Career Center Evolves to Meet Student Needs in Changing Economy
Rebekah Hanley, Assistant Dean, Center for Career Planning and Professional Development
The University of Oregon School of Law’s Center for Career Planning and Professional Development is working hard to help graduates secure exciting professional opportunities despite the challenging job market. Efforts include two innovative new initiatives: (1) an overhaul of the Career Center’s structure and programs, and (2), a new course for all 1Ls designed to help them explore professional opportunities, design customized goals and achieve professional success.
Reorganized Career Center with New Positions. To meet the evolving demands of the job market, the Career Center has created two new positions. An employer outreach and alumni opportunity specialist will work from Oregon Law’s Portland campus, while in Eugene the center is adding a team member who is knowledgeable about the wide array of professional paths beyond the traditional practice of law that are available to graduates. These staffing enhancements will allow the center to further develop its subject matter expertise, expand its outreach efforts, and increase its availability to students and graduates.
New 1L Course. The first-year curriculum now includes a course on career exploration and professional planning and preparation. This class offers every student early exposure to professional opportunities, expectations and responsibilities, connections with experienced professionals and one-on-one attention from a career counselor focused on helping each student identify individualized goals and strategies. The course will serve as a foundation for the Career Center's ongoing work with each student and will help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in a highly competitive job market. A similar, intensive course is available to 2Ls and 3Ls during J-Term.
These and other aspects of the center’s strategic plan—made possible by the law school’s investment in the Career Center—are already making a difference. Employer feedback about students’ Fall On-Campus Recruiting Program applications and interview preparation has been overwhelmingly positive. And student engagement in self-directed job searching and networking is at a new high. The Career Center is proud of what Oregon Law students are accomplishing. With the Career Center’s reorganized team and innovative programs, it is poised to creatively and energetically support every student and graduate in the Oregon Law community.