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Professionalism, pro bono, public interest: all of these concepts are crucial to the University of Baltimore School of Law’s mission as a community-engaged public law school.  Starting in fall 2012, the School of Law’s Law Career Development Office – commonly known as the LCDO – will be unveiling three multi-pronged programs meant to help law students do good in the community while doing good for their own careers.

New programs include:

•    The Professional Development Institute: Consisting of three essential components – formal professionalism training, a pro bono commitment, and professional skills instruction from experts including School of Law alumni – the Professional Development Institute will set students on the path to building an excellent legal reputation from the first day of law school orientation onward.  Students who successfully complete all three components of the program will earn an Excellence in Professionalism Certificate.

•    The Pro Bono Challenge: This program encourages students to gain experience, improve their legal writing and research skills and increase their professional contacts all while working for the greater good of the community.  Students who participate in the Challenge will volunteer with a local legal services provider and will receive recognition as they reach benchmarks in their volunteer time donated.

•    The Apprentice: This unique program will focus on the needs of recent graduates who have taken the bar exam but have not yet secured employment.  From September through December, participating alumni will be placed in local non-profit organizations to provide volunteer legal services at least two days per week while awaiting their bar results.  In addition, participating alumni will be able to take advantage of bi-weekly “Board Meetings,” group coaching sessions offering guidance on professionalism, job search strategies and more.

Each of these programs serves to further integrate School of Law students with alumni, employers and the community, says D. Jill Green, J.D. ’94, assistant dean for career development.  

“Our new programs work on so many levels – connecting alumni with current students and reinforcing the alums’ connection to their alma mater, providing prospective employers with confidence that graduates of the School of Law have already received comprehensive professionalism training, and emphasizing the importance of providing legal services to those in the community who cannot pay market rate,” Green says. “We want to provide students with every opportunity to succeed professionally, starting from day one of their legal education.”

Visit the Law Career Development Office’s website for more information about its programs and services.