Jayhawk seeks opportunities through law
Ingrid Wong wanted a law degree — not because she wanted to be a practicing attorney, but because it would give her an edge with employers in a weak job market.
“A lot of jobs within companies require legal acumen,” Wong says. “A law degree can help in any field.”
Wong graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in economics in 2009 and enrolled in law school that fall.
“KU was an affordable option, and it also has a strong program.” Wong says. “It’s a versatile degree and it seemed like the right choice for me.”
In 2014, the National Law Journal ranked KU’s School of Law among the top 50 on their list of Go-To Law Schools, based on its graduate placement at the nation’s largest 250 firms. KU appears on the list with Duke, Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and Cornell.
The law school’s Career Services Office helped Wong land an internship at one of those firms, Husch Blackwell in Kansas City. She wasn’t planning to practice law, but the internship changed her mind.
She appreciated the firm’s cooperative spirit, the knowledge of the partners, and the opportunities that come with working for a large organization. When Husch Blackwell offered Wong a full-time position the September before graduation, she accepted. She has been at Husch Blackwell since 2012, representing debtors and creditors in insolvency and commercial bankruptcy cases.
Wong’s success is part of a pattern for KU Law alumni, says Arturo Thompson, assistant dean of career services for the law school.
“Our graduates show up, work hard, and take on responsibility,” Thompson says. “The skills they learn at KU allow them to thrive in firms of all sizes, becoming successful partners and community leaders.”
Thompson says that by building relationships with alumni, employers, and decision-makers across the country, his office can do more than just schedule on-campus interviews and post job listings. And, he and his staff get to know each student, using a model of one-to-one matching to make sure internships are a good fit.
“I don’t think any other career services office in the country devotes more time and attention to matching employers and students, from their first summer to their first job after graduation,” Thompson says.