Seven Clark University alumni currently in law school or practicing law returned to campus to share their experiences and perspectives with students eyeing a similar post-Clark path.

ClarkCONNECT event arms undergraduates with legal advice

February 21, 2017

Seven Clark University alumni currently in law school or practicing law returned to campus on Feb. 15 to share their experiences and perspectives with students eyeing a similar post-Clark path. The event was part of the University’s ClarkCONNECT initiative.

Panelists speak with students at the recent Networked Communities event.Panelists speak with students at the recent Networked Communities event. The night’s theme quickly evolved into the demystification of the law school application process. Undergraduates wondering “What does it take to be a successful lawyer?” left the Alumni and Student Engagement Center with ample knowledge and resources to answer that question. Mark Miller, professor of political science and director of the Law and Society Program at Clark, moderated the panel.

Margaret Kettles ’11, M.P.A. ’12, and Kristen Bokhan ’10, M.P.A. ’12, both attending Harvard Law School, noted that working in Worcester after graduating from Clark influenced their law school experiences. Kettles, who worked at AIDS Project Worcester and as a child advocate for the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, realized she wanted to earn her law degree to create positive change for underserved, at-risk community members. Similarly, Bokhan’s tenure at GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and the YMCA of Central Massachusetts gave her invaluable professional experience and solidified her resolve to attend law school. Kettles and Bokhan continue to serve the Greater Boston area community in their leadership roles at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.

Zach Altman ’11, M.P.A. ’12, a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, and Julia Fradkin ’09, a graduate of Villanova University School of Law, shared valuable advice about navigating the important first year of law school. They and Katie Courville ’16, who attends University of New Hampshire School of Law, offered insight into how networking can lead to sought-after internships at prestigious law firms.

Valerie Johnson ’15, a student at Suffolk University Law School, shared her plan for securing a successful legal career while still managing to take the time off to start a family down the line. Both Courville and Johnson were former captains of Clark University’s Mock Trial team.

Northeastern University School of Law student Seth Katzman ’15, M.B.A. ’16, explained how Northeastern’s Cooperative Legal Education Program is equipping him for a successful professional career.

The panelists encouraged students to stay off law-school blogs, noting that grade point averages and Law School Admission Test scores do not solely define success. They said “soft-factors” like personal statements, a fifth-year master’s degree from Clark, and world and work experiences do matter. After the panel concluded, Clark undergraduates exchanged information with panelists and discussed opportunities. 

Upcoming ClarkCONNECT events

These ClarkCONNECT events will be held in March at the Alumni and Student Engagement Center:

Health — March 21, 6 p.m.

An interactive alumni panel on careers in the field of health and an informal networking reception will be held. Participants include alumni co-chairs Dr. Dennis Dimitri ’75, vice chair of the Department of Family Medicine Clinical Services, UMass Memorial Center & Clinical Associate Professor, UMass Medical School; and Miranda Katsoyannis ’78, senior project analyst for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; faculty co-chairs Rosalie Torres Stone, associate professor of sociology, and James R. Gomes, director of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise; John O’Brien, senior fellow at the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise and former CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, and keynote speaker John Auberbach ’72, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health.

Markets & Business — March 23, 6 p.m.

Join alumni co-chairs Jennifer Ball ’89, executive vice president of distribution marketing & content partnerships at Univision Communications, and Paul Saltzman ’82, vice chairman Deutsche Bank Americas; and faculty co-chairs Barbara Bigelow, professor and associate dean of Clark’s Graduate School of Management, Jacqueline Geoghegan, professor and chair of the Clark Economics Department, and Catherine Usoff, dean of the Graduate School of Management, for an interactive conversation with students, alumni, faculty and friends about career paths and opportunities in varied fields related to markets and business. An informal networking reception will follow.

Pictured at top: Professor Mark Miller; Zach Altman ’11, M.P.A. ’12; Julia Fradkin ’09; Seth Katzman ’15, M.B.A. ’16; Margaret Kettles ’11, M.A. ’12; Kristen Bokhan ’10, M.P.A. ’11; Katie Courville ’16; and Valerie Johnson ’15.