About CDO

Our Services

Appointments and Drop-In Hours

CDO is staffed by seven attorney-counselors, each of whom has practiced law and can offer real-world insights into various career paths. They currently include a civil rights litigator, a former executive director of a grass roots advocacy organization for social change, a former government lawyer, a former partner in a large law firm, and a former small firm practitioner. Of the seven attorney-counselors, three specialize in public interest and government careers.

We can help you explore a variety of legal career options—both traditional and nontraditional—and determine how to pursue them.

Your career planning will have two elements:

  • Exploration — learning about the types of opportunities compatible with your talents, work style, and lifestyle
  • Job Searching — finding and landing specific opportunities

CDO’s counselors are here to work individually with you on both.

CDO sponsors programs for all law students throughout the year on topics including:

  • Resume writing
  • Interviewing skills
  • The art of networking
  • Job-search techniques for the public and private sectors
  • Diversity in the legal profession
  • Various legal practice areas

In the fall and spring of each year, Berkeley Law offers an extensive recruitment program for both public interest and private sector employers that includes:

  • Mock interviews, to help you develop interviewing skills through simulated job interviews conducted and evaluated by practicing attorneys.
  • On-campus employer interviews. In the fall, more than 300 law firms, corporations, government agencies and non-profits interview second- and third-year students for summer and permanent employment. Most employers came from California, although firms from New York, Washington, and other cities around the United States, Europe, and Asia have also been represented.
  • Other job opportunities. Many employers—including some not represented at the on-campus interview programs—regularly solicit resumes from students to fill their hiring needs each year.

Berkeley Law encourages students to explore public interest or public service work through the Berkeley Law Summer Fellowship Program, which makes it financially feasible for every J.D. student to spend the summer at a non-profit or government agency.

Berkeley Law graduates are competitive candidates for all national legal postgraduate fellowships. Our graduates are regularly chosen as finalists for and recipients of prestigious fellowships sponsored by the Skadden Foundation, Equal Justice Works, Soros, the Berkeley Law Foundation, and many others.

Two career counselors are available full time to counsel students who are interested in public interest or public sector employment, including extensive counseling, application review, and interview preparation for students applying to these fellowships.

Law schools, including Berkeley Law, use reciprocity to provide reasonable access to their career resources for law students and graduates from other law schools who agree to provide similar services. Read more.

How to Reach Us

For general questions, or if you don’t know whom to contact:

Tel: 510-642-4567

Office Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

(We are generally closed on Wednesdays from 11:00-12:00 p.m. for a staff meeting.)

Our Team

  • Terrence Galligan

    Prior to coming to Berkeley Law, Terry served as program coordinator at the Office of Public Interest Advising at the Harvard Law School. From 1994–98, he was a litigation partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis. While in private practice, he did extensive pro bono work for groups such as the Conservation Law Foundation and Children’s Rights, Inc. He also helped organize a group of business leaders to provide support, mentoring, and summer jobs for students at a public high school in midtown Manhattan. In 1998, he served as associate independent counsel in the Whitewater and related investigations, focusing on appellate work in the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a 1988 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he participated in the founding of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.

    Terry is an active member of NALP, the National Association of Law Placement, and served as the organization's President from 2014-15.

  • Eric J. Stern

    Eric J. Stern is the Deputy Director of the Career Development Office at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. In this role, he supervises the CDO's Attorney-Counselors, manages the day-to-day operations of the CDO and is the founding staff advisor for Berkeley Law's First Generation Professionals group. Before transitioning to law school career services in 2006, Eric had a career in politics and advocacy—serving as one of six National LGBT Co-Chairs for the 2008 Obama-Biden Campaign and as a Political Adviser to the John Edwards for President Campaign. In 2003, he was appointed as the Director of LGBT Outreach for the Democratic National Committee, where he developed a national grass-roots infrastructure for the Kerry-Edwards campaign and served as an Iowa Regional Field Director during the general election. Eric received his law degree in 2002 from the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. While in law school, he interned for the U.S. Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division); the Whitman-Walker Clinic; the Children's Law Center; and the Human Rights Campaign. After law school, he was awarded a Dorot Law Fellowship at the Alliance for Justice.

