Supporting Students and Graduates in the Transition from Law School to Lawyer

About Us

Location and Hours

Office of Career Planning
Fifth Floor, E Building

Academic Year: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Breaks and Summers: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and Fridays in July)

Employment Statistics

The Office of Career Planning is committed to providing students with quality tools to aid them in their job searches. To view the NYLS employment statistics for each of the last three years, please visit our ABA Required Disclosures page.


Jeff Becherer, Associate Dean for Career Planning and Professional Development

Becherer,-Jeff-12-300Jeff Becherer leads the Office of Career Planning in providing employment opportunities for NYLS students and in its efforts to cultivate programming, resources, and counseling services to aid students in the development and execution of their job search strategies.

Immediately prior to joining NYLS, Jeff was the Associate Director of the Office of Career Services at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was responsible for general counseling of all students and alumni (including LL.M. students), as well as the preparation and execution of various programs and initiatives. Prior to Cardozo, Jeff was a litigation associate with Dickstein Shapiro LLP, in both its Washington, D.C., and New York offices. In the nearly eight years he spent with Dickstein, Jeff’s litigation practice covered many disciplines, including union-side labor, government contracts, securities, and insurance; he also spent considerable time conducting internal investigations for corporate clients. Jeff had an active pro-bono practice, which focused on issues concerning the LGBT community and artists’ organizations. Jeff was a member of Dickstein’s Diversity Committee and devoted significant time to recruiting and advising students and associates.

Jeff is a member of the National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), as well as active with LeGaL, the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York, serving as Chair of its Mentorship Committee and as Advisor to the newly launched Student Leadership Committee. Jeff has spoken regularly on diversity and career planning issues, including résumé preparation, interviewing, and networking.

Jeff earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from John Carroll University, and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).


Danielle Aptekar, Senior Director for Operations

Aptekar,-Danielle-02-300Danielle Aptekar provides general counseling and manages the Office of Career Planning’s Internet-based software programs used to serve New York Law School students. Danielle joined the office in 1989 following her work as a recruiter in a New York City legal search firm, where she counseled and placed lawyers in permanent and temporary positions, and advised candidates on career development issues. Danielle received a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Albany. She is a member of the National Association for Law Placement and has served on the Law Students Perspectives Committee and the Recruitment & Retention of Lawyers Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Irina Gomelskaya, Senior Director of Employer and Alumni Relations

Irina Gomelskaya is responsible for the development of a comprehensive and creative strategy to connect NYLS students and alumni to employment opportunities within the legal, business, government and non-profit communities.  In this role, she focuses on the cultivation and preservation of employer relationships and provides expedited hiring services for employer participation in the Fall and Spring Recruitment programs.   In addition, she identifies opportunities to engage alumni in providing employment opportunities for NYLS students and alumni and works with the Office of Institutional Advancement to foster positive relationships with NYLS alumni.

Immediately prior to joining NYLS, Irina worked as a legal recruiter at The Edgemont Group, LLC, where she maintained close relationships with the HR contacts and hiring partners and worked with potential candidates to revise their resumes and prepare them for interviews.  Irina is also a Certified Life and Career Coach and has worked with private clients, as well as facilitated group workshops.  Irina started her legal career as an associate in the Financial Restructuring practice group at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, where she practiced for eight years.  She is also an active member of the Career Advancement and Management Committee at the New York City Bar Association and has participated in numerous career panels and programs.  Irina earned her B.A. in Economics and Psychology, magna cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her J.D. from The University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Swati Parikh, Director of Public Service Careers


Swati Parikh develops and manages the career counseling services, programming, and resources for NYLS students interested in public interest and government careers and internships.  She also manages the school’s pro bono initiative and cultivates relationships with public service employers. Swati transitioned to this role after serving as the Associate Director of Alumni Advising at NYLS, assisting graduates in making the transition from law school to practice. She has a background in law school and pro bono administration, as well as practice experience in poverty law. Previously, she was the Assistant Director of the Center for Public Service Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she counseled students and administered programming on careers in public service. Prior to that she was the Pro Bono Coordinator for the law firm Chadbourne & Parke, where she served as the firm liaison to over 40 legal services agencies and managed the pro bono program for the firm’s three domestic offices. She began her career as a tenant’s rights attorney at the affordable housing nonprofit, Housing Conservation Coordinators. Swati served as the President and on the Board of Directors of the South Asian Bar Association of New York for over five years. She graduated from American University Washington College of Law in 2005.

Elizabeth Dambriunas, Associate Director for Alumni Advising

Elizabeth Dambriunas provides counseling, programming, and resources to NYLS’s recent graduates, assisting them in making the transition from law school to practice. She has an extensive background in Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law and spent many years as in-house counsel for Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon and Viacom, before opening her own transactional practice. Prior to joining the NYLS Office of Career Planning, she served as an Alumni Mentor, IP Mentor, Faculty Externship Supervisor, and as Adjunct Faculty. Elizabeth is also a member of the Career Advancement and Management Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She graduated from New York Law School in 1985.

Cynthia Weissman, Associate Director of Career Planning

Cynthia “Cindi” Weissman provides general career counseling and also serves as the advisor to students who are interested in post-graduate judicial clerkships and students participating in the Judicial Externship Program. Prior to joining the law school staff, Cindi was an associate at a general practice firm and the deputy director of a public interest organization. Cindi is a member of NALP and serves on the Recruitment & Retention of Lawyers Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She graduated with a B.A. from Barnard College and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where she was a member of the International Law Journal.

Administrative Staff

Nancy Bocanegra, Employer Relations Coordinator
Vivian Villalva
, Senior Administrative Assistant

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