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Author Topic: Landing the interview  (Read 1921 times)

Blair

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Landing the interview
« on: April 02, 2010, 08:50:45 PM »
I'll refrain from wasting your time by posting useless information about my experience and grades and get straight to the point.  I'm a 3L without an offer and I've already felt the brutal effects of today's market first hand. 

What are people doing to land interviews after graduation and after the bar?  Online employment sites all seem to want money and definitely look unreliable.  My career services has told me to go out and "network".  And the employment postings on the law school's website are pretty much non-existent. 

I'm pretty close to just picking up the yellow pages and sending out cover letters and resumes to everyone listed in the law directory. 

Does anyone have some constructive advice? 

 

bigs5068

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Re: Landing the interview
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 09:11:00 PM »
Honestly, finding a job is always hard no matter what you are doing, but it probably wouldn't hurt to go to the yellow pages and send your resume out to all the firms in your location. You could even just walk in well dressed and make something happen, my friend just did that and got a good summer job. Obviously, he was turned down a few times and I don't know if I would have the courage to do that myself, but it worked for him.  All it takes is one place to offer you a job and your in good shape. Don't get discouraged finding a job is probably the most frustrating thing in life, but anyone I have ever known that really sticks to it and doesn't start blaming others eventually makes it happen no matter what field they are getting into.

 

rene_descartes

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Re: Landing the interview
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2010, 09:43:22 PM »
I would just start volunteering with a local judge (if money is not a problem for you, you should take any unpaid internship and get started) and do the best job you can. I think a judicial internship is a worthwhile experience.  Even unpaid internships are hard to come by these days and most of the internships also have multiple applicants.  So you just have to grab whatever opportunity that comes your way. Do not be too picky because now is not the time to be picky. My mission is to earn as much experience as I can while I am still in school. 

Thane Messinger

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Re: Landing the interview
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 10:15:00 PM »
I'll refrain from wasting your time by posting useless information about my experience and grades and get straight to the point.  I'm a 3L without an offer and I've already felt the brutal effects of today's market first hand.  

What are people doing to land interviews after graduation and after the bar?  Online employment sites all seem to want money and definitely look unreliable.  My career services has told me to go out and "network".  And the employment postings on the law school's website are pretty much non-existent.  

I'm pretty close to just picking up the yellow pages and sending out cover letters and resumes to everyone listed in the law directory.  

Does anyone have some constructive advice?  


You're right to be wary of any paid service.  These can be useful, such as programs for former military personnel seeking civilian employment or, say, airline jobs.  (Notably, the former are offered, free of charge, by the military.)  Importantly, however, paid sourcing is funded by the firm, not client.  So, again, you're right to beware.

On to the constructive advice.  First, as difficult as it is, forget all the negative information and chatter.  That is both irrelevant and unhelpful.  You don't need a statistical-probability job.  You need a single job.

Second, think about what it is that you really, truly like.  I know, I know.  The market is bad, yada yada.  True enough.  But it should STILL be a two-way street.  Even if by a miracle you land a wonderful job, it's unlikely to last if it's a job you don't really want.  So, use the economic chasm as a chance to re-focus to do with your degree and your life what you'd REALLY like to do.

Third, avoid the standard routes.  Most jobs in your situation are going to be found by direct contact, or by research to firms or organizations that don't recruit at law schools.  There can be exceptions, but this is a fair assumption.

Fourth, focus in smaller and medium sized firms, in and around the place you want to be.  (If it's New York City, brace yourself.)  The more out-of-the-way, the greater the likelihood that something will pop up.

Fifth, understand that most firms do not follow a lockstep recruitment plan.  Many have no real plan.  They fall into their new hires, from referrals or from impressive cold letters.  

Sixth, consider wild careers, such as in the military, any of a zillion government agencies (all branches, levels, and kinds), and corporations.  The military is no longer begging for new JAG officers, so that's not exactly an easy path . . . but for the right person it is fantastic.  More experience in a month on duty than most get in a year anywhere else.  And the pay and perks aren't too shabby.  Same for many government positions.  Corporations are a bit trickier, as only the largest have real counsel staff (and they tend to hire from their outside counsel).  Still, with the right research and connection, it can be worth it.

Seventh, consider really wild careers.  There's a lot out there, if law is not your true desire.  And, occasionally, you'll get credit for your law work, and almost certainly will impress someone worthy based on your intelligence, wit, and humanity.  And with the right research and background, there are too law jobs that are also really wild and often really fun. 

Eighth, if you're not Cary Grant [or your favorite modern suave star], now is the time to brush up on interpersonal skills.  Take a look at Insider's Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job, and also on Morten Lund's two books.  I read a manuscript for the former, and wrote forewords for the latter two.  Those should be required reading.  (Mine too, of course.)  I look back on some of my interviews and wince.  (Truth is, most interviewers are amazingly tolerant . . . but it's best not to try that patience.)  At least one job I got I got because I was less bad as an interviewee than were the interviewers.  What can I say? 

Finally, hang in there.  Now is the time to re-focus, working as hard in landing a job as you did in first year.  But it will all work out.  One person I graduated with in the deep dispair of the 1990 crash (yes, it was worse) who told a collection agent "I don't have any money, and I never will." . . . is now practicing happily in a major state agency.

Hang in there, and good luck.

Thane.