J.D.

Supporting Your Career

Don’t just find a job. Make a choice that inspires you.

Career Planning Center (CPC) counselors will work with you and provide the advice, support, resources, guidance, and tools you need to help

  • determine your career path
  • explore opportunities
  • connect with employers
  • showcase your best professional self in the job search
Explore the headings to learn more about how we can support you in your career development.

Career Counseling: Finding Your Passion

The single most important function of our office is counseling. All our career counselors are former practicing attorneys who were involved in recruiting at their prior employers or were recruiters in the legal area at their previous employers. To advance our counseling practice we have also developed the following initiatives:

  • Point Counselor System
    Each career counselor is the Point Counselor to two first-year sections. Throughout law school, your point counselor proactively reaches out to you to alert you to programming or resources of interest, to check in on your job search progress, and to invite you to one-on-one counseling sessions. Your point counselor follows you throughout your law school career until you obtain your first permanent post-graduate position whether your goal is for that to be in the legal field or other area utilizing your law degree.

  • Career Counseling Sessions
    Interactive one-on-one counseling sessions engage you in the job search process through self-assessment, identifying your career path and options, critique of application materials, job search advice, navigating hiring processes and career resources, and developing your networking persona or approach.

    Small group counseling sessions allow you to benefit from your peers questions, experiences, and backgrounds. Some small group counseling session topics include Summer Legal Job Search, Strategy Sessions for Small and Midsize Law Firm Job Searches, and Networking for Success.

  • Preparing You for an Interview
    Performing well in an interview is important, and we are here to help.
  1. Mock Interviews
    J.D. students and alumni are welcome year round for in-person practice interviews with our career counselors. We also coordinate a large scale Mock Interview Program each July welcoming more than 50 attorneys from employers who participate in our Fall On-Campus Interview Program.

  2. Interview Prep Session
    This is a topic-based preparatory session, in-person or by phone, that includes proper interviewing etiquette, materials to bring to the interview, highlighting your strengths and researching prospective employers.
  • Drop-In Hour Service
    Drop-ins answer your brief career-related questions (10-15 minutes). Each week we have 20 drop-in hours for you to avail yourself of either in person or by phone.

Evening Division Students: Managing it All

As an Evening Division student, you have a unique set of circumstances and are managing a delicate balance of important commitments, from work to law school to family. We have developed the following Evening Division Platform to serve you:

  • Evening Division Point Counselor
    During law school, your point counselor proactively reaches out to you to alert you to programming or resources of interest, to check in on your job search progress, and to encourage you to come in for one-on-one counseling sessions.

  • Career Counseling Sessions
    Interactive one-on-one counseling sessions engage you in the job search process: self-assessment, identifying your career path and options, critique of application materials, job search advice, navigating hiring processes and career resources, and developing your networking persona or approach.

    Small group counseling sessions allow you to benefit from your Evening Division peers questions, experiences, and backgrounds. Some small group counseling session topics include Post-Graduate Legal Job Search, Strategy Sessions for Small and Midsize Law Firm Job Searches, and Networking for Success.

    To accommodate Evening Division students, as well as alumni, all sessions can be done by phone. We also have Evening Division Student Only Counseling slots.

  • Evening Student Focused Career Development Resources
    We have developed specific proprietary career resources focused on the unique needs of our Evening Division students: (i) Career Planning for the Evening Division Students; (ii) Career Planning for the Second Career Student; and (iii) CPC Monthly Evening Student E-Newsletters.

  • Programming
    Tailored programming for Evening Division students:
  1. Evening Student Pizza Nights
    Each year the Office of Student Affairs hosts monthly Evening Division Student Pizza Nights. The CPC Evening Division Point Counselor attends all eight pizza nights throughout the year to meet informally with students and answer questions. In addition, we host the programming during two of the Pizza Night Sessions:

    - Getting Legal Experience as an Evening Division Student Program (fall semester)
    This panel of alumni and current law students provides concrete and direct advice on how you can gain legal experience through engaging in law-related activities both inside and outside the law school.

    - Being an Effective Evening Division Student Program (spring semester)
    This panel of alumni and current students provides advice and guidance on balancing work, family and school, as well as navigating the job search process.

