Law School Discussion

"Connections"

"V"

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"Connections"
« on: February 25, 2006, 08:26:04 PM »
Talking to several people who've decided where they're going, I've begun to notice that many of them have jobs out of school lined up, and even summer jobs lined up, through 'connections' they've gotten. Many of these people have family who work in the legal profession (the 'my father is a lawyer' type), work for law firms now in secretary positions, or have met these people through friends or family. I've always known the connections I made in law school would be important, and don't think getting to know my professors and classmates will be a problem - but I don't know how to meet others, especially those who might set me up with summer jobs, etc.

I've got no family that's in the profession, or in any sort of prestigious profession. The lawyers I interned with are all mostly small town ones in Oregon, not with any connections to the Chicago or Illinois law market. I'm starting pretty much from scratch.

How are you guys who are, or were, in similiar places planning to get summer jobs or other opportunities? Are you planning on solely through high grades, or is there a good way to 'get your foot in the door' in terms of the local law market? I'd stop by the major firms to introduce myself, but I doubt I'd get the time of day from them until my 1L grades were out (maybe not then *L*).

Any thoughts/suggestions?

J D

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Re: "Connections"
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2006, 11:40:56 PM »
Talking to several people who've decided where they're going, I've begun to notice that many of them have jobs out of school lined up, and even summer jobs lined up, through 'connections' they've gotten. Many of these people have family who work in the legal profession (the 'my father is a lawyer' type), work for law firms now in secretary positions, or have met these people through friends or family. I've always known the connections I made in law school would be important, and don't think getting to know my professors and classmates will be a problem - but I don't know how to meet others, especially those who might set me up with summer jobs, etc.

I've got no family that's in the profession, or in any sort of prestigious profession. The lawyers I interned with are all mostly small town ones in Oregon, not with any connections to the Chicago or Illinois law market. I'm starting pretty much from scratch.

How are you guys who are, or were, in similiar places planning to get summer jobs or other opportunities? Are you planning on solely through high grades, or is there a good way to 'get your foot in the door' in terms of the local law market? I'd stop by the major firms to introduce myself, but I doubt I'd get the time of day from them until my 1L grades were out (maybe not then *L*).

Any thoughts/suggestions?

You don't have to know any lawyers.  You can ask people you know if they know any lawyers.  A connection can come through anybody, and so you need only be connected indirectly.  One famous story at our law school is that a graduate once got a job through someone he knew through a guy who worked at his laundromat.

But even if these indirect connections don't pan out, you can start to build contacts in other ways.  Look through Martindale's directory in your market of interest and see which lawyers went to your law school or undergrad.  Set up informational interviews with them, ask them about their career path, for advice on starting out, to see whether they know anyone who might be looking for help.  Contacting and networking with these alums through informational interviews requires more time and effort, but it often generates a much higher favorable response rate than spamming every law firm in Chicago through a mass mailing.

pass36

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Re: "Connections"
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2006, 11:48:31 PM »
I have been very surprised at the success I have had sending short, targeted emails to lawyers with successful records from programs and schools I am interested in.  A little flattery and a couple of questions can result in a long return email with interesting opinions and valuable information.

magnumalv

Re: "Connections"
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2006, 07:21:13 AM »
baff.

just in case. :)