Law School Discussion

Law Students => Incoming 1Ls => Topic started by: Matthies on August 05, 2008, 06:47:59 PM

Title: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 05, 2008, 06:47:59 PM
Iím going to give you some advice, some of which was given to me before I went to school, some of which I learned while in school and some of which was given to me by lawyers and judges I know. Everything I list here I have personally tried and it works.

Some info about me: Iím a 4L part-time at a T2 school, Iím well within the top 20% of my class and on a secondary journal, I have had several clerk positions and have several open offers for post laws school graduation. I would describe my job searching thus far as being extremely easy and not at all effected by the presence of a T1 school in my same market with the one caveat that I am also extremely picky about what I will practice and where I will work. I have turned down far more offers than I have accepted. I am not trying to brag, Iím trying to share what you wonít learn just about anyplace else that really does work.
 
Iím going to give you advice on one thing: landing a job. There is plenty of advice on OCI and mass mailings, Iíve never done that so I wonít talk out of my ass about it, plenty of other folks on here can discuss that (although I am going to try it this year just so I can say I did it and not put all my eggs in one basket). Here is my advice, less than 1% of you will likely take it, but if you do, I will guarantee your job search will be easier and more successful regardless of what school you go to.

(BTW I have sever dyslexia, Iíve tried to proof this as best I can, but my time is limited and I wanted to get this up so I apologize for any spelling errors that got through, auto correct is also my enemy because what it thinks I mean and what I meant are often very different)

1) Realize than that 75% of you will not end up in the top 25% of your class. I do not mean to discourage you, just to point out that you should have a plan B on how you are going to land a job if you do not end up there NOW, not after it happens.

2) Outside of the top 20 or so law schools out there most law students will not land a job from OCI. If you think they do itís a law school myth. They donít. And outside the top 25% your odds of getting a job from OCI drop even further. (Note though what I will suggest below works well even at top law schools).

3) 80% of the available law jobs out there are unadvertised word of mouth referral positions. You find out about them from people you know working in the legal field, and those people recommend you for those jobs. There is little competition because few people know about them. This is especially true for mid sized firms, the ones that everyone says donít exist or donít hire law grads out of law school, again both of those are myths spread by people who donít know any better because these places donít do OCI.

4) You can land a good job out of any law school, regardless of rank, it just takes knowing how the legal profession works AND working that to your advantage from day one. That takes getting out of law school and getting to know lawyers and judges. So many students have problems finding law jobs not because they are not out there, but because they do not know how to properly look for them. I am going to give you advice on how to tap into that hidden job market from my personal experience doing it.

5) First realize the whole point of going to law school is to get a job as a lawyer. This should be your primary concern from day one. Iím not saying grades are not important, of course focus on those too, but donít lose sight of the main goal, or the forest for the trees if you will. After the semester is over there is nothing you can do about your grades and if you have not already taken the steps to start your job search you will be behind the curve with nothing to rely on.

6) Donít put all your eggs in one basket. Do not go into law school thinking you will land a job through OCI, if you do you wonít take any steps to find one other ways, and if you donít find one through OCI you will have no plan B. Assume you WILL NOT find a job from OCI and act accordingly. If you do get one from OCI then great, the other steps you have taken will only help your future searches. If you donít youíre not desperate because you have other leads. The primary reason people female dog about having to take sucky jobs/summer work, I believe from seeing it first hand, is because they failed to plan ahead, they got no offers from OCI and they had to take whatever came along, no matter how crappy that job was. They did not have anything else lined up before hand so they have nothing to choose from. This is a bad position to be in but one the vast majority of your classmates will find themselves in.

7) Networking is the single best way to find a law job. Period. No exceptions. Who you know beats where you go. However, networking takes time and effort to pay off. You need to network for several months BEFORE you tap your network, and you need to stay in regular contact with your network for it to be effective. Itís not something you can do in 30 days and see results. Thus, you need to start from day ONE of 1L building your network so by the end of the first year you have people who know you well and WANT to help you. If you do this and continue to do this by 3L you will have far more offers than anyone else you know at school. You will find out about jobs no one else at school knows about, and you will have your entire network working for you on the job search. You can network your way into good offers, even big law offers. People will tell you canít network into big law. That is bull by people who talk out of their asses about stuff they have never done. I HAVE DONE IT. I have clerked and gotten an offer at a big law firm that I had no business being at school or rank wise. I also got the job before I even showed them a resume or transcript, I did not have to go through the hiring committee, I was personally hired to work under the managing partner all of this came about from a referral and promotion of me as a candidate from a networking friend I have cultivated (over a year before this connection panned out so he knew me very well, well enough to put his name and rep on the line for me).  Granted its rare, but not because it canít happen, but because so few people know how to do it or try it.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 05, 2008, 06:48:33 PM
Some advice on how to start networking from day one:

ēBecome a student member of the ABA, your state and local bar associations. This can range from free to $50 for a year. Be sure to sign up for any e-mail newsletters they have. DO THIS. Why students donít join the professional organizations of the profession they want to work in amazes me. DO IT.

ēFind local CLE (Continuing Legal Education classes) for lawyers in your town. This is usually by practice area, it helps if you have a practice area you like, but if you donít then go to several itís a good way to see what lawyers actually do in that practice area. These are usually around noon and include lunch; student rates are often free to $10-25 bucks and includes the food. TALK TO PEOPLE THERE. Some lawyers, just like some posters on LSD, love to give advice - these are the folks you want to search out. Students are welcome at CLEs, and you will likely be the only one there Ė use it to your advantage. People will want to talk to you if you just talk to them first. Not everyone is going to be your mentor, but you wonít find the ones that will if you DONĒT TRY and KEEP TRYING. Going each month is a way to see the same people and keep in contact.

