April 22, 2016 - The University of Houston Law Center's Career Development Office and Andrews Kurth recently gave first-year law students advice on how to maintain professionalism during their first summer internships.
"Passport to Success" was launched in 2015 by Assistant Dean for Career Development Allison Regan and Amy Sladczyk Hancock, director of Attorney Professional Development at Andrews Kurth. The program, held in Krost Hall, consists of a mandatory professional development curriculum for the entire 1L class.
"The Career Development Office regularly hears from employers that candidates who possess emotional intelligence and soft skills are better equipped to enter practice," said Regan. "The Passport to Success Program allows us to provide instruction in these areas to first-year students. We are hopeful they will be better prepared for their first legal internships and ultimately, the practice of law. "
Hancock's tips for a successful summer included leaving ego at the door, being responsive, meeting deadlines, being prepared, and working efficiently. She also encouraged students to solicit feedback and to ask good questions. Hancock also discussed Internet etiquette, including the significance of writing good emails.
"Imagine your emails on the cover of the New York Times," Hancock said. "Don't hit 'Reply All' unless you mean to. Treat emails as a formal memoranda. Check your spelling and grammar, and know that spell check doesn't catch everything. Think before you communicate. Be thorough and pay attention to detail."
Hancock also highlighted the significance of overall appearance, and told students to avoid inattentive behavior, an inconsistent attitude, and negative body language.
"We are thankful to Andrews Kurth for sponsoring the Passport to Success Professional Development Program and are honored to have had Amy Sladczyk Hancock, a leader in the professional development community, share her expertise and passion for professionalism with our students," Regan said. "Amy was able to connect with students and helped to develop a curriculum designed to provide students with the most sought after skills."