Current City: Charleston, SC
Lawrence “Trey” Jameson has been a dedicated alumni who has advocated for the betterment of the school through his extensive contacts and existing relationships. He represents the best of our school: intelligence, service, and entrepreneurialism.
While the InfiLaw buyout is the biggest issue facing our alma mater, I believe there are other areas where we as alum can improve the image our school: increasing participation of the alumni, increasing our national profile through employment, and increasing our involvement with current students. As a former “out-of state” alum, I felt the effects of not having a tight alumni network in searching for employment. My ideas are based on my experiences and how I believe they may benefit our board and our school.
After graduation, I attended Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to obtain my LL.M. in Intellectual Property. The law school is only thirty years old and has its alumni to thank for its rapid success. The school is Tier 1 in “the rankings” and one of its contributions is its national profile which is backed by national employment. Further, students do not end their involvement with the school at graduation. They continue being a part of the law school well after they graduate. The alumni are extremely active in helping each other gain employment post-graduation through their own personal networks. Further, they are continuously returning to the law school to speak with current students and work with them as mentors through graduation, the bar exam, and employment. We as alum of Charleston School of Law could adopt a similar approach and increase the value of our school.
First, we need to create a database of all alum, including a search by where each alum went to undergraduate school, graduate school (if applicable) and where they grew up. By doing so, mini-networks are created and a student or alum is able to contact others based on where they are seeking employment and increasing their chances of being hired. Even if students and alum are not able to access this information, it would be important for Career Services and the Alumni Coordinator to readily have access to such information. This expansion of networks will help in-state and out-of-state alum.
Further, the school should encourage alum to host conferences and/or have speaking engagements at the school and become more involved with the current students. By giving students access to alums, more natural mentoring bonds can be created. Also, the school should have semi-annual networking events with current students and alums for the same purpose. These relationships could prove more beneficial during bar study time as well.
These are just a few ideas that could be a great start to pushing the school to the next level. We face an uphill battle with InfiLaw, but the question remains, if we win, what are WE going to do to keep the school’s reputation above board. I believe we need to be proactive in continuing to make Charleston School of Law the best school possible.