find the right size, but they offer free shipping online when you spend $99 so if they don’t have your size, you could order it at the risk of guessing the wrong size. I also found it difficult to match the suit jacket and pants/skirt (the fabrics seemed different). I eventually was able to get past these hurdles and made a purchase. However, because the suit I purchased was not lined, it was really itchy. I ended up returning. For business casual clothing I did not find this store useful because there were not many plain options and everything seemed to have too much design.

Gap: This store offers decent prices (offering up to 40% off on certain days). The quality is good and the items are very simple and modern. I found it difficult to find the right sizing in-store, but they offer free shipping online when you spend $50. Also, matching the fabric of the pants to the jacket was nearly impossible. The sizes are a bit irregular, running larger than average, resulting in a non-fitted look. For business casual clothing this store has a limited, but nice selection if you’re looking for a nice sweater or collared blouse.

Banana Republic: This company is under the same ownership as Gap and is their "higher-end" store. The prices are more expensive than Gap, but the quality is higher as well. They also offer up to 35% off on certain occasions. I had similar issues with this store as I did with Gap. For business casual clothing this store has a wider selection than its sister store. There were plenty of lovely blouses to choose from, but the prices can become overwhelming for a law student.

Express: This company has prices that fall between Gap and Banana Republic. The stock in this store was much better, but the options were very limited. The quality is a bit above average and they offer a very modern selection. They often have promotions, usually on holidays or weekends. The sizing runs a little small, resulting in a more fitted look, which I found not to be professionally appropriate. However, if you are more on the slender side, this might be a good option. For business casual clothing this store was limited in selection.

Ross: This store has really decent prices and the quality ranges from below average to above average. The look can also range, but there are some modern pieces. However, this store requires a bit of patience and determination since the pieces are all close-out, meaning there isn't usually a size selection and the piece you find might be the only one available. For business casual clothing you might have better luck as there is a wide selection, but the look was not as simple as I was looking for.

H&M: This store is very modern and the pricing is decent (and if you take in a bag of clothes to donate they give you 15% off your purchase). The sizes are European and can run a little smaller than average. There is not really a wide selection, but rather there is plenty of stock and the same suit can come in several different colors. I personally did not find the cut of their suits to be flattering, running a little tighter than comfortable. For business casual clothing there is a good selection, but I found a lot of their tops to be too oversized or too revealing so it takes some digging.

Nordstrom: This store has a wide, modern, and above-average quality selection. However, the prices can be a little steep for a law student budget. Prices can range from $200 to nearly $1000. I ended up purchasing a really nice suit from here for a little over $200, but considered it an investment because of the great quality. They offer free hemming and I was able to get the suit fitted for my body type. For business casual clothing this store has a nice selection, but the prices may be a little steep.

This is not a complete list of all the possible places you can find a suit and business casual clothing, but rather the stores I chose to look into. Overall, I learned that it is important to plan ahead and set aside time to look for the right suit. Also, ask your peers! They might have some good suggestions.

A note about shoes:
Shoes are also a very important part of your outfit. Investing in a nice, comfortable pair is a good idea. I have found that quality, style, and comfort are usually achieved through investing a little more, but sometimes bargains can be found if you keep an eye out. One of my favorite websites is Zappos.com. This site has an incredible selection and they offer free 1-day shipping and returns as well as great prices. They also price match!

The Law School Fashion Statement, Part I

by Hengameh Poya 
LCS Intern

Remember college? Rolling out of bed 10 minutes before class and throwing on the closest pair of sweats. Fine for college, not so much in law school. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear a suit to every class, but you probably shouldn’t wear flip flops. Why? Law school is a professional school. Are you presenting yourself in a way that supports your professional ideals? How might you be received by others?

