by Amy Hals, HR Coordinator, Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP

The PSALA recently hosted a Summer Associate panel discussion at the HR led chapter meet-up. The panel consisted of representatives from University of Washington Law School, Seattle University Law School, and three members of the Seattle Area Legal Recruiting Administrators (SALRA). It was a very interesting discussion as the group addressed what recruiting looks like from the student perspective as well as the employers. They presented both views as a life cycle of the student, what they do as a 1L, a 2L, and their options and timing post-graduation. Details regarding NALP guidelines were lightly covered, especially when the firm can start offering summer positions, how long the offer should stay open, and how many offers a student can entertain at once.
Melissa Berry, UW and Josie Mitchell, SU covered numerous opportunities to get involved at the law school level, including Scholarships and Fellowships, professional mentorship programs, and diversity events. The SALRA team talked about the resources they provide to the Seattle area regarding both law school and lateral recruiting. All involved were eager to assist with future questions and concerns.
I found the most intriguing part of the discussion to be about the integration of the student into the firm. Most everyone at the meeting believed that there should be a balance between teaching the practice of law and the business of law. Brook Dormaier, SALRA President, spoke about getting the student in front of all the departments. Educating on how to use a Legal Assistant, how accounting/billing is involved, the human aspect of working in a law firm, and how to market and build a book of business. Involving the administrative team into the Summer Associate’s experience brings the whole integration package together. Ultimately, this improves the experience for the student and the future outcome of the firm.