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Dean's Message to 2015 Graduates and Recent Alumni
Dear Students and Alumni:
As you start or continue your legal career in these pressing financial times, rest assured that Pace Law School will continue to offer both established and innovative methods of assistance. We present the below information uniquely applicable to graduating students and those alumni who may currently be out of work or facing a substantial debt burden. You may navigate through the categories of information by clicking on the section headings below this paragraph.
- Financial Assistance
- University and Law School Services for Alumni
- Alumni Connections
- Pace LL.M. and Practical Lawyering Programs
- Career and Job Search Assistance
- Bar Applications and Admissions
When you came to Pace Law School, you joined a community of students, scholars, teachers, caring professionals and a network of thousands of alumni across the country and the globe. We are proud of the achievements of our students during their time at the Law School, and we cheer and support them during their fruitful and exciting careers. We hope that you will continue to make Pace Law School as much a part of your life as we make you a part of ours.
Bar Examination Loans
Taking time off to prepare for the bar exam can create financial hardships. The cost of bar preparation courses can also add up quickly. Loans specifically for this purpose are available from private lending sources. Please visit http://collegefinancecenter.org/htmldocs/loancomparison.html for more information and to compare the lenders that offer bar exam loans.
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA)
Signed in September 2007, the CCRAA offers financial assistance to law school graduates holding qualifying federal loans. Benefits can include reducing your monthly loan burden (Income Based Reduction, or IBR), if your debt is high and your income is low, for both private and public sector employment, and forgiving the remainder of your debt after ten years of qualifying public interest employment (primarily employment with nonprofits and any kind of government agency). Equal Justice Works provides extensive information, including excellent webinars, on the state of loan repayment assistance programs, including the CCRAA. See their website at www.equaljusticeworks.org. To sign up for email updates on the CCRAA and the public interest forgiveness program, or to determine if you qualify for IBR, please visit to www.myfedloan.org. Also, please visit www.studentloans.gov to view sample repayment options as well general information New information is becoming available on a daily basis. For more information, contact Adriana Pace, Associate Director of Financial Aid, at (914) 422-4050 or Jennifer Friedman, Director of the Public Interest Law Center, at (914) 422-4265.
As an alumnus of the Law School, you may already be aware that you will have continued access to many University Services. More detailed information can be found on the University alumni webpage and the Law School alumni webpage and include the following:
Fitness Center Alumni Membership
Located on the Pleasantville Campus, the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Health, Fitness, and Recreation Center provides Pace alumni the ability to purchase memberships to use the Recreation Center at a discounted rate. A properly validated Pace University Alumni Photo ID card must be presented at all times for admission to the center. Consult published and posted schedules for facility hours. For additional information, please click here.
Pace Law School has meeting rooms available for outside organizations. Please view the Law School website for information about reserving meeting space.
Pace Law School alumni who graduated after 2010 will continue to have access to their Pace Law School email accounts. Pace Law School alumni who graduated prior to 2010 do not have access to their email accounts. Pace Law School alumni may obtain a free permanent email address that never expires or changes. Even during a job change or email provider change, the free permanent alumni email address remains the same. All that needs to be done is to change the forwarding email address. To obtain a free permanent email address, alumni must sign into the Pace Alumni Online Community (see above); once there, alumni can enter a preferred email name that will be the first part of the permanent email address (i.e. email@example.com).
The Pace Alumni Online Community is a free and secure forum, accessed via the Pace University website. The online community allows all Pace alumni (including Pace Law School alumni) from around the world to reconnect, exchange ideas, and network with each other over the Internet. Its features include a searchable database, the ability to update your own contact information, message boards, news, career resources, and more.
LexisNexis and Westlaw
Students who are studying for the Bar will have access to Westlaw during June and July. For further information on this and other current benefits, please view Westlaw's site by clicking here. Please contact Maisa Chiang at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
For information on the current benefits available to graduates through LexisNexis please click here. Please contact Mary Beth Drain at email@example.com with any questions.
Pace Law Library provides a host of services useful to the recent graduate. The general brochure outlining these services is available at http://lawweb.pace.edu/library/alumni.pdf. The Law Library has also created a guide to free and low cost resources for legal research. In addition, the Library has a public access version of Lexis that is available for use by our alumni when they visit the Library. For more information, visit Alumni Services.
You can stay in touch with the law school and fellow classmates and alumni by visiting one of the following sites:
Pace Law School would like to keep up-to-date on your personal and professional news. If you have recently moved, had a career change, a job promotion, gotten married, had a child, or were given an honor or award we would like to hear! Please click here to update us or email your updates and any pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the many good reasons to continue your legal education after receiving your JD is the opportunity to develop further expertise in a field of specialization. Pace Law School offers such an opportunity in its renowned LLM program in Environmental Law. This is a program built on Pace’s longstanding excellence in environmental, land use and energy law, and which offers you a unique head start on a career in one of these growing fields. Within the LLM program itself, specialized tracks are available in Climate Change Law, Land Use and Sustainable Development, and Global Environmental Law.
If you have taken environmental law courses at Pace, or earned a Certificate in Environmental Law as part of your Pace JD, you may be eligible to complete the LLM by taking as few as 12 additional credits. This means that you could earn your LLM in as little as one additional semester of full-time study, or one year of part-time study.
If you would like to discuss the LLM in Environmental Law as one of your post-JD options, please contact Jason Czarnezki, Executive Director of Environmental Law Programs, or Laura Jensen, Associate Director of Environmental Law Programs. You may also contact Gregory J. Marsden, Director of International Affairs and Graduate Programs.
