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Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP participates in St. John's University School of Law Alumni Fellowship Program

Alumni Fellowship Program Gives New Grads a Start

Reprinted from The Dean's Docket Winter 2012

When the economic downturn hit, James Conlon ’97, Associate Director of the Career Development Office, proposed the Alumni Fellowship Program, in which alumni and other employers agree to hire a recent graduate on a full or part-time basis for up to one year. Although the Alumni Fellowship initiative was only announced at the end of April and began with very little advertising and fanfare, currently 4% of the 2011 graduating class has been hired through the program.

Jim’s daily engagement with firms and students gives him a keen insight as to what a firm might be looking for in a new graduate. He seeks out the best fit between firm and student. It’s a win-win situation for both the firm and the new graduate. “Offering an Alumni Fellowship to a new law school graduate is the best way an employer can help themselves, the graduate and St. John’s Law School in these very difficult economic times,” stated Jim. Currently six firms have been active in hiring one or more graduates. Firms get to “try out” a potential hire without making a long-term commitment, while students get invaluable working experience. Participating students are free to look for permanent employment while they participate in the program.

Catherine M. Stanton, a senior partner with Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP, had this to say about the firm’s experiences with the program, “I am currently utilizing the St. John’s Alumni Fellowship Program. We are very happy to be employing three graduates from the Law School. They are all hardworking, intelligent and enthusiastic. Clearly their education at St. John’s has prepared them socially, as well as professionally for their legal careers. We are extremely pleased with them and appreciate how the program is assisting our firm with our staffing needs, while providing the graduate with valuable work experience.” And, in fact, the Firm recently hired one of these graduates to a permanent position.

Peter T. Roach ’78 regularly hires lawyers from St. John’s, and has also agreed to participate in the Fellowship Program by hiring two new grads. He notes, “The idea is to give new graduates a launching pad. We put them in the legal environment and give them some experience.” Roach encourages other firms to hire new grads, using them to do whatever the firm needs done, just to get them exposed to other lawyers and other firms. “It’s an extension of the networking process,” he said. “We hope every graduate will get involved with helping our current students obtain meaningful employment,” said Thomas J. Principe ‘73, President of the Law School’s Alumni Association.

St. John's Law Graduate Emanual Aron '11 and Pasternack Tilker senior partner Catherine M. Stanton

St. John's Law Graduate Emanual Aron '11 was recently hired to a permanent full-time position by Catherine M. Stanton, a senior partner with Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton& Romano LLP.

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