A few weeks ago, Boston College executed their second annual innovative program aimed at providing first- and second-year law students the opportunity to gain unique in-house counsel experience at a variety of companies. The business in-house opportunities “Business Interview Days” (BIDz) event successfully culminated in over 100 interviews taking place for over 60 students at employers, including State Street Global Advisors, Cabot Corporation, Brooks Automation, athenahealth, Foundation Medicine, Draper Lab, Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI), HubSpot, Southern New Hampshire University (OGC), Converse/NIKE, TripAdvisor, and Dunkin‘ Brands. The event was preceded by an overview discussion about in-house work by Sidd Pattanayak, the Assistant General Counsel at TripAdvisor, in addition to mock interviews at the Career Services office for any students who wanted some tailored practice before actually having to put their skills to the test.
In-house opportunities are uniquely beneficial for young law students since they provide the chance to learn in smaller teams of specialized legal experts in a thrilling environment. And, you get paid… a benefit rarely secured by 1Ls who may be facing accumulating (and overwhelming) debt. The experience can also be ideal for students who seek exposure in a variety of legal areas, from corporate M&A to litigation and employment law to patent protections. At a time when law students are just beginning to design their path through course selection and networking events, this type of environment can provide the perfect insight into what constitutes the practical job duties within each area of law. This allows the students to plan their educational development based on what they did like and didn’t like.
I was lucky enough to land my summer position by using the BIDz program. The consolidated submission process on the BC Career Services portal made gathering information about the jobs and tailoring my application materials for each position relatively straightforward. The expectations for finding and landing a job as a 1L are necessarily high as many students are breaking into the legal field for the first time. Yet, unfortunately, 1L students have a limited amount of information to draw from in determining the best positions that will open the most doors for them going forward. Therefore, the advantages detailed above regarding this program are particularly relevant and helpful for 1L students (including me). The interview process for all the companies took place on campus over just one week. I can truly say that I escaped the anxiety of the 1L job hunt thanks to BC’s BIDz program.