P.A.W.S. Promotes Classroom and Career Search Success

February 27, 2017

Texas A&M University School of Law’s Professional and Academic Workshop Series (P.A.W.S.) provides students with the ability to self-assess their strengths and weaknesses to be successful in law school and in landing a legal job.

“P.A.W.S. is a program that combine​s various presentations from Academic Support, the Professionalism and Leadership Program (PLP) and Career Services (CS) to give upper level students valuable skills, insights and competencies to supplement their education in the classroom,” said Vice Dean and PLP Director Aric Short

“The sessions are short, focused and high-value, giving students meaningful takeaways that they can use in their studies and job searches,” he said. “Many of the themes stressed by Professionalism & Leadership, Career Services, and Academic ​Support – such as setting goals, establishing a plan to achieve those goals, developing resilience and implementing effective time-management – are complementary.”

paws spring 2017Career Services Coordinator Natalia Cashen said the workshops are also interactive, a refreshing departure from lecture style formats.

“They get enough of that in class,” she said. “These are skills not learned in a classroom.”

She said it’s very accessible to students because instead of having to decide among three events, they get information from Career Services, Professionalism & Leadership, and Academic Support all in one.

In a recent example – “Mad Interviewing Skillz” – Assistant Director for Career Services Courtney Key and Career Services Coordinator Katharine Adams respectively portrayed an employer and interviewee in a scripted mock interview. Afterward, they facilitated discussion dissecting both the strengths and weaker points of the interview, including immediately replicable tips students can use.

This particular workshop was the first for 2L Meredith Livermore. She said that while she’s completed mock interviews with Cashen to prepare for real interviews, it’s been awhile.

“The workshop was a nice refresher on how to present yourself and your skills for an interview,” she said.

She said the workshops are effective because they force you to look up from the books and remember that long term success is sustained through networking and improving your professional skills.

“It's important to attend at least a few of the workshops because they focus not just on academics, but on professionalism and thinking long term about finding a job when you graduate,” she said. “Many of the workshops, like the one last week, are a helpful reminder to me that success in law school goes beyond course workload.”

Cashen said the time investment will undoubtedly pay off.

“This will help them stand out from other candidates,” she said. “Employers are really looking for professional competencies.”

Short said students can’t rely on “just good grades” to land a job after law school.

“Employers are increasingly looking for smart students who are also effective communicators, exercise good judgment, work productively in groups, and can network effectively,” he said. “These skills and others that are highlighted in P.A.W.S. programming, both directly or indirectly, help round out the students’ education and better prepare them for the job market.”

Assistant Director of Academic Support Camesha Little agrees and called the program a “vehicle to sharpen academic and professional skill sets.”

“As an attorney, it is important to know the value of being a lifetime learner and continuously adding to your skillsets,” she said. “Many of the skills offered in this program advance and build upon the foundational skills that students developed in their 1L year.”

Click here for a full schedule of the Spring 2017 P.A.W.S.