Major: International Studies
Minor: Political Science
Year of Graduation: 2017
Which career path(s) have you pursued since graduation from Fordham University?
Following graduation, I started my career as a legal recruiter for a premier international law firm in New York City. My role is primarily focused on law student recruiting, which includes my involvement in the Firm’s summer associate program, as well as its recruitment of first year law students in the fall. My interest in legal recruiting stems from my desire to go to law school and working in Big Law has given me a unique perspective on law schools and my subsequent legal career.
What do you like about the work you are doing now?
Legal recruiting is a niche market that not many people know about. For a recent college grad, it is a great opportunity to not only be exposed to life at a law firm, but also New York City in general. As part of the summer program, I am brainstorming, planning and attending events in New York. These events range from Broadway shows to cocktail receptions to axe throwing. I have had the opportunity to see New York in a way I never thought possible.
Another thing I enjoy about legal recruiting is the social aspect of the job. I am constantly talking to attorneys and law students. My interactions include traveling to law schools, attending offer and callback dinners, and hosting formal recruiting parties. One of my favorite parts of the job is getting to know so many different types of people and being a part of their journeys towards becoming successful lawyers.
As someone interested in going to law school, I have found legal recruiting to be a great educational opportunity. I have learned a lot about law schools, legal careers, and life at a corporate law firm. Anyone unsure about going to law school should definitely consider legal recruiting or other careers in a law firm to make sure their decision is an educated one.
How did your experience at Fordham and in particular the political science major help you prepare for your current career?
Professor Hume’s Judicial Politics and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties courses are two that come to mind when I consider the positive impact Political Science has had on my career. While I am not a lawyer, I am around lawyers and law students daily and it has been a helpful tool to understand what they are talking about. I also sit in on summer associate trainings and have found it to be beneficial to be able to comprehend the legal nuances that were discussed in Professor Hume’s classes. Although these aren’t necessary for my job, I do find them to be useful when interacting with others in the industry.
The value of a liberal arts degree is endless. While I do not necessarily use the information I learned at Fordham on a day to day basis, I have gained many skills that have led to my success as a legal recruiter. For example, giving presentations in my Political Science classes allowed me to fine tune my public speaking skills, something I am constantly relying on when interacting with partners, associates, and law students at my Firm on campus. Another example would be the ability to remain organized under pressure. The Fall recruiting season can definitely be stressful, but I believe my studies at Fordham prepared me to remain calm and organized. When considering what you can do with a Political Science degree, you do not have to focus on the information itself. You are constantly developing skills that will aid you in whatever you decide
to do post-grad.
Please describe any internships you held as an undergraduate student that were
helpful/relevant to your subsequent job search.
Since freshman year, I had a strong interest in the legal field. I worked as a secretary at a small law firm in my hometown of Rhode Island the summer after freshman year. During sophomore year, I was determined to stay in New York and gain exposure to another aspect of the law. I was able to get an internship at a large global law firm in their recruiting department. That is where I was first exposed to Big Law and legal recruiting. I stayed with them for two recruiting cycles and following graduation, I was able to secure my current position because of the experience I had gained.
What advice would you give for students who aspire to hold a job like yours?
Many entry level recruiting jobs do not require previous recruiting experience but they will look for professional experience. I would take advantage of any unpaid or paid internships, even if they are not in the legal field. Employers hiring recent graduates understand that your experience may be limited but anything to make yourself stand out is always helpful. Being able to come off as professional and hard-working can be enough for an employer to take a chance on you but it’s not something you should rely on. Try expanding your resume as early as possible. Although it’s not always easy, it will definitely pay off in the long run.
You have a great advantage already - you go to Fordham! The Fordham alumni connection is one of the strongest in the city, particularly in the legal field. There are many alumni (including myself!) who are happy to be a resource for you during your job search. Fordham alumni are doing a lot of interesting things throughout the City and all over the world. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them for advice! Networking is one of the most important parts of the post-graduate experience. You never know where a connection may lead.