  • Melanie Rowen

    Melanie joined the CDO after several years of practice in civil rights impact litigation and public policy advocacy. As a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Melanie collaborated with a broad range of non-profit and government organizations and worked on numerous civil rights issues, including race and sexual orientation discrimination, prisoners’ rights, and the rights of elders. Before joining NCLR, Melanie was a litigation associate at Latham & Watkins LLP. At Latham, she was heavily involved in pro bono work, including asylum representation and defending the rights of homeless individuals and low-income tenants. Melanie received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago, where for two years she did criminal defense clinical practice in both the juvenile and adult justice systems.

  • Valerie Castelo

    After graduating from Stanford Law School in 2006, Valerie worked as an associate in the Palo Alto office of Cooley LLP specializing in securities fraud and complex commercial litigation. While at Cooley, she provided regular pro bono services through the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County’s Housing Clinic and Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco. During law school, Valerie worked as a summer associate in the New York office of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP and served as a judicial extern on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to law school, she was a paralegal and legal assistant in small law offices in Berkeley and Oakland. Valerie received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Political Science from UC Berkeley in 2002.

  • Sarra Ziari

    Before joining the CDO, Sarra spent several years working in law school career development and university advancement (major gifts) at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Previously, Sarra was an associate (and summer associate) in the Emerging Companies practice group at Cooley LLP in Palo Alto, specializing in private and public company representation. She later was an associate in the Corporate group of Weintraub Tobin LC in Sacramento before transitioning to university work. Sarra served on the Board (including 2 years as Chair) of the Sacramento County Bar Association Business Section, where she organized continuing legal education, professional development, and networking opportunities for members. Sarra received her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law and her B.A. in English and Spanish Literature from UC San Diego. In addition to general private sector career advising, Sarra is particularly interested in coaching students to hone their networking skills and use self-assessment strategies to define and pursue their ideal legal careers.

  • Sara Malan

    Prior to joining the CDO, Sara Malan served as the Managing Attorney at the AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP), where she spent over 13 years providing direct legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and managed ALRP’s robust law clerk program. Sara also has experience as an Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law, where she taught a course on Lawyering Skills and Housing law. She is a graduate of both Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the University of San Francisco School of Law. Throughout law school Sara focused on public interest law, working as a law clerk for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Bay Area Legal Aid. She spent her initial years after graduation as an attorney in a small private firm gaining civil litigation experience.

  • Shannon Kahn

    Prior to joining the CDO, Shannon served as Associate Director of Career Services at UC Davis School of Law. She received a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2008, where she served as Executive Managing Editor of the Columbia Law Review. After graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Sweet, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and then worked as an associate in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. During her six years at Debevoise, she represented public and private companies and private equity sponsors on a variety of restructuring transactions and advised several not-for-profit organizations on a pro bono basis. Shannon received her B.A. in Politics from Princeton University in 2003.

  • Elizabeth Granlund

    Elizabeth Granlund is the Employer Relations and Recruitment Programs Manager at the Career Development Office. Prior to joining the CDO, she was the Recruitment Coordinator at Skadden and DLA Piper for several years. She coordinated the summer associate program, on-campus recruiting efforts and professional development initiatives. Prior working on the law firm side, she was the Recruitment Coordinator and the University of San Francisco, School of Law and Whittier Law School in Southern California. She managed the On-Campus Interview Programs, maintained the online databases, engaged in employer outreach and helped develop alumni programming. She received her Master's degree in Organization and Leadership from the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. She received her B.A. from the University of Michigan in Psychology. Elizabeth enjoys working with students and providing opportunities for students to achieve their career goals.

  • Janine Nesset Tominaga

    Janine joined the CDO after working in several departments at the law school. A master of organization, Janine ensures that the CDO runs smoothly by providing support for student programs, facilitating collaboration with other units in the law school, and assisting in a variety of tasks. She has brought transferable skills from her 30 years of work as a Public Health Administrator. Her work includes serving with the Government of Guam’s Department of Public Health & Social Services and nearly 20 years of service as The Better Health Foundation’s [501 (c)(3)] Founding Executive Director. Janine received her M.P.H. from UC Berkeley and her B.S. from Montana State University, Bozeman.