News

  1. YEAR
  2. 2019
  3. 2018
  4. 2017
  5. 2016
  6. 2015
  7. 2014
  8. 2013
  9. 2012
  10. 2011
  11. 2010
  12. 2009
  • « Back
    09.19.14 Office of Career and Professional Development Adds New Talent: Fei Zhong ’06 and Robin Nackman
    Fei Zhong

    Last year, the Law School announced it had hired a dynamic new Assistant Dean of Career Development, Karen Eisen. This year, the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) continues its trajectory, with two new attorneys who will bolster its ability to work on its students behalf from professional development, through interviewing, to job placement. Robin Nackman has joined the OCPD as its new Director of Employer Relations, and Fei Zhong ’06 has joined the staff as an Associate Director.

    “We are thrilled to welcome both Robin and Fei to the Office of Career and Professional Development,” said Eisen. “They each bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the work as well as a commitment and dedication to the education of our students in career strategies. I know they will be tremendous resources for our students.”

    Robin Nackman

    Robin Nackman brings over 25 years of legal experience to the Career Office. After graduating from law school at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Nackman served as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan for three years. “Working as an ADA was an extraordinary experience,” said Nackman, who knew early on that she wanted to litigate. “Instead of having to spend years proving myself to a firm before I could set foot in a courtroom, it was probably a matter of weeks before I appeared in front of a judge.” Nackman then spent 10 years litigating securities arbitration proceedings and other matters as a vice president and associate general counsel at Prudential Securities Incorporated, where her litigation experience at the District Attorney's office paid off. “The firm had about 65 attorneys, probably 40 of whom were former ADAs who barely knew a stock from a bond. Their attitude was that we could learn the substantive law, but no one had to teach us to be litigators,” Nackman said. She then spent another 10 years as a solo practitioner, handling a broad range of litigation matters from real estate transactions and securities arbitration and mediations to contract disputes and estate planning.

    For the past four years, Nackman has worked in employer relations at area law schools, serving as director of employer relations at Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and then at New York Law School. In this role, Nackman developed and maintained relationships with legal employers—from firms to government agencies to nonprofit organizations—and also helped students and alumni find internships and jobs. “I love working with students and seeing them succeed,” said Nackman. "I also enjoy the teaching aspect of this work—informing and educating students about the professional legal world."

    In addition to her varied experience, Nackman brings enthusiasm and energy to BLS. “It’s apt that the acronym of my title is DOER,” she said. “I really do see the Director of Employer Relations role as that of a ‘doer,’ getting to know students and making the right connections for them.”

    As a student at BLS, Fei Zhong ’06 worked closely with Office of Career & Professional Development (OCPD) Associate Director Dina Adler. “I’ve kept in touch with Dina over the years because she made a real impact on my life,” said Zhong. After graduating, Zhong practiced law as an associate at Kucker & Bruh, LLP, a real estate and civil litigation firm, and then as a staff attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. While Zhong found her legal practice positions immensely valuable, she knew that she ultimately wanted to work in a capacity similar to Adler’s, counseling students. “I was attracted to law because of the counseling aspect,” said Zhong, “and I wanted to continue to counsel clients but explore doing so in a non-legal capacity.”

    On Adler’s advice, Zhong then spent the next several years building up her advising credentials as a legal recruiter, serving as Hire Counsel’s Managing Director of Legal Recruitment and then as a Recruitment Partner at Deutsche Bank. As a recruiter, Zhong counseled job seekers, and found it rewarding to help so many attorneys find positions. Although her work was closer to the advising role she sought, she found mid-career clients were already essentially set on their paths. “Being able to create a bond with a student, see their progression from their 1L year to graduation and beyond, and help them see the possibilities for creating a legal career that they would truly enjoy—that was what I wanted to do,” said Zhong.

    Zhong has fond memories of her time in Law School. She was a member of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and is fluent in Mandarin and conversant in Cantonese. She met her husband Nicholas F. Gaffney ’06 during her first year at BLS and maintains a tight knit group of friends from her BLS class. She is thrilled to return to the Law School as an Associate Director with OCPD where she will counsel students and also be responsible for the school’s diversity outreach. She is excited to use her experience as a BLS alumna and her different work experiences to advise students. “I think a lot of people don’t realize the varied positions in which they can use their legal education,” said Zhong. “Whatever interests you have—if you love food, for example, or you’re passionate about the environment—there are ways to blend these interests with a legal career. I hope to help students realize early in their studies at BLS that there are many possible paths to a fulfilling career.”