Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Meet the Bar Associations 2015

It's that time of the year! GGU's annual Meet the Bar Associations 2015 is coming up next week! Both law students and graduates are encouraged to attend! 

When: Thursday, April 2 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm

Where: GGU, 6th Floor GGU Center

What: Many great local and national bar associations will be coming to campus to provide information about their organizations, as well as talk to students and recent grads about membership fees and benefits. This is a wonderful opportunity to discover what types of membership discounts, networking events, mentoring programs, scholarships, and fellowships each organization offers. The event is also a valuable networking opportunity because you get the information from the organizations' representatives themselves!

Light food and refreshments will be served; attire is business casual.

“Meet the Bar Associations” will be organized similar to a job fair, so you are free to talk to whichever organizations interest you. The following is a list of all the amazing bar associations that are participating this year:
If you interested in volunteering at this event, please contact Andrea Loh via email at aloh@ggu.edu.

This event is sponsored by Law Career Services and co-sponsored by APALSA, BLSA, Business Law Association, ILS, IPLA, LELA, and PALS.

For photos from last year's event, click here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Catching a Glimpse Into Law Practice: Two Outstanding Opportunities

by Michelle Queirolo
Grad Fellow
 
Friday, March 27 Join LCS for a private tour and conversation at the General Assistance Advocacy Project (GAAP) or the Office of the San Francisco City Attorney.


General Assistance Advocacy Project (GAAP) is a prestigious non-profit corporation based in San Francisco that helps homeless and marginally housed San Franciscans to obtain public benefits. GAAP also provides free legal assistance and counseling in areas regarding collection disputes, clearing old out-of-state warrants to enable the continued receipt of public benefits, and assistance with landlord-tenant issues. In addition, GAAP provides individuals with resources such as blankets, free clothing vouchers, etc. to support members of the community.


The Office of the San Francisco City Attorney provides legal services to the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, San Francisco Unified School District and 94 other departments, board, commissions and offices of the City and County of San Francisco.

Tours will meet at LCS at 2:45 and travel to the respective offices via public transportation. Students must rsvp on LCSonline in the “Events” tab by March 25.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Legal Diversity Initiatives

by Jared Solovay
Director of Employer Relations and Administrative Director of the Honors Lawyering Program
Law Career Services

A longstanding issue of great concern in the legal profession has been the lack of diversity with respect to women, persons with disabilities, the LGBT community, and racial and ethnic minorities.1

The result has been disproportionately lower representation for certain groups in the profession, particularly in leadership positions.

For example, according to a recent Law Review article analyzing this topic, “12.6% of the U.S. population was African American, 16.3% was Hispanic American, and 4.8% was Asian American” in 2010, yet these groups made up only “4.3%, 3.4%, and 3.4% respectively” of the legal profession that year.

As the ABA has noted, “Without a diverse bench and bar, the rule of law is weakened as the people see and come to distrust their exclusion from the mechanisms of justice. “ In addition, as some diverse attorneys have explained, this underrepresention can lead to a lack of adequate mentorship and the perceptions of hiring biases within the profession.

While this situation is incapable of any one quick fix, attorneys have increasingly engaged in efforts to mitigate its effects, and the Bay Area is no exception. The Bar Association of San Francisco has various diversity initiatives, including the annual Bay Area Diversity Career Fair. Several local bar associations co-sponsor the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program. The Queens Bench Bar Association has a formal mentorship program for women who are newer to the profession. Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom oversees a mentorship program for LGBT law students. And San Francisco-based law firm Hanson Bridgett LLP presents an annual Interview Skills Workshop for diverse 1Ls.

Another such event is the Bay Area Legal Recruitment Association’s annual Speed Networking Event, which will be held on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm ​at ​UC Hastings College of the Law. The event is aimed at connecting law firm and in-house attorneys with diverse 1Ls (which BALRA defines as students “who contribute to the diversity of the legal profession, e.g., racial, religious, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or socio-economic”), combining a traditional hour of mingling with a fast-paced hour of timed conversations (think Speed Dating but for networking). Some of the connections formed at this event have led to lasting mentorships and even job opportunities. A limited number of 1Ls from each Bay Area law school can attend, so interested GGU students should be on the lookout for sign-up instructions in Law School News and This Week at LCS.

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1As noted in a recently-published ABA Diversity Plan, the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity defines “minority” as “racially and ethnically diverse law students and lawyers (e.g. those persons of African, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native American ancestry).” Others argue that the term “minority” is offensive and/or obsolete given current demographic trends.

Friday, March 13, 2015

At a Loss for Words After You’ve Submitted Your Resume?

