Law Clerk to the Honorable John R. Webb, 2013-14, Colorado Court of Appeals
Law Clerk to the Honorable William W. Hood, III, 2014-15, Colorado Supreme Court
Law Clerk to the Honorable Gregory A. Phillips, 2015-16, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
Staff Attorney/Pro Bono Coordinator, Equal Justice Wyoming
I was the first person in my family to attend law school. In fact, I was the first to attain a graduate degree of any kind. As a result, I did not enter law school with a network of professionals who supported me or a community of mentor-attorneys to whom I could turn. Rather, I built those relationships during my tenure at DU with the help of the Career Development Office (CDO). I quickly learned that I needed to get into the workplace to develop meaningful relationships, so I completed seven externships during law school. Each time I applied for a different position, I worked with the CDO staff, especially Assistant Dean Bono, to prepare my application materials and to tailor my résumé to the position I was seeking at the time. In my 2L year, I also realized that judicial clerkships opened doors to greater opportunities and networks unavailable to a practitioner. So I worked diligently with the CDO to obtain a clerkship right out of law school. I met with Dean Bono several times to strategize applications and to prepare for interviews. It was only with his help that I was able to secure my first clerkship with Judge John Webb of the Colorado Court of Appeals just six days after sending out my applications. From there, I once again turned to the CDO as I continued to build my foundation as a legal writer with clerkships with Justice William Hood of the Colorado Supreme Court and Judge Gregory Phillips of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The CDO put me in touch with the right people and helped me build my career. I am forever grateful for the CDO’s support and always recommend law students utilize the CDO’s services. Learning to ask for help will serve you well.
Law Clerk to the Honorable Barbara A. Vigil, Supreme Court of New Mexico (Santa Fe)
The Career Development Office (CDO) has been pivotal to my professional development. Since my first day of law school the CDO provided unconditional support of my progress as a law student and as a professional. At each stage, the CDO was eager to provide the guidance I needed to enter the legal market.
The CDO educated me about the skills necessary to locate and obtain the types of jobs that aligned with what I wanted to get out of a legal career. After helping me identify specific internships I would be interested in pursuing, the CDO offered numerous services to help prepare me for the application and interview process.
The CDO’s support did not disappear after this stage of the process. Rather, the CDO was always available and willing to help weigh the pros and cons of various opportunities. During my 1L summer the CDO even helped me facilitate a discussion between a judge and a private firm to allow me to split my 1L summer between the programs. This summer set the necessary foundation to kick start my legal career.
In addition to providing guidance for all students applying to legal jobs through “On-Campus Interviews,” the CDO hosted numerous presentations on alternative career options. The panel which impacted me the most focused on judicial clerkships. The CDO invited a panel of judicial law clerks to: (1) discuss their experience clerking; (2) provide an overview of the application process; and, (3) discuss skills necessary to succeed as a law clerk once hired.
With the help of the CDO, I was able to secure a clerkship in my home state. The CDO did not just abandon me after graduation—-they were more than willing to help me as I applied for post-clerkship jobs. Less than 24-hours after I requested more information about a post-clerkship job opportunity, the CDO connected me with their Denver contact.
I am eternally grateful for the help and support of the CDO.
Assistant Attorney General, State of Colorado Attorney General’s Office
I can trace my current position to the valuable connections and resources that the CDO offered me during my time at Sturm. During my second year of law school, I worked closely with the CDO to identify public interest externships and clerkships for the summer. The CDO provided assistance during on-campus interviews with resume review and also provided mock interviews with highly experienced law firm partners. Due to these efforts, I was hired as a law clerk with the Colorado Office of the Attorney General and gained significant experience during the summer.
During my third year, the CDO also served as an important resource for me as I applied for post-graduation positions. I worked closely with CDO staff on identifying positions I was interested in and received insightful feedback on my resume, cover letters, and interviews. As a result of these efforts, my previous clerkship, and the CDO’s strong connections to the Attorney General’s office, I was hired as an Attorney Fellow by the Attorney General’s office. Today, I happily serve as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado.
