A Career Services Primer



Wednesday, Nov 2, 2011

Guiding 1L’s through their summer 2012 job search

-By Kelsey Schreiberg

First year USC law students are already thinking about summer jobs, and the Career Services Office (CSO) is here to help. The Oct. 26 event, “CSO Workshop: 1L Orientation,” provided 1Ls with the 1L Guide, a month-by-month time line for securing a summer job or externship. Assistant Dean Matt DeGrushe, CSO Director Suzanne Huntley Levy '01, and CSO Assistant Directors Rachel Kronick Rothbart and Ronald Han advised students on how to best utilize USC’s job-hunting resources.

Rachel Kronick Rothbart

 Rachel Kronick Rothbart

The goal of the CSO is to connect students with potential employers. The center offers career counseling, workshops for interview skills and resume building, and career fairs. All 1Ls are required to have a one-on-one meeting with a career counselor—a testament to the personalized attention USC provides its students with.

Students have access to career alert emails, information on the USC Law Portal, and the Symplicity website, the online system that houses on-campus interview schedules, job postings, and employer contact information.

Counselors encourage students to attend career workshops and update their Symplicity profile during October and November. By December, applications for federal judicial internships, diversity fellowships, and positions at large law firms need to be submitted.

In January, the CSO offers practical tools such as alumni mock interviews, resume review, and an alumni mentor lunch to match students with USC alumni working in their field of interest. In February, UCLA hosts the Southern California Public Interest/Public Sector Career Day and Southwestern Law School hosts Entertainment Law Careers Day at Southwestern, which students are encouraged to attend. March and April are filled with small firm receptions.

To ensure that students focus on their academics during the first few months of law school, employers cannot contact students until December 1. Most students line up jobs between February and April, and last year’s 1Ls secured internships and jobs in public interest, judicial externships, academia, law firms, government, and the business sector.

Matt DeGrushe

 Matt DeGrushe

The wide range of academic interest at USC is reflected in the employment data. Recently, 1Ls and 2Ls have spent their summers working at Apple, Google, and Pinkberry, Inc, while others worked at Dreamworks Animation, Fox Legal, and NBC Universal. Many students gained experience at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, in addition to small and large law firms.

The CSO office will offer 1L resume and cover letter workshops on Nov. 1 and 3. By explaining how to take advantage of the school’s services, opportunities, and alumni network, the event highlighted the benefit of USC’ s tight-knit community during the job search.

As the event wrapped, Levy reminded students that, “the most important part of students’ first summer job is gaining concrete legal experience they can speak positively about to future employers.”