By Michelle Queirolo
LCS Grad Fellow

A follow-up phone call to an employer after submitting your application provides a multitude of benefits, from inquiring about the interview timeline to landing an interview itself. This helpful article not only describes these benefits, but also offers a script on exactly what to say when following up, which you can tailor to your own situation. Try writing your script out or creating an outline so you can refer to it during the phone call if need be, but remember not to sound robotic in your delivery. Although we do not recommend that you directly request to speak with a supervisor or request an interview right off the bat, this article still provides useful tools on how to obtain valuable information about the employer and the available position. So make yourself stand out from the rest and start planning your next follow-up phone call now!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Everybody’s Gotta Hustle: Can a Side Hustle Help You Reach Your Career Goals?

By Lee Burgess
(This article is reposted with permission from the blog site by Solo Practice University®) 

If you are waiting for bar results, job-hunting, or unhappy with your current employment, you should have a side hustle.

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a job or a hobby (which might some day become a job) that you do now in your spare time. A side hustle can serve a variety of purposes.

It can help you gain valuable new skills. Perhaps you have a dream job in mind, but you need to cultivate a new skill to be better qualified for it. Perhaps you are not likely to gain those skills at your current job. A side hustle can create an opportunity for growth. Working at night or on weekends (either for pay or as a volunteer) can get you the valuable experience you need to be more competitive in the marketplace and/or help you transition to a new career.

It can help you earn a bit of cash. In this job market, you might find yourself working for less money than you expected or even volunteering while waiting for a full-time paid position. How are you supposed to support yourself? A side hustle can do just that. You might be amazed how much money you can make doing a part-time gig. When I was in law school, I was a private SAT math tutor. Let me tell you, this was a great side hustle. I made much more money per hour than I would have made at an on-campus job, and I even met some attorneys (parents of some of my students) who gave me interviews in the process.

It can allow you to try out something new without fully committing to it. Perhaps you are contemplating a job change, but you aren’t certain that you are going to like the new direction you are considering. The side hustle allows you to experiment. You can try out a new type of work or working environment. The side hustle is easier to experiment with than your full-time gig. If the side hustle doesn’t work out, you still have your full-time job to fall back on. And you might try a few different side hustles until you find the right one. It is a safe way to experiment with your career without risking your paycheck.

It can give you the opportunity to work on something you are passionate about. I hate to say it, but sometimes we are not enthusiastic about our work. We might dream about doing work that we would be more passionate about, but until we actually do that work we can’t be sure it is the right fit. If you are able to try out your passion, you may find you are ready to make the leap and do it full time. Or, sometimes, a side hustle allows you to feel better about your day job. If you lack passion at work (and, let’s be honest, some of us aren’t wild about our legal work), feeling excitement and a sense of worth while working on your side hustle can make you an overall happier person. And who doesn’t want that?

What does this have to do with the bar exam?

A lot of bar studiers wonder what they are supposed to do while waiting for bar results, other than hunting for a full-time job. I would argue that the side hustle is a great thing to work on. Do you have a crazy idea for an online business? Well, you can start working on it now and work on it part time once you do find legal work. Do you dream of working at a law school? Then, try to volunteer at your law school’s legal clinic. Or, consider looking for a side hustle that you can continue (if you enjoy it enough) even after you find full-time work.

But the side hustle isn’t just for bar exam takers. It is for anyone thinking about making a change.

If you are unhappy in your current position or if you trying to figure out what might be your next career step, think about whether the side hustle could work for you. Amazing opportunities have come from a side hustle. Take some time to think about how you could use some of your free time to potentially move your career forward.

Lee Burgess, Esq. is the co-founder of the Law School Toolbox, a resource for law students that demystifies the law school experience, the Bar Exam Toolbox, a resource for students getting ready for the bar exam, and Trebuchet, a legal career resource. Lee has also been adjunct faculty at two bay area law schools where she has taught classes on law school and bar exam preparation. You can find Lee on Twitter at @leefburgess, @lawschooltools, @barexamtools and @trebuchetlegal. Google+ / Faculty Bio.

Friday, February 13, 2015

ABA Journal Highlights Lawcountability, JD

by Susanne Aronowitz
Associate Dean of Law Career Services

Lawcountability, JD, an online platform which supports law students in their job search and career development efforts, was recently featured in the ABA Journal. GGU is one of a select group of law schools that has subscribed to Lawcountability, JD on behalf of its students and graduates.

We encourage you to watch the helpful video tips, and use the goal setting tools to stay on track with your networking efforts. For assistance in using Lawcountability, JD, please contact a career advisor at LCS at lawcareer@ggu.edu.

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!