ga2368@columbia.edu

NYC Bar “Launching Your Career” Week 1: Orientation and Fireside Chat

This week, I had the pleasure of volunteering at the New York City Bar Association's Launching Your Career seminar series, chaired by the wonderful Van Ann Bui (Director, Law Program at SEO; former Proskauer associate). The series comprises of 5 professional development workshops targeted at pre-law undergraduates and recent graduates, on topics including: networking, finding a mentor, office etiquette, interviewing, and more.

At this week's kick-off workshop, hosted at Hogan Lovells, the pre-law audience had the opportunity to hear from Jasmine Wade (Assistant District Attorney, Bronx County District Attorney's Office) and Karume James (Staff Attorney, The Bronx Defenders). Tahir Boykins (Kelley Drye) moderated their engaging, energetic discussion, which ranged from their initial decision to apply for law school, to "a day in the life" of a prosecutor/public defender in New York City, respectively.

Some of the tips that our panelists shared include:

  • "Law schools have rolling admissions. So the earlier you apply, the more spots there are."
  • "Don't be afraid to network with admissions committees at law schools."
  • "Where you go to law school is critical. The legal profession is very regional. Think about where you want to practice."
  • "You don't just need one mentor. You need a Board of Directors."
  • "You need to be open. There's nothing wrong with thinking, I want to be a prosecutor, so I'm going to look for a prosecutor to be my mentor. But you can learn so much from so many types of people. Let relationships flow naturally."
  • "Writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing, writing is everything. If you are not a superb writer, law school and life after that will be really hard."
  • "Make feedback your best friend in everything you do. Even if you're getting straight As, get feedback. Don't get comfortable in your bubble."
  • "Find your passion and go for it, fight for it."

If you have any questions about the NY City Bar's Launching Your Career seminar series, please contact Van Ann Bui, Chair of the Launching Your Career Seminar Series at VanAnnBui@seo-usa.org.

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