Weather Alert Block

Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
twitter   facebook   linkedin   Instagram   webmail
Give Now Apply Now

Law in the Time of COVID: Navigating the Legal Market in Uncertain Times

The CSO presents a series of informal sessions with professors and practitioners, offering their perspective and advice on navigating the market right now and discussing their experiences in prior difficult times.

Professor Lara Fowler, Penn State Law

Friday, April 10, 2020

Having worked for a state agency, as a practicing lawyer and mediator, and now as a professor, Prof. Fowler speaks about her experience finding non-traditional job opportunities and different approaches students might try in what is a very challenging employment arena. In addition, her partner graduated with his Ph.D. shortly before the last economic downturn in 2008, and Prof. Fowler also provides a few thoughts on maintaining one's sanity while job searching. 


Professor Tom Sharbaugh, Penn State Law

Friday, April 17, 2020

Prof. Sharbaugh, former managing partner of operations for Morgan Lewis, speaks about the legal job market post-COVID-19.  In particular, based on his experience with managing a large multi-office firm through two previous recessions in the legal market, he discusses the employer’s perspective about hiring students for the summer, projecting staffing needs far in advance, and protecting jobs of the lawyers who are currently employed.  He also discusses specific practice areas that are likely to be in demand for the foreseeable future. 


Jim McKeown ’06, Director, Maron Marvel Bradley Anderson & Tardy LLC (Wilmington, DE Office)

Tuesday, April 21

Jim is a Penn State undergrad and Penn State (Dickinson) law school alum.  He is a member of the National Risk Management and Product Liability and Mass Tort Litigation Groups.  After graduating from law school, Jim started in private practice but became unemployed in 2009 due to the recession. He was hired at his current firm in 2010, the same year he obtained his LL.M. in Corporate Law and Finance.  Jim discusses how vital it is to learn to adapt, how experience should be the focus and offers some tips/suggestions on how to navigate a recession job market. 


Valerie Brown ‘10, Senior Counsel, Holland & Knight
Michelle Boldon ’10, Warner & Associates; Boldon Law Firm

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Valerie Brown graduated from Penn State Law in 2010 in the midst of a major economic recession and after having her Big Law offer decision suspended as a result of the economic downturn.  As a result, Valerie found alternative career options that allowed her to make her way back to Big Law the year after she graduated and build a career that aligned with her goals from law school. 

Michelle Boldon also graduated from Penn State Law in 2010 in the midst of the recession.  She is a commercial transactional attorney who focuses her practice in the areas of franchise law, business law, corporate law, wills, trusts, and probate.  Prior to law school, Michelle received her MBA and was an e-commerce managing consultant at IBM Corporation. For over ten years she was engaged in sophisticated problem solving and the analysis of complex business and technology issues for Fortune 100 companies.

Valerie and Michelle discuss how to focus your time and efforts in proactive ways during this time so that you can be in the absolute best position to win the job you want when the right opportunity presents itself. 


Michael Tiliakos, Penn State Undergrad, Assistant General Counsel for Employment and Corporate Matters at Argo Insurance

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Michael Tiliakos was a Penn State undergrad and attended New York Law School. He started his legal career in the New York City Law Department, then moved on to private practice at Wade Clark Mulcahy and Seyfarth Shaw. He then started his own firm, Rao Tiliakos, before becoming a partner at Duane Morris. Most recently he was the VP and Assistant General Counsel at Goodman Networks. He discusses how to navigate the cultural landscape of firms and employers during uncertain times of furloughs, layoffs, and cuts.