First-year Mitchell students enjoy big career development advantage

First-year law students have plenty of new experiences to deal with, so thinking about where they’ll end up after law school might not be their top priority right off the bat. But at William Mitchell, the wheels are already in motion before they walk through the door.

Mitchell Career Office

Students and alumni will find an array of resources on the Office of Career and Professional Development website:

  • Job listings
  • Events
  • Job-search resources

See for yourself

Mitchell’s robust Career and Professional Development Office can be a pleasant surprise for some students, giving them opportunities in a number of development areas.

“Our focus on helping first-year students understand the importance of their professional development early in law school sets them up for success in the gaining legal experience during school and after graduation,” says Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development Karen Vander Sanden.

All incoming students are assigned a counselor who has a J.D. to work with them throughout their Mitchell career. But that’s just the beginning. All first-year students attend resume and cover letter workshops, where they receive one-on-one advice and individual reviews of their documents.

Students also hear about summer work opportunities, different practice areas and non-traditional career paths during regular panels. Through networking events, students gain connections with people in the legal community, most of whom know exactly what being a 1L at William Mitchell is like, because they were there once one themselves. Those events range from brown bag lunches to on-campus seminars like the “Great Careers You Never Thought Of” series and panels on alternative careers in the law and judicial clerkships.

The networking offerings also include mock interviews with attorneys from organizations, corporations and law firms; job shadow opportunities; and apprenticeship programs.

“You cannot underestimate the importance of connections when conducting a job search,” says Vander Sanden. “The solid relationships that have been built between William Mitchell and law firms, government departments, and businesses afford students unique access to the local legal community.”

Of course there’s nothing like getting guidance from peers. Most first-year Mitchell students also take part in a mentor program that groups them with another 1L student and an upper class student, in addition to two recent alumni. Students are matched based on their legal interest area or a common professor and the groups meet once a month.

For Mitchell students, being a 1L is a little less daunting once they start taking advantage of all the resources available to them through the Career and Professional Development Office.