Office Description

The Office of Professional Development blog is your resource for up to the minute news, advice, and information relating to your career and professional development.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Latham Diversity Scholars Program

Latham & Watkins is once again pleased to announce the Latham Diversity Scholars Program, which will award a $10,000 non-renewable scholarship to each of six second-year law students. Factors considered in choosing the Latham Diversity Scholars will include a candidate’s:
  • Ability and commitment to contribute to the diversity objectives of global law firms;
  • Life experiences that have shaped values and that provide a unique perspective, including any obstacles or challenges faced in choosing or pursuing law as a profession;
  • Academic and/or leadership achievements; and
  • Desire to practice in a global law firm environment.
Students will be asked to submit an application form, personal statement, resume and official or unofficial law school transcript by September 26, 2014. Recipients will be announced in early 2015.

This scholarship is not contingent upon receiving or accepting an offer of employment at Latham. Rather, it is open to all law students in the hope that greater diversity among the attorneys at large law firms will benefit the entire profession. The Latham Diversity Scholars Program, among other outreach efforts by Latham’s Diversity Hiring Subcommittee, enhances Latham’s efforts to recruit and hire diverse summer clerks and attorneys.

Please feel free to share the attached overview and application with any individual law students who may be interested in applying. We also encourage you to forward this email to law school administrators overseeing your student life, financial aid, awards and scholarships and minority affairs departments. Applications can also be found here.

The Law Student Reporters Program

ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law's Law Student Action Group currently has a great opportunity for IP-focused law students.

The Law Student Reporters Program has served as a rewarding experience in which law students interact with and learn from IP practitioners from around the world at the ABA-IPL’s “IP Central” event held during the ABA’s 2014 Annual Meeting, which will take place August 8 - 9, 2014 in Boston, MA.  More information about the conference is available at the official website.  This year will mark the 4th anniversary of the Law Student Reporters Program, and we would like you to be a part of it!


The deadline to return your completed application for is Monday, June 9th, 2014.  Download the application.
  • Applicants must be available to attend and report on both days of the conference.
  • Reporters are expected to prepare a minimum of three pre-conference posts that provide a preview of their assigned events.
  • Reporters must have a Twitter account and Tumblr account. You can create them for free when you apply.
  • Post a professional biography to the LSAG Tumblr account.
  • Attend and tweet during assigned CLE programs and Non-CLE programs using the #IPLCentral and #ABAannual hashtags.
  • Attend assigned ABA-IPL committee meeting(s).
  • Author “CLE Recap” blog articles for LSAG’s blog (sample)

Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to

2014 Student Essay Contest - National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Invitation to participate in the annual National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Diversity Task Force (DTF) Student Essay Competition

For the seventh year of the essay competition, all students enrolled in the 2013-2014 academic year and in good academic standing at an accredited law school are eligible to receive prizes of cash, recognition, publication in The Champion, and more.

For a full description and contest rules, you and your students may visit NACDL's website at

The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2014. Through the essay competition, NACDL and DTF challenge students to improve their issue analysis and writing skills.

If you are not familiar with us, NACDL, located in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s preeminent bar association serving the criminal defense profession and is committed to serving a diverse and inclusive community of lawyers. With members in every state and from many nations, NACDL’s mission is to: Ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime; foster the integrity, independence and expertise of the criminal defense profession, promote the proper and fair administration of criminal justice. It provides opportunities for attorneys to connect, share information and learn from one another. These efforts build on NACDL's long-standing commitment to students that have included the initiation of student memberships and the Cathy Bennett Mock Trial Competition.

For more information about NACDL, please visit us on the web at, on, on Facebook or on

Geneva Vanderhorst, Esq.
Pursuing Excellence and Equality
Phone: (202) 494-8285

Glassdoor: New source for job opportunities

New resource for finding job opportunities and information about employers.

What is Glassdoor?

Glassdoor is the world's most transparent career community that is changing the way people find jobs, and companies recruit top talent.
Glassdoor holds a growing database of 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reportsinterview reviews and questions, office photos and more. Unlike other jobs sites, all of this information is entirely shared by those who know a company best — the employees. Add to that the latest jobs and the ability to see Inside Connections at companies via your Facebook network — no other community allows you to see which employers are hiring, what it's really like to work there according to employees, and who you may know at a particular company all in one place. Glassdoor is also available via its mobile app on iOS and Android platforms.

