Career Development at IIT Chicago-Kent
Frequently Asked Questions
When does career counseling begin for students?
In today's challenging legal employment market, early and strategic career planning is more important than ever. For that reason, career development at Chicago-Kent starts early—during the first semester of law school.
Early on, you will be assigned a career counselor tasked with learning as much as possible about your background, legal interests and professional goals. Each of our career counselors has market expertise in a particular area of practice, such as intellectual property, labor and employment, and public interest, and students are assigned counselors based on their specific interests. Regular, mandatory strategy meetings with your career counselor will begin in your first year of studies at Chicago-Kent.
What kinds of career programming and online services does IIT Chicago-Kent offer?
Our Career Services Office conducts approximately 50 diverse career development programs each year to help students define their interests, refine their job-search skills and cultivate the professional qualities required of successful attorneys. Topics range from "The Out-of-State Job Search" and "How to Start Your Own Law Firm" to "Exploring Careers in the Federal Government" and "Assessing Your Alternative Career." Video archives of most career services programs are available online for students who cannot attend the live sessions.
All Chicago-Kent students have access to Symplicity, an online job-posting database, to assist them in searching for externships, clerkships and full-time legal positions. Students also have opt-in access to a wide variety of online résumé books keyed to geographic locations, specific practice areas and other differentiators that help connect them with prospective employers.
Are special hours available to evening students?
Yes. The Career Services Office is open until 7 p.m. every Tuesday evening to accommodate evening students. Students can arrange lunch hour, telephone and evening appointments on other days, as well.
How does IIT Chicago-Kent help students develop presentation and interview skills?
Our career counselors assist each student in preparing and updating his or her legal résumé throughout their studies at Chicago-Kent. Students hone their interview skills through individualized practice-and-critique sessions with career counselors, as well as with alumni volunteers.
How do alumni assist students in their job searches?
Last year, more than 570 Chicago-Kent alumni volunteered to teach interview techniques, discuss career paths, and share their general knowledge and experiences with students. For instance, our alumni enthusiastically volunteer to advise students in one-on-one sessions during Alumni-Student ConneKtions (ASCK) Week each fall and to host student networking opportunities through our ConneKtions@Dinner program each fall and spring.
What types of externships and related opportunities does IIT Chicago-Kent offer?
We believe that our students' most important career-planning task during law school is to strengthen their résumés. To help them get started, we offer every full-time student a guaranteed summer externship after his or her first year of law school. Widely available in Chicago, externship opportunities are also available in Miami and Los Angeles. In addition, our year-round legal and judicial externship program puts students to work for trial and appellate court judges, as well as for supervising attorneys in the public sector and in private law firms.
Many of our students also gain critical experience working side-by-side with faculty practitioners in the Chicago-Kent Law Offices. This in-house law firm engages students in challenging cases and transactional work involving criminal defense law; employment discrimination and civil rights law; entrepreneurial law; family law; health and disability law; immigration law; open government/government watchdog law; tax law; and mediation. Additional clinics offer direct experience in intellectual property law and environmental law.
Chicago-Kent also participates in the Community-Based Federal Work Study program, placing eligible students in paid positions in various government and public interest organizations. This program helps students gain valuable experience while earning money for tuition they would otherwise borrow through federal loans.
What career development services does IIT Chicago-Kent provide for alumni?
We encourage our alumni to maintain connections with the Career Services Office throughout their careers. Our professional staff is always available to support alumni with career planning advice, to review their résumés and cover letters, and to assist them with career changes and interview strategies.
What is IIT Chicago-Kent's position with respect to the lawsuits filed against it and others across the country for allegedly misrepresenting employment statistics?
On February 1, 2012, class action lawsuits were filed against 12 schools, including IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, asserting that the law schools misrepresented employment prospects to matriculating students. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have announced a goal to sue every law school in the nation. In their complaints, plaintiffs in all the cases pressed two principal arguments: first, that law schools for a generation have misled students by reporting one overall employment rate in conformance with the protocols used by the American Bar Association, our accrediting agency; and second, that law schools inflated salary data from alumni by reporting only a fraction of available results. The lawsuit against Chicago-Kent is without merit. In fact, the trial court dismissed the complaint in full on November 9, 2012.
Providing our students with as many opportunities as possible for professional success long has been a top priority for Chicago-Kent. Indeed, in recognition of the tough economy, we have introduced new courses, are teaching additional skills, and continue to canvass the job market to find additional areas in which our graduates can compete successfully, both in legal and alternative fields. For example, this year, we implemented new programs in compliance and entrepreneurialism. Moreover, our bar passage rate—the highest in the state—affords our students a head start in the marketplace. We are proud that so many of our graduates continue to make a difference in the legal community and beyond, and we look forward to the contributions of those who will graduate in the future.
How can I get more information about employment counseling and experiential learning opportunities at IIT Chicago-Kent?
For more information, please contact the Career Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or explore our website for additional details about career services for students and gaining real-world experience.