ēSee if the local bar association has any lawyer functions you like, mine has both a kayaking and dodge ball group, join, students are welcome but never go, you already have something in common with these folks to talk about. Go and meet people, real live lawyers and judges, imagine that.

ēFocus some of your little free time on meeting lawyers and judges in the community. Joining every student group under the sun is great, but thatís not networking. Those people are your competition for jobs. Being VP of some group as a line on your resume does not beat knowing a judge so well you have his home phone number in your cell. Being the leader of a student group is impressive; knowing someone who knows the person interviewing you who is willing to call them and put a good word in for you is more impressive. (Iím not saying donít join groups, just make time for outside the school stuff as well- again avoid putting all your eggs in one basket).
 
ēUnderstand that the legal community in your city is much smaller and more tight nit then you think now. Everybody knows everyone else, if you have a large enough network somebody you know will know or know of the person you are interviewing with or someone high up at the firm you want a job at. BELIEVE ME. I could write an entire post about how just asking my network of lawyers and judges about a certain firm or judge turned into a phone call that got me an interview. Lawyers know other lawyers and judges. Knowing people is how the law gets done. Understand that now, and start meeting people, as a 1L and you will have a HUGE advantage over your classmates who donít.

ēCheck the American Inns of Court for an Inn of Court in your town. Contact its recruiting officer and ask to join. (Some may not take students, or only take 2 or 3L, but if they do respond saying that say youíre very interested and would like to join as a 1L if possible). Inns are GREAT. They meet once a month and have up to 200 lawyers and judges as members, and the whole point of Inns is to mentor young lawyers so the folks that join WANT to help.

ēGo to networking functions your school puts on. Donít be a wallflower, TALK TO PEOPLE. Talk to lawyers not other law students. The lawyers and judges who go to these things have volunteered to be mentors. MEET THEM. Moreover, keep in contact with them. Taking their card is NOT ENOUGH. You need to contact them again and again to build a relationship, build up your relationship credits BEFORE you need them then when you do they will WANT TO HELP YOU. Find reasons to talk to them again. Can you shadow them one day at the office or court? Can you e-mail them about elective courses? Ask them to lunch, offer to pay (most time they will end up picking up the bill, but offer). The point is you need to work to stay in contact, thatís networking. Collecting cards and sitting on them is NOT networking. It will be aqward at first, but after a few meetings if you two click it will becomes second nature and you will becomes friends. I know have more friends who are judges and lawyers than I have friends who are classmates.

ēIf youíre invited by a judge or lawyer to go to some legal event outside of school GO. Just do it. This is a gesture you should not turn down unless you have an exam the next day.

ēVolunteer at local bar association charity events, whatever it is, e-mail the person setting up and offer your help. You will meet tons of lawyers this way, and the people you meet are the types that like to give back to the community so they are often good mentors.

ēGet this book: Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, 2d http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics-Getting-Dreams-Employment/dp/0314176772/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b. I dare say itís the best prep you can do for law school and the only thing that might actually pay off in the end. Iím not going to say I agree with everything in there, but itís a great start to understanding how the legal job search works, it would take me 100s of post to explain what is laid out in this book. Just read it and youíll be far above the majority of your classmates when it come to job searching.

ēPut your activities with the local bar association on your resume. Why? Law firms like lawyers who are involved in the community it makes the firm look good and itís how you meet clients. By year four of your firm career you will be expected to bring clients in, showing you have learned networking and meeting people skills in law school is a bonus.

ēBe creative in how you meet lawyers or judges. Always be prepared to strike up a conversation when the opportunity presents its self. On more than one occasion, I have had someone comment on my law school sweatshirt out in public that turned out to be alumni. Donít be shy, suck it up, itís better to take the chance you might embarrass yourself for a fleeting second than to give up what might have been an excellent networking contact.

ēAsk the lawyers and judges you meet to introduce you to their friends. This seems basic, but people like to introduce people to other people, this is how you build your network.

ēDo just some of these and your life in law school will be easier than most, your job search will be easier and you will have better success regardless of your grades, ranking or law school you go to.

ēIf you have, successes please SHARE. This is the most untapped resource for finding a job, 99% of law students have no clue about what I just said. Or if they do they find out too late. If people just understood the power of networking, we would have far fewer posts by miserable 3Ls who canít find or took crappy jobs because that is the only option they had.

ēStart your job search from day one of 1L, look outside school, do not put it off and you will be far ahead of the curve. 

ēDo not give up if youíre finding it hard at first to meet people you click with. Do not give up once you have a large network. Always keep expanding your network. Networking takes time and effort, this is why most of your classmates wonít be doing it or will tell you (without having tried it themselves) that you should just mass mail out resumes to strangers. Its easier to just submit your resume for OCI or mail merge and hope for the best then stick your neck out and meet strangers. But because its harder is why it pays such huge dividends, if it was easy everyone would do it and you would not get as much success by trying. Its hard so most people donít do it, so those that do have the pretty much the entire field open to them. Just trust me on this. This thing alone will make your life in law school and your options for after law school so much better if you do it now and do it right.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Thistle on August 05, 2008, 06:53:48 PM
matthies knows what the hell he's talking about.  if you pay attention to ANY poster, make it this one.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: robelguapo on August 05, 2008, 07:04:18 PM
taggin like a mo'fo
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: PaleForce on August 05, 2008, 07:06:01 PM
tag for the new locale & thanks again!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: brianwithani on August 05, 2008, 07:12:20 PM
Tag.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: econtutorNV on August 05, 2008, 07:34:21 PM

ēUnderstand that the legal community in your city is much smaller and more tight knit then you think now. Everybody knows everyone else, if you have a large enough network somebody you know will know or know of the person you are interviewing with or someone high up at the firm you want a job at.


