Below are some tips for big firm job seekers. This information will be posted in two parts.
This part provides ideas for demonstrating serious interest and commitment to a particular area of law and for preparing effective resumes.
Demonstrate real interest in a particular area of the law.
► Get out there by writing and speaking on current legal topics
● Start your own blog
● Post comments on other blogs
● Participate in writing/speaking competitions sponsored by your law school, the ABA, and other organizations
● Pick a law journal that will allow you to write about an area of the law you may want to practice
● Write an article for the law school newspaper or the city newspaper
● Comment on an article written in the law school newspaper or the city newspaper
► Obtain hands-on work experience in the area
● Choose the opportunity that will allow you the most heavy lifting
▸ Small, boutique firm that specializes in the area
▸ Government agency
► Take classes in the area or one that compliments the area (i.e., corporate classes for tax law)
Prepare an effective resume.
► Be specific when describing previous experience
● Various litigation matters does not say anything and suggests little heavy lifting
● Describe the nature of the matters and be as specific as client confidentiality will allow
► Focus on your role in the transaction more than the substance of the transaction itself
● What specific items did you work on
● How did you add value (use active verbs) in terms of solutions, efficiency, client/partner satisfaction, etc. (consider supplementing with strong recommendation letter)
► Overall, you want your resume to come alive and tell an attractive story
● If you have had several jobs, you may need more than one page
● Have at least one other person look it over before sending
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono.