Expanding employment options during the pandemic
With an assist from alumni, students gain unique summer work experiences
Madeline Brashear had just received a job offer for the summer before her second year of Loyola law school.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.
“I’d hoped to stay in Chicago for the summer, but that quickly changed in mid-March,” Brashear says. As she moved home to Arizona to quarantine with her family while finishing spring classes online, Brashear wondered whether she’d be able to replace her Windy City offer with a remote or local summer position.
The pandemic sharply and suddenly curtailed the ability of many employers to offer internships, clerkships, and summer associateships to law students. “Students in the full-time division only have two summers to get that critical working experience,” says Maureen Kieffer (JD ’02), assistant dean for career services. So, the School of Law acted quickly, creating a bridge program for new grads who hadn’t yet found jobs and for those whose new employers had pushed back start dates. Many students took advantage of additional slots at Loyola’s clinics, while public interest graduates had access to an expanded summer stipend program.
The law school also asked alumni to be inventive about employing students. “We launched a micro-internship program, encouraging lawyers who weren’t in a position to offer a full summer internship to think about discrete projects they could give a student,” Kieffer says.
The School of Law has over 12,000 alums working in locally, nationally, and internationally.