The mission of the Center for Professional Development (CPD) is to prepare students for the legal profession. Our professional staff provides one-on-one counseling, programming, and professional development services to students.
At the CPD, we like to begin with the end in mind. Perhaps you want to go into private practice and work in a law firm setting. Maybe you want to work as a community organizer, provide direct representation or work as a public servant. Regardless of your path, we have a plan for you, but you have to help us help you. If you are someone who wants to be an active participant in his/her own professional development, makes good use of resources, and is determined to succeed, then you are already on the right path. Based on your career aspirations the CPD will help you develop a professional plan that suggests work experiences, volunteer efforts, and other professional development activities so that you are a competitive candidate for your chosen career.
Beginning in the spring of each student’s first year, the CPD conducts an initial meeting at which the student’s professional plan is developed. Each year thereafter students meet with the CPD to update the plan based upon summer work experiences, class curriculum, and evolving professional goals. This purposeful approach is designed to lead informed career choices consistent with each student’s personal values and objectives.
In addition to scheduled annual meetings, the CPD meets with students on a daily basis and has an “open door” policy. Students regularly receive assistance with resumes and cover letters, interview preparation, and general job search strategy. The CPD also conducts numerous programs throughout the year highlighting practice areas, networking skills, and self-assessment activities. Annually, the CPD also manages opportunities for students to gain practical experience, including the legal externship program, the summer public interest fellowship program, and the volunteer transcript recognition program.