Professionalism and engagement programs

J. Nick Augustine J.D. is the principal of Pro Serve PR, a public relations firm serving the law and finance industries. Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition based on his experience in legal marketing, public relations, and his Secured Solo Practice model. Nick shares career growth strategy and experience with legal job seekers.

Your law schools are there to help. This week, I attended the Professionalism and Engagement Appreciation Luncheon at The John Marshall Law School to honor the local judges, justices and practitioners for their generous assistance and dedication to helping law students prepare for their career in law. The Office of Professionalism and Engagement, directed by recently retired Illinois Appellate Court Justice Margaret O’Mara Frossard, prepares students to compete with the best and uphold the standards of the legal profession.

Law students who embrace professionalism are more likely to advance quickly and earn respect from colleagues. Professionalism and engagement efforts focus on several practice management functions such as marketing, management, technology and finance. In a competitive marketplace, with so many opportunities for referrals, our best ambassadors are those who know, like and trust us.

Justice Frossard offered the following statement: “We appreciate the fact that over one hundred  members of the legal community  have committed to our in-classroom professionalism program which addresses the challenge presented to law schools by the Carnegie report , namely, to teach professionalism across the curriculum to IL’s, 2L’s and 3L’s. With this innovative program we are bringing judges and practitioners into the classrooms to explain what professionalism means, how to resolve ethical problems in a professional manner and most importantly, what professional skills are valued by employers in the workplace.”

Students should seek out programs that prepare them for the real world and the business of law practice. Look for professional responsibility professors, practice management lecturers and your career services staff who can identify useful resources in the pursuit of professionalism. Current student, Yolanda Delgado comments: “The John Marshall Law School’s Office of Professionalism and Engagement provides students and recent graduates invaluable preparation to achieve the skills valued by employers.”

Lawyers, judges and law school faculty working on professionalism outreach at the law school level to give students an opportunity to start their career with solid footing. I strongly suggest students get involved and take advantage of these opportunities so that law school administrators continue to develop and promote these programs. Ask your law school professors how they can help you move from academia to business. Get involved!

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