As a component of BYU Law’s Inspiring Leadership initiative, the Milestones Program is designed to help students prepare for meaningful employment and leadership in the law. Over the course of two months, students delve into concepts found in the books StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Roadmap: The Law Student’s Guide to Meaningful Employment. These concepts, combined with the principles taught in BYU Law leadership courses, provide a holistic approach to professional development, self-awareness, leadership, and relationship building.
As employers are increasingly looking for characteristics beyond typical research and writing competencies, one of the goals of the Milestones Program is to sharpen students’ awareness of the characteristics and competencies most valued in the workplace. Milestones guides students by helping them: (1) understand their own strengths and motivations through StrengthsFinder and other competency assessments; (2) understand the competencies desired by clients and legal employers (e.g., trustworthiness, good judgment and problem-solving skills, initiative/drive, internalized responsibility, and a commitment to professional development, among others); (3) discern how their strengths and motivating interests align with the competencies that clients and employers want; (4) design their time in law school with the goal of developing those competencies; and (5) effectively communicate and demonstrate evidence of those competencies to potential employers.
In order to achieve the aforementioned goals, the Career Services and Professional Development Office developed a two-pronged approach.
Professional Competencies Discovery and Development
Throughout the Milestones Program, students will gain an understanding of the professional competencies most desired by employers in the current legal market. GPA and class rank measure only certain skillsets that a lawyer brings to the table, and the Milestone’s Program guides students through self-assessments to identify and explore additional competencies and individual motivations. After identifying individual strengths, as well as opportunities for improvement, students—with guidance from the CSPD Office—will make choices that highlight their strongest competencies.
Students will gain fundamental job search skills that include crafting effective resumes and cover letters, building strong relationships within the legal community, and preparing for successful interviews. Through intentional and deliberate planning, students will be empowered to identify and apply for promising internships, externships, and post-graduate employment opportunities that align with their competencies and motivating interests.
As we implement the Milestones Program as part of a “whole-building approach” to inspiring leadership, we in the CSPD Office encourage students to look beyond developing legal research and writing skills as they cultivate and value additional competencies that will transform them into leaders in their distinct professional paths.