Author Archives: Career Services

Dining Etiquette by Diann Catlin!

What does your dinner table etiquette say about you? 

As a legal professional you will be representing your employer with clients, judges, colleagues and in the community.  Your employer insists that you always make a good impression and flawless table manners are a necessary component of doing so.

The Career Services Department is proud to welcome Diann Catlin to campus for her presentation on Dining Etiquette Tuesday, September 27, 2011 from 12:00PM – 1:30PM in room 420.  This unique presentation features an intimate sit-down lunch where students will  not only learn, but also practice proper dining etiquette.     

Ms. Catlin will specifically address:

  • Dining in and out, the cast of characters you may encounter;
  • Prices, everything from a la carte to price fixe;
  • Ordering, complaints, speaking, leaving;
  • Table settings and utensils;
  • Dining and making conversation;
  • Special advice for the host/hostess;
  • And much, much more!

Please note attendance is limited to the first 50 students that RSVP; serious RSVPs only please. RSVP on Symplicity now!

Spring Admit 1Ls: CSD Curriculum Due Friday!

Don’t forget that ALL Spring 2011 Admits must complete the 4 hour CSD Curriculum hosted on Desire2Learn ( The Curriculum which consists of 12 sections (a video and short quiz) is due by 11:59 pm on Friday, September 23rd. After you complete all of the sections with a 75% or better, your Symplicity account will be unblocked. If you have any questions about the course, please contact Lisa Vervynck.

Want to learn more about the Department of State? Come hear Robert Bagett speak about job opportunities!

The United States Department of State (often referred to as the State Department or DoS), is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries. The Department was created in 1789 and was the first executive department established.

The Department is headquartered in the Harry S. Truman Building located at 2201 C Street, NW,  a few blocks from the White House in Washington, DC. The Department operates the diplomatic missions of the United States abroad and is responsible for implementing the foreign policy of the United States and U.S. diplomacy efforts.

The Department is led by theSecretary of State, Hilary Clinton, who is nominated by the President andconfirmed by theSenate and is a member of the Cabinet.

Don’t miss the opportunity to come and hear Robert Baggett give a presentation on what types of job opportunities exist within the State Department. Mr. Baggett will be available to answer questions during and after the presentation.

The presentation will be held Tuesday, September 6th from 12:00 pm until 1:15 pm in room 250. Pizza and drinks will be provided. RSVP on Symplicity or send an e-mail to

Want to get paid while you gain legal work experience??

There are several paid positions available for 2L and 3L students in Jacksonville for the fall semester  at the below locations.

  • Jacksonville Area Legal Aid ***
  • Three Rivers Legal Services ***
  • Compassionate Families ***
  • ACLU
  • The Public Defenders’ Office

Login to Symplicity to learn more about these organizations and apply today.  The deadlines are rapidly approaching!

*** These positions are funded through the Federal Work Study Program.  Please verify with Rita in Financial Aid ( to see if you qualify to apply BEFORE submitting your application.

Upcoming OCI Deadlines!

The following OCIs have deadlines quickly approaching! As always, please make sure that your class year (1L, 2L, 3L) has been updated and you have the required documents loaded into Symplicity BEFORE trying to apply. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Vervynck at

Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office

Eligible: 3Ls, Alumni
Position: Assistant State Attorney
Location: Miami, FL
Compensation: $40,000
Application Material: Resume & Transcript
Application Deadline: 11:59 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2011
How to Apply: Submit application via Symplicity

Bataineh Palmeri, LLP

Eligible: 2nd Semester 1Ls, 2Ls
Position: Legal Assistant
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Compensation: Unpaid
Application Material: Resume, Cover Letter (addressed to Salvatore Palmeri, Esq.) & Writing Sample
Application Deadline: 11:59 pm Sunday, September 4, 2011
How to Apply: Submit application via Symplicity

Etiquette Speaker: Diann Catlin

What role do manners and social skills play in an employer’s hiring decision?


Remember that you will be representing your employer with clients, the community, judges and colleagues.  Your organization insists that you always make a good impression.

The Career Services Department is proud to welcome Diann Catlin to our campus for her presentation on “Minding Your Manners.”  Ms. Catlin has been fine tuning the social skills of Jacksonville’s professional community for many years.  You do not want to miss her informative presentation.  Her tips and advice are guaranteed to position you ahead of other candidates.

Please join us on Tuesday, August 30th between 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. in room #550 to learn the following things: 

  • Engaging Someone in Conversation
  • The Importance of the Spoken Word
  • Business Dress
  • The Written Word
  • The Social World
  • Networking, meeting and greeting and the impressions you give

Students in attendance will receive Professionalism Credits for this presentation!

Please R.S.V.P. on Symplicity at, or if you are a first semester 1L, send an e-mail to Career Services at

Did you know??

The CSD has 4 other blogs that are updated weekly!

Our Newest Blog:

Interested in an alternative legal career? Not sure what you want to do with your JD?

Then check out the Alternative Careers Blog at

Other Favorites:

Government & Public Interest (

Private Practice (

Dimensions of Diversity (

So you got an interview, now what?

You spent all that time reviewing your resume and perfecting your cover letter, don’t forget about the most import part of the interviewing process: The First Impression!

