Boston College Law School recently hosted the second annual “Learning and Networking with Practitioners Event” as part of its 1L Boot Camp Series (see video above). One of more than 100 annual Law School programs that help students secure employment, 1L Bootcamp is a yearlong series of interactive practice-area presentations combined with sessions focusing on job search strategies and tactics. A joint partnership between the Law Student Association (LSA) and BC Law’s Career Services Office, Bootcamp picks up where case law leaves off and helps prepare students for a successful career in today’s legal market.
Over the course of the two-hour event, 60 practitioners–most of them BC Law alumni–participated in eleven small practice area panels and networking reception. More than 140 first-year students attended the practitioner panels where they learned about areas such as criminal prosecution, intellectual property, and financial services. During the panel presentations, students had the opportunity to hear from alumni and other friends of BC Law in senior attorney positions both in the public and the private sector. After the panels ended, the alumni joined the students at a cocktail reception where the students put their newly learned networking skills into practice.
“Working with the LSA to revamp our 1L professional development series has been an incredible opportunity,” said Heather Hayes, Assistant Dean of Career Services. “I don’t know of any other professionalism program that includes this kind of true partnership between the school and its student leaders. Our students recognize how important this is—and our colleagues at other schools marvel at our attendance numbers because they are off the charts for a non-mandatory series. The turnout by the alumni for this event and their response to the program was fantastic. Our alums are incredibly passionate about their experience at the school and they genuinely want to do all they can to help the students in their careers.”
The 1L Boot Camp is a monthly skill-building and practice area exposure series of interactive programs to help students understand why they need to network and how to do it effectively, learn what works and what doesn’t on resumes with a “tell all” panel of recruiters, and gain a sense of practices that peak their interest by hearing 40+ 3Ls describe their summer work experiences. The early exposure to practice areas is intended to help 1Ls make the most of their time when the practitioners came to campus in January. Each event has a different hook to make it more fun and appealing – including a ‘Family Feud’ match and the acting out of an “all that can go wrong” networking skit.