This is so true it is not even funny. Tag.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Maddie on August 05, 2008, 07:37:20 PM
Tag.  Thanks for the advice!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: imwithhappy on August 05, 2008, 08:41:47 PM
Matthies rulz.

[img width= height=]http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x133/imwithhappy/bump.jpg[/img]
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: SCK2008 on August 05, 2008, 09:58:58 PM
Sweet.  I was telling myself the other day that I need to PM Matthies about this *&^%...

That sunuva (gun) read my mind...

Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: xferlawstudent on August 05, 2008, 10:05:23 PM
This is 100% correct!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: TimMitchell on August 05, 2008, 10:38:33 PM
I'm going save this article in a word file and back it up. Seriously great advice

I'd also like to add that this advice is true for every field and will probably help after finding a job. In every business, professional or otherwise, networking is key. Nobody finds a good job on monster or craiglist, if the job was desirable they wouldn't have had to post it there or they are in a pinch. Moreover, once you have a job networking is important for establishing new business and meeting the right people.

One example I can give is there are a couple guys at my firm (sales) trying to find a new job. Both are successful salespeople with plenty of experience that would qualify for almost any position. Mr. A is a fantastic networker and keeps up with clients after the sale, had offers waiting for him before he planned on leaving. Now he's making more money in a more prestigious position. Mr. B, who I believe is the superior salesman and has the numbers to back it up, still can't find a good job. B probably would've had it easy in a booming economy, but now that it is tight jobs are tough to come by and gobbled up quick.

I don't have much to add, Matthies advice is flawless, expect to say that networking is an important component for any occupation and is also important for building and maintaining business.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Jamie Stringer on August 06, 2008, 02:18:09 AM
Thanks for the awesome advice!!  I was thinking about this recently and it's really helpful to have all the info laid out in plain language.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Put em up! on August 06, 2008, 06:34:13 AM
tag.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: kipford on August 06, 2008, 10:00:53 AM
Just to add fuel to the fire:  Every entering 1L should be aware that, outside of elite schools, many OCI jobs are very selective in who can even apply.  I've been going through early interview week OCI stuff the last few weeks and virtually every one had a requirement of top 20% or better (several were top 10%) and had a stated preference of journal membership.  I was fortunate to be highly ranked and on law review, but the vast majority of students are not.  The same core group of students is getting the lion's share of these interviews.  I go to a high T2 school and was very impressed with the caliber of student there.  Virtually everyone is smart and a hard worker.  You can't expect to be in the top 10% just because you always excelled in the past-everyone at law school (most of them anyway) excelled in the past.  That is my long winded way of saying that this thread has very good advice since chances are you will not be in line for OCI jobs, at least the very good ones ("you" being the statistically likely out-of-the-top-10-to-20-percent student).

Also, don't be overwhelmed by everything here.  Instead of throwing up your arms and saying "it's too much, I can't do all that!"  Just do some of it.  Every piece of advice here can only help you.  It's not all or nothing, but obviously the more you do, the better off you will be.  Also, if some of it puts you TOO far outside of your comfort zone then think of other ways to network that fit better with your personality.

The tough thing is balance here-maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't do these things to the detriment of being prepared for class.  On the other hand, since most people don't hit the magic grade cut-offs, maybe I'm full of it?
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 06, 2008, 10:26:02 AM

The tough thing is balance here-maybe it's just me, but I wouldn't do these things to the detriment of being prepared for class.  On the other hand, since most people don't hit the magic grade cut-offs, maybe I'm full of it?


I think your right, the key is finding a balance and time, to network. At the end of 1L your either going to be in the top 25% of your class or your not. If you not that is not the time to realize you should have been networking in addition to studying. I think too many 1Ls (myself included) get blinders the first year and focus only on grades. Thatís great if you get them, but that wonít help you find anything for 1L summer if you donít. Vice versa if you get the grades AND network youíre in an even better situation than one who just got the grades. The key, I think, is learning quickly to work and network smart and not to work and network long. I  don't think the two are exclusive of each other. 
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: xferlawstudent on August 06, 2008, 10:36:40 AM
I agree with everything being said.  Less optimistically, however, it has been my experience that really only Top 10-15% are able to get jobs through OCI. 
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: vjm on August 06, 2008, 10:47:53 AM
tagadelic. Thanks Matties!

Just for fun, anything special you would recommend to folks who are going FT (without the PT option) and are limited to nighttime activities? I will try to figure out a way to do lunches and coffee, but I fear daytime stuff just isn't in the cards this year.

Are CE classes available nights? Inns of the Court dinners?
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: BarryLaine on August 06, 2008, 10:48:15 AM
Tag.  Thanks, Matthies!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Nande on August 06, 2008, 11:10:45 AM
You know...as a resident lurker and sometimes poster... I have to say if there is one person I will take advice from and listen to..it's this guy Matthies.  I can't tell you how many times you run across the a-holes here who are condescending, rude, and snobbish.  Who also think that just BECAUSE they are in a top 20 school it means their future is paved in gold. Maybe silver, lol.  

Case in point: I was flying to Chicago about a month ago, saw a woman with a Harvard Law shirt on.  I thought, I should go talk to her. But she went to Harvard.  Well I went ahead, spoke to her, wound up finding out about an area of law that I had NOT heard of and she was pretty impressed with the fact I had even stepped to her like that in an airport.  She pretty much told me I needed to make sure I kept in touch with her.  

Anyway, thanks for this post Matthies, as always you hit the nail on the head. ;D
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 06, 2008, 11:22:08 AM
tagadelic. Thanks Matties!

