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, September 9, 2014

16th Annual Law Student Closing Argument Competition

The Landskroner Foundation for Children's
16th Annual Law Student Closing Argument Competition

Open to 2nd and 3rd Year law students for Ohio law schools who will give a 15 minute closing argument in a civil case for the plaintiff, a catastrophically injured child. 

Argument will be on damages only.

Fact Pattern, exhibits and demonstrative evidence will be furnished.

National and local team of judges, including experience trial lawyers with over 20 years experience, media personalities, judicial officials, and child advocates.

The top three students will receive cash scholarship awards of $750 for 1st place, $500 for second place and $200 for third place. All participants are invited to attend a reception to follow at the law offices to Landskroner, Grieco, Merriman, LLC located in Cleveland's warehouse district.

Although all participants are invited to attend the entire evening of competition, it is only necessary to be present 30 minutes in advance of the pre-assigned time for argument.

To Apply please contact:
Landskroner, Grieco, Merriman, LLC @ (216) 522-9000
Ask for Anathea or email
Deadline for applications is September 22, 2014

Competition limited to 12 contestants --Apply today!

Sponsored By: The Landskroner Foundation for Children and the Landskroner, Grieco, Merriman Law Firm

Anathea Brynak
Landskroner Grieco Merriman
The Landskroner Foundation for Children
1360 W 9th Street,Suite 200
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Fax 216-522-9007

National Academy of Social Insurance - 1st Annual Writing Competition

The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), with its sponsoring partner, The Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging, is pleased to announce competition for its first annual law student writing award for an outstanding paper on social insurance

NASI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to furthering knowledge and understanding of social insurance. NASI’s scope covers social insurance such as Social Security, Medicare, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, related public assistance, and private employee benefits. The Outstanding Law Student Paper Award sponsored by the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging is designed to recognize and promote outstanding research and analysis by law students addressing the impact of the law on social insurance policy questions, especially those that address aging. 

The First Annual Law Student Writing Award will be given to the best paper or article in the social insurance field completed between January 1, 2013, and September 14, 2014.  The award will be presented at NASI’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., in January 28-29, 2015.  The winner will receive a $2,500 honorarium and the opportunity to participate in the conference with expenses paid.

Relevant topics might include analysis of legal and policy issues relating any social insurance program. These issues include but are not limited to long-term care, Social Security, Social Security Disability, health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, related public assistance and private employee benefits. Nominations of comparative and interdisciplinary work relating to social insurance protections and policies are encouraged.

Any substantial written work addressing topics relevant to the legal and policy issues creating, modifying, planning, and implementing social insurance programs are eligible for nomination. Papers prepared by any person(s) studying for a J.D. degree at an ABA-accredited law school. Eligible papers may not exceed 10,000 words in length, plus appropriate footnotes. Papers should observe the style specifications of and should be presented in double-spaced format on letter-size pages. All papers or articles completed before January 1, 2013 and September 14, 2014 will be considered.

Nominations for the award can be made by a supervisor of the law student’s research paper, by an active member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, or any full-time faculty member at an ABA-accredited law school. Complete applications must include: 1) Nominator Form, 2) Nominator Letter, 3) Nominee Form, 4) Copy of the paper emailed to:, or mailed to National Academy of Social Insurance, Attention: Devin Cowens, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036. Application forms are available by visiting the Law Student Paper Award page at, or by calling NASI at (202) 452-8097.

A committee comprised of members of NASI who teach at ABA-accredited law schools will assess each nominated paper. The committee may consult with outside scholars when expertise not represented on the committee is required for appropriate consideration of a nominated paper. The criteria for assessing each paper: originality of the contribution to the body of knowledge on the law relating to social insurance, policy relevance of the findings, quality of the legal analysis, and clarity and felicity of the exposition. In cases of jointly-authored components, the related contribution of the co-authors must be explained fully.

RenĂ©e Landers, Suffolk Law School, Chair
Richard Kaplan, University of Illinois Law School
Lance Liebman, Columbia Law School
Sallyanne Payton, University of Michigan
Emily Spieler, Northeastern Law School
Edward Spurgeon (Committee Adviser), Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging

How to Get Called for an Interview at a Law Firm

Troy Doucet, a 2010 Capital University Law School graduate, is the principal of Doucet & Associates Co., L.P.A. Troy hires students and lawyers for various roles within his firm. As an OPDBlog guest blogger, he offers the following advice and guidance:

Associate candidates are usually asked to submit a resume, cover letter, transcript, and writing sample in response to one of my firm’s posted attorney positions.  The resume and cover letter are the most important of the four when it comes to getting an interview.  The transcript allows me to see where your interests lie during the interview.  Finally, the writing sample is something that I usually review after the interview to seal the deal, or indicate the search needs to continue.