There isn’t a precise guideline for everyday attire. There are, however, some things to avoid, such as, clothing that is tight fitted or revealing. In addition to what you wear to class, there are those events that require more thought, such as: career panels, receptions, informational interviews, and formal interviews. What do you wear to those? Again, there is no rulebook, but here are some things to keep in mind:

Networking Events: Any event that gives you the opportunity to network with attorneys should have you looking your professional best. This is your chance to make a good first impression on attorneys who may have internship or employment connections, so dressing the part can reveal your professionalism. Business casual is probably a safe bet. You can also play it really safe (depending on the event) and wear interview attire since some events turn into on the spot interviews. Informational

Interviews: When appearing for an informational interview, you always want to put your best foot forward. Even if the attorney you are meeting with is not offering you a job, informational interviews are an opportunity to establish your network. We recommend that you wear formal business attire so the person you are meeting with can be confident in the impression you'll create if he or she refers you to a colleague.

Formal Interviews: Ahh, interviews. This is it. Palms sweating, heart racing, IT’S TIME. Although you may not have to wear a suit to work every day or your interviewer is in jeans and flip-flops, it is absolutely necessary to wear a suit that projects confidence and professionalism. Suits can become pricey, but there are some tricks:
  • Buy various shirts and accessories (which are a lot cheaper than suits) to let you create a different look with the same suit. 
  • Plan ahead and browse for sales and promotions. 
  • Browse in discount and consignment stores. 
  • Add a suit to your birthday/holiday wish list. 
  • Make an investment on a higher quality item so that it not only looks better, but lasts longer. 
  • Take good care of your suits to minimize dry cleaning and replacement costs. 
  • Wear shoes that are clean, polished, and in good repair by keeping them in a dust bag or shoe-box when they are not in use and wiping them off after each use. (Always wear close-toed shoes, no sandals!) 

Just remember, you are asking professional colleagues and prospective employers to see you as a lawyer. Make it easy by looking the part! If you need suggestions or aren’t sure, make an appointment with an LCS counselor and they will help guide you.

Stay tuned for Part II: Attorney Suggested Guidelines for Formal Attire, and Part III: Law Student Shopping Experience

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year! LCS is Open

We're here to help you prepare for PI/PS Day!

Resume/Cover Letter Review: Drop by Law Career Services (40 Jessie Building, 5th Floor) to receive assistance with your resume and cover letters.
  • Tuesday, January 6: 11:30 am - 1 pm 
  • Wednesday, January 7: 11:30 am - 1 pm 
  • Thursday, January 8: 11:30 am - 1 pm
  • Friday, January 9: 11:30 am - 1 pm 
  • Monday, January 12: 11:30 am - 1 pm and 4 - 6 pm 
  • Tuesday, January 13: 11:30 am - 1 pm and 4 - 6 pm 
  • Wednesday, January 14: 11:30 am - 1 pm and 4 - 6 pm
If those times don't work with your schedule, call us at (415) 442-6625 to set up a time convenient for you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

LCS Holiday Closure

Law Career Services will be closed from December 25, 2014 to January 4, 2015. The entire GGU campus is also closed. During that time we will not be available for counseling appointments and will not be updating job listings. We hope all of our readers have a pleasant holiday!

Research Future Employers

by Sabrina Johnson
LCS Graduate Fellow

Employers want to hire students who can articulate why they want to work for their organization.  Fortunately, there are many resources to help you learn about employers.  For more information on how to do this, please follow the link to the article from Student Lawyer called, Getting the Backstory: Tips for Employer Background Research, by Markeisha J. Miner. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Etiquette for Professional Holiday Parties

by Sabrina M. Johnson
LCS Grad Fellow

You are attending Holiday Parties and you will want to make sure that you are there to enjoy yourself and strengthen your professional network. While you are thinking about which events to attend, you should also be thinking about how you will present yourself. This applies for organizational holiday events, as well as an office party.

