By Associate Dean Jeff Becherer
My role at NYLS recently expanded. I now oversee academic planning, career development, and community engagement at the School. I’m also collaborating with our Office of Admissions and Office of Institutional Advancement on professional development programming that supports our students before law school, during law school, and well past graduation.
I want to take this opportunity to share why NYLS’s approach to professional development is unique and effective.
1. Career planning starts before law school. We work closely with pre-law advisors and undergraduate student groups to present workshops on the current state of the job market and the breadth of employment opportunities in the law. I collaborate with our Office of Admissions on these efforts.
2. First-year students take required workshops. Our 1Ls attend a required workshop series, “Professional Development 101,” to build a strong foundation for career development. We use interactive exercises to address a number of topics, including practice area exploration, networking, and interviewing skills.
3. All students benefit from “one-stop” advising. We combine academic and career advising functions for the benefit of student professional development—rare among law schools. Students can count on consistent, knowledgeable counseling on how they can develop academically and professionally. Plus, these services are offered in a centralized location: our Academic, Career, and Student Life Hub.
4. Networking opportunities abound. NYLS offers an array of networking events in coordination with our academic centers and student groups. Because we’re in the center of Lower Manhattan, these events are highly accessible. They give students regular access to our accomplished alumni, who can share insights and recruitment opportunities.
5. Professional development continues past graduation. Our Office of Institutional Advancement is developing practice-area networks, programs aligned with career stages, and regional engagement in the New York City area and beyond. I’m working closely with them to support alumni who want to grow their networks and/or develop new skills. NYLS also offers numerous continuing legal education programs on campus.
Editor’s Note: “Five Things to Know About …” is a professional development-focused series authored by Jeff Becherer, Associate Dean for Academic Planning, Career Development, and Community Engagement. Reach out to him at email@example.com or 212.431.2158.