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UHLC's Career Development Office offers 1Ls tips for successful summer legal employment

With many University of Houston Law Center 1Ls set to embark upon their first legal work experience, the Career Development Office provided suggestions from multiple resources in the fourth edition of the Passport to Success Professional Development Series.

April 20, 2020 - First-year University of Houston Law Center students learned how to make the most of their summer job experience during the Passport to Success - Professional Development Series: Session IV entitled, "You've Landed: X Marks the Spot. Making the Most of Your Dream Destination."

This webinar was presented in April by Assistant Dean of Career Development Tiffany Tucker, Assistant Directors for Career Development Paul Klinger and Anton Montaño and Amy Sladczyk Hancock, Director of Legal Talent and Human Resources at McDowell Hetherington LLP.

“This Career Development Office program was the fourth of four mandatory 1L professional development sessions. First-year students were provided job search guidance to secure a summer legal position, tips for successful 1L summer legal employment, and a discussion of summer legal employment hypothetical scenarios to teach students how to respond professionally during the most common legal workplace situations,” Tucker said.

The webinar was recorded for students’ viewing throughout the semester.

“As students navigate many challenges at this time, this presentation provides ongoing professional development training to ensure the career success of UHLC students in remote environments, as well as in real life.”

Among key pieces of advice were for students to be prepared to interview for a job via telephone or video conference. Attendees were encouraged to arrange for mock interviews with the Career Development Office and to know their resumes, including academic and work history, before the interview.

Hancock described summer employment opportunities as “multi-week interviews” and presented professional etiquette and best practices from clients, partners, and associates.

Clients urged summer interns to leave their egos at the door, to make every attempt to return phone calls and emails within two hours, meet deadlines, practice proper email etiquette, to work efficiently and to advise clients of problems as soon as they arise.

“Partners of law firms encourage summer associates to work hard to be an attorney that people want to work with, to treat partners, senior associates, co-workers and superiors like clients, and to remember that client development efforts are just as important as billable hours,” said Hancock.

“Firm associates said students should understand their role in a transaction, case or any other matter, be available, pay attention to detail, ask questions, be communicative, and take ownership of their work.”

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