Career and Professional Development


Office of Career &
Professional Development

Your partner in navigating a meaningful career path

Visit the website of the
Career & Professional Development Office

According to the American Bar Association, William Mitchell is Minnesota’s top private law school for
J.D.-required employment outcomes (2014).
We work hard to help our students achieve their goals.

Career and professional development services

Easing your transition to law school and the profession

You will be assigned to a career counselor when you arrive on campus. Counselors have a wide range of practice experiences and are skilled at helping you achieve your goals. Beginning fall semester of the first year, counselors will:

  • introduce you to Mitchell’s career and professional development services and help you begin the process of identifying meaningful career development opportunities that align with your passions
  • conduct resume and cover letter workshops designed to help you craft high-quality job search correspondence
  • educate you about a wide range of experiences you can obtain during law school that help you achieve your goals
  • provide advice and resources on the basics of networking and connecting with the legal community, including our extensive and powerful alumni network—the largest of any law school in Minnesota
  • coordinate mock informational interviews with alumni to help introduce you to the legal community and hone your connecting skills.


More lawyers and judges in Minnesota are Mitchell grads than any other law school. Whether you plan to practice in Minnesota or in another jurisdiction, gaining law-related experiences while in law school is critical. Our alumni network will help you get that important experience while you’re still in law school.

Programming and services for first-year students

Connecting with mentors, alumni, and jobs

Mitchell Mentors Program

A group-mentor program that provides you with the knowledge, support, and advice you need to succeed as a law student
Mitchell Mentor Program

Job Shadowing

We provide job-shadowing experiences for you throughout Minnesota

Volunteer opportunities

We partner with the Minnesota Justice Foundation to find you rewarding law-related volunteer opportunities
Public service at Mitchell

Alumni panel: the summer after your first year

Alumni share what they did during the summer after their first year of law school to help you begin to imagine the possibilities for the first summer

Mock interviews with alumni

Thirty-minute mock job interviews with practicing alumni who provide advice and feedback to improve your chances of a successful interview

Academic Planning Workshop: planning for the second year and beyond

We introduce you to what you need to know to plan a pathway that will help you achieve your goals

Individual academic advising

We provide course-selection advice and refer you to full-time and adjunct faculty who teach and research in your developing areas of interest

Kristen Perry

A full-time student studying criminal law talks about her externship experience.

Experiences in the second year and beyond

Apprenticeships, externships, and clinics

At William Mitchell, we recognize that requiring these experiences does not make sense for our student body. Many of our students have already had, or are already getting, real-world, hands-on opportunities to learn through professional activities or their employment in legal and legal-related capacities while in law school. Instead, we make certain extensive practice-based experiences are available to all students who want them.

The Apprenticeship Program

An apprenticeship is an opportunity to be placed with a judge or lawyer to explore a particular area of interest. The experience requires 50 hours of field activities, and we tailor the experience to your interests.


William Mitchell has more than 40 years of experience with clinical programs that get students doing what lawyers do while they are still in law school.

Extensive Externships

Our externships cover a wide range of experiences. Some schools require externship or mentorship experiences and often ask students and lawyers to spend as few as 15 hours (or less) together per school year. Our externship experiences provide more robust opportunities for you to gain real-world experience. Mitchell externships range from 100 to 190 hours per semester. More than 200 students enroll in externships each year, investing 100 or more hours during the semester with the supervising judge, his or her clerks, and practicing lawyers.


Since our clinical program began in 1973, thousands of students have served tens of thousands of clients who might not otherwise have had access to legal representation. The clients are mothers, fathers, immigrants, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. Some are elderly. Some are unemployed. Some have been accused of crimes. They are real people with real legal issues.

Clinic students get real experience


Our clinical program is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. It’s where students get real experience doing what lawyers do.

  • representing low-income renters
  • handling unemployment compensation appeals for employees
  • representing incarcerated persons in civil matters
  • providing legal services and assistance to women as they leave prison
  • working with clients to help prepare wills or health care directives
  • obtaining tax-exempt status for non-profit organizations
  • drafting contracts for non-profit organizations
  • filing patent or trademark applications
  • working with community groups and small non-profits on legislative initiatives and community concerns
  • obtaining citizenship for immigrants

Practical wisdom at work

 How Mitchell alumni use their J.D.s
How Mitchell alumni use their J.D.s

Employment outcomes

Alumni careers in law, entrepreneurship, and other ventures

William Mitchell graduates use their legal education for a wide range of experiences. While most are engaged in the practice of law or law-related work, some parlay their legal education into leadership roles in other fields.