Just for fun, anything special you would recommend to folks who are going FT (without the PT option) and are limited to nighttime activities? I will try to figure out a way to do lunches and coffee, but I fear daytime stuff just isn't in the cards this year.

Are CE classes available nights? Inns of the Court dinners?

Actually most of the school sponsored networking events will be in the evenings. The Inn of Courts are dinners, and the bar charity stuff is often at night or on the weekends. The only real daytime networking is the CLE lunches, and these are once a month. You should try to go when you can, look for ones that are close to your school, you will get lunch out of the deal and be the only one there. But the majority of the stuff will be at night so you should be fine. 

Oh one more thing, breakfast is always good too. I have a weekly breakfast I attend with some judges and lawyers, its usually over by 8:30AM so if you can find something like this (or start your own group) that can be done before class.   
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: RokoMotion on August 07, 2008, 06:40:10 AM
Tag!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Speedzie on August 07, 2008, 11:19:34 AM
Thanks Matthies.  No joke, your posts have always been valuabe to me, right down to the cute kittens!

Also, your comments here mirror what I've already learned anecdotally and through friends.  I've got a cousin who's a lawyer and a paralegal uncle, and both have alrady made it clear to me that knowing people is the (a) key to success.  Thanks for laying it out so succinctly.  I might even print this onto paper!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: *devo* on August 07, 2008, 01:22:23 PM
tag
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: just dot on August 07, 2008, 02:17:35 PM
One of, if not THE best thread on this site.  I've already tried to start networking and I will definitely put all of this advice to use.  Thanks for taking the time to type this all out, Matthies.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: biggame on August 07, 2008, 03:59:12 PM
bop
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Pacavelli on August 08, 2008, 07:48:26 PM
Thanks Matthies, props for the post. 
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Tetris on August 10, 2008, 12:07:59 AM
Tag.

Would you mind giving some suggestions for successful conversation starters? Talk about law school? How much you love "City X?" Something non-law related? What starters have worked well for you?

I'm a shy person and have problems thinking up ways to start a conversation, especially in an intimidating situation like talking to an older judge or lawyer.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Ninja1 on August 10, 2008, 12:48:58 AM
Tag-O-Rama
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 10, 2008, 08:55:17 AM
Tag.

Would you mind giving some suggestions for successful conversation starters? Talk about law school? How much you love "City X?" Something non-law related? What starters have worked well for you?

I'm a shy person and have problems thinking up ways to start a conversation, especially in an intimidating situation like talking to an older judge or lawyer.

If youíre not naturally good at just starting up conversations with strangers (and most people are not) then I would suggest coming up with a few canned responses beforehand. What these should be will be up to you, what you feel comfortable talking about and what fit in with your personal conversation style. Asking someone about their practice area is always a good one. But you should have a 4-5 that you can use in any situation. Try doing a Google search for networking conversation starters and get some ideas then personalize it for your specific style.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: El_Che on August 10, 2008, 10:44:40 AM
Tag this knowledge nugget
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Tetris on August 10, 2008, 03:05:09 PM
Tag.

Would you mind giving some suggestions for successful conversation starters? Talk about law school? How much you love "City X?" Something non-law related? What starters have worked well for you?

I'm a shy person and have problems thinking up ways to start a conversation, especially in an intimidating situation like talking to an older judge or lawyer.

If youíre not naturally good at just starting up conversations with strangers (and most people are not) then I would suggest coming up with a few canned responses beforehand. What these should be will be up to you, what you feel comfortable talking about and what fit in with your personal conversation style. Asking someone about their practice area is always a good one. But you should have a 4-5 that you can use in any situation. Try doing a Google search for networking conversation starters and get some ideas then personalize it for your specific style.

Thanks for the advice!

Tetris. Haven't seen that dude in ages!

Yeah I thought I should pop back on, since law school is starting in two weeks. It seems appropriate.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: AZWildcat on August 10, 2008, 05:57:40 PM
Nice work Matthies!

And to give another perspective, I am a T2 grad in the top 1/3, and I have an associate job starting in three weeks that pays 160k.  It can and does happen, but it doesn't fall into your lap.  But then again, should it?  Follow this brilliant thread and the odds will be in your favor.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: ADL on August 11, 2008, 12:34:26 PM
tagadelic. Thanks Matties!

Just for fun, anything special you would recommend to folks who are going FT (without the PT option) and are limited to nighttime activities? I will try to figure out a way to do lunches and coffee, but I fear daytime stuff just isn't in the cards this year.

Are CE classes available nights? Inns of the Court dinners?

Actually most of the school sponsored networking events will be in the evenings. The Inn of Courts are dinners, and the bar charity stuff is often at night or on the weekends. The only real daytime networking is the CLE lunches, and these are once a month. You should try to go when you can, look for ones that are close to your school, you will get lunch out of the deal and be the only one there. But the majority of the stuff will be at night so you should be fine. 

Oh one more thing, breakfast is always good too. I have a weekly breakfast I attend with some judges and lawyers, its usually over by 8:30AM so if you can find something like this (or start your own group) that can be done before class.   
Matthies,
As you said, all of the CLE events are during the day, usually from 9-5.  I can't find any info on the monthly CLE lunches on the NYSBA website.  Are you talking about the lunches that take place during some of the CLE classes?  Or do i find out about the luncheons once i join?
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 11, 2008, 01:46:26 PM
tagadelic. Thanks Matties!

Just for fun, anything special you would recommend to folks who are going FT (without the PT option) and are limited to nighttime activities? I will try to figure out a way to do lunches and coffee, but I fear daytime stuff just isn't in the cards this year.

