Assistant Dean for Career Development Sparks Collaboration, Innovation
Linda Whitfield brings a wealth of diverse work experience to her role as Assistant Dean for Career Development at Loyola Law School, and it serves her well as she focuses on the Career Development Center’s mission to help graduates realize their full potential in the job market.
A 1992 alumna, Whitfield knows the value of a Loyola degree. She practiced law at the Los Angeles office of international firm Perkins Coie LLP and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a decade. Upon relocating to Atlanta, she took a break from the legal profession to become a special education teacher — informed by a son who has autism. She also completed a library science degree and worked at Legal Aid in Atlanta.
Whitfield says Loyola’s public service mission aligns with her values. “I returned because of my desire to help others and to work at a place where creativity, emotional intelligence and leadership skills would be recognized and valued. I am an idea person, and in this role I have the opportunity and, in fact, I’m encouraged to innovate to meet goals and objectives.”
Whitfield played a key role in implementing the Resident Associate Program, which helps Loyola Law graduates secure yearlong positions at small- or mid-size firms that don’t typically hire new attorneys. CDC collaborates with faculty and alumni on employer outreach and a legal skills boot camp. This year, CDC combined another recent initiative, the Post Bar Kickoff, with the boot camp.
“My ability to work with and motivate the CDC team; to innovate and develop strategies, initiatives and collaborations to maximize student and recent graduate preparation for the job market; and to maintain positive relationships with constituencies will determine my success,” Whitfield says.
Early results are certainly promising. For the Loyola 2015 class, Whitfield reports that the employment rate reached 75%, up from 71% in 2014.