May 24, 2021 - Three University of Houston Law Center alumni guided students through different stages of a job search during a virtual "Lunch with a Lawyer" event hosted by the Career Development Office.
Assistant Dean for Career Development Tiffany J. Tucker served as the moderator. The Black Law Students Association, the Latinx Law Students Association and the Association of Women in the Law served as co-sponsors.
Speakers included Andrea Barr ’13 of Ford + Bergner LLP, Taneska Jones '17 of Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP and Ruth Rivera-Arriaga '18 of Akerman LLP.
Rivera-Arriaga discussed why she considers maintaining communication as a crucial aspect with prospective employers to make sure correspondence has not gone unnoticed.
"Following up is so important because it's showing your interest," she said. "It's keeping whoever you're contacting aware that you're seeking an opportunity."
Barr discussed why she believes it is always important as a job-seeker to have aspirations for their potential employer.
"You need to have a list of priorities in an employer," Barr said. "Even if you're looking for a job as a law student, you should still have a list of what's important to you in a firm or a company," Barr said. "Do you want a job where you can work remotely? Are they going to be technologically savvy? Do they support business development? Am I going to be able to be more active in my role as an attorney, or am I going to be researching and doing memos?"
Jones said students should always be taking initiative throughout their job search.
"At the time of the interview you may not know what practice group you get placed with, but once you know and have secured the internship start researching the partners and senior attorneys you're going to work with," she said. "Start researching the issues that may come about in the practice area and the key cases or statutory law. It shows you're prepared and have done the work and it allows you to have deeper conversations when you're getting assignments."
The Career Development Office hosts Lunch with a Lawyer and Dinner with a Lawyer events, which allows attorneys to have candid conversations with student and recent alumni about their practice areas and employer environments.