Loyola's Orientation II focuses on networking, professionalism, career mapping for first-year students

Loyola Law School offered its first-year students the unique opportunity to glean expertise on networking, professionalism and other practical skills from seasoned practitioners during “Orientation II: The Legal Profession and Your Place In It.” The program was held Jan. 14 and 15 on Loyola’s downtown Los Angeles campus in the prelude to the spring 2013 semester.

Orientation II gave law students early exposure to such vital subjects as cultivating contacts, capitalizing on the economics of the legal market and translating success from the classroom to the office. Alumni panels featured top attorneys revealing how they navigated their career paths. The program, offered to both day and evening students, featured ample opportunities for students to practice their networking skills with alumni. Students were assigned to three-alumni panels featuring a wide range of practice areas – all moderated by professors.

“Loyola has always focused on training attorneys who are ready to hit the ground running upon graduation,” said Michael Waterstone, associate dean for research and academic centers. “Orientation II was a day of intensive programming designed to provide first-year students with the outside-the-classroom skills they need to map their career paths early in their studies. It will also be a way for us to introduce the first-year class to our alumni network – one of our school’s key resources.”

The “Network Development” panel featured Steve Hughes, founder of Hit Your Stride, LLC whose client roster includes the law firms of Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis and Seyfarth Shaw. He discussed developing and maintaining a positive reputation and how to leverage it. “Trends and Economics of Legal Market” featured John Steele, who teaches Legal Professions at Indiana University School of Law and has served as the top internal ethics lawyer and hiring partner at leading Silicon Valley law firms. His discussion centered on students’ employing flexibility as they customize their career path.

Office of Career Services counselors conveyed a practical understanding of students' roles as professional service providers and the essential non-legal competencies which will foster their success during “Mind the Gap: The Difference between Successful Students and Successful Lawyers in Professionalism.” Combining input from legal employers and the current literature about new lawyer success, Career Services instructed students in the various self-management skills that produce quality legal work and service including: time and project management, responsiveness, taking ownership of work, collaborating effectively in teams, as well as appropriate conduct on line and in the office.  

After the event, students were encouraged to continue their network development through a reward program. Participating students may qualify to win iTunes cards and an iPad Mini by displaying business cards obtained through networking.