The Department of Political Science and the College’s Pre-Law Advising Program hosted the third luncheon in their Career Café Series on March 24. The event focused on legal sector career opportunities, and featured political science alumni participants Michael Bender (’00), Corporate Counsel at The InterTech Group, Inc.; Ronald “Les” Blankenship (’05), Deputy County Supervisor and Special Counsel at the Berkeley County Legal Department; Kenyatta “Kenny” Gardner (’08), Associate at Nexsen Pruet; and Carmen Sessions Scott (’96), Attorney at Law at Motley Rice.
The panelists represented a variety of specialties within law and provided excellent insights into their fields and career paths. They emphasized the importance of taking undergraduate classes that focus on critical thinking, writing, and reading skills to prepare for law school and an eventual career. They also recommended that students gain valuable experience by seeking internships with the state and federal courts along with victim advocacy groups. In addition, law school applicants can make their applications more competitive by taking courses in other disciplines such as science, business, and engineering.
As the field of law changes and less cases actually go to trial, the alumni noted that future lawyers will need to be creative and seek alternative ways to solve problems. They also mentioned that it is essential to be able to process large volumes of information and communicate findings effectively. Pursuing a law career is demanding and students were encouraged to make sure that they are passionate about the field before embarking on this profession. The panelists also reminded students to take time for family, friends, and hobbies.
“We were so thankful that four of our outstanding alumni were willing to take the time to share their journeys with our students,” said political science department chair, Dr. Gibbs Knotts.
The Career Café Luncheon Series is an opportunity for students to learn from alumni about the various types of careers political science majors pursue. Based on its success, the department plans to focus on the private and public sectors for the next academic year.