Innovations By Dean Francis J. Mootz III Law school graduates continue to face a difficult job market. McGeorge has responded with innovative and integrated initiatives to ensure that our graduates can build their professional careers. As the cornerstone of these efforts, we have recently added a new course—The Legal Profession—to the required first-year curriculum to introduce students to the knowledge, skills and qualities that are essential to a successful legal career. paci f i c l aw 11 The Legal Profession familiarizes students with the roles lawyers play in society and guides them through best practices in finding employment that is closely aligned with their professional goals and personal values. Equally important, it introduces students to the practicalities of modern legal practice, such as the professional use of social media, as well as emerging technologies and legal business models that are transforming our profession. Finally, the students learn the basic principles of collaboration and teamwork that are core skills for all legal professionals. The Legal Profession is among the first courses of its kind in the country and has been embraced by other law schools as a model for their own educational reform. With the foundation established in the first year, we then provide students with a rich experiential curriculum which allows them to earn credit for working under the careful supervision of experienced lawyers. Our celebrated live-client clinics provide intensive experiences, and we also promote a wide array of off-campus externships. All students must complete at least one clinic or externship. Externships enable students to integrate legal doctrine, lawyering skills and professional identity while engaging in problem-solving in an authentic practice setting. With the opportunity to explore career interests in a variety of legal jobs, build a professional network and enhance their employment prospects, students gain competencies and professional values that will serve them for their entire career. The McGeorge Career Development Office (CDO) works with students to assist them in executing their career plans to achieve long-term success and satisfaction. During their first year, in sync with The Legal Profession class, every student meets one-on-one with an advisor to begin planning. The CDO also works closely with students to suggest appropriate clinics, externships and vounteer pro bono activities. Throughout the school year, students are invited to attend a variety of career development events, including Networking 101, practice-area Day in the Life panels, Alumni/Faculty Mock Interviews and document-review programs. Alumni play a major role in these events, as well as in our Alumni Mentor Network, where more than 500 alumni are available to meet with students for mentorship or just to answer questions. Students are also encouraged to meet with advisors to discuss their job-search paths, hone their application materials and practice interviewing. Specific employment programming includes fall and spring On-Campus Interview programs, a Public Interest/Public Sector Job Fair and our online job-posting site. McGeorge has developed a comprehensive and innovative approach to preparing our students for professional success. In addition to educating lawyers about what’s next, we empower them to take charge of their professional future. Associate Dean Michael Colatrella has even started a blog about our law school’s expertise in this area: thelegalprofession.org.
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer/Fall 2016
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