UCHastings Instagram

Done with class for the week. #KillingIt #uchastings #1L #Section2
Instagram Photo Likes neceyh, lizziebing, ella_immanuela and 21 others like this.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

1L Women Get a Career Jumpstart at Ms. JD Speed Networking Event

“The sooner we see ourselves as part of a community committed to helping each other, the better off we'll be.” –Julia Graeser ’13.
Sample alt tag.

Smart career counselors will tell you law students need to network and learn about career options from their first day on campus.

But with the pressure of course work, most 1Ls put off building out their list of contacts. And some are intimidated, being a plebe, to ask for an informational interview or to shadow a practicing attorney.

For transfer students, or those who miss On-Campus Interviews (OCI) because they are studying abroad or have an externship, it can be tough to catch up.

Joy SiuEnter Women of UC Hastings, the brainchild of 2Ls Joy Siu and Emily Goldberg. They partnered with Ms. JD, a nonprofit designed to support and improve the experience of women law students and lawyers, to host a speed networking event for women at UC Hastings.

Co-sponsored by Jones Day, Latham & Watkins, and Sedgwick, the March 6 event featured 16 women lawyers and judges who shared their experiences of work-life balance, how they got their first jobs, and how best to steer a legal career toward a specific goal.

Building a Base

1Ls sat at round tables with a pair of professionals, and had a chance to pepper panelists with questions. Every seven minutes the students rotated, so Donna Ryuby the end of the evening they met all 16 professionals. Speed networking has become increasingly popular as a way to broaden professional connections by increasing exposure in a very short time frame.

"As a 1L, it can be challenging to envision how your strengths and interests in law school will best translate to a legal career,” said Lesley Hamilton, who attended the event. “Opportunities like the Women of UC Hastings event to candidly engage with inspiring legal professionals has been instrumental in honing my career goals while cultivating a network of support among women in the legal community."

Laurel BeelerPanelists included The Honorable Donna Ryu, a federal magistrate judge who was clinical professor of law at UC Hastings before being appointed to the bench. At a separate table was The Honorable Laurel Beeler, a federal magistrate judge who teaches Criminal Procedure at UC Hastings.

Alumnae Speakers

Some panelists were alumnae, such as Natassia Kwan ‘13, an associate in Sedgwick’s Commercial Practice and Complex Litigation groups; Julia Graeser '13, a post-graduate fellow at the Oakland City Attorney’s Office; Nicole Sugnet ‘06, an associate at Lieff Cabraser; and Jamie Dolkas ’08, Associate Director of Women’s Leadership at the Center for WorkLife Law.

Other panelists included Katie Colendich, HP’s Senior Counsel for Corporate, Securities and Mergers & Acquisitions; Roberta R. W. Kameda, Vice President, General Counsel and Assistant Secretary at Dodge & Cox, a mutual fund company; Barbara Gregoratos, a transactional real estate partner at Jones Day; and Molly Kaban, a partner at Hanson Bridgett.

Learning to Pivot

Several speakers made big shifts mid-career, and shared their secrets. Those include Geralyn Busnardo, who now works in international legal reform, including several positions for USAID, after working as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles.

And some, like Leeja Patel ’11, shared their experience in the job market now. Patel recently completed an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Verizon and DLA Piper, and previously worked at Asian Pacific Island Legal Outreach, helping survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Participants had a chance to have longer discussions over appetizers and wine after the structured networking drew to a close.

A Committed Community

“It was wonderful to see so many young women come out to not only meet attorneys and draw from their experiences but also to begin seeing their peers as a valuable part of their support system, too,” Graeser said. “As a student you're around roughly equal numbers of male and female students, and academic success is very merit-based and gender-blind. In the real world though, that's not the case.”

“The sooner we see ourselves as part of a community committed to helping each other, the better off we'll be. Joy Siu gave a great introductory speech that put that in context--our fate as women attorneys is bound up with one another.”

Go to News Archive

Share this Story

Share via Facebook
Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

Other Recent Stories/ RSS

Monday, September 22, 2014

Professor Charles Knapp: 50 Years of Teaching Contracts

The son of a well-respected local judge in Zanesville, Ohio, Knapp got his B.A. from Denison College and practiced law for four years after law school before eventually becoming an expert and elder statesman in his field.
Friday, September 19, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: Sept 19, 2014

UC Hastings community news September 11-19, 2014.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UC Hastings Presents Gordon Mathis Riley Environmental Law Lecture

Environmental leader William K. Reilly of TPG Capital will give the second annual lecture on Sept. 24 in Mary Kay Kane Hall.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Feldman on Tug of War between Supreme Court & Federal Circuit

Coming of Age for the Federal Circuit
Monday, September 15, 2014

Spotlight on 2L Sarah Barr

Barr handled “more cases, of greater complexity, than I could have expected of any law student,” says Deputy Attorney General Dorian C. Jung.
Go to News Archive