South Texas College of Law Annotations (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 2, Ed. 1, October, 2007 Page: 6 of 8
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Career Planning for Evening Students
By Reginald Green
Assistant Dean of Career Resources
As an evening law student, you may feel
like there are not enough hours in the day to
do all you have to do. You are not only
involved with law school, but also with work,
family obligations, friendships, household
chores, civic activities... the list is endless.
Usually, something has to give, and for a lot
of part-time students, that "something" is often
legal career planning. Some students believe
that the decision to enroll in law school was
their career planning. They come to law school
to attend classes, take exams, and after four
years of a lot of hard work, earn their Juris
Doctor degrees. Others just feel that they don't
have the time or energy to deal with career
planning. Whatever the reason, it seems that
many of the evening students don't fully
appreciate the importance of advanced
planning in achieving a satisfying legal career.
Those that put little time into evaluating their
career objectives and designing their career
strategy are often disappointed by the types
of positions they are offered after graduation.
With some thought and planning on your part,
however, this need not happen to you.
The Career Resources Center is sensitive
to your schedule and time constraints and
provides certain services to accommodate you.
For example, the office and library have
extended hours of operation. In addition, most
of our programs are taped and available online,
in the event that you are unable to attend.
There are also programs that take place in the
evenings that are specifically designed to
address your concerns and interests.
Moreover, I am readily available to work with
your section to help you with your career
planning. I will be available for office as well
as phone appointments. Some of our services
are described in more detail below.
Honrs: The Career Resources Center is
open during the semester from 9:00 a.m. to
5:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. However, we are
very flexible with evening students and will
be happy to accommodate your schedule on
an individual basis. Evening students who are
unable to schedule an appointment during the
posted hours should contact the office for
individual scheduling accommodations. We
are also available via fax, phone and e-mail.
Counseling: Start thinking about your
future career objectives as early in your law
school program as possible. Counselors work
specifically with the evening division and can
help you examine your job search, design or
update a legal resume, draft a cover letter, and
prepare for interviews. Appointments can be
made around your schedule, including during
lunch hours, before class, after class and early
morning. We encourage you to take advantage
of telephone appointments as well as the fax
machine and e-mail whenever possible. If, for
example, you would like your advisor to
review a resume or cover letter, you can fax it
in advance and set up a phone appointment to
discuss it. You can arrange appointments by
calling (713) 646-1866. The fax number for
the office is (713) 646-1844. Call for the email
address of a counselor, if you would like to
work via email.
Programs: Workshops are presented
throughout the academic year to provide
information on the job search and career
career-related programs that will provide
students with an opportunity to listen to and
meet with practicing attorneys in various
specialties. Students find that not only do
these programs provide a great deal of
information about career possibilities, but they
also improve interviewing skills by making
students more informed interviewees. We try
to present workshops and programs during
lunch hours, late in the day or in the evening
for your convenience. If that is not possible,
most presentations will be available online if
you are not able to attend.
Job Listings: The Career Resources
Center receives over 800 job postings a year
for students and alumni. Full-time and part-
time opportunities are searchable by practice
area, job type, location and other criteria
through the Symplicity online system. Contact
the CRC to get a password for the system. The
Resource Library also maintains job listing
binders with any additional information sent
by the employer. The Office often receives
listings for full-time employment during the
academic year from employers seeking
evening students and we will post these
resources as well.
As an evening student, it is important to
consider some factors that will effect your
career planning and future marketability.
Although evening students come to law school
with different levels of experience and goals,
some generalizations can be made.
The first issue to think about regarding your
legal career planning is whether or not to seek
legal experience while in law school. For
many evening students, this is a very real
problem. Since the majority work full-time
and are established in responsible, well-paying
positions, either quitting or taking time off
from their present job is a difficult decision.
However, there is no doubt that legal
experience while in law school increases your
marketability. Legal experience demonstrates
to employers that you are committed to
pursuing a career as an attorney, that you have
legal skills gained from such employment, and
that you have references that can speak of your
ability as a potential attorney. Inexperienced
students will be competing with those that
have legal experience, and therefore, the job
search of the inexperienced graduate is more
However, you must weigh the costs of
getting legal experience for yourself.
Frequently, a legal position while in law
school will be lower paying, may exclude
fringe benefits (health insurance, life
insurance, etc.), and will possibly give you
little responsibility in comparison to your
present position. There are many graduates of
the evening division presently in rewarding
attorney positions who were unable to pursue
legal experience while in law school.
Obtaining a rewarding job can be done with
some long-range planning on your part.
If you decide not to seek legal experience
while a law student, consider other ways of
making yourself more marketable to ftiture
potential legal employers:
• Think about your present position. Is there
a possibility that you can do legally related
• Take courses that are interesting and
marketable. Do research on practice areas
to verify your interests and make good
and interview skills. There also will be other
■ When possible, participate in clinics.
• Join one of South Texas's law journals
and/or write publishable papers on
subjects that interest you (especially in
areas that you want to specialize later).
Participate in Moot Court & Mock Trial.
• Attend American Bar Association and
local bar association meetings.
■ Join law school and other legal
organizations that may be helpful in
developing further contacts.
Get to know your professors and ask them
• Consider doing special projects for
attorneys and professors that will give you
experience while the hours are flexible.
• Examine your skills and experience that
are transferable to the practice of law, even
if you are in a non-legal position. While
looking at your alternatives, consider non-
traditional positions that combine your
past experience and education with the
practice of law.
If you decide to seek legal experience in
conjunction with your education, remember
that this is a different job market than you have
been exposed to before. Review job search
strategies that have worked for you in the past.
Read the detailed descriptions of legal search
strategies in this booklet and in our other
resources. Legal positions will fall into one
of two categories: (1) full-time or part-time
law clerk positions during the academic year
and/or summer, or (2) summer associate
positions. Several different timing options are
available to you in gaining legal experience.
The first one is discussed above; that is, to
graduate without legal experience and still
obtain a rewarding position directly after
graduation. The others are outlined below:
.#2^ Graduate without legal experience. Take
" the next several months after graduation
to work as a law clerk before seeking a
permanent position. Many do this awaiting
bar exam results.
#3. After the first year of law school, obtain a
full-time law clerk position and keep it for
the next three years.
#4. After the second year, obtain a full-time
law cleric position and keep it for the next
#5. After the third year, obtain a full-time cleric
position and keep it for the next year.
#6. After the first year of law school, obtain a
full-time law clerk position and keep it for
the next three years but work the summers
after your 2nd and 3rd years for different
legal employers. Thus, you will graduate
having worked for three different legal
#7. After the second year, obtain a full-time
law clerk position and keep it for the next
two years but work the summer in between
your 3rd and 4th years for different
#8. After the third year, obtain a full-time clerk
position and keep it for the next year but
work the summer prior to your 4th year
for a different employer.
#9. Do not obtain full-time clerking positions
during academic years, but take two
sabbaticals from current job to clerk the
summers after your 2nd and 3rd years of
#10. Take a sabbatical from your current job
to clerk the summer after your 3rd year of
What route you decide; know that the
Career Resources staff is here to assist you.
Here’s what’s next.
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Lewis, Tamara E. South Texas College of Law Annotations (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 2, Ed. 1, October, 2007, newspaper, October 2007; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth144583/m1/6/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting South Texas College of Law.