Alumni Students Top Stories

Mentorship Program Spotlight: Michael Cuttitta 3L and Daniel Vaillant ’08

Mentorship Program graphic (blue background)

In fall 2015, Hofstra Law launched a pilot 3L Mentorship Program that pairs third-year law students with alumni working in the students’ fields of interest. The goal of the program is to help graduating students be better positioned to secure employment by leveraging Hofstra Law’s alumni network. Alumni mentors are providing their mentees with advice, introductions, interview preparation, professional development support, and more.

Michael Cuttitta 3L and Daniel Vaillant ’08
Michael Cuttitta 3L and Daniel Vaillant ’08

Michael Cuttitta 3L, a member of the Hofstra Law Review, was paired with Daniel Vaillant ’08, an associate at Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein P.C.

Michael and Daniel discussed their experience in the program.

Daniel, why did you feel it was important to become a mentor?
The Law School helped me get my first job. Given how much support I received from the professors, administrators and the entire Hofstra Law community, I felt that it was my duty to give back. I also saw this program as an opportunity to strengthen the Hofstra Law network. We all benefit from having more Hofstra Law graduates working in the legal field.

Michael, what has this experience been like for you so far?
I have had a great experience. We touch base every week by phone, email or text. Dan helps me with job strategies. He reads my resume, helps me prepare for interviews and offers advice on the types of firms I should be applying to based on my interests. Hearing Dan’s experience looking for a job after law school has helped ease some of my concerns. It’s also nice to have an alum interested in your success.

Daniel, what has been your approach to mentoring Michael?
I’ve really tried to help Michael leverage his network. When I was looking for my first job out of law school, I did a lot of cold-calling and sending out resumes. I’ve learned that you need to develop personal relationships with people so your resume is put in front of the right person. I’ve been trying to be a facilitator to help him.

Michael, is there a piece of advice that has really stood out to you?
One thing I learned from Dan is to design a narrative between my law school experience and the job search — highlight the parts of my law school experience that relate to employers.

What will you take away from this experience?
Michael: I honestly see myself maintaining a professional relationship and friendship with Dan after I graduate. For me, this program has been more than just helping me find employment.

Daniel: I didn’t realize I’d become so invested in Michael. It’s one of my main focuses. I’m thinking about him, and I really want to see him succeed.