Anthony Kidd '93, Attorney at Law, Kidd & Hudson and President of Southwestern's Alumni Association (2013-2015)
Q: When (and why) did you first become involved with Southwestern's Alumni Association?
A: I joined the board in May of 2004, because I believe it is a great way to give back to the school, help recent grads and encourage current students.
Q: What are some of the Alumni Board's overall priorities for the coming year?
A: The Alumni Association is always committed to providing networking opportunities and educational seminars and CLEs and other activities that support and promote the development of our alums and students. We provide CLE programs, the Alumni Resource Network (ARN) - which is our online mentor program, the Inn of St. Ives program, the Awards Recognition Reception and the Alumni Scholarship Fund. In addition, this year, the Alumni Board will also develop programs to assist our recent grads with job placement and to expand alumni involvement in admissions and recruitment.
Q: What are some of the goals of the Alumni Admissions Committee?
A: The Alumni Admissions Committee has developed the Alumni Admissions Outreach Program. This new program is designed to strengthen the role of alumni in admissions and recruitment. We feel creating networks and building relationships with practicing attorneys as early as possible will help lead law students to successful careers. So we created a program where alumni volunteers outreach to prospective and admitted students giving them advice about law school and practice. Our volunteers attend grad fairs throughout Southern California, undergraduate presentations and seminars and other admissions events. But the most exciting part of the program is that our alums conduct individual informational interviews where the applicants have an opportunity to ask questions about law school, legal practice and the Southwestern experience. Many students apply for law school and don't know a single attorney, so this opportunity can make a significant impact on the applicant's future.
Q: What is the new Graduate Legal Assistance Program (GLAP) that is launching in September? How and why was it established?
A: As I mentioned before, our other goal this year is to assist our recent grads with job placement. We know the legal market is competitive, and we need to assist the law school with developing programs to give our recent grads a more competitive edge when looking for a job. The Graduate Legal Academic Program was designed for recent grads to receive practical skills training while waiting for bar results. The program is 10 weeks long and includes courses on written discovery, law and motion, depositions, networking skills and resume and job-interview workshops. The courses are taught by alumni adjuncts and members of the Career Services Office. In fact, 90% of the adjunct faculty in this program are members of the Alumni Board. Although, the program is targeted to recent grads, the courses will also be available online to our Nickel Club Alumni. We currently have 90 students enrolled and we are very excited to see the results of the inaugural year.
Q: Why is it so important for alumni to mentor new Southwestern graduates?
A: Another way of helping our recent grads is simply hiring them and helping them gain some job experience. Southwestern alumni should all be committed to hiring Southwestern grads. We all graduated from the same law school and we know that Southwestern grads (like ourselves) are really hard workers who hit the ground running. I hire Southwestern grads because I know they are well educated, self motivated and eager to learn.
Q: What is the Inn of St. Ives Program and how can students participate?
A: This program has been around since before I joined the board. It's an exclusive dinner where up to 10 students sit and meet six practicing attorneys and judges for dinner, while discussing a current legal topic. This is a great opportunity for our students, as it gives them hands on experience on how to conduct themselves outside of a classroom setting and allows them to practice their 'social' skills around real practitioners. It's also a wonderful opportunity for job connections - in fact at least once a year a student who attends one of the dinners gets a job from one of the practitioners. Students interested in participating should contact the Alumni Office.
Q: How are funds raised for the Alumni Scholarship Fund?
A: The Alumni Scholarships are awarded to deserving Southwestern students who show a true commitment to the law school. Recipients of these scholarships typically remain very involved with Southwestern after graduating and serve as volunteers on the Alumni Board or some alumni committee. The funds for the scholarships are raised through our Annual Awards Recognition Reception. The next reception will be April 24, 2014, so save the date!
Q: How is the Alumni Association helping to increase the law school's visibility within the legal profession and the community?
A: We contribute to this effort through the programs and events mentioned above, as well as, publicly recognizing the accomplishments of our alumni. Additionally, by advocating for the hiring and advancement of our alums in our firms and agencies.