All PDLG Fellows participate in two required programs before work begins. The first is a writing program which will include a seminar (available by audio or video-conference for those too far from Philadelphia to participate in person) in late March (either March 19 or 26 in 2016) combined with one-on-one writing mentoring to be completed before starting work. The second is an orientation session held by the PDLG on a Friday in May, after exams end at all participating schools but before summer jobs begin. This year it is scheduled for May 20. This orientation program is designed to acquaint the participants with the general expectations of the employers, the nature of the work and the legal environment in which it gets done. It is essential that all students arrange to participate in both programs. Long distance participation is possible in some situations.
The PDLG hosts 3 to 4 lunch seminars during the summer. All Fellows are requested to participate unless a job related activity conflicts with the seminar. There is also an evening reception at which the Fellows can meet alumni of hte Fellows Program as well as lawyers in PDLG member firms and legal departments.
In the past, the PDLG orientation session and summer seminars included topics such as key things to know about working at a firm, law firm finance, writing and assignment skills, working for or within a corporate law department, dealing with difficult situations, interviewing techniques (for law firms and other legal jobs) and how to make use of the summer experience in career planning. There are sessions on law firm and judicial clerk hiring programs and practices. In addition, there is a session on networking - how to make the most of formal and informal networking opportunities. This program is held in advance of the summer reception so that the lessons learned can be used at the reception.