Frequently Asked Questions
What if I am not sure what I want to do?
OCPD career counselors are available to talk with you about the career planning process: general career options, review of resumes and cover letters, and assistance with job search strategies. To schedule an appointment, contact the OCPD Front Desk at 202-274-4090 or stop by Suite 122.
Can I only meet with one counselor; am I assigned to a counselor?
You are welcome to meet with different career counselors as you progress through your law school career. We do discourage students from contacting multiple counselors at a time with questions regarding resumes or job prospects.
If I am interested in a specific area of the law, can someone in OCPD help me?
Yes. In addition to having a broad understanding of the legal employment market, the office has a number of career counselors who specialize in certain areas of the law that you can contact about specific career goals.
I have commitments during regular business hours. Is OCPD open late?
OCPD is open until 7pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Career counselors may also be able to accommodate students with daytime commitments. Please note that all counseling appointments must be scheduled 48 hours in advance.
How do I learn about job opportunities?
The best way to begin your individual job search is to meet with an OCPD career counselor. He or she will show you the best avenues to use when searching for a job in specific sectors. You should also regularly check CareerLink, read The Docket on MyWCL, and sign up for listservs (i.e., public interest, diversity) to receive the latest information.
Will OCPD find me a job?
No, but OCPD will help teach the more effective methods to find a job. Learning how to look for a job or write a good resume is another part of your legal education. OCPD works to educate students and alumni about the tools they can use in the job search, types of careers and opportunities and relevant job programs and deadlines.
Do I need to attend OCPD Programs?
It is crucial that you attend those programs that pertain to your areas of interest. OCPD invites employers and experts in different fields to help you with your job search. Check the calendar of events on the OCPD website and CareerLink. Don't miss out on these opportunities to learn and network!
During the fall semester, I see many students wearing suits. Why is this?
Many 2Ls and 3Ls participate in Fall Recruitment, a process that includes On-Campus Interviews with large private firms, government agencies, and certain nonprofits. Fall Recruitment is a great component of the job search, but it is not the only avenue to employment. Only 30% of law students find jobs through a recruitment program. The remaining 70% find jobs through individual campaigns, job postings, former employers and referrals (2006 Employment Statistics).
Office of Career & Professional Development • American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 122 Washington, DC 20016 • 202-274-4090 F: 202-274-4096