Attorney for Legal Enforcement Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8
I utilized the assistance of the DU Law CDO consistently throughout my three years at DU. I began a relationship with the CDO early on, before the end of my first semester. I found that the career development officers listened to my interests and encouraged my dedication to practicing public interest environmental law. I checked with the CDO on a frequent basis to request contact information for alumni who may be willing to meet with me and share experiences. The CDO was always willing to facilitate these contacts. The CDO returned my requests for assistance promptly, even on short deadlines. By maintaining frequent contact with the CDO about opening positions, I had a confirmed 2L internship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the first few weeks of my 2L year. This position proved vital to my job search during my final year at DU when I applied for the EPA Honors Attorney Fellowship. The CDO reviewed my initial application, helped me prep for a preliminary phone interview, and then conducted multiple mock interview sessions with me for my final in-person interview. The CDO also worked contacts to put me in touch with the only former Honors Attorney fellow at EPA Region 8 in the past decade, even though she was not an alumna. I believe that the guidance and assistance that the CDO provided to me throughout my DU law career was crucial to securing the Honors Attorney fellowship. Seven months into my fellowship, I interviewed for a permanent position with the EPA and again reached out to the CDO to prepare. Now as a staff attorney, I continue to contact the CDO about career path related questions. I envision a career-long relationship with DU Law’s CDO.
Law Clerk to the Honorable A. Bruce Jones, 2016-17, 2nd Judicial District
Associate Attorney, Jackson White, P.C.
The Career Development Office played a significant role in my post-graduate experience. As a law student, I was very nervous about finding a job that would be rewarding both vocationally and financially. The CDO team worked zealously alongside me to help me find the best possible situation. They met with me regularly—often to hear me vent from the stress of the job search. Their connections to the Denver legal community led to connecting me with several attorneys from Sherman & Howard, Hogan Lovells, Snell & Wilmer, Husch Blackwell, and Robinson & Henry (where the connection led to employment for a year during law school).
When I decided I wanted to clerk with a judge, Andrea Montague quickly took me under her wing connecting me with prior law clerks and judicial administrators who could make it happen. This led to my current job as a law clerk for Judge A. Bruce Jones in the 2nd Judicial District. With one of the larger law schools, it amazed me that each member of the staff knew me personally, understood my situation, and had a sincere desire for my success. Even walking in the hallway, the staff would stop to ask how the job search was coming. While a job search can be a humbling and self-deprecating experience, the CDO is a confidence-building and positivity-enhancing group passionate about helping each individual in their office.
Even now, post-graduation, the CDO staff continues guiding my job search efforts and connecting me with the local community. As I search for my career post-clerkship, the CDO staff has reviewed my resume, connected me with a new list of attorneys, and met with me over the phone to guide my efforts. In short, the CDO is well-connected, enthusiastic, and eager to find lasting careers for its students.
Associate Attorney, Neugeboren O’Dowd
All throughout my time at DU Law, I made sure to take advantage of the resources offered by the CDO. I did mock interviews, went to lunch programs, and had regular meetings with my assigned career counselors. One of the most important events I attended was the OCI career fair and networking event, even though I didn’t get a job through OCI. During my 2L year, I attended it just to network. I was not familiar with IP law at all, but I talked to an attorney at one of the firms in attendance, and realized it was a career path I should explore. About 2 years later, when I was ready to graduate, the CDO helped me reach out to IP firms in the Denver legal community, and through those referrals, I ended up at my dream job, which I am still working at today.
DU’s close ties to the Denver legal community have helped me establish a network of colleagues quickly. This network has been critical for building a base of referrals. DU’s IP faculty, particularly Professor Bernard Chao, has put an immense amount of effort into integrating DU law students with the Denver IP law community. Professor Chao helped start the IP Inn of Court and gets DU’s IP students involved with it every year. As a result, DU students launch IP careers with great success on a regular basis. I know this is true for other DU faculty in different practice areas.
I’m extremely grateful for the CDO, its counselors, and the rest of the DU Law faculty for making it possible for me to launch a successful legal career.