Job Searches, UVA Law

News From Upside Down World

Morgan Lewis.JPGWe are living in a bizzaro world. Check out this fact pattern:
There’s a partner at Morgan Lewis with 18 years of experience. Morgan Lewis cancels its entire 2010 Summer Program. Partner leaves Morgan Lewis. For a more lucrative gig? No. He leaves to be the new head of career services at UVA Law School.
UVA Law has just hired Kevin Donovan, a former litigation partner at Morgan Lewis.
First of all, who leaves a partnership for a career services gig?
Secondly, the irony of a partner at a firm that just refused to hire rising 2Ls being in charge of finding jobs for rising 2Ls is rich. Is this some kind of twisted Marshal Plan? First you bomb it, then you build it?
After the jump, let’s take a look at Mr. Donovan’s qualifications and vision for UVA law students.

Donovan was the pro bono partner at MLB. That seems like a particularly useful skill, since actual for profit employers like Morgan Lewis aren’t hiring people.
But Donovan said he left his old job because he was ready for something new:

“I was at a point in my career where I had accomplished a lot of the things I had wanted to as a litigator and I was ready for something different,” Donovan said. “I had always heard great things about the University of Virginia, I knew a number of the graduates who were at our firm, and when I saw this opportunity, it interested me.”

Fair enough. Now that he’s at UVA, what is he going to tell students who want Biglaw jobs?

Our advice to students right now is to think about where they would like to be, to think about what legal skills they enjoy using and what types of jobs would employ those — but then to look more broadly than they might have in the past. Some students may need to reach out beyond on-Grounds interviews to firms of different sizes, if they’re looking at firms.

Class of 2011, you can have a Biglaw job, so long as you are flexible regarding the concept of “big.”
Meanwhile, UVA Law alumni, your new head of career services wants you to think positively.

What do you tell alumni who are looking for a job?
We tell them to stay positive; people who come from this school are fabulously qualified and they have a great deal to bring to employers in the legal services market. The first-rate legal education and practical-skill development that the Law School provides puts graduates from this school in a uniquely strong position. So we help alumni find the employers who are still hiring and to make the best possible case for themselves as they market their services to employers.

If Mr. Donovan can make the best possible case for UVA graduates to Morgan Lewis, will they listen?
Donovan Joins Law School as New Head of Career Services [UVA Law School]
Earlier: Morgan Lewis Cancels 2010 Summer Program

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