There are still holiday events going on that you can attend. Please click here for the list.
  1. Find out if you need to RSVP to the event. If you do respond that you are going to the event, you need to go. Also make sure if this is an event where you can bring others, (for example a spouse or date.) Do not bring a guest if it’s not that kind of party. If you are going to bring someone make sure you know how they are going to act because they are a reflection of you.
  2. Remember this is a professional event and dress appropriately. You want to be remembered for all of the right reasons. If you need help with something you can wear to work and then the party afterwards - search “From Desk to Dinner.” Also, check the event information and it might say if you need a jacket, or other attire. 
  3. Mind your cocktails. Alcohol is the biggest problem at holiday events. Many suggest a 2 drink maximum for an event. This is still a professional event and alcohol has a tendency to make it difficult to control conduct, inappropriate behavior should be avoided even if you are not drinking. (i.e., gossip, inappropriate jokes, etc.) 
  4. Eat before you go. The food should not be your focal point at the event. It’s important to be mingling and talking with others. Also, keep in mind if you haven’t eaten, alcoholic beverages will affect you differently and could lead to non-professional behavior.
  5. Be Festive and Mingle. Keep the conversation light and casual. Ask open-ended questions, like “what are your plans for the holiday season?” Show everyone why it’s so great to have you around. Stay away from conversations that you don’t want to be associated with, like gossip or inappropriate jokes. 
  6. Introduce yourself. This is a great way to get recognition. Avoid extended conversations, and don’t come off as strangely over-eager. People want to do business with people they like. Build your friendship base. 
  7. Pay attention to the time you arrive and when you leave. “Making an appearance” can be insulting at some functions. You also want to avoid staying too late and keeping the party going. 
  8. Say thank you. This is a good way for recognition. Send a thank you to those who coordinated the party and let them know their effort in the party planning was appreciated.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How Does Proposition 47 Affect You?

by Sabrina M. Johnson, LCS Graduate Fellow

Proposition 47 - Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute
  • Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for certain drug possession offenses. 
  • Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for the following crimes when amount involved is $950 or less: petty theft, receiving stolen property, and forging/writing bad checks. 
  • Allows felony sentence for these offenses if person has previous conviction for crimes such as rape, murder, or child molestation or is registered sex offender. 
  • Requires resentencing for persons serving felony sentences for these offenses unless court finds unreasonable public safety risk. 
  • Applies savings to mental health and drug treatment programs, K–12 schools, and crime victims. 
Official Title and Summary, prepared by the Attorney General 

Passage of Proposition 47 in the last election significantly changes how criminal cases are and will be handled statewide, with rippling effects in immigration and family law. It is also expected to cause a hiring surge in prosecutor and public defender offices statewide.

To help our students and graduates keep abreast of Proposition 47’s implementation, we at LCS recommend watching this free video, while earning free, self-study CLE units.

Monday, December 1, 2014

From State Bar Section to Yosemite: How One Student Earned a Free Trip to an Environmental Law Conference

by Catherine Rucker

Cathy Rucker is a fourth-year law student at Golden Gate University School of Law. She plans to take the February 2015 Bar Exam and to earn an LLM in Environmental Law.  

The California Bar “sections” are professional groups that are linked to the California State Bar. There are 16 sections in a variety of practice areas, such as Business Law, Criminal Law, Family Law, Intellectual Property, and Labor & Employment. Each section has an annual fee, ranging from $75 to $95. However, through the enrollment form, law students can access “up to three free one-year memberships.”

After I joined the Environmental Law Section and entered the members-only website, I read about the section’s annual conference in Yosemite. I noticed that the Remy Moose Manley LLP environmental law firm in Sacramento offers several scholarships for the conference. Most of the scholarships cover the cost of the registration. However, the firm offers five full scholarships that cover registration, three nights at the Tenaya Lodge, and travel expenses.

In my scholarship application, I explained that I had served as a Student Writer for the GGU Environmental Law Journal and that I had worked at the GGU Environmental Law and Justice Clinic. Because I had participated in these environmental law activities, I was selected to receive one of the five full scholarships.

At the ELS conference, I observed that the practicing attorneys were excited to include law students. I realized that if students make the effort to join a section and to attend its events, then the attorney members are very willing to be supportive and to provide guidance. The students who avail themselves will get the benefits.