BigLaw Hiring Stats: Good News for BC

Yesterday, the National Law Journal published its annual list of the “Go-To Law Schools.” Unlike many other publications, NLJ uses only one piece of data to order its rankings – percentage of the graduating class heading to a job with one of the 250 largest law firms in the U.S.

BC moved up two spots in the 2015 rankings, from 23 to 21. The Class of 2014 sent 66 grads into first-year associate positions, 13 more than the Class of 2013.

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Columns, sorted from left to right: Rank, School, Number of Associates at NLJ 250 Firms, 2014 Grads, Percent of Grads at NLJ 250 Firms

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Things I Wish I Knew, Vol. 3: Admitted Students Day is well worth your time

Okay, so I should preface this by saying that I didn’t have the opportunity to attend an Admitted Students Day event and the first day I set foot on the BC Law campus was two days before orientation. I spent the next month entirely overwhelmed by the things I didn’t know, and even more so by the things I didn’t know I didn’t know.

But it didn’t have to be that way.

I had the opportunity to volunteer with the February 20th Admitted Students Day and I’m retroactively kicking my butt for not making time to come to one of these, because I got so many of Pre-1L Charlene’s questions answered in one fell swoop.

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Seachanges and Drag Queens

With the current state of the world, Environmental Law is only going to get bigger. At BC Law, there’s no question that we’re at the tip of the spear on a number of pressing environmental legal initiatives. Our environmental law review, Environmental Affairs, is the second oldest and most subscribed such journal in the country. Our professors of environmental law are luminaries in their field. And our student run Environmental Law Society boasts a proud, longstanding tradition of meaningful social and academic engagement. This January, the Environmental Law Society made a trip down to Provincetown as part of its annual Winter Weekend excursion.

Winter Weekend is tough to capture. It’s part lecture series, part bonding adventure, and recently, part drag karaoke jam fest. Let me explain. For the last three years, the Environmental Law Society has journeyed down to P-Town, famous for that old Cape magic, not to mention the town’s established LGBT community.  Law students come to learn from great speakers, enjoy the best seafood, and croon a Journey song or two with the locally famous Dana Danzel II.

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Passion Killing and Mercy

Finding one’s wife in the act of committing adultery, flying into a rage, and killing her or her lover is probably not a murder. At least that is the way American law has treated that scenario. Passion killing is an old term that used to designate small set of circumstances, like finding your wife with another man, in which intentional killing did not amount to murder. These circumstances, including such chivalrous acts as ‘mutual combat’ and ‘resisting illegal arrest’ were fixed, and they could drastically reduce your sentence.

The distinctions that structure our law are often also the distinctions that structure our shared values, and sometimes in the middle of a criminal law class, you can get an insight into those values.  Continue reading

Five Things to Do Before Law School That are Actually Worth Your Time

1. Relax

First of all, if you have some free time, enjoy it! While my time at BC Law has been a lot of fun, it is also been a lot of work and I often feel like I’m going from one thing to the next without much of a break. So if you have some down time before law school be sure to hang out with your friends from college and high school, and go on that family vacation your mom keeps bugging you about. Try the new restaurants you’ve been wanting to try, grab drinks with your friends, and do some reading for pleasure before you’re consumed by casebooks!

2. Build your network

The one thing I hear over and over again from the career center here is the importance of networking and making contacts for getting a job. If you have family members, family friends, or acquaintances who are judges or attorneys reach out to them! A short email saying “Hi [name], I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to get in touch because I just got accepted to Boston College Law School! I know you’re very busy but I’ve heard a little bit about your career in [x legal field] and if you have the time I would love to grab coffee or chat on the phone about the work you’ve done and your thoughts on working in [x legal field].” At the very least you’ll get some advice on law school and practicing, and who knows, you may end up finding a connection for a summer job.

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Mardi Gras Fundraising and the New Orleans Spring Break Trip

Hey everyone, my name is Tom. I’m filling in for Rob this week to talk about one of the pro bono service trips open to BC Law 1Ls. There are four different spring break trips through BC Law: the Haiti Service Trip, Navajo Nation Service Trip, Gulf Coast Service Recovery Trip (New Orleans), and the Immigration Law Service Trip (various cities across the U.S.). Rob went on the New Orleans trip last year, and that’s the one I’ll be doing this year.

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From BC to NYC – The Importance of Diversity

“Diversity in the workplace is vital to a firm’s success.”

Many law firms say that, but few are very serious about investing in and innovating their diversity initiatives.

Last week, seven first-year Boston College Law School students flew to New York City for mock interviews with hiring partners, associates, and legal recruiters at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, a major law firm located in lower Manhattan. We left Boston in the midst of a surprise snowstorm and landed in sunny New York just a few hours later.

