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This volume of recruiting activity is a measure of the esteem in which Virginia students are held by legal employers. It has, moreover, resulted in a geographical pattern of job placement that is as diverse as that of any law school in the country. For example, the most popular employment locales for graduates of the Class of 1997 were Washington, D.C. (65 graduates), New York City (53), Richmond (19), Atlanta (17), Boston (14), Baltimore (12), the San Francisco Bay area (11), Charlottesville and Northern Virginia (10 each), Norfolk (8), Dallas (7), Charlotte (6), and Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Diego (5 each).
The Career Services Office and Public Service Center offer a wide range of services to students seeking permanent and summer employment. They maintain contact with students and employers through the computerized CASE system, which links the offices with students and employers via the Internet. In addition to attending to the logistical demands of the fall interviewing season, both the Career Services Office and the Public Service Center provide individual counseling on subjects ranging from interviewing techniques to strategies for obtaining specific types of jobs to letter and resume writing. The offices also help students looking for jobs outside the formal interviewing process, by corresponding with and forwarding student resumes to non-visiting employers posted on the CASE system, and by assisting students in locating still other employers, often making use of the Internet and the comprehensive employer listings in the career services and Public Service Center libraries.
The Career Services Office has developed and maintains an extensive alumni network, made up of some 2,000 of its graduates who have volunteered to provide advice and assistance to students and graduates in the job market. The Public Service Center also maintains an alumni network designed especially for those looking for public service careers.
Other projects conducted by the Career Services Office and the Public Service Center include panel discussions on various kinds of legal opportunities, including those not generally represented among visiting employers; newsletters for alumni in the job market; regional job fairs; an annual public interest job fair; symposia on job search techniques and strategies; and projects designed to promote careers in public service, such as Student Funded Fellowships, which provide stipends to students in summer public-service jobs, and the University of Virginia Public Service Loan Assistance Program, which provides loan assistance to graduates in public service positions.
Within a few months of graduation in 1997, 363 out of 392 graduates had informed the Career Services Office that they had obtained jobs: 241 with law firms; 73 as judicial clerks; 9 with the federal, city, or state government or public interest groups; 3 with corporations; and 5 with the military. The remaining graduates engaged in such disparate endeavors as graduate study, accounting, consulting, and investment banking.
The members of the Class of 1997 accepted positions in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Starting salaries varied considerably with location and type of work. For example, large New York firms offered 1997 graduates $92,000 per year, while similar jobs in large urban areas were generally more than $65,000 and in smaller urban areas generally around $45,000. Jobs with the federal government were in most cases at the $35,000 salary level. Although precise figures are not available, the average starting salary for graduates in the private sector was estimated by the Career Services Office to be about $70,000.
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