Haynes and Boone, LLP hosted 10th graders from L.G. Pinkston’s Collegiate Academy for a “mocktail” reception to help the students hone important skills needed to get jobs in the business world.
At the May 23 event, the students networked with Haynes and Boone lawyers and PlainsCapital Bank professionals over punch and light bites and received interviewing tips such as maintaining eye contact, giving a strong handshake, thinking before you speak, turning off your cellphone and preparing your own questions to ask during the interview.
Each student then was matched with a lawyer and banker and rotated through several pairs for practice interviews and feedback.
Haynes and Boone is one of several industry partners with the Collegiate Academy, which is a business-focused program that allows students to simultaneously earn a high school degree and an associate’s degree from Dallas El Centro College.
This Collegiate partnership, one of several ways the firm is involved with the school, is an important component of Haynes and Boone’s pipeline programs that aim to help develop a diverse network of young people interested in pursuing legal careers.
Partner Kenya Woodruff, head of Haynes and Boone’s Healthcare Practice Group and chair of the firm’s Attorney Diversity and Inclusion Committee, called the mocktail event an opportunity for the students to see inside a law firm.
She told the students that when she decided to become a lawyer, “along the way, I had a number of people who said, ‘you can do it and this is how you get there.’“
Students at the Collegiate Academy focus on one of three professional fields: health sciences, business and information technology. Guest speakers who visit the school – including Haynes and Boone lawyers and staff -- cover topics relevant to the curriculum, including interviewing for a job, resume writing, business ethics and appropriate workplace behavior. Through the Collegiate Academy, Haynes and Boone lawyers and professional staff help provide real-world lessons from the business of law to reinforce students’ classroom learning.
Eber Perla, principal of the Pinkston Collegiate Academy, said the school’s partnership with the college prepares the students academically, and the industry partnerships allow the students to “work on soft skills and be ready” for the workplace when they finish school. “It’s important for the students to get exposure to the business world early and to learn what industries are looking for in workers,” Perla said.
Student Ali’ya Sanders said she had come to the mocktail event nervous but eventually calmed down and gained confidence. “I felt like it was really helpful,” she said.
The networking event was featured in NBC5 DFW’s “Tell Me Something Good” segment on May 25. To watch the full video, click here.