  2. Skills-Based Programming
    Recognizing that you likely have had a full-time job or prior/current career in another field and are looking to leverage your current position or that prior experience, we have tailored programs with a second career focus:
  3. - Resume Workshop
    - Cover Letter Workshop
    - Interviewing Skills

Your 1L Experience: Getting Started

Our office, in conjunction with the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC), has developed a robust Professional Development Platform to guide you from your first-year through the first job and beyond. Working within the NALP Guidelines, we begin to work with you on October 15 of your first year.

The Professional Development Platform involves an integrated approach:

  • The Point-Counselor System
    Each career counselor is the Point Counselor to two first-year sections. Throughout law school, your point counselor proactively reaches out to you to alert you to programming or resources of interest, to check in on your job search progress, and to invite you to one-on-one counseling sessions. Your point counselor follows you throughout your law school career until you obtain your first permanent post-graduate position whether your goal is for that to be in the legal field or other area utilizing your law degree.

  • Programming: Career Exploration and Skills-Based Programs
    Working alongside PIRC, we have created a rich series of programming for you, including introductory programs and orientations, career exploration programs, and skills-based programs. The 1L curriculum kicks off with Getting Started: An Introduction to the Career Planning Center and the Summer Legal Job Search, followed by the Roadmap to Summer Opportunities Series, which focuses on different sectors of the legal market for summer jobs, as well as skills-based programs that focus on application materials and the legal interview. View a full listing of programs offered to the first-year J.D. class.

  • Counseling: The Small Group Summer Legal Job Search Strategy Sessions
    Recognizing that students often enjoy working in groups, we created these interactive and dynamic Small Group Sessions (limited to five students) that offer direct advice and guidance on the summer job search. Each session explores the paths available to gain practical legal experience to complement your legal studies, including study abroad programs, research assistantships, fellowships, internships, and other opportunities.

  • The Mock Interview Program
    Each year, we coordinate a formal Mock Interview Program designed to help prepare you for the Fall On-Campus Interview Program (Fall OCI). Held during two evenings in July, we welcome more than 50 alumni who work at employers participating in our Fall OCI Program. This program not only provides you with a practice interview and invaluable feedback from an attorney but also enables you to make connections with alumni.

  • The Professional Development Handbook
    At our Getting Started Program, held in October in accordance with the NALP Guidelines, you receive the CPC/PIRC Professional Development Handbook, a section-based career development resource. It also houses sections for second-career students and Evening Division students.

    Take a moment to look at the Table of Contents for this unique proprietary resource!

Career Programming: Exploring Possibilities

Each year, we offer more than 50 career development programs for J.D. students and alumni, focusing on the following three key areas:

  • Skills-Based Programs
    Although much of our skills-based programming falls within the First-Year Career Development Programming, after your first year we continue to focus on helping you hone your skills. We provide you with concrete tactics to enhance your performance during all stages of the job search, from identifying legal employers to drafting compelling application materials and exceling at the interview stage.

  • Career Exploration
    What can you do with your law degree? What type of law practice will excite you? In which legal field might you excel? Explore all these different and exciting paths while meeting and interacting with alumni-attorneys from government agencies, public interest organizations, law firms both large and small, and corporations. Our faculty members moderate these lively discussions among our alumni panelists as they share their career journey, provide unique insights on various paths and beneficial candidate attributes.

  • Career Success/Professionalism
    How do you put your best foot forward? What do legal employers expect of you? Our programs teach you how to showcase your best professional self. Some topics include: standing out as a summer associate, leveraging the power of LinkedIn, and the leadership of women in law.

Throughout the year we welcome more than 200 alumni at our programs, providing you with the opportunity to interact with and learn from the Fordham Law network. We specifically dedicate time at the end of each program for a Meet & Greet with the panelists. Each year we partner with student organizations to put forth new and dynamic programming of interest to our students.

Career Resources: Developing the Tools

We have created a wealth of proprietary career-related guides and quick tip sheets to help you navigate your career journey. These resources provide advice and guidance on a host of career-related topics from refining application materials to interviewing and networking to career exploration.

As a first-year student, we provide you with your primary career development resource, the CPC/PIRC Professional Development Handbook (see Table of Contents), at the Getting Started program.