Are CE classes available nights? Inns of the Court dinners?

Actually most of the school sponsored networking events will be in the evenings. The Inn of Courts are dinners, and the bar charity stuff is often at night or on the weekends. The only real daytime networking is the CLE lunches, and these are once a month. You should try to go when you can, look for ones that are close to your school, you will get lunch out of the deal and be the only one there. But the majority of the stuff will be at night so you should be fine. 

Oh one more thing, breakfast is always good too. I have a weekly breakfast I attend with some judges and lawyers, its usually over by 8:30AM so if you can find something like this (or start your own group) that can be done before class.   
Matthies,
As you said, all of the CLE events are during the day, usually from 9-5.  I can't find any info on the monthly CLE lunches on the NYSBA website.  Are you talking about the lunches that take place during some of the CLE classes?  Or do i find out about the luncheons once i join?

Hi ADL,

Iím not sure what you mean by NYSBA, Iíll assume you mean New York City? I checked their webpage and looks like they mostly do Ĺ day CLEs. What you want to look for a section specific events, put on by the committees (Like Administrative Law Committee or Environmental Law Committee etc.) themselves rather than full blow CLE classes. Search by calendar of the committee your interested in. For example the committee on Small firms is having a 12:30-2:00PM lunch CLE thatís only $25. http://www.nycbar.org/EventsCalendar/show_event.php?eventid=929 You basically should just plan on trying to go to the committee group CLEs as the main CLE are a lot more money and likely overkill for what you need.

Its also looks like the NYC bar association is having  a meet and greet for law students in Sept. I would highly recommend going to this as the more active committee chair people will be there and they can answer specific questions about things you can do as a law students to get involved whenthe groups meet etc. Plus this is for law stuenents so people who like emntoring will be there. http://www.nycbar.org/EventsCalendar/show_event.php?eventid=923

Also check out the Young Lawyers Division, looks like they have once a month cocktail hour. http://www.nycbar.org/YLC/first_thursdays.htm

Also be sure to check the NY State bar association and any other local bar associations they might have in the city. My city, much smaller, has a state bar, a city bar and a metropolitan bar.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Mori on August 11, 2008, 01:47:20 PM
tag
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: ADL on August 11, 2008, 05:58:19 PM
tagadelic. Thanks Matties!

Just for fun, anything special you would recommend to folks who are going FT (without the PT option) and are limited to nighttime activities? I will try to figure out a way to do lunches and coffee, but I fear daytime stuff just isn't in the cards this year.

Are CE classes available nights? Inns of the Court dinners?

Actually most of the school sponsored networking events will be in the evenings. The Inn of Courts are dinners, and the bar charity stuff is often at night or on the weekends. The only real daytime networking is the CLE lunches, and these are once a month. You should try to go when you can, look for ones that are close to your school, you will get lunch out of the deal and be the only one there. But the majority of the stuff will be at night so you should be fine. 

Oh one more thing, breakfast is always good too. I have a weekly breakfast I attend with some judges and lawyers, its usually over by 8:30AM so if you can find something like this (or start your own group) that can be done before class.   
Matthies,
As you said, all of the CLE events are during the day, usually from 9-5.  I can't find any info on the monthly CLE lunches on the NYSBA website.  Are you talking about the lunches that take place during some of the CLE classes?  Or do i find out about the luncheons once i join?

Hi ADL,

Iím not sure what you mean by NYSBA, Iíll assume you mean New York City? I checked their webpage and looks like they mostly do Ĺ day CLEs. What you want to look for a section specific events, put on by the committees (Like Administrative Law Committee or Environmental Law Committee etc.) themselves rather than full blow CLE classes. Search by calendar of the committee your interested in. For example the committee on Small firms is having a 12:30-2:00PM lunch CLE thatís only $25. http://www.nycbar.org/EventsCalendar/show_event.php?eventid=929 You basically should just plan on trying to go to the committee group CLEs as the main CLE are a lot more money and likely overkill for what you need.

Its also looks like the NYC bar association is having  a meet and greet for law students in Sept. I would highly recommend going to this as the more active committee chair people will be there and they can answer specific questions about things you can do as a law students to get involved whenthe groups meet etc. Plus this is for law stuenents so people who like emntoring will be there. http://www.nycbar.org/EventsCalendar/show_event.php?eventid=923

Also check out the Young Lawyers Division, looks like they have once a month cocktail hour. http://www.nycbar.org/YLC/first_thursdays.htm

Also be sure to check the NY State bar association and any other local bar associations they might have in the city. My city, much smaller, has a state bar, a city bar and a metropolitan bar.

Hope this helps!

thank Matthies!  you certainly have helped!
I'm in Western NY so i'm looking to join the NY State and Erie County Bar Associations.  I just moved out of the NYC area this summer, so i won't be able to make any of the NYC events.  But i will definitely look into the committee activities in the bar associations in my area.
thanks again.  :)
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: esquirette on August 13, 2008, 01:01:22 AM
tag!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 14, 2008, 09:25:18 AM
Networking update on how I t works in tandem with OCI.

So Iím trying OCI for the first time this year. This morning I had breakfast with a judge and mentor of mine. I gave him the list of three firms that I was interested in (only ones doing OCI that have my practice area). He went down the list and rattled off names of people he knew at each firm, including named partners. Took out his blackberry and put in ďcall X on behalf of MatthiesĒ and agreed to call the people he knew and strongly urge them not only to interview me, but that it would be a mistake if they did not make me an offer. He said it would do it Tuesday the day after they receive my materials and then call me back and let me know how it went. It was as easy as that. Iíll let you know if anything comes of it, but it sure canít hurt. 
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Speedzie on August 14, 2008, 10:00:09 AM
::conceals jealousy, tries to act cool::
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: TrumpWho?? on August 15, 2008, 06:16:30 AM
tag
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Muhammad Ali on August 16, 2008, 10:07:13 AM
Thanks, Matthies!  And thanks for meeting up with me that one late afternoon.  I had a great time in your city.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 16, 2008, 10:21:30 AM
Thanks, Matthies!  And thanks for meeting up with me that one late afternoon.  I had a great time in your city.