According to a study from former UCLA professor Albert Mehrabian:

First impressions are formed in 7 seconds.  38% of a first impression is based on inflection and tone of voice (how you say things), 7% is based on what you actually say, and a whopping 55% of a first impression comes from NONVERBAL cues!” 

How you dress or what you wear is going to make the biggest impact on what kind of first impression you make. Remember that the legal industry is one of the most conservative! See below for dos and don’ts for men and women:


  1. Interview Suit must be lined and made of wool in navy, dark gray (charcoal) or grey. You should always stay away from black or brown suits.
  2. To ensure the “best” fit, have your suit tailored. It is also a good idea to have them pressed.
  3. Do not wear any type of a lapel pin on your suit.
  4. Shirts should be white, although light blue is also acceptable.
  5. Always select a tie that is conservative, both in color and pattern. Ties should be 100% silk and should extend no lower than your belt when it is tied. Never wear tie tacks, pins or clips.
  6. Your shoes should always be black and lace-up. Never wear unpolished shoes.
  7. Belts must match your shoes.
  8. Do not wear any jewelry, except for a watch and wedding ring if you are married. Always shave: NO facial hair or long sideburns. Cover visible tattoos. Avoid cologne or use it sparingly. Make sure your nails are short and clean. NO smoking before an interview.


  1. We recommend that you wear a skirt suit to all interviews, other acceptable options include a dress with matching jacket or a pantsuit. Solid dark suits are preferable, but solid camel, dark beige, brown and hunter green suits will work as well. Always have your suit tailored and pressed.
  2. Don’t forget proportions! Short-waisted women look better in longer jackets, shorter skirts and low-rise (just below the waistline) pants.  Long-waisted women look better in shorter jackets, longer skirts and pants that sit at the waist-line.
  3. Wear something very simple under your suit in a muted color.  It can be a cotton or silk blouse or a silk (not nylon) knit (not jersey) shell. Never leave more than 1-2 buttons unbuttoned.
  4. Make sure your shoes match your suit. Shoes should be polished closed-toe and pumps with a modest heel (no higher than three inches). Patent leather or light colored shoes are never appropriate for an interview.
  5. Women should always wear flesh-tone sheer hose with skirt suits and flesh-tone sheer knee highs with pant suits.
  6. Avoid excess jewelry. One ring per hand, a watch, small bracelet, necklace and small stud earrings.
  7. You may carry a small leather handbag into the interview. No briefcases.
  8. Your hair should be pulled back (if long enough) or neatly styled (if short), but always conservative. Go easy on the makeup and use neutral colors. Do not overdo perfume. Make sure your nails are fairly short and polished (light or clear). Cover visible tattoos. NO smoking before an interview.

For more detail on what to wear, please see the “Dress for Success” tab of your Career Handbook.

Don’t miss out! Sign up for an OCI today!

On-Campus Interview season is once again in full swing and application deadlines are quickly approaching. All OCIs will be posted in Symplicity. Make sure now that you can access your account. Remeber OCI is only open to 2nd semester 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls.

Below are some of the firms/organizations that will be interviewing on campus. Log into Symplicity to see what application material they have requested. (Tip: Make sure you update your class year in Symplicity.)

  1. Foley & Lardner, LLP (2L) – Deadline: 8/24/11
  2. Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP (2L) – Deadline: 8/25/11
  3. 15th Judicial Circuit, State Attorney’s Office (3L) – Deadline: 8/29/11
  4. Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office (3L) – Deadline: 8/31/11
  5. Bataineh Palmeri (2nd semester 1L, 2L) – Deadline: 9/4/11
  6. Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy & Ford, P.A. (2L) – Deadline: 9/8/11
  7. Marshall, Dennehy, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, P.C. (3L) – Deadline: 9/9/11
  8. U.S. Army JAG (2L, 3L) – Deadline: 9/12/11 

For more information about OCIs and what they are, see the post below on August 10th.

Transactional Law vs. Litigation Panel

Would you rather be a lawyer like Jack McCoy in Law & Order or someone who negotiates deals and makes things happen behind the scenes?  In legal terms, it boils down to: “Do you want to be a transactional lawyer or a litigator?”  The skills and personal temperament of transactional lawyers and litigators are often very different. How do you decide? 

On Tuesday, August 23rd between 12 noon and 1:15 p.m., the Career Services Department will conduct a panel discussion with real life transactional lawyers and litigators in Room 550.  Lunch will be provided.  Please join us to find out such things as:

  • The personality traits most commonly shared by transactional lawyers and by litigators.
  • The skills required to be successful in each specialty.
  • What employers look for when hiring a young lawyer for litigation versus transactional law.
  • The types of matters litigators and transactional lawyers handle in their practices.
  • Whether you can build a practice that includes litigation and transactional work.

John Leombruno – Arnold Law Firm, LLC


  • Mark Addington – Addington Law
  • Tricia Rado – The Public Defender’s Office, 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida
  • Lawsikia Hodges – Office of the General Counsel, Jacksonville, Florida, Real Property Law
  • Katharine Rowe – Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
  • Emily Dillow – Donahoo & McMenamy, P.A. 

R.S.V.P. on Symplicity or to