These four documents are submitted via email to my firm, and I the first thing I open is the resume or cover letter.  I do not have a particular preference for one or the other, but rather open whichever catches my eye first, and I almost always look at both.  For this reason, pay close attention to these two documents, as they will dictate whether you get a call for an interview. 

Your resume mainly demonstrates your competence, and your cover letter demonstrates your interest.  Your resume is the tool that shows an employer whether you will be able to understand and work with the law, and especially the area of the law practiced by your employer.  Since we litigate civil consumer matters, it will show me whether you have had experience in litigation, consumer protection, and the extent of that experience.  Even if you have not had this kind of experience, your resume is where you concisely convey your qualifications for being hired for the job.

When I review a resume, the first area that I look for is your education.  I am looking for a few things, and grade point average or class ranking in law school is one of them, as well as specific class honors.  While I am not going to disregard a resume that does not state GPA or rank (stating a great 3L GPA next to your cumulative GPA is completely acceptable), I will assume your grades were not as strong as you would have liked.  I may look at your transcript if it is not listed on your resume.  I will then look to other information in your resume or cover letter to determine whether to bring you in for an interview.  While I will talk about a cover letter shortly, you can overcome challenging grades with relevant experience and an excellent cover letter that is specifically tailored to my firm.  You can also mitigate against not listing a GPA if you did well during your undergraduate studies and say so on your resume.  However, the total educational part of your resume remains very important.

Because the educational part of your resume is important, I suggest you place it at the top of your resume.  The only thing above it should be any bar admissions, so I understand immediately whether I can hire you for an associate position (versus law clerk until you are licensed).  Under your school name, you should indicate any graduating honors you received, GPA and rank (if they are strong), and then any awards for the highest grade in a class.  Call the award “Highest Grade” if you are not local, and then state the course name, rather than using a long title that requires me to hunt down the actual class.  For example, I do not recommend calling your award the, “Deans Special Certificate for the Most Outstanding Grade of the Semester in this Course Award.”  Even if that is what you school calls it, just write, “Highest Grade” next to the course name so I can see what course you obtained that highest grade in. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Writing Competition in Medical-Legal Interprofessional Collaboration

Mollie and Paul Hill Student Writing Competition
in Medical-Legal Interprofessional Collaboration

Beginning in 2014, the Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, based in both the FSU College of Medicine and the FSU College of Law, will present awards for the outstanding original papers submitted by a law student and a medical student or medical resident in response to a question pertaining to collaboration between the medical and legal professions. This writing competition is made possible by a generous gift from Mollie and Paul Hill.

Outstanding Paper by a Law Student -- $250
Outstanding Paper by a Medical Student or Medical Resident -- $250

2014 Contest Question

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) enacted into law in 2010 attempts to improve the access of Americans to improved quality health care, while controlling the nation’s escalating health care expenditures. As the ACA gets further implemented in 2014, discuss opportunities and challenges this law presents for constructive, innovative collaboration between the legal and medical professions in contributing to the quest for a more affordable and accessible high quality health care system. 

Deadline and Submission
1. All papers must be submitted in the proper format by midnight (EST) on January 2, 2014.
2. Papers must be submitted electronically to 
3. Direct questions to: Mollie and Paul Hill Student Writing Competition, Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, 1115 W. Call Street, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4300
Phone: 850-645-9473 
4. Winners will be announced on or before April 1, 2014.

Applicant and Paper Criteria
1. All authors must be enrolled, at the time of paper submission, in an accredited law school or medical school (M.D. or D.O.) or participating in an accredited medical residency program in the United States.
2. No paper that has been previously published in any form will be considered; however, papers written for course credit are allowed as long as they have not been published. An applicant may submit a paper for publication consideration after the winner of this writing competition has been announced. 
3. Each submitted paper must be the original work of a single author.

National Essay Contest

The Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP) is now accepting entries for its Seventh Annual Essay Contest.

The CAP Essay Contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation and its implications for citizens across the United States.

The topic for this year’s contest is: “As states contemplate the legalization of prohibited products, like marijuana, what are some lessons policymakers and regulators can learn from the movement to end alcohol Prohibition in the 1930s?”

DEADLINE:  The deadline for entries is November 17, 2014.  Winners will be announced in early 2015.

AWARDS:  Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 respectively.

WHO CAN ENTER:  The contest is open to all persons who are over the age of 18 as of November 2014. Students, academics, practicing attorneys, policymakers and members of the general public are encouraged to submit essays.

HOW TO ENTER:  Essays may be emailed to or mailed as a hard copy to: Center for Alcohol Policy; Attn: Essay Contest; 1101 King St., Suite 600-A; Alexandria, VA 22314. Essays must be accompanied by an entry form.

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