Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program

2014-2015 Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program (“Keystone Program”)

The Law School is launching the fourth year of the Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program, a professionalism and leadership program designed to help students prepare for their legal careers.  The name of the Keystone Program derives from the concept of a “keystone.”  When an arch is built, the keystone is the last piece placed during construction and locks all of the other stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight.  Similarly, without professionalism and leadership, one’s professional career cannot ascend to the heights it is capable of reaching.

Last year, more 75 programs qualified for the Keystone Program and more than 110 students completed the program and were recognized at a luncheon sponsored by Skadden and featuring remarks by Dean Michael H. Schill, Dean of Students Amy M. Gardner, and Chuck Smith, ’87, a partner at Skadden who also serves as the Attorney Development Partner for the Chicago office of the firm.

The 2014-2015 Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program continues to build upon the success of the program over the past years and will once again include special programming and/or priority for special programs for 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Special Keystone Programs for the 2014-2015 Year

Although the schedule has not been finalized, the Law School anticipates that the following  Keystone programs will be offered during the 2014-2015 year.   Some of these events will give priority to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2013-2014 academic year:  

Oral Advocacy Boot Camp (Oral Communication)
This program, which will be co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students, Jenner & Block, and the Law Women’s Caucus, is designed to provide an intensive introduction to techniques for making an effective oral argument.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Making the Most of a Mentoring Relationship (Managing & Building Your Career)
This program helps students understand how to build and maintain a relationship with a mentor. 

Lunch with the Law School Visiting Committee (Learning from Leaders in the Profession)
Each year, students are given an opportunity to have lunch with members of the Law School's Visiting Committee.  The Visiting Committee is made up of prominent Law School alumni who work closely with the Dean and advocate for the Law School.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2013-2014 academic year.  

Interviewing Etiquette: Making a Good First Impression (Managing & Building Your Career)
This program centers on how to handle a business lunch or dinner and tackles questions such as who orders first, what to order, whether to offer to pay the check, and other tricky questions.

Mocktail Reception (Oral Communication)
This program recreates a cocktail reception so that students can be made aware of how to handle the basics (what to hold in your hand, what to drink, how to enter and leave a group, etc.), as well as the substantive (topics to avoid, how to introduce yourself, etc.).  First impressions are important, and this program is designed to ensure that students always create a positive impression at networking receptions.  Priority for this event will be given to 2Ls and 3Ls who completed the program during the 2013-2014 academic year.

Inter-Generational Differences and How They Affect the Workplace (Interpersonal Skills/Managing & Building Your Career)
Multiple studies confirm that different generations have different approaches to the workplace—differences that can create conflict in a workplace within which multiple generations are represented.  This program will make participants aware of the differences in how individuals from different generations think about the workplace.

Hallmarks of an Effective Leader (Managing & Building Your Career)
Everyone likes to think of himself or herself as a leader, but one can only lead if others are willing to follow.  This program will highlight the characteristics of an effective leader.

Perfecting Your Professional Image (Managing & Building Your Career)
This program features personal shoppers who will put together business and business casual outfits appropriate for the workplace.  They will also discuss the DOs and DON’Ts of office and interview attire as well as the best choices for your body type and style.

Ensuring Summer Success (Managing & Building Your Career)
This program features panelists addressing issues such as: working successfully with non-attorney professionals; how to complete projects without racking up a six figure legal research bill; juggling multiple projects, summer associate activities and still trying to have a life; and how to avoid the most common summer associate pitfalls that can keep you from receiving an offer for permanent employment. 

Receiving Constructive Feedback & Evaluations (Interpersonal Skills/Managing & Building Your Career)
This program is designed to let students know what to expect from the evaluative process and when they are given constructive feedback. 

How the Keystone Program Works

As with last year, the program will operate much like the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs licensed attorneys participate in throughout most of the United States.  Students who complete the program during the 2014-2015 school year are recognized at an end of year luncheon, receive pins, are entitled to list completion of the program on their resumes, and will have the program completion listed on their transcript. 

For information on how the Keystone Program works, please go to http://www.law.uchicago.edu/2014Keystone.

If you have any questions about the Keystone Professionalism & Leadership Program, please contact Manager of Leadership and Professionalism Initiative Katie Mott or Dean of Students Amy M. Gardner.