Strategic. Extensive. Personalized. Integrated.
At Mitchell Hamline, we start planning for you to meet your career goals before you begin law school. Career and Professional Development has created a strategic program that builds on itself year after year to give you a distinct career advantage.
Mitchell Hamline School of Law is committed to working with every student to create a personal career plan. This road map integrates your academics with our extensive network of 19,000 alumni, who will act as mentors and help you reach your career goals. We understand that you might want to use your law degree in different ways. We work with you and connect you with opportunities, not just in law but also in business, government, community service, or whatever field you choose. This is the strategic advantage you’ll have as a Mitchell Hamline student.
Before Law School
Pre-Orientation Service Projects. The Minnesota Justice Foundation (a nonprofit organization that works with Mitchell Hamline and other local law schools) will connect with you law-related volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. You’ll meet legal professionals and begin to develop your professional network. Examples of past service projects include: assisting pro se parties at courthouse self-help centers; helping people fill out legal forms at brief-advice legal clinics; and conducting client satisfaction surveys.
Student and Faculty Ambassadors. Learn from our current students and faculty the tips and tricks of being a student at Mitchell Hamline. Join us at on-campus and off-campus events to start networking with current students and your future colleagues. Faculty are eager to speak with you about your plans as well as what to expect in your 1L classes. They can connect you with other professors and professionals to explore career paths.
Career and Professional Development Survey. This survey jump-starts your career plan by evaluating your short- and long-term career goals. By learning more about your academic, career, and extracurricular goals, we can hit the ground running to implement your plan during your 1L year.
You and a small group of your classmates will be placed with an upper class peer advisor and two alumni mentors to help you navigate through your 1L year and beyond. We believe that our alumni have valuable information to offer 1Ls about how to succeed in law school no matter where they work or what they do. In addition to the formal mentoring program, you have access to our alumni database, where you can search for attorneys, by legal field and geographic area, who are willing to meet with you. You have opportunities to participate in a mentor program during your first, second, and last year(s) of law school.
Your Personal Career Plan
You will meet with staff from the Career and Professional Development Office, faculty, and alumni to further develop your career and curricular plan. This team approach ensures that you get the academic and career support you need as you complete your first year of law school. Your team will evaluate ways to enhance your legal experience and skills, networking opportunities, and job search.
Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion
Your first-year legal research and writing class, Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion, allows you to master the fundamental skills necessary to be successful in your legal career. It teaches mastery not just of legal writing but of a whole array of fundamental client representation skills. Students meet in small groups to practice interviewing and counseling clients, writing memos and letters, researching the law, negotiating contracts and settlements, reasoning about a client’s situation in light of the law, settling cases, and arguing motions.
Each student is assigned a career advisor who has a J.D. During your first semester, you develop your legal resume and receive feedback to polish it. From here, you can work with your advisor one-on-one to further fine-tune job application documents, prepare a personal career plan, conduct mock interviews, and more. Your advisor is there with you every step of the way and will continue to work with you throughout your law school career.
We host numerous events throughout the year to introduce you to the legal profession. The events bring together professionals based on areas of law, bar associations, affinity groups, or student organizations. Events occur on campus and throughout the Twin Cities. To help prepare students for their legal careers, we welcome employers’ participation in mock interviews, in the attorney mentor and job shadow programs, and as informational program panelists.
During your fall break and spring break, you will have the opportunity to job shadow in the Twin Cities metro area, Greater Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. While shadowing an attorney or judge, you may have the opportunity to observe court proceedings, meet with attorneys, and tour a law firm, business, or organization.
In your second year, you fine-tune your career and professional development plan, adjusting it as necessary to ensure you are obtaining the experiences you need to meet your career and professional development goals.
Peer Advisor Program
You’ll have the option to serve as a peer advisor in the Mitchell Hamline Mentor Program, working closely with attorney mentors to guide first-year students. Peer advisors are given another opportunity to learn the daily duties of lawyers in different settings while sharing their knowledge and advice with new 1L students.
On-Campus Interviews (OCI)
Large firms and certain other public employers (such as the county attorney offices) come to our campus to interview and hire students for their formal summer associate programs, from which they usually look to hire their new associates. Historically, about 10 percent of Mitchell Hamline students find employment through on-campus interviewing.
We are committed to offering students as many opportunities as possible to do what real lawyers do while still in law school. Through our extensive experiential learning opportunities, including simulation courses, externships, clinics, workshops, and elective courses, you’ll continue to build your career plan. You can also participate in numerous moot courts and competitions.
One-on-One Counseling Meeting
In your final year of law school, you meet with your career advisor for a one-on-one transition meeting to make sure you are prepared for graduation and beyond. You’ll receive information about searching for jobs, developing a strategy as you transition from your final semester of law school, and starting to make steps toward real-world employment.
Hachey Ambassadors Mentor Program
The Hachey Ambassadors Mentor Program matches students in their last year of school with more experienced alumni. The mentors work in areas of specific interest to the students, with an emphasis on observational opportunities, expanding networks, and building additional connections to the career.