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February 29, 2012

Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs

by dan rodriguez

The predicaments of the current legal economy has put pressures on our law students and therefore has required us to rise to the occasion with constructive, creative action to address this difficult situation.  Here is a memo which I sent to the law school community this morning:

To:       Northwestern Law Community

 From:   Dean Dan Rodriguez

 Re:       Assistant Dean of External Partnerships


I am pleased to make you aware of a new position we are creating to support and enhance our strategic initiatives in the areas of employment and external relations.  The new position’s title will be Assistant Dean of External Partnerships.

 Since the global financial crisis of 2008, the legal economy and employment landscape for our students and alumni have changed profoundly.  As I begin my deanship, I can scarcely think of a greater challenge facing our law school and, indeed, all law schools in the months and years ahead.

With this new position, the Law School will address this critical challenge by expanding and coordinating our efforts to forge strategic connections with employers and other important organizational constituents.  By strengthening our partnerships, we hope to foster employment outcomes for our students and graduates, to improve our stewardship with and recognition of key stakeholders and, thereby, to enhance our reputation among them.

The Assistant Dean of External Partnerships will devote significant time to meeting with current and potential employers of all types and in all regions of the country.  Working closely with the Career Strategy Center team, and others, she or he will seek to identify employment opportunities, work to solidify and strengthen our relationships with employers, and facilitate efforts to match students and recent graduates with openings that arise.  These initiatives will supplement the important and continuing career counseling, programming, and employer relations work that our Career Strategy Center team so ably performs.

Additionally, the Assistant Dean of External Partnerships will provide broad oversight of our professional and continuing legal education programs and serve as a key member of a formal external relations team which we will form.  This team likely will consist of individuals from marketing, alumni relations, development, career services, admissions, professional & continuing legal education, our Executive LLM programs, research centers, and the Bluhm Legal Clinic.

With the assistance of the external relations team, the Assistant Dean of External Partnerships will coordinate our school-wide outreach efforts and create a mechanism to track top organizational supporters along several categories, including student hiring, sponsorship and giving, CLE and professional education program attendance, and overall Northwestern Law alumni presence.  When I and others meet with representatives of these organizations, we will be armed with this important information so that we can better coach them on ways to partner with individuals, units, programs, and research centers throughout the Law School.  As a result, opportunities for engagement and community building will be enriched.

I am excited by the potential impact this new position can have and believe the activities I have described are imperative in this new economy as we strive to build our reputation in the legal community and the broader business, nonprofit, and government sectors both here and abroad.

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