For Boutique Employment Law Firm, RAP a Smart Way to Grow Practice
Last year, Omid Nosrati ’01, turned to a special LMU Loyola Law School offering called the Resident Associate Program (RAP) so that he could easily hire an entry-level attorney with the skills and knowledge he needed. He quickly found he got what he bargained for at his boutique employment firm, The Law Office of Omid Nosrati.
“He was definitely ready. I was happy with his experience and skill set,” Nosrati said of his new associate, 2018 Loyola graduate Shahran Kangavari, whom Nosrati found was prepared to excel at his firm.
RAP connects small- and mid-size law firms with practice-ready graduates by making the recruiting and hiring processes as simple as possible. The program is a great option for a firm looking to hire an exceptionally well-trained junior associate. Over the last five years, firms have hired more than 70 LLS graduates as part of the RAP program.
The program is designed to encourage small to midsize law firms that have never hired straight out of law school to take on Loyola’s graduates as first-year associates.
To participate, law firms simply describe their hiring criteria and leave it to the Loyola Law School Career Development Office to collect application materials for qualified candidates. They then package the materials together to send to the firms, according to Marla Najbergier, Associate Director of Career Development. Employers may also request video pre-screening interviews to help make the recruiting process even easier.
All the RAP applicants, like all Loyola graduates, have taken at least six units of practical-skills training, Najbergier pointed out. Nosrati’s new associate, Kangavari, had more. He had worked in a law school practice clinic, taken trial and appellate advocacy classes and completed the intense, yearlong Civil Rights Litigation Practicum.
“He already knew about discovery, gathering information and putting together documents, which is a large part of our practice,” Nosrati said. “He also demonstrated good writing skills. I didn’t have to spend a lot of time teaching him from the ground level.”
As a result, in his short time with the law firm, Kangavari has already worked on a pregnancy discrimination settlement, two whistleblower cases, a wage-and-hour class action, a sexual harassment case and a few disability discrimination matters.
“He enjoys it. He likes learning all the different aspects of litigation and honing his skills,” Nosrati said.
Nosrati has recommended the Resident Associate Program to friends with other law firms. “I will continue to do so,” he added. “It’s a great program. It’s good for the students, and it’s also good for the prospective employers.”