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LegalJob was asked about how to best position oneself to land the dream legal job.  LegalJob has found that it comes down to packaging yourself as follows:

What are you offering that is different from the competition?

  • Be clear and concise
  • Relevant work experience, education, personality trait (focus, drive, commitment, attention to detail, loyal)

How and why is what you are offering different from the competition (i.e., why are you the best qualified for the position)?

  • Provide specific examples that a legal employer would care about.
    • Prior experience with legal writing (memos, briefs, articles, etc.)
    • Prior experience conforming to another’s style for written work product
    • Prior speaking experience
    • Prior experience identifying and describing (orally or in writing) relevant legal issues
    • Prior experience identifying and describing (orally or in writing) relevant facts
    • Prior experience with thinking hard about a problem
    • Prior experience identifying solutions (either solo or as part of a team)
    • Prior experience handling (or studying in school) a particular type of problem
    • Prior experience handling (or studying in school) a particular area of the law
    • Prior experience that demonstrates you can easily juggle lots of projects/cases/responsibilities
    • Prior experience leading
    • Prior experience meeting deadlines
    • Prior experience dealing with clients

Articulate how all of these items would help the prospective employer on day one.

  • Match your skill set to the employer’s needs (which you have researched)
  • Goal is to persuade employer that he or she is taking less of a risk hiring you then someone else (with the opportunity for greater reward)

Who else thinks you are qualified and well matched for this employer.

  • Current written recommendation letters and oral recommendations
  • Prior recommendation letters or other forms of acknowledgement (awards, competitions, etc.)

What do you still have to learn?

  • Demonstrate self-awareness to enhance credibility
  • Demonstrate that you are open to learning and can be trained

How much for your services and are you consistent with market?

  • Demonstrate that you understand and care about the law firm economics
  • Demonstrate that you are realistic about your value (not a bargain because you are valuable but not above market)

 

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti.

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