Military Law Society Sponsored Career Panel Focused on Government Agencies
Web Editor - Published: February 24, 2010
On the evening of Thursday, February 18th, the Military Law Society sponsored a career panel in the Barrister’s Club. Lawyers from several governmental agencies spoke to the students in attendance about a variety of government employment options for lawyers.

Military Law Society President Damiano P. Del Pino introduced the speakers on the panel, offering a brief biographical sketch of each speaker. Panelists included; Cynthia R. Ryan, Esq. ’79, formerly with the DEA and now a lawyer with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; M. Jane Mahoney, Esq. ’76, a lawyer with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice; Peter Gangel, Esq., who works in the Counterterrorism Unit at the FBI office in Wilmington; and Martin Sendek, Esq.’85, with the Veterans’ Affairs general counsel’s office.

The panelists spoke about how their career paths led them to their current positions and offered insight into the work they did after Del Pino, serving as moderator, asked them to describe their work. The panelists emphasized the flexible nature of a law degree, with Martin Sendek noting, “A law degree provides career flexibility. You might not end up where you thought you would.”

A question about career burnout prompted Sendek to call the term “misused,” and he added, “It’s a substitute for saying I’ve mismanaged my career.” Cynthia Ryan concurred, saying, “I’ve been practicing law for thirty years, and I don’t think I’ve ever been bored.” The panelists emphasized that there is plenty of potential for career mobility within the government sector, and they also spoke about some of the benefits of working for the government. Ms. Ryan noted the steady salary, saying, “You may not get paid as much, but you have a guaranteed salary,” and Mr. Sendek noting, “You get to work with some incredibly bright people.” Peter Gangel cautioned that while the benefits of government employment were great, “the bureaucracy can be frustrating.”

The panelists also spoke about how law students could single themselves out as potential candidates for hire. All of the panelists agreed that writing skills were key, and they also emphasized research skills, demonstrated leadership experience, and a strong sense of teamwork. The event closed with the panelists taking questions from the audience related to internships and where to look for possible jobs. Interested students were directed to the government’s official job site, USAJOBS.