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CAREER COUNSELOR'S CORNER

1. 800. 973. 1177

Katherine L. Chapman, Esq., Assistant Dean of Career Services, Texas Wesleyan School of Law [8-16-04 by John J. Barnes] Dealing with the career dreams of a student body from a young law school is no easy task, but Katharine Chapman is up to it. She talks with us about how she helps her students find jobs and how she’s taking her message - namely, that Texas Wesleyan is an excellent law school - to the streets.

The Texas Wesleyan School of Law is less

professor at Texas Wesleyan. When the Dean

get Texas Wesleyan Law School’s name in

than 15 years old. Such relative youth in

of the Law School asked her if she would be

circulation and that, in the long run, this can

comparison with more established Texas law

interested in filling the newly vacated Career

only be good.

schools presents it with opportunities as well

Services position, she agreed. What follows is another small but telling

as drawbacks. The opportunities include the ability to create state-of-the-art buildings,

What Katherine struggles with most on

example of Katherine’s resourcefulness and

build a top-notch faculty from scratch, and

campus is assuring that evening students

putting others first. When asked if there was

tailor all of this carefully to the needs of the

get the same care and attention provided

anything more she would like to be doing,

community it serves. Texas Wesleyan has

traditional day students. She keeps her office

she answered, “Well, other than what we do,

done this.

open weekdays until 6:30 p.m. to give evening

I’d like our offices to be as close to the Stu-

students time to drop by after their work and

dent Lounge as possible. That way, a student

As for problems associated with being the

before evening classes begin. If she gives

could get a drink and drop in, talk with us,

youngest, these require long-term solu-

a seminar for day students, say, on how to

and get some help.” Then, she added, “I put

tions. A reputation must be built. If law firms,

find a job, she repeats the same seminar in

this idea before the Dean because we were

corporations, and government entities are

the evenings for evening students. She and

doing some renovations, and he agreed. We’ll

unaware of you, it makes it more difficult

her staff also gladly meet on weekends with

be moving to our new location soon!”

to place your graduates with them. Thus, in

students when the need arises.

situations such as this, the Career Service Office arguably assumes an even greater im-

All of this would be sufficient to occupy a

portance than at more established schools.

four-person Career Services office such as Katherine’s, but she has another mission as

Such is the burden that falls on Katherine

well: educating potential employers about

L. Chapman, Esq., Texas Wesleyan School

her law school. She does this by knocking

of Law’s Assistant Dean of Career Services.

on doors. In addition, she remains active in

Her charge is not only to help students find

the Forth Worth and Dallas Bar Associa-

suitable employment, but to use her valuable

tions, where she gives quarterly speeches

connections with both the Fort Worth and

on career development to attorneys of all

Dallas Bar Associations to get her law school

ages. As a form of ‘outreach,’ she individu-

registered in the consciousness of those in a

ally counsels any attorney who needs it. She

position to hire.

recently worked with a middle-aged lawyer who had suffered a heart attack and wanted

Katherine’s formidable resume includes 25

to change careers.

years as the Vice President for Legal Affairs for the University of Texas Medical School

She says she likes the work and the op-

at Dallas. In this in-house counsel job, she

portunity to be ‘out there’ in the community

quickly became adept at working within both

as Texas Wesleyan Law School’s hard-work-

academic and corporate settings. Tired of the

ing Assistant Dean, doing her part to help

long commute, she eventually switched to a

members of the legal community. There is

local firm, where she specialized in Health

not always immediate payback for such good

Law. Evenings, she would teach as an adjunct

works, but Katherine believes her work helps

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Katherine L. Chapman, Esq., Assistant Dean of Career Services, Texas Wesleyan School of Law  

Article on Katharine Chapman dealing with legal career dreams of a law student body from a young law school, about how she helps her student...