Cool, sorry I did not get to take you to breakfeast with my group, but with all the vactions we did not meet much over summer, keep up the networking and good luck at your school I'm sure your going to do great!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Eugene Young on August 17, 2008, 09:10:26 AM

I would advise to get some business cards made to for when start meeting attorneys. You'll feel like an ass if they hand you a card and you write your info down on the back of a piece of paper or napkin. Start acting like a professional. Professionals have business cards.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 17, 2008, 11:28:53 AM
Thanks, Matthies!  And thanks for meeting up with me that one late afternoon.  I had a great time in your city.

Cool, sorry I did not get to take you to breakfeast with my group, but with all the vactions we did not meet much over summer, keep up the networking and good luck at your school I'm sure your going to do great!

Oh, hey, I forgot to mention. Guess who got the highest grade in Anderson's? Thanks for your advice in LP. It made the class much easier.

Not only is Matthies the networking source, he knows how to write brilliant memos as well, people! ;)

haha, cool congrats that GREAT highest grade in any law class is an accomplishment, in legal writing its a GREAT accomplishment, congrats man! Be sure to put that on your resume!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 17, 2008, 11:34:37 AM

I would advise to get some business cards made to for when start meeting attorneys. You'll feel like an ass if they hand you a card and you write your info down on the back of a piece of paper or napkin. Start acting like a professional. Professionals have business cards.

I agree with this whole heartedly. There was a huge debate thread on business cards earlier in the year. Sad to say the majority were against them. However, if youíre doing the kind of networking, serious hardcore networking, that I describe here, business cards are a must. No one will think your toolish, we are not talking about handing them out at school, we are talking about handing them out when given a card at bar associations and court and places where they will expect you, even as a student, to act like a professional. Itís a professional school, you have to start acting like a professional if your going to mix with professionals.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: TimMitchell on August 17, 2008, 07:24:43 PM

I would advise to get some business cards made to for when start meeting attorneys. You'll feel like an ass if they hand you a card and you write your info down on the back of a piece of paper or napkin. Start acting like a professional. Professionals have business cards.

I agree with this whole heartedly. There was a huge debate thread on business cards earlier in the year. Sad to say the majority were against them. However, if youíre doing the kind of networking, serious hardcore networking, that I describe here, business cards are a must. No one will think your toolish, we are not talking about handing them out at school, we are talking about handing them out when given a card at bar associations and court and places where they will expect you, even as a student, to act like a professional. Itís a professional school, you have to start acting like a professional if your going to mix with professionals.

Is it too early to start referring to myself as Tim Mitchell, Esq or The Honorable Tim Mitchell?
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Speedzie on August 17, 2008, 07:51:59 PM

I would advise to get some business cards made to for when start meeting attorneys. You'll feel like an ass if they hand you a card and you write your info down on the back of a piece of paper or napkin. Start acting like a professional. Professionals have business cards.

I agree with this whole heartedly. There was a huge debate thread on business cards earlier in the year. Sad to say the majority were against them. However, if youíre doing the kind of networking, serious hardcore networking, that I describe here, business cards are a must. No one will think your toolish, we are not talking about handing them out at school, we are talking about handing them out when given a card at bar associations and court and places where they will expect you, even as a student, to act like a professional. Itís a professional school, you have to start acting like a professional if your going to mix with professionals.

Is it too early to start referring to myself as Tim Mitchell, Esq or The Honorable Tim Mitchell?

I think it's a felony to add Esq to your name.  It is in CT anyways (saw it on the CT Bar Ass. website).
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 18, 2008, 08:15:36 AM

I would advise to get some business cards made to for when start meeting attorneys. You'll feel like an ass if they hand you a card and you write your info down on the back of a piece of paper or napkin. Start acting like a professional. Professionals have business cards.

I agree with this whole heartedly. There was a huge debate thread on business cards earlier in the year. Sad to say the majority were against them. However, if youíre doing the kind of networking, serious hardcore networking, that I describe here, business cards are a must. No one will think your toolish, we are not talking about handing them out at school, we are talking about handing them out when given a card at bar associations and court and places where they will expect you, even as a student, to act like a professional. Itís a professional school, you have to start acting like a professional if your going to mix with professionals.

Is it too early to start referring to myself as Tim Mitchell, Esq or The Honorable Tim Mitchell?

J.D. Canidate 2011 or sensual massage therapist would be fine
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Speedzie on August 18, 2008, 11:10:37 AM

I would advise to get some business cards made to for when start meeting attorneys. You'll feel like an ass if they hand you a card and you write your info down on the back of a piece of paper or napkin. Start acting like a professional. Professionals have business cards.

I agree with this whole heartedly. There was a huge debate thread on business cards earlier in the year. Sad to say the majority were against them. However, if youíre doing the kind of networking, serious hardcore networking, that I describe here, business cards are a must. No one will think your toolish, we are not talking about handing them out at school, we are talking about handing them out when given a card at bar associations and court and places where they will expect you, even as a student, to act like a professional. Itís a professional school, you have to start acting like a professional if your going to mix with professionals.

Is it too early to start referring to myself as Tim Mitchell, Esq or The Honorable Tim Mitchell?

