UHLC students explore employment opportunities with small to midsize law firms

Students meet with prospective employers during the "Small & Midsize Firm Open House" at the University of Houston Law Center.

Students meet with prospective employers during the "Small & Midsize Firm Open House" at the University of Houston Law Center.

Sept. 11, 2018 — Students and recent graduates learned about the benefits of practicing at a small, midsize and growing firm at an open house Friday at the University of Houston Law Center.

Hosted by the Career Development Office, attendees interacted with attorneys and recruiting professionals from 30 firms with 50 or fewer attorneys.

Senior Career Development Specialist Chandria Jackson said students gained direct access to employers from a cross section of practices that included immigration, insurance defense, intellectual property litigation, personal injury, real estate and land use, and commercial transactions.

"These represent some of the most popular practice areas of interest to current students and recent graduates," Jackson said. "Historically, approximately 45 percent of Law Center J.D. graduates begin their legal careers in small or midsize firms. Programs like the open house help students and recent graduates access this portion of the job market more easily." 

"Small and midsize firm employers express their gratitude for the CDO's employer outreach to understand their practices, and coordination of this event to provide a platform to access more candidates for employment and to gain exposure in the legal community," said Tiffany J. Tucker, assistant dean for Career Development. "Chandria Jackson, a Law Center alumna with over 12 years of experience, coordinated the open house and utilized her specialized knowledge of the Houston legal market to ensure a representative cross section of the most sought after legal practices were represented."

Prior to the open house, students were introduced to the advantages of working at non-traditional firms during a series of career panels. Law Center graduates from 2015 and 2016 described how working at a small firm afforded them significant client interaction and case management early in their careers, which placed them on the fast track toward becoming subject matter experts.

"Being prepared and communicating well were just two of the things students were told they could do to make themselves more attractive to law firms in this sector," Jackson said.  "Students utilized the advice they received during the panels to make a positive impression on firm representatives, and several open house employer attorneys expressed how impressed they were with the interviewees' level of preparedness for the event and knowledge of their practices."

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