Jessica Blumert ’13 is an associate for the Office for Legal Affairs at Diamonds International. Elchonon Shagalov ’10, General Counsel & VP for Legal Affairs at Diamonds International, hired Blumert as part of the RAMP program.

Cardozo Law’s Resident Associate Mentor Program (RAMP)

Helping put recent graduates on the path to meaningful employment

Cardozo Law’s Resident Associate Mentor Program (RAMP) is an innovative program providing new Cardozo graduates with opportunities to work as full-time associates at small- and medium-sized law firms and corporate legal departments for one year post-graduation.

Firms and legal departments participating in RAMP hire graduates as Resident Associates, at a cost-effective rate. Participating employers commit to train and mentor their Resident Associates for one year. In addition, the law school provides CLE and professional development training for participating employers.

For Employers, RAMP Provides:

• An opportunity for small- and medium- sized firms and corporate legal departments to employ new lawyers at an affordable cost

• A way to grow their firm or legal department by hiring bright and motivated new lawyers without taking on a financial commitment beyond one year

The RAMP program continues to expand in popularity among employers, who consider it an investment in the future of the organization.  Many employers hire the RAMP associate permanently on terms that work for both parties.

For Recent Graduates, RAMP Provides:

• Fellowship-style jobs, in which they perform the equivalent of associate work for one year

• A chance to build essential practice skills, and to work directly with clients

• An opportunity to be better positioned to make a lateral move with experience, and a great way to launch a permanent career

Salary: The RAMP salary is negotiated between the employer and the RAMP associate, although the minimum starting salary is always at least $45,000.  The overwhelming majority of employers provide enhanced salary upon notice that the RAMP associate has passed the bar.  The salary is competitive with a fellowship or residency program, making it affordable for RAMP employers to hire new associates when they otherwise would not have done so.

Benefits: A benefits package is not required as a condition to participate in RAMP; however, we strongly urge employers to offer one.

The Hiring Process: The Office of Career Services (OCS) works with each employer to understand its culture and specific hiring criteria. An employer profile is then created, which we use to advertise the position in our Symplicity database and when conducting screening interviews. Candidates are interviewed and selected by the firms and legal departments.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Training: Cardozo provides ongoing training for Resident Associates, and requires their attendance at regular meetings to discuss their experiences in the program. In addition, we provide free CLE opportunities for the employer and Resident Associates, practical skills programs through our new Center for Professional Development (CPD), and networking events designed to benefit both the employers and Resident Associates beyond the resident year.

Eligibility and Application Process: All recent J.D. and LL.M. graduates are eligible to apply for RAMP. The employer determines interview dates and locations. Graduates may apply to as many RAMP employers as they like, as long as they meet the employers’ particular hiring criteria.

Employers and students interested in RAMP, please contact the Office of Career Services at cardozocs@yu.edu