Wednesday, November 19, 2014

          UC Hastings Launches New Attorneys in Residence Program (AiR)

          One-year, entry-level attorney positions are with private-sector employers who do not traditionally hire recent grads.

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          The Attorneys in Residence Program is designed to address the new economic realities facing law firms, in-house legal departments, and recent law school graduates.

          UC Hastings College of the Law, through its Office of Career & Professional Development, is introducing the Attorneys in Residence Program (AiR), which will offer one-year, full-time attorney positions for recent UC Hastings graduates with private-sector employers not normally hiring at entry level.

          Employer-paid compensation during the residency period will be set at a reduced level along the lines of a medical residency program or legal fellowship. The Career Office will provide tailored recruitment assistance and ongoing professional development assistance. At the end of the residency period, employers are not expected to make permanent offers, though they may do so at their discretion.

          “Some employer see this as a great way to test drive a new attorney, with no strings attached,” said Assistant Dean Sari Zimmerman, whose office is spearheading the effort.

          Zimmerman further noted, “employers may end up discovering high quality legal talent that they may not have considered through traditional hiring practices.” Regardless of the outcome at year end, the employer will have helped launched a brand new lawyer’s career. They either stay on with their host employer, or they enter the legal market as a more experienced attorney. “Resident attorneys will gain one year of full-time, substantive legal experience, making them much more marketable in the lateral market,” states Zimmerman.

          This new initiative is one of a number of proactive responses by UC Hastings to the transformed legal landscape. The program’s focus on private sector employers sets it apart from several other post-graduate initiatives at UC Hastings, including the Bridge Fellowship and Lawyers for America, that foster post-graduate opportunities with government and nonprofit employers.

          Acknowledging the substantial reduction in big firm entry-level hiring—one of the traditional training grounds for UC Hastings graduates—the Career Office seeks to open doors for new graduates to private sector opportunities with small to mid-sized law firms and in-house legal department, which typically don't hire entry-level attorneys. The Career Office emphasized that this is not a substitute for first-year attorney recruitment. “This is a unique program designed to provide new lawyers with private sector employment and training opportunities that do not currently exist,” said Mona Tashroudian '10, Acting Associate Director for Employer Relations.

          The Career Office invites interested law firms and legal departments to benefit from the abilities, eagerness and excitement of our new 2014 graduates. To explore further how the AiR program can work for your firm or business, contact Mona Tashroudian '10, Acting Associate Director for Employer Relations, at (415) 565-4819, tashroudianm@uchastings.edu.  

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