Business Law Program Engages Students Beyond the Classroom

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The Business Law Program is starting the 2022-23 academic year with a bang! With the mission to prepare students for successful careers, the Business Law Program is committed to providing professional development opportunities. In addition to its regular schedule of events, the Business Law Program launched a Lunch and Learn series designed to offer law students professional and academic extracurricular opportunities.

 To kick off the new academic year, the outgoing Director of the Business Law Program, Michael Van Alstine, and current Director, Kevin Tu, welcomed students back to Maryland Carey Law at a special event at Forno Wine Bar. Sharing stories about summer vacations, internships, and adventures, the students, faculty, and staff of the Business Law Program were glad for the opportunity to reconnect. “The Business Law Program strives to be more than just an academic organization,” says Heather Terech, Managing Director, “we take a holistic approach and want to train the next generation of business lawyers in all facets of the profession, not just in the classroom.”

In September, the students heard from a distinguished bankruptcy panel who shared their wisdom of many collective years of experience during the first Lunch & Learn. The Honorable Michelle Harner started the discussion with a Bankruptcy 101 basics review.  Moderator 2L Michael Gaskell led the discussion of the daily life of bankruptcy practitioners. Lisa Y. Stevens ‘04, Trial Attorney at the Office of the U.S. Trustee, Jodie Buchman ‘99, Partner at Silverman Thompson, and Patricia Jefferson ‘04, Principal at Miles & Stockbridge rounded out the panel providing insight into different career options in bankruptcy. 2L Megan Young mentioned the event “was a great opportunity to hear from a variety of professionals within the bankruptcy field,” and enjoyed the valuable advice given to the attendees, including “the importance of finding mentors within the bankruptcy field and building strong relationships with colleagues.”

“There is no perfect way to get anywhere, but what you can do is work on being the perfect you right now, tomorrow, and the days after that,” advised Chukwukpee Nzegwu ‘20, a third-year Associate working in Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP’s Baltimore office.  He and Brittani Gordon ’15, an associate with NEXT powered by Shulman Rogers platform, spent lunch in October with our students to provide insight and advice on what to expect as a junior associate post-graduation. “I found the ‘Life as a Junior Associate’ event especially insightful,” said 2L Keegan Farley, the panelists “gave great advice on the importance of developing one’s network and how to succeed as a law student and attorney.” Both Chukwukpee and Brittani have also been helpful connections after the event itself, with 2L Elizabeth Stamas mentioning “after the event, I reached out to Chukwukpee Nzegwu, who was more than willing to provide additional insight and advice.”

For November, a lunch panel with Denise Giraldez Garcia, General Counsel, and Strategic Partnership Lead at Floreo, along with Zack Shankman, General Counsel of Hord Coplan Macht (HCM), shared lunch with students discussing the role of in-house counsel.  As seasoned corporate attorneys, they shared their career paths and the duties of in-house counsel. With 3L Nick Curtis as moderator, students had the opportunity to inquire about pathways to becoming in-house counsel. The session provided interested students with advice and insight how to accomplish their career goals.