Trying to get a head start on the job hunt post-law school, here’s some tips I think will have you in a chokehold all year
Network your Butt Off
Honestly, I am writing this slide first because this might be the most important tip. Like, if this was the only slide you read today, I would be okay with that because that’s how important networking is in the legal profession.
As soon as you start law school, start networking IMMEDIATELY. Build connections by attending different legal events that your school hosts, set up informational interviews with people, even connect with people on social media, and attend any networking event you can. I know you feel like you don’t have “time” in law school but trust me, you need to make time because this is your future we are talking about!
Law school is a prime of example of the concept, “It’s not always what you know, but who you know.” Many law students, including myself, received jobs not necessarily because of their stellar grades, but because of the connections they made while in law school.
Sign up and Participate in Job Fairs and OCI interviews
Well…you aren’t going to get a job if you expect a job to just fall on your lap. You have to put in the effort and apply to lawyer job positions.
The easiest way to kick off your job search is by signing up for job fairs that your law school may offer. Many law schools offer their law students the opportunity to participate in OCI interviews and even have public interest job fairs set up as well.
But don’t limit your participation to only on- campus interviews. But take the time and research other job fairs in the area or even outside your area. If you are a minority, there are a few job fairs focused particularly to recruiting students of color.
Related Post- 6 Reasons Why You Should Seriously Not Go To LAW SCHOOL!
Set up Informational Interviews
I don’t think many people talk about this, but informational interviews are very helpful when looking for jobs. Reach out to lawyers that you aspire to be for informational interviews.
Learn about the type of job that do. Not only are you networking and building a connection with an attorney, but you are also putting yourself on their radar for the future.
Just make sure that you continue to build your relationship with them with them after the initial connection is made. We don’t want them to forget you or have them thinking that you were only using them for a job.
Remember the Internet is your Best friend
USE GOOGLE! Google is the main search engine that holds all the information about new legal jobs that are being posted. Make sure you google job opportunities using key words like “legal,” “hiring,” “legal jobs”, “in-house”, “attorney” etc.
Don’t forget to also utilize the common job sites: Indeed, LinkedIn, Simply Hired, and Glassdoor. I am telling you, there are new attorney job descriptions posted every day, especially on LinkedIn.
Make sure you also go to the actual companies website or departments to search for job opportunities.
Finally don’t forget that PSJD is a great resource if you are interested in going into the public sector.
Reach out to Your People
Many law students forget to reach out to the people that they had prior connections with before going to law school.
Call and/or email your personal connections. Update them about your job search and how the process is going. Let them know what practice areas you are interested in and ask them to connect you with anyone who may have a lead for a job opportunity.
If you applied to a position at a certain company and you personally know someone there, let them know that you sent in a resume so they can bring it to the attention of the recruiter at the company.
Also, don’t make the mistake and only reach out to lawyers. You don’t know who someone knows. You don’t have to be a lawyer to know a lawyer. The goal here is to get on people’s radar.
Take Advantage of Your School’s Career Center
If you are going to pay over +$200k in tuition, you might as well take advantage of your law school’s resources.
Make sure to utilize career services at your law school. They have various insight into different job opportunities and can connect you to many alumni from the school. They also can direct you to many legal job board postings.
Also, they can make sure you are best prepared to apply for a job. They can review your resume, cover letters as well as stage mock interviews.
Join Organizations and Clubs
This low-key falls in the networking category, but I am going to say it again. You need to network your butt off in law school.
The easiest way to do this is by simply joining organizations and clubs that cater to your interests. Becoming a member gives you direct access to the club networking events and their alumni.
Also, make sure you attend networking conferences if you can. Conferences are also a great way to meet lawyers in a field you are interested in. You may have to cough up money to attend, but it’s totally worth it if you come out with a job opportunity.
Have an Open-Mind
It is important to be flexible. Searching for a job is draining and sometimes just downright depressing. But trust the process, because you will get a job if you are open-minded.
Accept that your first law job may not be in the geographical location you hope for or even in the practice area you desire. But that doesn’t mean you will never reach your dreams. Keep applying even if you are not where you want to be.
Make sure that you are getting the proper training and supervision to prepare you for the next role. Volunteer and take on certain legal assignments to gain experience that you may need for your next job. Consider non-traditional legal roles until the right opportunity comes along.