The Office of Career Strategy (OCS) provides you with personalized advising to assist in all phases of your career planning and job search strategy. You may schedule appointments with career advisors who are available in person and remotely to talk with you and provide advice targeted to your strengths, skills, interests, and passions.
We help motivate and inspire you to take responsibility for your professional development.
Each year OCS presents numerous programs and events. These programs provide you the opportunity to meet practicing attorneys, sitting judges, and other students with work experience to learn about different practice areas and employment types.
OCS also co-hosts a wide variety of programs and events with student organizations and various bar associations focused on specific practice areas, including family law, criminal prosecution, criminal defense, civil litigation, immigration, business litigation, estate planning and probate, oil and gas, public interest, and solo/small firm practice.
FINDING YOUR MEANINGFUL CAREER PATH
We explore creative ways to help you realize your dreams and are your biggest cheerleaders. We work with you to identify and appreciate your strengths, skills, interests, and passions. This helps you focus on employment types and practice areas most likely to lead to a fulfilling and meaningful career.
We do not lead or push you in any particular direction. We point out the pros and cons of various practice areas, types of firms and organizations, and geographic locations. Then, we work with you to tie your specific skills, strengths, interests, and passions with complementary job opportunities and career paths.
You may not have a clear idea of what you want to do, or you may have many areas you want to explore. We work with you in a partnership to develop target legal practice areas and employment to research and investigate more thoroughly. This process leads to finding your most fulfilling and meaningful career path.
Meeting and talking with attorneys in a specific practice area, work environment, or geographic location is a fantastic way for you to build career-related relationships. These conversations are an excellent way for you to gather information regarding skills, training, and experience needed for work you are interested in doing. It is also an excellent way for you to learn about different firms and other organizations, to build relationships, and expand your circle of connections.
Once you have identified practice area and geographic target markets in which to seek employment, we can help you compile a list of potential employers and individuals to contact. When you connect with those individuals, job search momentum gains speed and opportunities appear.
Professionalism and Skill Development
We work with you to help identify, apply for, and get the best experiences from internships, externships, clinics, public service and pro bono programs, and judicial clerkships.
Employers highly value and expect you to have experience and practical skills when you begin your legal career. Specific skills for different types of jobs vary. We assist you in making wise choices in the experiences you seek during law school and beyond.
Résumés, Cover Letters, and LinkedIn Profiles
We work with you on personalizing and perfecting your resume, cover letters, outreach emails, thank you notes, and LinkedIn Profile. Not only do these documents need to be professional in a general sense, but they must also be customized for each job application. The customization might only involve slight revisions, but these efforts can be the difference between you getting an interview or getting a rejection letter.
OCS conducts mock interviews so you can have a simulated interview tailored to your actual scheduled interviews. After the mock interview, we discuss ways to improve your performance and give you recommendations on improving substantive answers, non-verbal signals, eye contact, posture, and verbal tics.
You can do as many mock interviews as you desire. This service can make a real difference in your receiving an offer for the job of your dreams.
Internship and Job Listings
OCS uses our job search system (CORE) to provide you with listings of internship and job opportunities. Law firms, businesses, government agencies, and public interest organizations, among others, send OCS internship opportunities and job openings that are then posted in CORE. All students and alumni have access to CORE.
OCS staff scour legal and general job search sites daily to identify potential job and internship opportunities for you. OCS posts these positions in CORE for your convenience.
Fall and Spring Recruitment Programs and Résumé Collects
Every year OCS invites employers to participate in our Fall and Spring Recruitment Programs and Resume Collects.
Through the Fall Recruitment and Spring Recruitment Program, OCS collects student resumes, distributes them electronically to employers, and schedules on-campus interviews on the employers’ desired date.
The Fall Recruitment Program takes place throughout August, September, and October depending on the employer’s preferred date. The Spring Recruitment Program takes place during January, February, and March.
HOW IT WORKS:
You apply through CORE. Employers review students’ job applications and select students they wish to interview. OCS schedules interviews through CORE, either on campus or at the employers’ offices.
OCS co-hosts the Public Service Career Fair (PSCF) with the other Texas law schools. The PSCF is held in Austin in late January or early February each year.
St. Mary’s students also participate in the Sunbelt Diversity Recruitment Program held in Dallas in late July each year.
For interested students, OCS arranges student participation in other law student job fairs held across the country throughout the year. For more information, talk to an OCS career adviser about these opportunities.
Reciprocity Services at Other Law Schools
If you are seeking opportunities outside the San Antonio area, you may wish to take advantage of reciprocity from other law schools. Reciprocity is a system by which OCS requests the career services office of another law school to grant St. Mary’s students and graduates access to that school’s resources.
Reciprocity is requested and granted individually. Each law school has its own reciprocity policy regarding what it offers to someone from another law school. If you want reciprocity with a particular law school, review that school’s policies prior to submitting your request.
Reciprocity is a valuable favor from another law school. If you are requesting reciprocity:
- Ask only if you need and will use the resources available to you at the other law school.
- Request reciprocity when you are ready to use it because reciprocity is time-limited. Once expired, you must reapply.
Please email Kimberly Underdown or call her at 210-436-3511 if you would like our office to request reciprocity with another law school’s career services office on your behalf. Please allow two weeks for our office to process your request and receive a response from the other school.
Suit Up Station
OCS offers gently used suits and professional business attire for students who are currently enrolled at St. Mary’s University School of Law free of charge. The Suit Up Station helps students who do not have the funds to purchase professional attire with clothes for interviews, legal work, and relationship-building events.