April 25, 2016
Ramji Kaul, a double University of Michigan graduate who joined the Office of Career Planning (OCP) as an attorney-counselor in 2015, has been named the Law School's assistant dean for career planning.
Kaul, BA '02, JD '05, previously was in private practice for 10 years in the Chicago office of Dentons, where he was a partner in the litigation and disputes resolution group. He litigated cases in state and federal courts, focusing on complex commercial litigation, catastrophe and major claims litigation, and class action defense. In addition, he was the co-chair of his office's summer associate program and participated as an interviewer in Michigan Law's on-campus interviewing program.
Kaul said he is looking forward to continuing to work with Michigan Law's exceptional and dedicated career planning team in pursuing their mission of helping students prepare for the professional world and finding opportunities to do the work that they love. "Career planning has evolved dramatically since I was in law school. We now focus not only on the nuts and bolts of the application process, but also much more intently on the strategic aspects of developing a career plan." There are so many opportunities afforded by a Michigan Law degree, Kaul said "finding ways to meaningfully connect with students, understand their aspirations, and help them chart a direction is both challenging and immensely rewarding."
In addition to working with students on strategic planning, Kaul believes that "career planning now involves helping students learn to advocate for themselves and find their story. It's about helping them think about their experiences, academically and professionally, as well as their extracurricular activities, and looking for ways to relay that narrative to employers in the most effective manner."
Kaul said he enjoys that his role brings him in contact with alumni—including former classmates—whom he says are integral to the students' success. He believes a major component of OCP's mission is to help bridge or reduce the distance between current students and alumni. "Having a connected Michigan Law community is invaluable to students as they are able to learn more about the profession and to begin building their professional network," Kaul said. "The difference between a good young attorney and a great young attorney is often having a true mentor, and our alumni have proven they are ready and eager to serve in that role," Kaul said. "We are excited to continue to expand programs such as our mock interview program and our summer mentorship program and are always looking for more alumni to volunteer for those programs, and not just from big law firms."
His experiences of sitting on both sides of the table—in the hiring chair and in the interview seat—give him a unique perspective for leading the career planning office. "I have been in the student's chair, and I've been across from them conducting the interview, and now I'm in this role where I'm helping them work through that same process," Kaul said. "It makes me able to better connect with students and to understand how our office can add value to our students' experience."
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