Students graduating from UNSW Law will work with one of the profession’s most senior recruiters who has been hired to help them build their careers.

Joanne Glanz, who has worked for the legal community’s premier specialist recruitment firm for many years, has been appointed to the new role of Careers Services Manager. An alumna of UNSW Law, Joanne’s clients have included international and domestic law firms, corporations, government and statutory bodies and financial institutions.

Students will now have access to Joanne’s specialist knowledge about, and her extensive networks within, both the legal profession and other relevant industries. She will inform students about the broad variety of job opportunities and career paths open to our graduates in the changing job market. She will also work with employers, updating UNSW Law on their needs and their evaluation of graduates.

UNSW Law has drawn on the experience of leading US law schools, whose Careers Services work closely with students and further develop relationships with industry and alumni.

The Dean of UNSW Law, David Dixon, has welcomed the appointment, saying it is a more strategic way to address the changing employment outlook in the legal industry.

“Joanne knows all about the market and has high-level contacts at the big organisations,” says Professor Dixon. “This isn’t just about someone to arrange summer clerkships and internships. She will be able to provide a connection for our students.”

“There’s been a lot of talk about the numbers of law schools and law graduates and the changes in the job market,” says Professor Dixon. “Rather than just continuing to talk, we are responding positively, taking the lead in having an in-house careers manager.

“As well as working with students, Joanne will also be able to feed back to us what employers want,” he says. “It’s a comprehensive approach.”

“This signals ... we will also provide support once people have begun their careers. It’s ‘education plus’.”

One of the biggest changes in the legal profession that Joanne Glanz has seen has been the entry of international law firms into the Australian market followed closely by the global financial crisis, which has forced many firms to significantly restructure.  But she says as graduate opportunities narrow in some sectors, they broaden in others. Students are often unaware of the possibilities.

“We are now seeing real growth and exciting opportunities in the  mid-tier and specialist boutique firms. It’s a much more competitive market, but a lot of people don’t realise what is out there,” says Ms Glanz.

“There are also entry level roles which are advertised on employers’ websites specifically targeting  recent graduates,” says Ms Glanz, who points to positions-both legal and non-legal- with investment and trading banks, government and  corporations “You have to know to go there.”

The role will also forge industry connections.

“Organisations are coming to us, wanting to recruit directly,” says Professor Dixon. “I’ve had banks talking about this, as well as some of the big consulting companies.”

“Such employers say they want students with a variety of background disciplines,” he says. “They want graduates who can think in different ways, who can think laterally and who can connect with clients.”

With students able to choose from a wide range of combined degrees and from a large international community, graduates of UNSW Law are well positioned for many of these roles, says Professor Dixon.

“This role also signals that UNSW Law has an ongoing relationship with our alumni,” says Ms Glanz. “We will also provide support once people have begun their careers. It’s ‘education plus’.”

Susi Hamilton