On January 1, Pamela Mittman MBA ’01 became assistant dean for NYU Law’s Office of Career Services (OCS), where she oversees the Law School’s extensive career counseling, development, and recruitment offerings for the private sector. Previously, Mittman worked at NYU’s Stern School of Business for 13 years, including serving as assistant dean of career services and leadership development. NYU Law spoke with Mittman about her new role at the Law School.
How did you come to be interested in career preparation and development?
The first spark was 24 years ago when I partnered with university career services offices as a recruiting team captain representing JPMorgan Chase. I truly loved learning candidates’ stories, interests, and goals and guiding them through their process, although it did not occur to me at the time to pivot to higher education administration. My career plan was set for corporate leadership, and working at JPMorgan Chase inspired me to pursue an MBA at NYU Stern to focus on strategic planning. During my MBA, I took advantage of every opportunity to learn from and volunteer for the Office of Career Development to grow and pay it forward.
What are you excited about in this new role?
The opportunity to represent such an elite institution is a source of pride, and I am energized by a high bar and expectations for our graduates’ success. One of the relationships I find most impactful in higher education is between the career offices and student association leaderships, and I’m excited to deepen these bonds and form collaborations between OCS’s strategies and student associations’ speaker series and experiential programming to provide the most comprehensive career education and foundation to all of our students. Enthusiastic support of our students by alumni is a common theme at the Law School—especially with regard to recruiting talent. In addition to fabulous programming hosted by Alumni Relations, I would like more alumni to think of OCS as a resource for their own careers. As someone who led student and alumni career offices through multiple economic cycles, I am committed to growing our capabilities to support alumni career pivots in good and more challenging times. Another top priority is to address the creep of the on- and off-campus recruiting timeline for JDs pursuing jobs at large law firms—specifically for the 2L summer associate roles. We launched a pilot program this spring to provide structure for our students who are being recruited earlier and earlier by law firms before Early Interview Week. We will need to carefully evaluate feedback and results of this
program in the fall.
What do you enjoy about working at NYU Law?
I love being a part of a team approach to support students. It’s something that NYU does exceptionally well. My gifted OCS colleagues are truly committed to the mission of setting our students up for success, and providing them with the strong foundation and personalized guidance necessary to springboard our graduates into very fulfilling careers. Behind the scenes, the OCS and Public Interest Law Center counselors regularly consult with each other, so students actually have a village of professionals supporting them at every turn. NYU Law students are brilliant, driven, and ambitious—they’re changemakers who are both engaged and passionate. But I think another important characteristic is their collaborative nature. That’s part of what drew me to this position. I had worked with NYU Law’s JD students and faculty through the Stern collaborative JD/MBA program, and I feel really inspired by the way the law students work together and bring each other in to achieve their goals. Our work in OCS is not to place anyone in a career—which seems to imply that students don’t have an opinion about where they go or what they want to do—but to provide whatever resources and scaffolding and brainstorming and creativity that help students realize their dreams or discover new ones. One of the best parts of my job is getting a call from a student I’ve worked with who proudly says, “I got the offer!” It’s a deeply satisfying thing to be involved in that process.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Posted on September 8, 2022