Earning your law degree while maintaining a full-time job, often with a family as part of the mix, speaks volumes about a part-time student’s ambition and abilities. No matter a student’s GPA or class rank, each one has a lot to offer.
Getting legal experience while in law school is important and will determine to some extent the opportunities available to you after graduation. Here are a few thoughts to consider:
- Top-ranked students who, after graduation, really want to work at larger or more structured firms, in Arkansas or out of state, must find avenues to clerk for those firms before graduation. That could mean arranging to take earned vacation time to work a six-week, split summer or negotiating evening and weekend work hours with an interested firm.
- Students who remain in the part-time division for the full four years will usually have three summers during which they can gain legal experience and exposure to firms (instead of the usual two summers for full-time students).
- Smaller employers are encouraged to list one-time research projects with Bowen’s Career Services Office. These assignments are often sent out via email since time is often an issue and email is the most expedient way to communicate them. Consider applying for them as a way to get legal experience without a semester-long commitment; they will help build your resume for future legal jobs.
- The Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association-Student Division allows student members to upload their resume for law clerk and short-term assignment opportunities with local attorney members.
- The Bowen Legal Clinic is actually a law firm within the law school. It offers an excellent educational experience while enabling students to work with real clients, the community and the court system under supervising attorneys. The clinical programs consist of three clinics, three clinical projects, and a Public Service Externship Program.
- Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, second edition, by Kimm Alayne Walton, J.D., dedicates Chapter 21 to students in the part-time division. Copies are available in Career Services for checkout.
Services for part-time students
- For some part-time students, attending day-time programming is not always feasible, so an attempt is made to record every career services-related workshop for viewing at your convenience.
- Some activities are scheduled in the evenings. Check Symplicity’s Calendar for planned events.
- CSO offers appointments that can be made thru Symplicity until 6 p.m. Tuesday thru Thursday evenings. Satellite CSO is available until 5:45 p.m. each first Monday under the first floor stairs. Other appointment times may be available if needed.
- A Saturday on-campus interviewing (OCI) opportunity is offered to employers each semester in addition to the weekday schedule. Students must register for OCIs through Symplicity. OCI registration can occur from any computer with Internet access. The Pre-selection Process allows you to drop your resume at any time during the drop period to employers for whom you qualify.