J.D. Canidate 2011 or sensual massage therapist would be fine

I heard TM used to go with "analrapist"
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: qt314 on August 20, 2008, 09:55:52 AM
matthies, thanks for posting this.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: HippieLawChick on August 21, 2008, 12:51:01 PM
Some advice on how to start networking from day one:

ēBecome a student member of the ABA, your state and local bar associations. This can range from free to $50 for a year. Be sure to sign up for any e-mail newsletters they have. DO THIS. Why students donít join the professional organizations of the profession they want to work in amazes me. DO IT.

ēFind local CLE (Continuing Legal Education classes) for lawyers in your town. This is usually by practice area, it helps if you have a practice area you like, but if you donít then go to several itís a good way to see what lawyers actually do in that practice area. These are usually around noon and include lunch; student rates are often free to $10-25 bucks and includes the food. TALK TO PEOPLE THERE. Some lawyers, just like some posters on LSD, love to give advice - these are the folks you want to search out. Students are welcome at CLEs, and you will likely be the only one there Ė use it to your advantage. People will want to talk to you if you just talk to them first. Not everyone is going to be your mentor, but you wonít find the ones that will if you DONĒT TRY and KEEP TRYING. Going each month is a way to see the same people and keep in contact.

ēSee if the local bar association has any lawyer functions you like, mine has both a kayaking and dodge ball group, join, students are welcome but never go, you already have something in common with these folks to talk about. Go and meet people, real live lawyers and judges, imagine that.

ēFocus some of your little free time on meeting lawyers and judges in the community. Joining every student group under the sun is great, but thatís not networking. Those people are your competition for jobs. Being VP of some group as a line on your resume does not beat knowing a judge so well you have his home phone number in your cell. Being the leader of a student group is impressive; knowing someone who knows the person interviewing you who is willing to call them and put a good word in for you is more impressive. (Iím not saying donít join groups, just make time for outside the school stuff as well- again avoid putting all your eggs in one basket).
 
ēUnderstand that the legal community in your city is much smaller and more tight nit then you think now. Everybody knows everyone else, if you have a large enough network somebody you know will know or know of the person you are interviewing with or someone high up at the firm you want a job at. BELIEVE ME. I could write an entire post about how just asking my network of lawyers and judges about a certain firm or judge turned into a phone call that got me an interview. Lawyers know other lawyers and judges. Knowing people is how the law gets done. Understand that now, and start meeting people, as a 1L and you will have a HUGE advantage over your classmates who donít.

ēCheck the American Inns of Court for an Inn of Court in your town. Contact its recruiting officer and ask to join. (Some may not take students, or only take 2 or 3L, but if they do respond saying that say youíre very interested and would like to join as a 1L if possible). Inns are GREAT. They meet once a month and have up to 200 lawyers and judges as members, and the whole point of Inns is to mentor young lawyers so the folks that join WANT to help.

ēGo to networking functions your school puts on. Donít be a wallflower, TALK TO PEOPLE. Talk to lawyers not other law students. The lawyers and judges who go to these things have volunteered to be mentors. MEET THEM. Moreover, keep in contact with them. Taking their card is NOT ENOUGH. You need to contact them again and again to build a relationship, build up your relationship credits BEFORE you need them then when you do they will WANT TO HELP YOU. Find reasons to talk to them again. Can you shadow them one day at the office or court? Can you e-mail them about elective courses? Ask them to lunch, offer to pay (most time they will end up picking up the bill, but offer). The point is you need to work to stay in contact, thatís networking. Collecting cards and sitting on them is NOT networking. It will be aqward at first, but after a few meetings if you two click it will becomes second nature and you will becomes friends. I know have more friends who are judges and lawyers than I have friends who are classmates.

ēIf youíre invited by a judge or lawyer to go to some legal event outside of school GO. Just do it. This is a gesture you should not turn down unless you have an exam the next day.

ēVolunteer at local bar association charity events, whatever it is, e-mail the person setting up and offer your help. You will meet tons of lawyers this way, and the people you meet are the types that like to give back to the community so they are often good mentors.

ēGet this book: Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, 2d http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics-Getting-Dreams-Employment/dp/0314176772/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b. I dare say itís the best prep you can do for law school and the only thing that might actually pay off in the end. Iím not going to say I agree with everything in there, but itís a great start to understanding how the legal job search works, it would take me 100s of post to explain what is laid out in this book. Just read it and youíll be far above the majority of your classmates when it come to job searching.

ēPut your activities with the local bar association on your resume. Why? Law firms like lawyers who are involved in the community it makes the firm look good and itís how you meet clients. By year four of your firm career you will be expected to bring clients in, showing you have learned networking and meeting people skills in law school is a bonus.

ēBe creative in how you meet lawyers or judges. Always be prepared to strike up a conversation when the opportunity presents its self. On more than one occasion, I have had someone comment on my law school sweatshirt out in public that turned out to be alumni. Donít be shy, suck it up, itís better to take the chance you might embarrass yourself for a fleeting second than to give up what might have been an excellent networking contact.

ēAsk the lawyers and judges you meet to introduce you to their friends. This seems basic, but people like to introduce people to other people, this is how you build your network.

ēDo just some of these and your life in law school will be easier than most, your job search will be easier and you will have better success regardless of your grades, ranking or law school you go to.

This is spot on.  That Guerilla Tactics book is spot on.  I love it.  Another piece of advice:

If you are on a journal, you can go to HeinOnline, and usually find out who the alums for that journal are.  These people are very likely to help you find jobs,or just give advice. Before I interview anywhere, I try to find out whether someone working there was on my journal during law school.  Then I email them, and introduce myself, and ask for pointers.  I have had my resume edited for free by journal alums just looking to help out. 

