September 20, 2013
Advice for getting a top job and excelling once there.

New book by LegalJob founder

The founder of LegalJob has authored a book published by the American Bar Association which will be rolled out today at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.  The book is called “Making Partner:  The Essential Guide to the Law School Path and Beyond.”  The book provides practical information and specific advice about how to obtain a position at a top law firm of any size, including […]
March 4, 2013

Packaging yourself for a legal job — help put the employer in the buying mode

Some advice when interviewing for a firm job (or any legal job) Confirm your understanding (based on prior research) of the employer’s clients and the types of matters it handles Inquire as to the employer’s overall mission statement as communicated to its employees Think of three attributes you have that could benefit the employer (based on its work and mission) Prepare the initial list before your […]
March 31, 2012
initiative, role, minutia, resume, heavy lifting, decision maker, big picture, niche, concise

Selling yourself for a legal job

Here are some items to consider that may help you sell yourself when describing previous work experience orally, on your resume, and on your cover letter: Summarize the big picture/main point/overall goal as a first step before getting into the specifics of your task. That is interesting that you did research into x or wrote about x but what was the point  (so the starting point […]
August 8, 2011

Get into the weeds in cover letters and resumes

LegalJob has recently been asked the following:   Q:  How can I improve my cover letter and resume such that I stand out?   Answer:  The answer in most cases seems to be that folks are unnecessarily vague in these documents.  There are words on the page but they do not say anything.  If you have impressive work experience, provide enough details (but in a fairly concise […]
January 27, 2011

Effective resumes

LegalJob recently read this post on the Law Street Journal site concerning tips for strong resumes.  The author made a good point about paying strict attention to what the employer is requesting and focusing on the specific needs of the employer’s company. In other words, taylor your resume (and cover letter) to the specific job listing by highlighting the skill sets demanded.  If not possible then perhaps you […]
December 23, 2010

What is the best way to connect with a busy partner at XYZ firm

This can be quite a project but if you are willing to put in the time and effort (and work on your salesperson skills), you should eventually be able to connect.  Here are some thoughts: If first time, it is probably best to start with a letter or an e-mail. If you have already met (in-person or over the phone), make sure you have something meaningful […]
December 4, 2010

Tips for strong resumes

Recently, I have helped several young lawyers edit their resumes.  Overall, three points:  Keep the resume succinct and specific, show specialization where possible, and sell yourself.  More thoughts below: ▪ Keep the resume to one page.  If you have been practicing for less than 10 years you probably do not need a two page resume.  Be succinct and highlight the most recent school and work experience.  Leave […]
November 10, 2010

Show serious commitment to practice area

Another way to separate from the pack of cover letters and resumes is to demonstrate serious commitment to a particular practice area. You are asking the firm/decision maker to take a risk on you (especially, if you did not come through the usual channels) so it is helpful if you can convey seriousness of purpose.  Calculated risks are easier to sell on firm management.  Your correspondence […]
November 8, 2010

State how you can add value (up front and at end)

An effective cover letter should state how you can add value.  In particular, the mission is to: Keep the person reading.  You want to grab the reader’s attention.  Help them to at least make it past the first sentence. Articulate succinctly how you can contribute immediately.  Why are you unique in a way that can benefit the firm and the person’s practice area? Examples of typical […]
October 23, 2010

Be rigorous because tiny details matter

When preparing any correspondence or your resume, be as close to perfect as you can.  Here are some suggestions: Pay attention to every little detail.  Another way to separate yourself from the crowd.  Minutiae is important!  Correct comma placement, correct spacing, no typos.  Read your letter many times and then have someone else read the letter.  It may be worth the cost to pay someone to […]
October 20, 2010

The art of the follow-up (part two)

Thank you for your comments on the first post on this subject.  People seem to be asking for additional suggestions for follow-up items.  In other words, what if there is nothing significant happening that is worth noting in follow-up correspondence?  One way to plan ahead is to consider that the purpose of the first interview (or meeting if it is not structured as a formal interview) is to […]
October 11, 2010

Write several people within the firm

Some thoughts about who should see your perfect cover letter (to the law firm): Write the obvious person with the title — Hiring or Recruiting Coordinator Write the lawyer in the targeted practice area.  Here the idea is to find touch points such as the same undergraduate college or law school, same home town, same interests, etc. Write the lawyer’s assistant.  Yes, the assistant.  Write a […]