As a partner to the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs (MORCA)-Georgetown Paralegal Program, the McCourt School’s Career Development team was tasked with preparing students for upcoming job interviews with law firms throughout DC. Over the course of a few weeks, Briana Green, Lynda Jones and Daniel Noel worked with 16 students, both individually and as teams, and led an interview prep workshop and mock interviews to provide students with the skills and confidence to be successful candidates. PJI Deputy Director Caitlin Chamberlain, a former faculty research associate at the McCourt School, sought out McCourt’s Career Development team for their expertise, robust programming and skill-building.
In collaboration with MORCA and the DC Department of Employment Services, the Georgetown University Prisons and Justice Initiative (PJI) offers the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program to help prepare returning citizens for successful careers in the legal field. Fellows in the Paralegal Program earn a certificate in Paralegal Studies from Georgetown and an hourly stipend for completing the intensive 20-week program on a full-time basis. PJI, founded in 2016, also offers educational programs for incarcerated individuals and returning citizens with academic and professional interests in liberal arts, business and entrepreneurship.
Learning how to succeed in the job market
“The key to having a great interview, in addition to confidence, is the preparation,” said Green, director of career development and alumni engagement at the McCourt School. “The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel and the more comfortable you’ll feel.”
During the interview prep workshop led by Green, who has a background in professional career and leadership coaching, Fellows learned how to prepare for an interview by researching the organization and the position, and making a good impression by arriving on time. Through the workshop, Green teased out each student’s strengths and tactical skills and taught the Fellows how to highlight these qualities to position themselves during an interview, as well as how to prepare concise, focused responses to potential questions from the interviewer.