Roger Williams is proud of its commitment to supporting our diverse students, and this includes covering a part of the expense associated with having them attend the Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference. Here is a report on this year’s activities from Erin Wright, our terrific Assistant Director of Career Services (BA Providence College/MHR University of Oklahoma/JD Notre Dame):
I was fortunate to attend the Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference again this year. The 2011 Conference took place in Hollywood and allowed law students and nearly 150 recruiters, some of the best and brightest legal minds in the LGBT community, to come together. The Conference is comprised of panel presentations, workshops, a career fair, and individual career counseling sessions. In my capacity as Co-Vice Chair of the Lavender Law Work Group of the LGBT Section of The National Association for Law Placement, I was able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, especially important in light of the tight job market facing law students and graduates.
Last year, the most important aspect of Lavender Law occurred because I was responsible for supervising the Individual Career Counseling program. The legal professionals who volunteered as counselors were able to meet with 60 students in one-on-one counseling sessions. The message that I took from the counseling sessions that day was how incredibly important it is for LGBT students to attend a supportive law school. This year, having seen so many students who came from schools without targeted support for LGBT students, I made it a personal goal to reach even more. I’m happy to report that the volunteers and I were able to see over 70 students, increasing their ability to make the most of the unique opportunity Lavender Law Career Fair and Conference presents. We were able to counsel these students in optimizing their experience at the Conference and with the bigger picture issues facing LGBT law students and lawyers related to coming out and seeking supportive work environments.
In recapping the day with Roger Williams students who attended (Chris Gerlica, Luis Mancheno, and Courtney Ferland), one individual remarked upon the amazing opportunity Lavender Law presents for students and practitioners to come together in a supportive and inspiring environment when, in much of the world, even in legal education, the LGBT population still faces discrimination. And this is the magic of the conference – not only are students able to choose from nearly 150 law firms and public interest organizations to speak with, they can do so knowing they will not face discrimination, that these organizations come to the Conference specifically to meet with members of the LGBT community.
Here is a pic from the meeting:
L-R: Luis Mancheno, Chris Gerlica, Courtney Ferland, Rob Teague, Erin Wright