BCLawStudentsinNYC

Ramona Barrett, Danielle Reyes, Charanya Viswanathan, Sonja Marrett, and Zain Ahmad – all members of the BCLS Class of 2017 – pose for a photo at Cadwalader’s New York City Office

Cadwalader is taking sincere steps towards attracting and retaining top talent from law schools all over the country. The firm recently launched the Cadwalader Center for Diversity and Inclusion as part of its renewed commitment to elevating diversity initiatives to reflect its importance in the firm’s culture.

Boston to NY

Cadwalader sponsored our round-trip flight from Boston’s Logan Airport to LaGuardia in New York – another indication that the firm is serious about recruiting diverse candidates

As the first person in my family to pursue law, I wasn’t sure what the interview process for a young attorney would be like at a law firm. I was a bit nervous when I went in for my mock interview, but the partner I interviewed with eased my concerns. He provided valuable feedback on my interviewing skills and prefaced all of his questions with his thought process for asking a specific question; this enabled me to have the most impactful response. After the mock interview, all of the students were invited to a networking reception.

During the cocktail hour, Ms. Sonnia Shields, the firm’s Director of Diversity, spent a considerable amount of time chatting with BC Law students and explaining the role she plays in ensuring that the firm follows through with its diversity initiatives – not just during the recruitment process, but also through the mentoring, project assignment, and client development process.

Students from New York University School of Law, Brooklyn Law School, Columbia Law School, and Boston College Law School pose for a photo with members of Cadwalader's Legal Recruiting team

Students from New York University School of Law, Brooklyn Law School, Columbia Law School, and Boston College Law School pose for a photo with members of Cadwalader’s Legal Recruiting team

It became apparent that Cadwalader was serious about diversity based on the investment – in terms of money and time – they placed into bolstering their initiatives. The fact that partners and associates from all practice areas in the firm were present for mock interviews with 1Ls speaks volumes about their commitment to diversity.

Recognizing that globalization is an unstoppable integration and evolution of world views, economic trade, culture, and ideas, law firms have to be responsive – and proactive – in recruiting top talent with academic achievements, diverse backgrounds, and a drive to find the best solution for clients. Whether the client is a foreign government seeking advice on how to draft its new constitution or a multi-national corporation conducting commerce in newly opened markets, the role of attorneys in the global marketplace has become even more important, and the diverse composition of teams at law firms has never been more vital to the success of law firms and for the best outcome for clients.

Student Life: the APALSA Lunar Dinner

This weekend, the Asian and Pacific American Law Student Association (known as APALSA) hosted its annual dinner to celebrate the lunar new year. I didn’t get a chance to attend as a 1L, but heard amazing things, so I made it a priority to buy a ticket this year.

The dinner is held in Chinatown, which is in downtown Boston near a neighborhood called Back Bay, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. BC Law students pay $8 for an 8-course meal. Let me say that again: Eight dollars. Eight courses.  Continue reading

Things I Wish I Knew, Vol. 2: Your story matters

What the frack am I going to write my personal statement about?

A thought that has probably haunted many a person reading this for the past few months. And even after you’re done writing it, you have to read it, which is a lot like hearing your own voice on camera – i.e., “Gross. Do I really sound like that?” Even worse, you have to get someone else to read it to catch the typos and confusing tangents. And most people fall into one of two categories: the ones who tell you it’s perfect and not to change a thing (thanks, Mom!) and the ones who basically tell you to rewrite the whole thing.

To say that I was nervous about submitting my personal statement to BC is kind of like saying Boston got a few snow showers this past month. Race is such a sensitive topic of discussion, and I felt like I was really throwing caution to the wind in dedicating my entire admissions essay to the subject, but I couldn’t help it – it didn’t make sense to me to write about anything else. Then when I got the request to publish it in BC Law Magazine, I was even more anxious. I typed the confirmation email quickly and hit “send” before I could change my mind.

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Life Behind the Firewall

“Welcome to the Firewall,” Yaxin said with a grin as she tapped her card to the clear, glass door of the fifth floor’s southwest corridor. I couldn’t help but grin too. Two clicks sounded as she reached out, grabbed the door handle and pulled it towards her. “Are you ready?” she asked, looking back at me. I was still in awe. I nodded and walked forward, calm and poised on the outside, but bursting with excitement on the inside.

stairs

PwC Legal LLP is a member of the PwC international network of firms. As a firm, it’s able to provide clients with integrated legal advice on complex commercial projects requiring a range of complementary specialists from other parts of the PwC network. They also offer clients general counsel service and access to a highly impressive and extensive global network, including locally qualified, jurisdiction-specific, bar admitted legal expertise worldwide.

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