EXPLORE A SUBSTANTIVE AREA OF LAW – INTERVIEW A PROFESSIONAL – PAPER & SUMMARY POST
STEP 1: Identify an area of the law in which you are interested. Possible areas include: family law, insurance law, criminal law (prosecution or defense), corporate, employment, civil rights, immigration, intellectual property, personal injury, litigation, tax, cyberlaw, health care law, financial compliance, bankruptcy, probate or estate planning law, or general practice. This project will be most useful to you personally if you write about an area that matches up with the type of business degree you are pursuing (ie, if you are a Human Resources major, write about employment and/or labor law; if you are in accounting, write about the regulations surrounding financial reporting etc.).
STEP 2: Identify a legal professional to interview. You may interview an attorney, paralegal, court employee (including a judge) or other type of professional who works in the legal field in which you are interested. The person must spend at least 1/3 of their time on this area of law, and more than 1/2 of their time doing professional work (meaning, not a person who does solely filing & copying.) They should have at least 1 year of experience in the field. You should attempt to leverage your own personal and professional networks to identify a legal professional to interview. However, if after doing so, you find you’re unable to locate someone, let me know ASAP, indicating the area(s) of law you plan to write about, and I will assist you in selecting an appropriate person to interview.
STEP 3: Schedule the Interview. Let them know you are taking a business law class, and that you would like to interview them for a class assignment, and that you are requesting about an hour of their time. Since the point of this class is to introduce you to the legal environment, meet with them at their place of work so that you can get a feel for the office (as long as they are willing to do so.) As an alternative, you may conduct a phone interview, if that their preference. An email question-and-answer is not an interview.
STEP 4: Prepare for the Interview. Research publicly available information about the person and their organization or agency. Is there a website? What is the purpose of organization/agency? Is there anything you can learn about this individual and their role, through publicly available information? You will ask some of these questions in the interview, but you will want to read up beforehand as well. Spend at least a little time looking at the substantive area of law in advance of your interview, as well.
STEP 5: Perform the Interview. Suggested Interview Questions are attached. Be professional and courteous – you are representing the class and CSCC generally. Wear business-casual clothes (eg no jeans or t-shirts.) Get a business card from the person at the end of the interview.
STEP 6: Send a personal, handwritten Thank-You. Since no one uses regular mail anymore, it makes an impression! At a minimum, send an email thanking them for their time.
STEP 7: Write your Paper. (Details below)
STEP 8: Executive Summary Discussion Post In 2-3 paragraphs, describe to the class the area of law, and your interview. You may NOT simply cut and paste your paper. Visual aids are encouraged; attach a photo, YouTube clip, Powerpoint, Outline, other, or combination of these items.
STEP 9: RELAX, you’re finished!
Your paper should be a total of 8-10 pages in length. Typed, double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman font. See the Guidelines for Written Submissions attached to your syllabus. Do not exceed 10 pages.
Part I of your paper is an introduction describing the area of law in which you have an expressed an interest. This should be 6-8 pages in length. You may use your textbook as a source, HOWEVER you are also required to utilize at least three sources other than your textbook. Suggested place to start – Cornell Law School’s Legal Institute website: http://www.law.cornell.edu/ Another good one is CSCC’s Library Guide to Government Resources: http://libguides.cscc.edu/governmentresources You may NOT cite to Wikipedia.
As with any college paper, there should be minimal ‘cutting and pasting’ and your paper must include collegiate-level citation, which means sources must be cited throughout the paper. **See this Quick guide to how to do in-text citations: http://www.cscc.edu/library/pdf/intext.pdf Use the APA or MLA style. This is a matter of Academic Honesty. In the legal environment we are held to the highest standards of honesty & fairness.
Part II of your paper is a 2-3 page description of your interview. Briefly state the date, time, location and duration of your interview & provide the contact info (full name, office phone number and professional email address)for the person you interviewed. Describe (1) the information you learned in the interview, (2) your interview experience and impressions; and (3) how the information you learned relates to what we have learned in this course. Finally, reflect briefly on whether this business type or legal area is one in which you could see yourself working, and why/why not.