Also: it is likely that there are several non-profits in the area of your school/home that will let you volunteer there as a 0L, or a 1L.  Getting experience on your resume as soon as possible really helps.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: LegallyAccepted on August 21, 2008, 07:10:09 PM
TAG!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on August 23, 2008, 03:15:04 PM
Good idea to go out drinking with lawyers if they invite you?

I would (and have), with a strong focus on my future, and a much lesser focus on the bottom of the glass.

This is the right asnwer. Go but don't get drunk.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: bloomlaw on August 24, 2008, 05:18:50 PM
tag, this is great stuff
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: one4theteam on September 05, 2008, 11:26:16 PM
Matthies, thanks for this awesome tip.  You've treated law school as a job (getting one) and its obvious you've not wasted any time.  Law school, esp. your 1st year goes faster than you can imagine.

Pay your dues now, or pay your dues (the harder way) later! 
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Naked Promise on October 05, 2008, 07:44:56 PM
um, tag?
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: compaq1984 on September 18, 2009, 11:14:49 PM
tag
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: MCB on September 30, 2009, 02:34:14 PM
Wow.  A thread on this pretentious board that doesn't make me want to google "bankruptcy student debt suicide".  Way to contribute something realistic yet positive to the world OP, thanks.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Matthies on September 30, 2009, 03:57:57 PM
Wow.  A thread on this pretentious board that doesn't make me want to google "bankruptcy student debt suicide".  Way to contribute something realistic yet positive to the world OP, thanks.

LOL, you've never been to TLS have you? But thanks!  ;)
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: MCB on September 30, 2009, 04:44:04 PM
Wow.  A thread on this pretentious board that doesn't make me want to google "bankruptcy student debt suicide".  Way to contribute something realistic yet positive to the world OP, thanks.

LOL, you've never been to TLS have you? But thanks!  ;)

I'm almost scared to ask but... TLS?
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: MCB on September 30, 2009, 04:46:20 PM
Ah, you mean Top Law Schools... no I've only viewed that board very occasionally when I was googling some random law-related subject and it popped up.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: legalized on May 14, 2010, 08:32:37 AM


Also: it is likely that there are several non-profits in the area of your school/home that will let you volunteer there as a 0L, or a 1L.  Getting experience on your resume as soon as possible really helps.

Had to bump this for us newbies who are facing the aftermath of the Great Recession.

I intend to do exactly that too, volunteer at any law office/non-profit I can get my hands on as an 0L to get some legal experience on my resume and under my belt. Particularly if I can find one in the field I am interested in.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Thane Messinger on May 16, 2010, 03:45:32 AM
Good move bumping this up. 

A few additional thoughts, tying in with resources that weren't around when the original post was written. 

A major consideration for one's intial jobs is to, well, do a good job.  Actually, to do an excellent job--"excellent" being a standard relative only to the partner's mind.  A large part of many law jobs, in one way or another, is creating and digesting legal memos.  Toward that end, a superb book is Jagged Rocks of Wisdom--The Memo.  It's hard-hitting, and tells it from the partners' perspective.  Better to learn these lessons before making those same mistakes in a part-time job or clerkship.  Now more than ever, don't work hard just to land the job, only to fall flat in the actual job.  Impress 'em instead.  ("Impressing them" doesn't mean what we think it means.  It means, among many other things, doing everything very, very, very well.)  Find and read this book--it will make a big difference in your career.

The next two books are more about having the right attitude:  the original Jagged Rocks and The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book.  This might seem a throwaway line, but attitude is a large part of success. 

Also, to Matthies' point, OCI is seemingly the Holy Grail, but is for many a distraction from the real work of landing that first job.  One book I've reviewed that is also good on this point: Insider's Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job..

Matthies, you've done a great service.

Thane. 
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: xxspykex on May 29, 2010, 03:38:56 PM
tag
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: mynjb26 on February 16, 2011, 03:01:08 PM
Great advice...Tag!!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: Trane32 on February 17, 2011, 10:54:31 AM
Awesome post, Matthies!! Thank you.. TAG!
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: haus on February 18, 2011, 01:56:39 PM
tag
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: soccerlaw on March 10, 2012, 09:03:18 PM
Advice for a 0L who will be living in her law school city the summer before law school? Best way to start networking before school starts?
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: IrrX on March 10, 2012, 11:50:24 PM
Advice for a 0L who will be living in her law school city the summer before law school? Best way to start networking before school starts?

Go to the first post in the thread, read each bullet point, and if it's something you can do, do it. Also, go back through posts by Matthies and take from them all the wisdom you can.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: legend on March 11, 2012, 04:21:03 PM
That was a great post by him originally. As to Soccerlaw if it is possible some local bar associations have sports leagues and I am going to presume you enjoy soccer by your screename. If you can get on a bar association team as a 0L it is a great way to meet people and lawyers love to give advice so that is a suggestion.

You can find your local bar association by typing X city bar association. New York Bar Association for example. http://www.lawyersleague.com/soccer/newslettersoccersum04.html this is something I found with a quick google search soccer lawyer league, but I imagine if you joined a bar association you could find something more on point. If they don't have one suggest it to them they might be happy to do it might even let you start the league who knows.

Even if you don't do the sports league join your local bar associations, which are usually very cheap for law students in the neighborhood of 15-30 bucks and you get invited to a lot of great events.
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: jbean29 on April 17, 2012, 09:09:49 PM
tag
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: ljforbes on June 03, 2012, 04:12:18 PM
Tag. Thanks for the advice!

L
Title: Re: My advice to the starting 1Ls (LONG)
Post by: xman_nuke on April 22, 2013, 04:09:57 PM
Great post thanks!