The Career Development Office (CDO) teaches students about the practical aspects of law practice, provides training on conducting efficient and thorough job searches, and helps students match their skills, interests and experiences to the needs of the legal market. For students who get involved early, the CDO can help narrow career choices and tailor preparation accordingly. The CDO begins working with students before classes even begin. During the summer before law school, the CDO staff surveys and meets every incoming student to get acquainted, gather information on students’ career plans and goals, and provide advice on preparing to succeed in law school.
During your first year you will learn to create an effective legal résumé, excel in the interview room and conduct a job search that is both thorough and efficient. Our step-by-step training program is based on three core principles of human learning: an engaged student, the repetition of information and the practice of acquired skill. Employers tell us the program has proven very effective in developing strong job candidates.
Student Advisory Board
Mentorship from peers and upperclassmen is an invaluable resource respected by the Cumberland School of Law. Although we know our students have this community throughout their time studying, the CDO has also developed a formal process for providing first-year students with a second-year or third-year student adviser who has been selected to serve on the Career Development Advisory Board, a special honor and responsibility recognized across campus. Like our faculty and staff, student advisers want to help first-year students succeed. Advisers meet with their advisee groups throughout the academic year, serve as a resource to help with the transition to law school and answer questions about best practices in conducting a job search.
Lunch with a Lawyer
The Lunch with a Lawyer series brings alumni and other attorneys to campus to discuss the practical aspects of their work in traditional and non-traditional legal jobs. These sessions are ideal for networking and getting to know people with a wide variety of experiences. Lunch is provided to students who register to attend these events.
Mock Interview Program
Mock interviews are the most effective means of improving interview skills. Each January, the CDO sponsors a mock interview program drawing local lawyers to campus to “interview” our first-year students and provide constructive feedback. Historically, this is a large and highly successful program, with the overwhelming majority of first-year students participating. Second- and third-year students who feel they would benefit from additional interview practice may also arrange individual mock interviews during this period.
The annual government career fair, held in the fall, and the public interest career fair, held in the spring, are two key events for helping students network and connect with future summer internship opportunities or even future employment. During these career fairs, employers set up information booths and answer students’ questions regarding their organizations.
Career Counseling Services
One-on-one Career Counseling
We encourage students to make an appointment to discuss their career-related questions with a professional staff member. We will also see students who drop by if a staff member is available. Topics covered during counseling sessions include career exploration, résumé and cover letter drafting and editing, interview preparation and skills, job search strategies, resources and tools, networking, career redirection and many others.
Résumé/Cover Letter Review
You may email your résumés or cover letters to the Office of Career Development. The documents will be critiqued and returned to you within a few days. In many cases, a one-on-one meeting is necessary to best advise you on your career goals and application documents.
Career Development Advisory Board (Peer Counseling)
Early in your first year, we will group you with a Career Development Advisory Board (CDAB) member. The CDAB members serve as mentors and advisers to first-year students on issues related to succeeding in law school, identifying and securing part-time, short-term, and permanent legal work, and building the legal and career development skills to maximize a student’s marketability. Each CDAB member offers a unique background and perspective on the job search.
Career Development Library
The Career Development Library includes books, directories, periodicals and video recordings on a wide range of topics related to legal employment and career development. Most books may be signed out for a period of three days.
Career Development Computer Lab
The Career Development Computer Lab contains four computers for students to use to research and apply for employment, prepare application materials or to check email. Each computer is connected to a printer that students may use for job search purposes.
Telephone, Fax and Copier
It is not uncommon for students to need a quiet place to make an employment-related telephone call. Students are welcome to make these calls in the interview rooms in our office. Students may also use the fax machine and copier for job search purposes.
The Career Development suite contains a library with four large, comfortable chairs, as well as two interview rooms that are only used for part of the year. Students seeking a quiet place to study are welcome to use these rooms during our regular office hours.
12Twenty and Online Resources+
12Twenty is Cumberland School of Law's online job bank and on-campus interview management system. In addition, we use 12Twenty as a virtual resource library to store various handouts, videos and other resources that you will find useful during your job search and your professional development.
To obtain your 12Twenty login information you must fill out a registration form and complete several other requirements specified during your first year of law school. Students may access 12Twenty to apply for jobs or on-campus interviews and to explore the resource library. Please direct your 12Twenty-related questions to Allen Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout the year, various employers ask us to post immediate job openings on our 12Twenty job board. These opportunities may be for permanent (postgraduate) positions, summer positions or part-time jobs during the academic year. To search for current job postings, log in to 12Twenty and click on the "Jobs & Resumes Collections" tab. Please carefully review the requirements and make sure to proofread your application materials before you upload them to 12Twenty.
On-Campus Interviews (OCI)
Each fall and spring, Career Development welcomes employers to participate in our on-campus interviewing (OCI) programs. After employer registration ends, you may log in to 12Twenty to see the employers scheduled to interview on campus during a given week. To apply (or "bid for") an interview, simply upload the required application materials and click "Apply." The following week, you should check the status of your bid in 12Twenty to see if you were preselected. If so, please choose your interview time immediately.
Employers who do not interview on campus (often out-of-town employers) sometimes ask us to collect resumes from interested students and to forward the resumes to them in one packet. After reviewing the resumes, an employer will contact the selected candidates individually to arrange interviews.?
Off-Campus Interview Programs
Virtual Resource Library
To access our virtual resource library, log in to 12Twenty and click on the "Resources" tab. Here you will find tips on building your legal resume, writing cover letters and conducting informational interviews, as well as other helpful information that can assist you with your job search and using the 12Twenty system. We have also uploaded links to videos of some of our educational programs, including our Loan Forgiveness Program.
Current Cumberland Law Students & Alumni
The Career Development Office has reciprocal arrangements with career services offices at other ABA-accredited law schools. These arrangements typically allow graduates and third-year students to use the resources of another law school, subject to limitations set out in that school's reciprocity policies. You can usually find these policies on each law school's career services webpage. If you are interested in seeking reciprocity from another law school, please review their policies and contact Allen Howell at email@example.com stating the law school that interests you and providing your current address and telephone number. We will copy you on any emails sent to the other law school and will contact you when we know whether your request was granted.?
Non-Cumberland Law Students & Alumni
Please click here to view Cumberland School of Law's Reciprocity Policy.
Contact the Career Development Office
Allen Howell, Assistant Dean of External Relations and Career Development, 205-726-4300
Rachel Stewart Martin, Assistant Director of Career Development, 205-726-2798
Beth Chmura, Program Assistant, 205-726-2797