Take a moment to view a listing of our other guides and resources on the CPC website under the CPC Job Search Guides and Materials heading.

CPC Specialty Career Development Guides include

  • Government Job Search
  • International Legal Job Search
  • Alternative Legal Careers

Quick Tip Sheets and Mini Guides include

  • Primer on the Compliance Field and Opportunities
  • Taking Prosecutor & Public Defender Interview Preparation to the Next Level
  • Networking for Success: Leveraging the Power of LinkedIn
  • How to Have a Successful Summer Experience
  • How to Have a Successful On-Campus Interview

Recruitment Programs: Connecting with Employers

As a J.D. student at Fordham Law School, you will be able to take advantage of a number of programs our office puts together to make it easier for you to learn about employers, meet with their representatives, find out about their hiring needs, and apply for available positions. Some are available to you even after graduation, as part of the comprehensive career planning services we provide to Fordham Law J.D. alumni in perpetuity.

  • Employer Receptions
    Each January, we host a series of on-campus receptions attended by nearly 50 employers that participate in our Fall On-Campus Recruiting Program. Attendees range from law firms and corporations to government agencies and public interest organizations. As a first-year J.D. student, you are invited to attend these receptions, where you will be able to meet and mingle with attorneys and recruiting personnel, many of whom are Fordham Law alumni, in an informal setting.

  • On-Campus Recruiting
    We want your job search to be as smooth and efficient as we can make it. Toward that end, our recruitment program is year-round. We welcome to our campus a wide variety of employers: law firms, corporations, financial institutions, government agencies (including district attorneys' offices), and public interest/not-for-profit organizations interested in our students because of their reputation for excellence.

    Check out this list of employers that interviewed on campus during the past academic year.

  • Career Fairs
    If you are one of the many Fordham students interested in a career in public service or in the public interest, you have the ability to take advantage of the two largest public service career fairs in the country: the Equal Justice Works Career Fair (in Washington, D.C.) and the Public Interest Legal Career Fair (in New York City). The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) coordinates Fordham Law s participation in these two career fairs.

  • Online Job Bank
    While you are a student, access to our online job bank allows you to search for and apply to listings for summer and term-time internships, and full-time employment post-graduation. If you are a student in our Evening Division, you will even be able to search for law-related full-time day jobs. As an alumnus, you will be able to search for and apply to lateral opportunities. The employers who post their hiring needs in our Job Bank include law firms of all sizes, government agencies, corporate legal departments, public interest organizations, and even courts. We are constantly engaged in employer outreach to expand our Job Bank.

Judicial Clerkships: Becoming a Clerk

Interested in learning the practice of law from behind the bench? We are here to assist your pursuit of a judicial clerkship.

Working collaboratively with the faculty and the Office of the Dean, we provide you with an array of support and guidance. We assist with clerkship counseling, resume and cover letter critique and communicate with you on all aspects of the clerkship process from application timing to processes to substantive materials to interviewing while also developing clerkship-related programming and guides/resources.

  • Faculty Support
    Dedicated and knowledgeable faculty oversee the Clerkship Platform while also providing you invaluable support through

    a.one-on-one strategic clerkship counseling sessions
    b.mock interview support
    c.guidance before a clerkship interview

    Moreover, the faculty maintains regular and close contact with judges at the federal and state levels developing and strengthening our relationships and your potential clerkship opportunities. In the five-year period between 2010-2015, in any given term, Fordham Law has had between 40 and 60 judicial clerks at both the federal and state levels. During this time, federal courts represented have included the Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth and Federal circuits, the Southern and Eastern districts of New York, as well as many other federal district courts. State court clerkships during this time have primarily included New York and New Jersey. Over the last several years, the clerkship hiring landscape has seen two significant changes:
  1. Clerkship applicants secure their clerkship for a term one or two years out from graduation.
  2. An increase in the number of clerkships obtained by alumni following a few years of practice.
  • Our Key Judicial Clerkship Guides
    We constantly monitor trends within the courts and engage in direct outreach to provide clerkship applicants vital and current information regarding clerkship opportunities, application processes, and deadlines. We take great care in our clerkship-related handbooks and guides, which are updated annually and include The Judicial Clerkship Handbook and State Court Clerkships in the Tri-State Area.

