Myles Hired as Director of Career Services

Optimism, flexibility and a love of meeting new people are just a few of the qualities Phylis Myles, the new Director of Career Services at Willamette University College of Law, brings. Her job is to provide career assistance to Willamette law students and alumni and help employers find qualified legal professionals.

"I was a corporate brat growing up," says Myles. "My dad was working his way up the corporate ladder so we moved a lot. That experience has made me enjoy meeting new people and has made it easy for me to feel at ease in new situations."

Myles, who earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and communications at the University of Illinois and her J.D. from Lewis and Clark, has an employment background in both the corporate world and in private law practice. Before going to law school, she worked for the University of Illinois, the American Hospital Supply Corporation and for a manufacturing division of Columbia Pictures. "Because I've worked for large corporations, I know what they look for in an employee. For students interested in in-house counsel positions or in applying their law degrees in different ways, I can give them ideas about what's available in today's market."

She also knows what it's like to be a nontraditional student. Seeking a career change, she started law school at age 38. "I loved law school and had a great time. I found law school to be exciting and intellectually stimulating."

After earning her J.D., she clerked at the Oregon Court of Appeals for Justice R. William Riggs, who is now an Oregon Supreme Court Justice. She's also one of the founding members and past president of Oregon Women Lawyers, a professional organization that promotes women and minorities in the legal profession.

Because of her background in business, she thought she'd go into business law. However, she got involved in breast implantation litigation and found she loved trial work. In 1994, she and her husband, Kevin, opened a private law firm representing individuals in employment discrimination cases.

Myles says her job at Willamette University College of Law allows her to use her law degree in a different way. "This job is a great fit. It lets me help students, alumni and employers, which I love. It also enables me to use my law degree as well as other skills like my journalism skills and organizational skills."

She says Willamette's Career Services Center can help both current law students and alumni. "I want to offer career building skills. In addition to helping people learn how to write cover letters and resumes, I want to help them learn the networking and interviewing skills that they will use throughout their careers."

Phylis Myles can be reached at 503-370-6057 or e-mail.