Learn More

More information about Glassdoor can be found on the Glassdoor BlogGlassdoor Talent Solutions Blog and by following the company on  Twitter Facebook Google+ and  LinkedIn.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

10 Things You Need To Know Summer 2014

Recently Mary Crane shared her "listing of the 10 things students need to know before they leave school or begin work." Due to the popularity of the post, Mary shares more!

1. If I receive more than one invitation to a specific meal—first thing Monday morning, several partners send emails inviting me to lunch—which invitation do I accept?
Respond to invitations in the order in which you receive them. So, if a junior partner asks you to lunch at 8:30 a.m., you should respond immediately indicating your availability. Please do not wait for a better offer. Should a practice group leader extend an invitation two hours later, you should respond, “I’ve already committed to meet with (junior partner’s name) over lunch today. Do you have availability later this week?”

2. Who pays for meals?
Whoever extends an invitation to a meal assumes the roll of host or hostess. He or she is responsible for the cost of his or her meal as well as the meals of all guests. So, when the head of finance invites you to lunch, you can assume she’ll pick up the tab.

When an intern or summer associate invites a senior member of the organization out to lunch—not a bad idea. It’s one way you can take charge of building your network—the summer hire assumes the role of host and thereby is responsible for the cost of the senior employee’s meal. If the senior employee insists on paying, the summer hire may acquiesce. In such a case, however, it’s incumbent upon the summer hire to send a handwritten thank-you note.

When a group of six summer interns decides to visit the local tacqueria, each person is responsible for 1/6th of the total bill. This remains true even when one guest consumes a single quesadilla and one margarita while the remainder of the table chows down on nachos, jumbo burritos and pitchers of beer.

3. At a restaurant, how many courses should I order?
Mirror your host or hostess. If he orders an appetizer and an entrée, you should do the same. If your host orders an entrée only, again you should do the same, even when you feel half-starved.

When the waitstaff requests your order before addressing the host or hostess, order an appetizer and an entrée. Should your host or hostess order a single course, you can always ask waitstaff to adjust your order.

4. What if I don’t like certain foods?
First, if you must avoid certain foods for religious or health reasons, by all means make members of the organization’s recruiting and human resources team as well as restaurant waitstaff aware of this fact. Assume everyone wishes to respect your religious preferences and know that no one wishes to   make you ill.

However, if you have a “quirky” food preference—once I encountered a summer associate who announced, “I don’t eat green foods”—keep these to yourself. Avoid looking like a particularly “needy” summer hire.

5. Do I say “thank you” every time the waitstaff approaches the table? And do I need to send a thank-you note to every person who takes me out to lunch? 
Treat restaurant waitstaff respectfully. There’s no requirement that you thank them each time they refill your water glass, but why wouldn’t you want to position yourself as an extremely polite young professional?

Following a meal to which you were invited by a more senior member of the organization, at a minimum, do send an email—not a text—thanking them for the meal and describing one thing about it that made it memorable. (“I really enjoyed learning more about the Mergers & Acquisitions practice group.” “I appreciated your description of long-term growth opportunities in finance.”)

If you are invited to a meal hosted at someone’s home, take a small hostess gift (a bottle of wine, a small flower arrangement). Following the event, send a handwritten thank-you note to the host's home address.

6. When do I use the social titles of “Mr.” and “Ms.”?
Among your US work colleagues, most will operate on a first name basis. (The same will not necessarily be true among international colleagues.) Immediately use a person’s first name when you meet someone who you believe to be the age of your parents or younger. With more senior members of an organization, organizational leaders or someone from another country, err on the side of formality and use a social title until you are invited to address that person by his or her first name.

As soon as someone asks you to use his or her first name, by all means do.
When you are asked to communicate with a client or customer, don’t hesitate to ask your supervisor how she would like you to address that person. And for heaven’s sake, when using a social title, make sure you know the gender of the recipient. No one should ever begin an email: Dear Mr. or Ms. Pat McNeill.

7. When I have an assignment to complete and a social event to attend, which takes priority?
Obviously, you need to produce quality work on time. Complete every assignment by its due date, and turn in assignments that are client ready, i.e., they have been carefully proofed and are free of stray markings.