  • Key Judicial Clerkship Resources
    We have also developed unique and proprietary resources, leveraging the Fordham Law School alumni network, to assist aspiring clerks.
  1. Database of Fordham Law alumni judges at the federal and state court levels
  2. Database of Fordham alumni who are or were clerks on state and federal courts over the past 10 years
  3. The FLS Clerkship Program Interview Feedback Binder
  • Judicial Clerkship Programming
    We host programs designed not only to educate and assist you with the clerkship process but also to enable you to network with judges, faculty, and current/former clerks.
  1. Judicial Clerkship Informational Session
  2. Spotlight on: State Court Clerkships
  3. Acing Your Interview: Federal and State Court Clerkships
  4. The A to Z of Judicial Clerkships with Debra Strauss
  5. What to Do Now: Pursuing State Court Clerkships

Fordham Law Alumni: Engaging the Vast Network

The Fordham Law School alumni network is known for being exceptionally strong, active, and supportive and they are here to help you!

Consisting of more than 17,000 individuals, our alumni network represents an extraordinary and diverse group of professionals throughout the world. Through their efforts to advance Fordham Law s mission and reputation, our alumni engage and collaborate with fellow alumni, students, and the wider Fordham Law community. Spotlighted alumni resources and initiatives include

  • Fordham Law Alumni Association (FLAA)
    The FLAA is one of the largest law school alumni associations in the country as well as an excellent resource for students and graduates alike. The FLAA serves to deepen the already strong bond between Fordham Law and its alumni and emphasizes the importance of engaging students with the alumni network from day one.

  • FLAA 1L Advising Program
    Launched in 2013 by the alumni association, the FLAA 1L Advising Program pairs each first-year section with a diverse group of alumni advisors that span different career paths, seniority levels, background, and experiences. The advisors serve as a resource for students on a variety of topics from mastering the first year to strategies for interviewing. Advisors will meet with their sections as a whole a couple of times a year but are also available for students to reach out to on an individual basis.

  • Worldwide Alumni Chapters
    Fordham Law alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states as well as 73 countries worldwide. The FLAA currently has 23 national and international chapters. These provide great connections with Fordham Law alumni around the globe.

  • Networking Affinity Groups
    The FLAA has formed a series of affinity groups that provide forums for alumni to gather socially and network with one another based on shared interests, practice areas, and backgrounds. Each of these specific affinity groups regularly host networking receptions, panel discussions, and committee meetings.

  • Small to Midsize Firm Leaders Dean's Advisory Council
    Consisting of alumni in leadership roles at small to midsize firms, this council offers expertise and guidance as Fordham Law prepares students to excel in small-to-midsize firm settings. The council was formed as part of Fordham Law s ongoing initiative to offer more career-centered resources to its graduating students.

From participating in career development programming for students and alumni, to acting as mock interviewers and providing invaluable mentoring through informational interviews and other means, Fordham Law alumni stand ready to assist you as you enter and advance throughout your professional career. We encourage you to visit the Office of Alumni Relations webpage for more information.

Public Service Focus: Effecting Change

Fordham Law School’s motto “In the service of others” is reflected in all aspects of the Law School experience. Whether you want to pursue a career path in public service at a nonprofit, NGO, or government agency—or you simply want to make a difference by doing pro bono work—Fordham offers an abundance of support, from the counselors in the CPC to the Public Interest Resource Center and the Faculty Fellowship Committee. Your journey begins with one-on-one counseling with us or the counselors in PIRC. You can then continue to explore paths and navigate the public service job search through our resources.

Our programming, in conjunction with PIRC’s as well as the Law School’s centers and institutes, provides you with the opportunity to meet attorneys in public service, often alumni.

Are you thinking about a public service fellowship? In collaboration with PIRC, a committee of faculty members will mentor you through the process.

Not sure you want to pursue a career path in public service but want to effect change? Fordham Law has a vast array of options for you to explore and in which you can get involved during your time here.

The PIRC-sponsored student groups, the Stein Center for Law and Ethics, the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, and the Feerick Center for Social Justice represent just a few of the myriad outlets for Fordham lawyers to make a difference.