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Wednesday
Jan212015

Job search struggles raise student concern

The job hunt is a frightening process for 1Ls and 3Ls alike. The past several years of recruiting have been grim, and recent news of struggling law school graduates have raised concern among students. GU Law Weekly sat down with Assistant Dean Marcia Shannon of the Office of Career Services to discuss the resources and responses students could take should they find themselves struggling to find a job. 

GU LAW WEEKLY: There are some students who have spent some time at a legal practice fellowship sponsored by GULC after graduating. Who would you recommend enter those programs, and have those programs been successful in securing jobs for those students?

Marcia Shannon: Most of our programs are geared towards ensuring students receive experience in their desired practice field, for up to a year. The vast majority of the positions are with public interest organizations or with local government agencies, such as our RUFF fellowships, jointly sponsored with Washington’s Attorney General.

Many of those organizations hire through their fellowship program. However, those decisions rely on their funding; if they have enough funding, they’ll hire. If they don’t, the organizations will still help via networking. 

These positions are a great way to start a career, especially in the public sector. Many of the people and organizations in these fields are looking for commitment from students. Also, someone thinking private practice could get experience they could apply at a firm.

A lot of these organizations don’t hire until after the person passes their bar exam. Georgetown believes in supporting those individuals while they wait to enter those positions. 

LAW WEEKLY: Say someone found themselves in a difficult personal situation, having taken time off from classes or the job search due to health, financial or personal reasons. What advice would you give to those students, and what resources does GULC have to help them?

Shannon: Number one, they should stay in touch with their career counselor at OCS or OPICS. If they need to take time off, it’s really important to maintain a line to stay in touch, so we know what’s going on, and so they know what to expect when they approach the job market.

Each person and their situation are unique, so it can be helpful for both us and them to stay in touch. We can help people market their position to employers, such as if they are limited in the amount of time they can work per week. We can also cover how to discuss their situation in interviews.

The other main things is, don’t feel like your career is over. That’s definitely not the case.

LAW WEEKLY: Have these situations occurred often to students participating in joint degree programs?

Shannon: Not really…many of the joint programs, including the JD/MPH program, are fairly small, due to the extra time and expense. Of those, most of them are very highly driven individuals, who have really planned out their career path, and found that the joint degree would make sense for them.

Wednesday
Nov122014

AASV to bring "Know Your Rights" presentation to campus

On November 18, Georgetown Law Advocates Against Sexual Violence (AASV) will bring a “Know Your Rights” presentation to the Law Center. The presentation will feature Network For Victim Recovery DC attorney Rachel Kohler, who will be discussing Title IX and its implications for victims.

“This is a great way to learn about attorneys representing not the state, but the victim,” said AASV co-president Beatrice Diehl.

In addition, Georgetown Law Sexual Assault & Relationship Violence Liaison Laura Cutway and Dean of Students Mitch Bailin will conduct a discussion on the Law Center’s sexual assault policy and application of Title IX. 

The event will take place in McDonough 203 on November 18 from 3:30 – 4:30pm. Pizza will be provided for all attendees. 

Thursday
Nov062014

Announcement: Hoyas in Recovery

An update from the Center for Wellness Promotion: a new group, Hoya Saxa Anonymous, is now meeting on campus on Sunday nights from 8pm - 9pm in McDonough 220. The group is open to all members of the Law Center community. For more information, see the flyer below or contact mjd281@law.georgetown.edu.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Ten things to know about the Ukrainian Holodomor

What’s going on with the construction at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, F Street, and North Capitol Street? Construction began recently on the D.C. Holodomor Memorial. For those unaware of the significance of the new memorial, located a short distance from campus, here are ten things to know about the tragedy.

 

1. According to the Connecticut Holodomor Committee, the literal translation of the Ukrainian word “holodomor” is “death by forced starvation.”

2. Specifically, the Ukrainian Holodomor occurred from 1932-33, when Joseph Stalin imposed a famine in Ukraine through confiscation of the nation’s food sources and restrictions on movement and foreign aid.

3. The Holodomor was a result of Stalin’s attempted agricultural collectivization, a regime under which farmers were forced to give up their farmland and resources in order to join state-owned collective farms. Those who resisted were targeted by the government, leading to a widespread food shortage.

4. By 1932, a decree was issued that any individual taking food from the collective farm would be arrested or executed, leading to mass starvation in the millions. Despite the loss of life, it is estimated that between September 1932 and March 1933, the government exported approximately 15,000 tons of grain to foreign nations.

5. While no exact information is known, it is estimated that anywhere between 4 million and ten million lives were lost during the Holodomor.

6. Stalin refused to acknowledge any evidence of famine in Ukraine, thereby preventing international aid. Little news of the Holodomor left the country, and New York Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize despite his failure to report on the tragedy. Duranty’s reports included claims such as “any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.”

7. One of the leading scholarly works on the Holodomor is Robert Conquest’s Harvest of Sorrow, which details the political landscape leading up to the Holodomor and covers its history in detail. Published in 1987, it was one of the first works to shed light on the tragedy.

