“Black and Latino law students face unique challenges during the summer recruitment process and once hired,” says Erika López '14, president of Cornell’s Latino American Law Students Association (LALSA). It was with those challenges in mind that prompted last year's LALSA leadership to join forces with the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and led by Marihug Cedeño '13 they organized the First Annual Professional Development Boot Camp held in the spring of 2012. Determined to make this event a new tradition at the Law School, López and BLSA's current president Aleesha Fowler '14, along with a planning committee, organized the Second Annual Boot Camp. This year's Boot Camp centered on the theme “Building Your Brand” and was held April 4-7 at Myron Taylor Hall with great success.
Fifteen panelists, most of them Cornell Law alumni, represented a variety of legal career paths and included recruiters from top firms. These guests and the sixty-five student members of LALSA and BLSA in attendance were joined at lunch by Dean of Students Anne Lukingbeal, Assistant Dean for Student and Career Services, John DeRosa, Professor Angela Cornell, and Stewart J. Schwab, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. The full day of panels and workshops concluded with a networking session at La Tourelle Resort and Spa.
During the program, students were paired up with panelists for mock interviews. "Students found the advice they received during these mini-interviews extremely valuable and feel that they are now better prepared to face the legal recruitment process,” says López. So many students have already raved about how helpful the weekend was, and they are all so inspired!”
This year’s Professional Development Boot Camp was made possible through the sponsorship of Kirkland and Ellis; Latham & Watkins; Milbank; PaulWiess; Shearman & Sterling; Simpson Thacher; and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.