Today on Veterans Day, we honor all of those who have served in our country’s Armed Forces. The legal industry is fortunate to have many veterans among our ranks. Through our work at Vault, we have received requests for additional information on veterans in the industry and advice for those veterans pursuing legal careers. Below are some resources for veterans who are considering launching a legal career or are currently building one.
For Veterans Applying to Law School
• Service to School: This nonprofit organization offers free application counseling to veterans in their applications to undergraduate and graduate school, including law school. Service to School has a team of ambassadors who have gone through the process themselves and provide one-on-one guidance.
• Law School Student Services & Financial Aid: Many law schools offer financial assistance and resources to veterans. As you research law schools, investigate whether your target schools offer fee waivers to veterans. Also speak with the school’s financial aid office to see if it participates in the Yellow Ribbon program (including whether it limits the number of students) and/or offers additional financial aid for those who have served. Also useful is to see whether your target schools have a veterans student group and/or resource center focused on building and guiding the veteran community on campus.
For Veterans Who Are Law Students
• Legal Clinics: While not every veteran will want to focus on legal issues concerning fellow veterans, some will. And finding a school that supports veterans through legal clinics may be a priority to some veterans. There are many law schools that offer such programs. If you are interested in participating in this kind of learning experience while in law school, be sure to prepare in advance so that you know the application dates and materials required.
For Veterans Who Are Lawyers
• Veterans Legal Career Fair: This career fair is focused solely on veterans and those in the service (as well as military spouses). It was created by Orrick in 2015 and has continued each year, with the most recent fair taking place in October 2019. The Veterans Legal Career Fair includes employer tables and resume drops, as well as networking opportunities, a keynote, interviews, and small-group discussions. Past employers have included Amazon, Bank of America, Bracewell, the CIA, Covington & Burling, Finnegan, Intel, Jones Day, McGuireWoods, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Orrick, Shearman & Sterling, Sheppard Mullin, Walmart, and Winston & Strawn—among many others.
• Law Firm Affinity Network: If you opt to practice within a large law firm, ask if they have an affinity group focused on veterans. These kinds of groups help build a community of veterans within the law firm, recruit lawyers who are also veterans, and engage in events that may foster professional development and/or mentoring for veterans within the firm.
• DOJ Veterans Website: This site offers resources on veteran hiring within the Federal government, education benefits, and general career and resume advice. It also features links to various job fairs focused on veterans. (Please note, this resource isn’t focused solely on legal careers.)
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