8. In 2003, seventy years after the Holodomor, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a resolution finally acknowledging the tragedy. It stated “we believe that in an independent Ukraine the terrible truth about those years must be made public officially by the state, because the Holodomor of 1932-1933 was deliberately organized by the Stalinist regime and should be publicly condemned by Ukrainian society and the international community as one of the largest acts of genocide in world history.”

9. The world’s first memorial of the tragedy was erected in Edmonton, Canada in 1983 by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Alberta Provincial Council.

10. Construction of the D.C. Holodomor memorial began with a groundbreaking ceremony on December 4, 2013. A congressional bill sponsored by Sander Levin (D-Mich.) was signed into law in 2006, authorizing the memorial’s construction.

For sources and more information, visit:

Tuesday
Sep302014

Admissions Office hosts inaugural Family Weekend

By Victoria Valencia

Photo courtesy Daniel Cima/Georgetown Law

On September 12-13, 2014, Georgetown University Law Center held its first-ever Family Weekend.

It all began last spring, when the Admissions Office realized that in all of their events, there had been nothing yet created specifically for families. “We knew families would be interested and proud of their kids, and we wanted to include them in the community … there’s no expiration date on being proud of your kids,” said Dean of Admissions Andy Cornblatt.

After successfully integrating families into their spring events, the Office decided to plan their first Family Weekend.

Over 500 people were in attendance at the inaugural event, with families representing states from Washington to Florida. Entire families came out in support of GULC student family members, and learned more about Georgetown and what law school is all about.

“We wanted parents [and families] to hear speakers and administrators, see a Supreme Court moot, but most importantly we wanted to make them feel a part of the community,” said Cornblatt.

Included in the Family Weekend experience was a current student perspective, aimed at revealing more about the law school experience. “This helped them to understand law school and relate to their kids’ lives right now. Parents learned about how to be supportive, and got to hear about what classes kids were taking. Parents got to connect to their kids in a way they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Sarah Rutherford, Special Assistant to the Dean of Admissions.

Current student Jenadee Nanini spoke of the opportunities that Georgetown Law offers students through generous financial aid. 

It is incredible how the action of donation, big or small, can make a dream come true and make law school a reality for students who normally would not be able to attend due to their circumstances,” Nanini stated at the event.

Nanini also spoke to the heart of what Family Weekend was all about: providing a welcome environment and saying thank you to the people who helped us reach our goals. “I firmly believe that regardless of what you have achieved or where you have been, you have not gotten there without the support of others,” she stated. “Expressing gratitude and thanking those around you for all they have done is extremely important to me.

“We wanted parents to feel the warmth of this place,” said Dean Cornblatt.

One highlight of the weekend was guest speaker Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. 

“One thing that was [special] about this year was that Ken Feinberg spoke on the day after September 11th. He was able to talk from personal experience and it was so timely. And for a lot of parents that particular talk was one of the most memorable from Family Weekend,” said Rutherford.

Ultimately, the weekend was a success, and provided a welcoming environment for families of GULC students. 

Friday
Sep122014

Gilbert & Sullivan Society begins new season

 A new season began for the Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society theatre group with a presentation of the organization’s fall showcase, “The Year of the Swords.” Held Sept. 11 on the 12th floor of the Gewirz Student Center, the event was aimed at recruiting new students and showcasing members’ many talents. 

“Honestly, I remember being at this event last year as a 1L, and looking around at everyone, and everyone was laughing and having a great time and knew each other,” said Anna Bodi, the group’s Membership Chair. “I just thought, ‘I want to be friends with all these people! I don’t know who they are, but I want to be friends.’ So for me it’s really exciting to be here a year later, kind of doing the same thing for the 1Ls now.”

According to president Jeff Asjes, the goal of the group is to entertain and have fun.

“We are a group that likes performing, but that’s not all we’re about. We’re one of, I think, the best outlets on campus to be involved with a student group that isn’t about more law,” he said. “It’s a wonderful way to just put that all aside for a minute and have fun. And you can have fun by wielding power tools that you’ve never used before. I’ve taught people to use a hammer drill or a saw. [Or] you can do it by deciding to operate a spotlight, which is something you may have never done before. If you play an instrument, it’s a great outlet to play the instrument in front of an audience. So even if you’ve never wanted to be on stage, it’s a great organization — and we have great parties every Friday!” 

Technical Director Xander Tapling said there are a large amount of positions open within the organization.

“We’re pressing very hard for 1Ls, 2Ls, transfer students, LLMs — people need to just come out and join our society,” he said. “So we wanted really tonight to be about connecting the alums who graduated with the new students who would be interested in coming out for Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and I’m actually really happy with how it turned out.”

The event contained a variety of skits, musical numbers and presentations from current members and alumni. Interested students were also given information on how to join the society, as well as how to audition for the group’s upcoming show, “Spamalot.”

Tapling stated all who are interested in participating will be given a position in the show.

“It doesn’t matter your skill level; it doesn’t matter anything other than your interest level. If you want to do it, come out and do it,” said Tapling.

Auditions will be held Monday and Tuesday on campus, and “Spamalot” will run from Nov. 6 to 8. Interested students should contact stagemanager@ggssonline.org, or send an email through the Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s OrgSync page.

 “I encourage everyone to come,” stated Asjes. “You will see fish slapping, sword fights, people’s limbs getting chopped off, the whole bit! It’s going to be a lot of fun.”