Having said this, never underestimate the importance of the social events to which you will be invited. These are important opportunities for you to bond with other professionals in the organization. In part your long-term success will be dependent upon the relationships you build with these coworkers and colleagues.

A special word for introverts: I’m one of you. I acquire energy in solitude and know how overwhelming social events can be. Please do not use the excuse of an impending assignment due date to avoid events. Commit to attending everything to which you are invited with some identified goals in mind, for example, meet three new people. Pursue those goals, and then you can return to work.

8. Hose or no hose?
It depends. Observe the most successful women professionals in your organization and follow their lead. If they wear hosiery for courtroom appearances or major client presentations, you should do the same.

And gentlemen, with rare exception, you should not even contemplate entering a professional workplace without socks.

9. My Mom and/or Dad asked to review an assignment before I turned it in. Should I let them?
If you have a “helicopter parent”—one who continues to hover over you—place a ground stop on them immediately. Nothing will harm your credibility more than a parent who interjects himself or herself into your work, appears at your office, or communicates with your employer.

10. I have some special need. Do I disclose it or not?
Over the years, I’ve discovered that many new professionals have unique concerns. I encountered one summer associate who stuttered, and the first letter of her last name impeded her speech. I’ve met lots of new professionals who develop a flushed face or neck when called upon to speak publicly. I even encountered one young man who suffered from narcolepsy.

Here’s what I recommend:
First, understand that everyone has some unique challenge with which we must contend. Many of us consider “it” to be the worst thing in the world. However, in general, the rest of the world couldn’t care less. Put your fears to rest.

Second, take control of the situation. I encouraged the summer associate who stuttered to disclose this to her work colleagues by saying, “Certain consonants cause me to stutter. Please bear with me.” Similarly, I urged the gentleman with a sleep disorder to disclose, “I have a sleep disorder and am working to treat it with medication. I can assure you it won’t affect the quality of my work.”

Copyright © 2014 Mary Crane & Associates.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Agricultural & Food Law LL.M. - Assistantships, Jobs, Distance Opportunities

The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law is pleased to announce our expanded curriculum including emerging issues such as urban agriculture, food justice, and local/regional foods. Changes in the 2014 Farm Bill, including farm programs, crop insurance, beginning farmer provisions, enhanced support for organic agriculture, and the nutrition programs are incorporated throughout our curriculum.

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available to LL.M. Candidates who attend the Program face-to-face. These provide for a full tuition waiver plus a small stipend  As our alumni have learned, Northwest Arkansas is beautiful place to live and study.

For information on agricultural & food law employment opportunities, view the list of jobs that our recent alumni have landed. 

We are also excited to launch a distance degree option for our Program beginning Fall 2014. Full, part-time, and non-degree enrollment options are available.

The distance option offers full integration with our longstanding face-to-face program. 

  • Distance students will have the opportunity to participate in on-campus classes through synchronous videoconferencing. Classroom capture and online exercises will allow participation when video-conferencing is not convenient.
  • Innovative hybrid courses using a flipped model of instruction will also be available to both face-to-face students and online students.
  • Condensed course taught by recognized leaders in the ag & food community will continue to be available to all in an intensive conference-style format. 
For more information, the slideshow Why Study Agricultural & Food Law is also helpful, or contact us at or call (479) 575-3706.

Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Things Summer Hires Must Know

The following ten tips are from career expert, Mary Crane, who firmly believes that "while an individual’s IQ and GPA helps open doors, critically important people skills ultimately land the job, close the deal and help build teams that transform organizations." These ten things are sure to make you a success.

Thanks for sharing with us, Mary!

The most successful summer associates and interns enter the workforce prepared to succeed. Whether you are a career services professional or a recruiting and training professional, make sure every summer hire knows the following 10 things before he or she starts work:

1. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Targeted) goals for the summer.
Know the types of assignments you want to tackle and the people you wish to meet. Ask for assignments. Your request may or may not be granted, but you’re more likely to achieve your goals when others at work know of them and when you actively pursue them. Make notes about the work you complete, highlighting lessons learned. Eventually, these notes will help you expand your résumé. Keep a record of the people with whom you work. Consciously add them to the professional network that you should begin building this summer.

