×

Elizabeth A. Ellis: Assistant Dean and Director of Law Career Services, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL

( 33 votes, average: 4.4 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Ellis decided to go into law during her junior year of college. "I attended the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, and took a course which discussed the Mexican legal system," said Ellis. "I was fascinated by the differences between the American and Mexican legal systems and wanted to learn more, with the goal of practicing international corporate law someday."

Her plans changed after a second visit to Mexico. "I clerked at a small law firm in Mexico City my first summer during law school and at a small law firm in Indianapolis my second summer," said Ellis. "After graduation, I worked at Katten Muchin Zavis for two years and then at Miller Shakman Hamilton Kurtzon & Schlifke for one year before finally joining DePaul." She then made the transition into academia after coming upon the opportunity for her current position through networking with a former BAR/BRI employee. Ellis served as a student BAR/BRI representative at Valparaiso. BAR/BRI is a company that offers the most widely used bar exam preparation course in the country.



Ellis said that she really enjoys working closely with students and witnessing first-hand their development from timid and uncertain first-years into confident and successful graduates. "I also enjoy helping them find those opportunities that truly make them happy," said Ellis.

According to Ellis, career service counselors are like instructors teaching job-search strategies and networking skills, which are just as valuable as anything the students learn in a substantive curriculum course. "Students need to better understand the role career services plays in their job search. Some students make the mistake of viewing the career services office as merely an office that houses job postings and offers fall and spring campus-interviewing programs and job fairs," said Ellis.

"Career services offices are a resource provided to students to assist them in their career development and strategy. To effectively make use of all the career services office has to offer, students should attend the various programs offered, make the time to network with the featured alumni program speakers, meet with their career counselor at least once a semester just to check in, and utilize online and library resources offered by the office."

Ellis said that she loves her current position because it enables her to work with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and employers and to develop working relationships with all of them. "I also love the variety that comes with the job on a daily basis," said Ellis.

According to Ellis, career services offices across the nation receive a lot of negative press from students and alumni alike. Sometimes it can be a challenge to maintain enthusiasm and energy for the services and programs they promote, especially when they feel their efforts aren't appreciated. "However," Ellis added, "no matter how many negative comments you may hear, whatever impact they might have subsides when you hear even one simple 'Thank you. I really appreciate your help.'"

Two of the greatest career influences in Ellis' life were Gail Peshel from the University of Notre Dame Law School and Susan Gainen from the University of Minnesota Law School. "Both Gail and Susan have provided me encouragement through the years and guidance on how to handle matters with which I was unfamiliar. They have shared their years of experience with me—what's worked and what hasn't—and this wisdom has helped me formulate program and resource offerings for students at DePaul," said Ellis.

For Ellis, two of the most important issues facing the legal community are balancing work and private life and the increasing diversity among attorneys within the field. Her advice to law students is to be proactive in their job searches and not rely solely on the school's interviewing programs and job postings. "Seek out opportunities in the hidden job market. Become active members in your local bar associations, and talk with other professionals in your field of interest. Develop a network. Though the profession is large, we are a close-knit community; and many career opportunities are realized, as in my case, through internal referrals," said Ellis.

A Chicago native, Ellis returned home after attending college and law school in Indiana. She is proud to be the first and only attorney in her family. Her hobbies and interests include reading, running, watching and playing sports, traveling, wine tasting, and spending time with friends and family.

Depaul University College of Law

    

Popular tags

Chicago      Law Career Services      Depaul University College Of Law     

Featured Testimonials

A site that I like very much, LawCrossing is truly amazing. My last two jobs were through LawCrossing.
Marjorie


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #190: Every single job -- whether from an established corporation or a rapidly expanding startup -- is available to you.

 
Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

LawCrossing is fantastic! When I am looking for a job, it is the first place I come to. The service is very good and I enjoyed the emails. LawCrossing has more jobs and it is more tailored. Other sites gave a lot of irrelevant results. Your site may have a great algorithm, but it felt like an actual person choosing jobs they felt would be good based on my search. I will always recommend this site!
  • Ann Harris Harvey, LA