If you are still looking for post-graduate employment, the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) and the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) staff are available and want to do all that they can to help you, regardless of your practice area interests or geographic preferences.
The CCPD and PILC are open all summer long and available to Pace Law School alumni at any stage of your career. Call 914-422-4217 or email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon to make an appointment with one of the counselors. As an alumnus, you will also continue to have access to Symplicity, and your Pace Law email account, so that you can continue to access the job posting database as well as receive CCPD announcements and emails.
Symplicity Email Blasts & Resume Book
If you are still looking for post-graduate employment, and would like to receive our weekly email blast of recently posted job posting emails call 914-422-4217 or email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon to be added to our Alumni Opportunities Email Blast.
It is very helpful for the CCPD to have a copy of your up-to-date resume on hand as potential employment opportunities come to the office’s attention. If you would like us to maintain a copy, please (a) upload a copy of your resume onto Symplicity, update your contact information on Symplicity and your Symplicity profile (graduation date and year in school), and email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon that your resume has been uploaded; OR (b) email Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon a copy of your resume listing your updated contact information so that the CCPD will know how to reach you over the coming months.
The CCPD will ask your permission before forwarding your resume to any interested employers or alumni. Please note that in identifying potential contacts and opportunities for you, the CCPD relies not only on your resume, but on counseling notes, the information you supplied in the CCPD Cap and Gown employment form, and updates on your employment status that you share with CCPD and PILC staff. It is therefore very important that you speak with a CCPD or PILC counselor if you have not done so already and that you email the CCPD with your (1) post-graduate contact information; (2) employment status (legal/non-legal, full-time/part-time); and (3) areas of interest, both legal practice-wise and geographically.
After the Bar Exam, Continue Your Job Search Process
Stay in touch with the CCPD/PILC and your professors. In addition to learning about possible job, networking, and temporary part-time opportunities with outside employers, there are sometimes research projects and other positions available with various professors, clinics, centers and departments here at the law school.
Some organizations and bar associations hold job fairs in August and September (as well as other times during the year), and many of these fairs are open to law graduates. The CCPD maintains a list of career fairs; and PSJD.org is a great resource for job fairs both local and national.
For those interested in judicial clerkships, there may be openings throughout the year due to newly appointed judges and staggered clerkship terms. You should periodically check OSCAR (the on-line federal clerkships job posting database), state court websites and Symplicity for openings.
Similarly, opportunities in the government can arise any time during the year and those applications may be more involved and require advance planning and forethought on your part. For example, candidates for NYS or other state staff attorney or law-related positions in areas including environmental issues, investigations, securities and public finance may have to complete civil service examinations on scheduled dates. To learn about this process in New York, go to http://www.cs.ny.gov/. Also, make sure you are regularly checking state agency websites and www.usajobs.com, for federal government positions around the country, and reading the CCPD’s email updates about upcoming government opportunities and deadlines.
We strongly encourage you to continue to use CCPD/PILC counseling staff to work with you on and review your application materials (resumes, cover letters, etc.), to prepare for interviews, to answer questions, or otherwise assist you in your employment search and application process.
New Graduate Package—in addition to resume/cover letter review, interview preparation and job posting support the CCPD is offering a few new opportunities/programs to the class of 2015, as outlined below. In addition, it is VERY important that you give us your updated resume and tell us what you are looking for so that we may keep an eye out for you during bar study.
1) Bridge Job Program
No promises or guarantees on either side, just the ability for a new grad to gain some experience and pocket money while awaiting bar results. Interested students will send me their resumes and geographic and practice area interests in early August for September placement. We will make matches with employers interested in taking on a graduate for several months while awaiting bar results.
2) New Lawyer Institute- New York City Bar Association
“Looking for a way to meet other new lawyers, network in New York City and further develop your lawyering skills? Then the New Lawyer Institute (NLI) at the New York City Bar Association could be the perfect fit for you. The NLI runs the academic year from late August through May and provides participants with unlimited, free CLEs; networking opportunities with prominent NY lawyers, judges and recent graduates; career development panels; and one-on-one mentoring with a NY lawyer. Most events are held in the evening to accommodate those working full time”. This is a program the NYC Bar Association puts on. It is $500 per participant.
3) New Graduate Newsletter
Hints, hot job openings and articles to help new grad navigate their way to their post-grad position. Will be sent out via email every 3 weeks starting on August 12th and continue through mid-December. This will be sent to all new graduates. You can opt out at any time by telling me you unsubscribe.
4) Contract Attorney—on or about September 14th—new grads invited on campus to meet with headhunters, temp agencies etc. and register on site for temp assignment availability.
Reciprocity with Other Law School Career Offices
If you are looking for employment outside the tri-state area, the CCPD may be able to arrange for your use of resources at a law school career services office in another location. Contact Lauren Vaccianna-Gordon with your request, including the name of the law school with which you are seeking reciprocity.
Practicing Under a Student Practice Order
Before you are admitted to practice, you may seek to develop and sharpen your legal skills by performing pro bono services. You can do this by rendering legal services under a student practice order issued through a qualified governmental agency or public interest organization. Working under a student practice order typically requires direct supervision by an attorney affiliated with that organization. Each jurisdiction has specific rules regarding the extent of the practice allowed and the duration.
New Jersey: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/rules/r1-21.htm
Many students have already come into the Dean's Suite with questions about the bar application process. While we are happy to help answer your questions and assist you with the process, please also refer to the How to Deal with an Ethical Dilemma resources created by Deborah Scalise, attorney and adjunct professor.