2. Do a Day One “test run.”
Summer hires have one opportunity to make a Day One first impression, and the impression you create must be a positive one. No one should arrive late on Day One. A day or two before you start work, travel to the worksite in normal commute traffic and determine the expected length of your commute. Add 15 minutes more for possible delays in traffic and at office security.

3. Understand appropriate attire.
Where an employer has specified “business conservative,” summer hires should wear suits. Where an employer has specified “business casual,” employees are still expected to dress for an office setting. Generally this means well-pressed and tailored slacks or skirts and conservative tops. It’s always better to be known as the summer hire who dresses exceedingly well than as the summer slob. And please remember, in most offices, the following are never appropriate: torn jeans and t-shirts, low-cut tops, sundresses, and flip-flops. 

4. Know how to introduce yourself and others.
Be prepared to introduce yourself to everyone you meet. State your name clearly and provide a descriptor. (“Hi, I’m Manuel Ortiz. I’m a summer associate currently working with Anita Morgan in Mergers & Acquisitions.”) Extend your right hand for a firm handshake. Make eye contact and smile.

If you have an unusual name, provide others with a clue that will aid their pronunciation. For example, Serena Vaux might say, “Hello, I’m Serena Vaux. It’s pronounced vaux just like faux in faux leather.”

When you introduce others, state the most important person’s name first. So, if you’re speaking to the CEO of the firm, and you wish to introduce the CEO to a fellow summer intern, say, “Ms. Zoff. I’d like you to meet one of my fellow summer finance interns. Aliyah, this is Ms. Zoff, the company CEO.” (Note the use of the social title “Ms.” Plan to use social titles when speaking to someone who is much older, occupies a leadership position within the organization or is from another country.) 

5. Create a professional persona.
As soon as you enter the workplace, stay completely focused on work. Remove your ear buds and stash away your personal smart phone. Greet others in the elevator and as you walk down the hallway. Always carry a pad of paper and a pen, allowing you to record assignments as they are given. Start each day by checking in with your supervisor to confirm whether overnight emergencies require you to reprioritize your work. Before you leave at night, confirm with your supervisor that all loose ends have been tied.

6. Demonstrate your time management skills.
You will quickly encounter a host of demands on your time including assignments, training opportunities, and a variety of business-social events. Please do not ask a supervisor or a recruiter to help you prioritize your tasks. Demonstrate that you can manage multiple demands professionally. At the same time, once you have taken on several assignments, please do not take on additional work if you will be unable to successfully complete an assignment in a timely manner. Be prepared to tell your supervisor, “I’m currently working on three projects. If I take on this new assignment, we’ll need to reprioritize my other work. What’s your top priority?”

7. Turn in client-ready assignments completed and on time.
That means no typos and no stray markings. Show interest in assigned projects. One law student, who did not receive an offer at the end of last summer, reports she’s certain the offer was withheld because she failed to undertake appropriate follow-up, for example, she never asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you with regards to the product liability research I turned in last week?”

8. Attend social events.
You’ll find social events play a critical role when it comes to building your professional network, so by all means, attend them. In addition to meeting key contacts, these events give you the opportunity to demonstrate your comfort level with the social side of business. At networking events, wear your nametag on the right side of your outfit. This will keep your name in another’s line of sight during your introduction and handshake. Before you head to a business meal, brush up on your table manners. Always treat wait staff respectfully. Limit your alcohol consumption.

9. Use your employer’s technology for work-related projects only.
Every email you draft on an office computer must be business-appropriate, i.e., use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Do not write or text anything using office-issued technology that you wouldn't want to see on the front page of the local newspaper or posted all over the Internet. Understand expectations regarding your accessibility via smart phone. If you’re expected to be accessible 24/7, when attending a meeting, keep your phone on and turned to vibrate. If 24/7 is not the expectation, when meeting with work colleagues or your supervisor, turn your smart phone off.

10. Ask for feedback . . . but not every day.
At the end of major projects, ask your supervisor for his or her feedback. Listen carefully. If you disagree with the feedback, feel free to explain your decisions and/or actions. However, please do not initiate an argument. When a supervisor suggests areas of improvement, tackle those areas immediately.

Copyright © 2014 Mary Crane & Associates.