Frequently Asked Questions
Traditionally, predominantly large law firms participate in USC’s OCI Program. However, we also host government agencies, public interest organizations, corporations and small to mid-sized law firms. Please visit the www.nalpdirectory.com and conduct a search for employers who recruit at USC.
Despite the size of OCI, please be aware that the participating employers represent less than 10% of all employers who hire law students nationally. These employers are among the few that have the necessary resources (e.g. time, money, staffing) to participate in OCI programs.
In addition to on-campus interviews, the CSO maintains an extensive job posting database which lists part-time and full-time opportunities. Several events are also held throughout the year aimed at bringing students and attorneys together for networking purposes. However, it is important to understand that in order to achieve success in the job search, students must think creatively. As a result, we strongly encourage students to work closely with a career counselor to help formulate a personalized job search strategy and identify potential resources that best fits their needs.
An increasing number of USC Law graduates choose to begin their professional careers outside of California and are successful in doing so. Students who wish to work out of state are encouraged to work closely with a career counselor in the CSO. Counselors help students develop an aggressive long distance job search strategy by focusing on specific resources, such as the legendary USC Alumni Network and reciprocity agreements with other law schools, which have proven successful for past students. In addition, the CSO participates in the Washington, DC and New York Off-Campus Recruitment Programs with other law schools around the country, connecting USC students with legal employers in these cities
The appeal of the entertainment industry makes the practice of entertainment law a popular choice for law students. While finding a permanent position in the entertainment field upon graduation is extremely challenging, there are many resources available to students who are interested in doing so and are willing to take the initiative. If the entertainment field interests you, we highly recommend that you avail yourself of the myriad opportunities to talk and meet with USC Law graduates who are in the entertainment industry to learn more about the opportunities available and steps to take to maximize your chances for success. In addition, it is helpful to refer to resources such as, The Official Guide to Legal Specialties: An Insider’s Guide to Every Major Practice Area. The book is published by NALP and is available in our office, on the NALP website (www.nalp.org) and through Amazon.com.
Similar to Entertainment Law, International law is an area often cited by students as an area of interest. As with entertainment law, students are encouraged to learn more about the practice of international law and the opportunities available. Students who understand the practice of international law, versus students who have limited knowledge of the practice area, will appear more serious and committed to potential employers. These students will also be able to identify the coursework and internships that will help them secure a job in international law upon graduation. A good starting point is the book, Careers in International Law. The book is published by ASIL (The American Society of International Law) and is available on their website (www.asil.org). Students interested in working overseas are encouraged to explore USC Law School's selective, semester abroad exchange programs with the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong; Bocconi University in Milan, Italy; University Jean Moulin Lyon in Lyon, France; and Bond University in Queensland, Australia.
Each year roughly 10-20% of our graduates start their careers at government agencies and public interest organizations. The counselors in the CSO are available to assist students with their public interest job search. In addition, the CSO publishes two guidebooks for students: USC Law School’s Guide to Public Service Law and USC Law School’s Guide to Government Jobs in California. Both resources are accessible online through our password-protected website. We also have numerous print and online materials that are specifically geared toward helping students pursue careers in public interest law and government.
Each year, several graduates pursue careers outside the practice of law. Students interested in alternative careers are strongly encouraged to work with a career counselor to identify potential career paths that match their interests and skills. A sampling of opportunities secured by recent graduates includes non-legal positions in the consulting, real estate, publishing, entertainment, insurance and banking industries.
From the perspective of the Career Services Office, one of the most important things a law student should do in the beginning of law school is determine how you would like to use your law degree upon graduation. You do not need to limit your interests to one specific career path. Preliminary research on potential career paths will provide you with focus. This, in turn, will provide guidance on how to best utilize your time in law school with regard to coursework, internships and other opportunities.