Allard Law’s Career Services Office on Empowering Students & Staying Connected with Alumni
Jan 7, 2022
Allard Law students’ first articling position is typically their first law job—and for some, their very first office job. We spoke with Director of Allard Law’s Career Services Office (CSO) Jennifer Lau and former Director Jayne Rossworn about how the CSO supports students and how alumni can engage with the office.
How have job prospects been recently for students and graduates looking to land their first law job?
JENN: The job market is great. Our JD Class of 2020 both sought and secured a record high number of articling positions, and the JD Class of 2021 is on track to match or exceed that. We’re also seeing a higher volume of articling job postings now than pre-pandemic—which was already a very strong job market. Our office supports students in all aspects of their law-related job search, for all types of employers.
What support were students and graduates turning to your office for when they began working remotely due to COVID?
JAYNE: Most students are very tech savvy, so in that respect it wasn’t really an issue. We coached students about the importance of showing flexibility and adaptability, and about how to stay connected with supervisors and develop strong relationships with their new colleagues in a virtual setting.
What other types of advice are students looking to the CSO for?
JENN: Students have questions about how candid to be about their identities, goals, strengths and values when applying for jobs. This generation of students wants to bring their whole, authentic self to work—they don’t want to hide parts of their identity in order to get a job. It’s really refreshing, as is the trend of employers changing their recruitment strategies to address unconscious bias and recruit more diverse candidates.
What are some recent developments at the CSO that you’re excited about?
JAYNE: We recently launched VMock, custom software that uses machine learning and predictive analytics to review students’ resumes and suggest improvements based on our specific law resume standards. While the majority of students still meet one on one with a CSO advisor for a resume review, VMock has allowed us to better leverage our team of career advisors, who are all experienced lawyers.
The virtual environment has also led to innovation. For example, our annual Vancouver legal employer office tours went virtual in 2020 and 2021. The silver lining was that employers outside of Vancouver could participate, so students were exposed to employment possibilities they might not have thought of before.
How can new grads continue to engage with the CSO?
JENN: Recent alumni can access one-on-one CSO career advising for 20 months after graduation. All alumni can access job postings and career resources for life through Allard Careers and Events (ACE).
Alumni can also share their expertise with students. That could be anything from one-on-one mentorship, speaking on a career panel, profiling your career path in one of our handouts, or attending a virtual or in-person networking event.
For alumni who are looking to hire a law student or a lawyer, our job posting service is completely free. If alumni need advice in terms of best practices for recruitment, we’re happy to help.
Visit the Career Services Office website to learn more.
This Q&A was originally featured in the 2021 Allard Law alumni magazine. Read the magazine online.
- Allard School of Law
- Career Services Office