Western State Director of Career Development Ana Bidoglio
Your first day of law school actually not only commences in the classroom but it also commences with your career track as well, and so our offices really take great pride in trying to go ahead and work with students and getting them placed in different areas of the law and having them taste the different areas of the law because law school is the time believe it or not where students are going to have the opportunity to try the different facets of law. So we really encourage them either through internships, paid positions as well as participating with the law school consortia which consists of the twelve now thirteen schools that are now in the Southern California, area and trying to provide these opportunities for the students as well so that’s a big plus.
It’s a great place to be. It’s one of the corner stones of Orange County. It’s been part of our county and the legal community for over 40 years, there’s over 10,000 alumni, which says a awful lot for an institution as being as relatively young as it can be with respect to higher learning.
One of our alumni actually does our swearing in ceremonies for our students or bar candidates that pass the bar, and he does an incredible job, and he says that it’s the best thing after doing a wedding. So that’s a pretty amazing thing.
There are lots of judges, I think pretty much more than half of all our judges in the county are Western State grads. Which says an awful lot. So many of our alums have also gone into many different areas. A lot of them continue to work in the courts whether they are public defenders, they’re chiefs of police, they are doing mediation, you know, and just very high profiled attorneys. It’s just incredible what students, at the time when they work, can do with their law degree, and they’ve taken the ball and really run with it and made this place such a wonderful place to call home.
After they graduate they still have a home and they are now considered alumni so they join the elite group of over 10,000 and as that part of the group they, still offering the continuing legal education courses that all attorneys have to take anyways required by state bar. We also offer the mentoring where they can participate in the mentoring, and we also offer the career guidance as well. So just because they’ve graduated doesn’t necessarily mean that our relationship has ceased it continues to grow because alumni are an important part just as much as the students are for us.
For example, in my department I really, really strive and stress to the students that my door is always open and as well as for alum they can email me they can call me. And it’s just that I am always available to answer questions because I think that’s very important and I recall as when I was a student that was made for me and so I would like to lead by example too. Because when it comes for them to be practicing attorneys they’re going to remember what it’s like to be a student. So we see that as well through our alum as well and how they have turned that into wonderful assets.
Well, we like to do you know by the time of their first semester ends we like to counsel them. First of all, we like to know where they are going, what areas of the law they want to practice being able to expose them to those areas. Teach them about the different career fairs that we’re hosting. The different events and have them prepared through their resume because they have to think about what they’re going to do for their summer job. And it’s always trying to be one step ahead and it’s trying to get the students to get ready for each year. And so that they will have an optimal legal education they’re going to take with them into their new careers as attorneys.