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
212-431-2345, career@nyls.edu

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.

Profiles

Jeff Becherer, Assistant Dean for Career Planning

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).

Counselors

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.

Courtney Fitzgibbons, Senior Director for Counseling and Programming

Fitzgibbons,-Courtney-01-300Courtney Fitzgibbons provides general career counseling, with a particular focus on upper-division students. Courtney is also the office representative to local and national bar associations and is responsible for overseeing the Post-Graduate Law Clerk program for recent graduates. Courtney serves as chair of the Career Advancement and Management Committee at the New York City Bar Association. She is a frequent presenter on legal careers at local and national legal associations, including NALP. Courtney came to New York Law School in 2009 after working at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco as Director of Employer Relations and Private Sector Programming. While at Golden Gate, Courtney was elected President and served as Diversity Committee Chair of the Bay Area Legal Recruitment Association (BALRA), an organization comprising nearly 60 large law firms and eight Northern California law schools. Courtney’s other experience includes working as a Legal Staffing Specialist and practicing law as an associate at two large law firms. She earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Robin Nackman, Director of Employer Relations

Robin Nackman is responsible for outreach to the legal community on behalf of NYLS and its students and alumni in an effort to provide opportunities and encourage the hiring decisions made by law firms, corporate legal departments, government and non-profit agencies.

Prior to joining NYLS, Robin was the Director of Employer Relations at Touro Law Center, where she also developed, renewed and maintained relationships with the local legal community in order to advance the careers of their students and alumni. Robin began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the Manhattan District Attorney prosecuting all aspects of misdemeanor and felony criminal matters, including grand jury presentations, evidentiary hearings, bench and jury trials to verdict. Robin continued her litigation practice as in-house counsel to Prudential Securities Inc. where as an Associate General Counsel she concentrated on defending the firm in securities litigation matters, regulatory and enforcement actions, administrative hearings and supervised outside counsel. After 10 years at Prudential, Robin began her own general litigation practice concentrating in the areas of estate planning including probate and administration proceedings, real estate transactions, contract disputes, securities arbitration and mediations, class action consumer fraud claims, employment disputes and foreclosure matters.

Robin is a member of the National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), as well as an active participant in the New York City Bar Association’s Law Student’s Perspectives Committee. While in private practice Robin wrote numerous article appearing in RegisteredRep magazine and spoke extensively to senior citizens and women’s groups on how to avoid being the victim of securities fraud.

Robin earned her B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University and her J.D. from the University of Buffalo School of Law where she was Director of the Moot Court Board and a member of the Order of Barristers.

Nadjia Bailey, Associate Director of Career Planning

Bailey,-Nadjia--07-300Nadjia Bailey provides general career counseling, and is the liaison between the Office of Career Planning and student organizations. Nadjia began her legal career at Alston & Bird LLP, where she practiced as a bankruptcy and litigation associate. During her time with the firm, she participated in various recruitment and mentoring programs, including fall on-campus interviewing and law school panel discussions focusing on career paths after graduation. Immediately prior to joining the NYLS Career Services team, Nadjia worked with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New York and New Jersey, where she was actively engaged with law school interns and externs–an experience that reinforced her commitment to work directly with students to advance their professional development. Nadjia received her B.A. from Princeton University and her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law.

Ed Coughlin, Associate Director and Alumni Liaison

Coughlin,-Ed-01-300Ed Coughlin provides general career counseling, and, as the liaison between the Office of Career Planning and our alumni, Ed forges connections between students and alumni through programs such as the Alumni Practice Interview Program and Mentor Match. His varied legal experience includes work at a corporate watchdog group and an independent film production company. Prior to joining the NYLS Career Planning team in 2010, Ed spent 11 years with Strategic Legal Solutions, a legal placement agency, interviewing, counseling, and placing attorneys. Ed received his B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Swati Parikh, Director of Public Service Careers

Parikh,-Swati-04-300

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.

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.

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.

Administrative Staff

Maryll Botula, Employer Relations Administrator
Nancy Bocanegra, Career Planning Assistant
Wanda James, Coordinator for Externships and Public Interest Programming
Vivian Villalva
, Senior Administrative Assistant