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CAREER COUNSELOR'S CORNER

1. 800. 973. 1177

Helen Long, Director, Career Development Office, Boston University School of Law [by Karen A. Lefkowitz] Like the scales of justice that endeavor to remain balanced, Helen Long, Director of the Career Development Office at the Boston University School of Law, strives to find equilibrium as well. One side of the scale represents her professional life, in the burgeoning legal community of Boston University. The other side is her home life, with its own legal team of a judge husband and jury panel of three teenagers. Helen has remarked, “Clearly, working in the legal profession does not have to have a negative effect on your social life.” A confirmed Bostonian now, Helen was born

Organizational Behavior. Here, she refined

“I’m working to make all of our resources

in Munich, Germany, to a German mother

her juggling act of being a wife and mother,

available 24 hours a day via the computer,

and American father. Her family eventu-

taking Ph.D. courses, and teaching.

as well as trying to increase efficiency by eliminating paperwork.”

ally settled in western Massachusetts. Like most of her neighbors, Helen likes the New

“I relished interacting one on one with stu-

England Patriots football team and struggles

dents but found that teaching in particular

“The variety is a very attractive aspect of the

with her feelings about Red Sox baseball.

was not the area of academia I was meant

position-every day is something different.”

“With them, it’s kind of like a bad divorce; it’s

for. With the Ph.D. program, I really wasn’t

hard to watch because I can’t stand to get my

enamored with the strong emphasis on writ-

“I have found much joy in working with

heart broken again.”

ing and publishing.”

students. Hearing their stories, helping them

Her illustrious association with higher

Deciding not to complete her doctoral work,

education began when she enrolled at Mount

Helen pondered how next to proceed. Her

Holyoke University. She later entered law

ever-helpful husband mentioned reviewing a

“One of my strengths as a career counselor

school at the University of Pennsylvania and

legal journal’s classified section.

is that when I was pursuing my doctorate, I

sort through important decisions, as well as helping them market themselves.”

looked at law as a profession. I can offer my

upon graduation became a trial lawyer, practicing law during the eighties. It was during

“Harvard was within a few blocks from home

students a candid view of the choices they

one of her stints at a large Boston firm that

and was advertising a part-time career coun-

have to make while they complete their law

she met her husband.

selor position. I got the job and eventually

degree.”

went full time.” “It’s a challenge for me if students are hav-

“My first day on the job at the firm, he was After three years at Harvard as Assistant Di-

ing a tough time and are discouraged.” You

rector for J.D. and Alumni Advising, she left

want to be a motivational force for them, but

Bound to each other legally at work and soon

this position last summer for the opportunity

at the same time, you don’t want to be a total

at home, Helen and her husband also have

to become Director of the Career Develop-

Pollyanna either.”

three children.

ment Office at the Boston University School

assigned to take me to lunch.”

of Law. One day, Helen felt the need for some time

Helen continues to stay interested in professional careers and management of knowl-

off. “I decided to try and figure out what I

Established in 1872, BUSL attracts a diverse

edge-based professional workers in law and

wanted to be when I grew up. I had become

study body and offers a wide range of J.D.

educational settings. She helped found and

a bit dissatisfied with work as a trail lawyer.

and LL.M. degrees. The 2005 edition of The

administer an educational-reform effort

I loved the analytic side of law but found it

Princeton Review ranked BUSL fourth in Best

aimed at improving leadership in public

static.”

Career Prospects.

schools.

Like a true future career services profes-

Helen’s duties consist of a mix of admin-

“One tip that I would pass on to law students

sional, Helen began to reflect on what

istrative activities, program planning, and

is to think of themselves as professionals

courses she had liked most as an under-

one-on-one counseling. One major initiative

from the first day they start their law school

graduate. She developed a renewed interest

she is implementing as Director concerns the

education.”

in organizational psychology and entered

management of the office’s services.

the Ph.D. program at Boston University in

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Clearly, Helen is one specialist who is

continued on back


CAREER COUNSELOR'S CORNER

demonstrating that it is possible to achieve a successful balance between professional and personal endeavors.

PAGE 2

1. 800. 973. 1177


Helen Long, Director, Career Development Office, Boston University School of Law