Year-long Career Month at Faculty of Law
November is National Career Development Month, but Law’s CDO works year-round
November may be officially designated as national career month, but staff and students at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law work hard year-round to ensure graduating students have career options lined up as they near their respective finish lines.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT OFFICE
The Faculty has a Career Development Office (CDO) in which the Career Development Coordinator, Lisa Griffin, organizes events including information sessions and workshops throughout the year on a regular cycle, to keep students informed about job opportunities and training and on their toes from first year to graduation. She maintains the Job Board and engages members of the practicing bar and judiciary to give presentations on what it’s like to clerk at the court or work in public or private practice areas, and meets with students one-on-one to review their resumés, cover letters, discuss networking, job search and interview techniques.
“It’s been an incredibly busy fall with out-of-province and Winnipeg summer placement recruits, many networking receptions, information sessions and a very busy appointment schedule,” said Griffin of the 2022 Fall Term. “Hard to believe December exams are around the corner. We then kick it into high gear again beginning in January with further recruits, both summer and articling, more networking events, workshops and round table events. Our students certainly have a lot to juggle but I could not be more proud of how they manage everything with such integrity, dedication and grace.”
Griffin recently organized an information session on Clerkship at the Federal Court at which The Honourable Justice Roger LaFreniere spoke to students, and has a Resumé and Cover Letter Information Session scheduled for November 16, followed by an Out of Province Information Session for first year law students scheduled for November 22. Ongoing are wine and cheese receptions that Winnipeg Law Firms regularly host to meet and welcome law students to Manitoba’s legal community.
“I love what I do and my role at the Faculty of Law. Working with our students is incredibly rewarding,” said Griffin.
DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Director of Professional Development, Trina McFadyen, is an alumnus of the Faculty of Law and practiced law in Winnipeg for over a decade. Trina engages with both alumni and colleagues in the legal profession and works to maintain and strengthen the relationship between the Faculty and the practicing bar to benefit students entering practice. Trina develops resources for law students to assist them with navigating interviews, networking events, finding articling jobs and understanding the in-and-outs of working in the legal profession. As a lawyer who is still connected to the practicing bar, Trina brings a wealth of knowledge to the students of UM Law.
“We are fortunate at Robson Hall to have an engaged and supportive practicing bar, many of whom went to law school here and that includes me,” said McFadyen. “The Manitoba Bar and Bench are incredibly giving of their time and knowledge to help law students succeed. I feel my job is not only to assist the students as they navigate their time in law school and their professional goals but to also be their biggest cheerleader along the way.”
MANITOBA LAW STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE (PDC)
Throughout the year, The PDC works closely with the Career Development Office to provide Robson Hall students with opportunities and resources to develop their professionalism by encouraging them to attend networking events with firms and practitioners, assisting students in the initial stages of preparing their resumés and cover letters, and collaborating with the CDO to facilitate workshops and panels throughout the school year. Most recently, the PDC organized the Law Banquet, held in-person at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on October 19. This much-anticipated annual event provides law students with the opportunity to sit down with practicing members of the Manitoba legal community to create genuine connections while gaining valuable insight into working in the legal industry.
Associate Dean, Dr. Jennifer L. Schulz noted that law students are understandably focussed on their future careers. “We are very pleased with the developing professionalism of our students, their proactivity, and genuine desire to learn and excel as future lawyers. Therefore, we will continue to support them with networking opportunities such as the Law Banquet, and more importantly, with an excellent legal education.”
Upcoming career development events law students can look forward to, include a roundtable with smaller law firms organized by the PDC, a mentorship mixer for first-year law students organized by the Manitoba Bar Association, and ongoing info-sessions and job opportunity postings, circulated by the Career Development Office.