Conducting a job search outside of on-campus interview program — part one

LegalJob recently participated in a panel with current law students and alum discussing how to maximize opportunities outside of on campus interview program.  Below are some highlights:

  • Pick a major.  To make the most out of networking, it will be helpful to have some idea what type of law you are interested in.  At a minimum, it will be helpful to determine the environment in which you would prefer to practice.  For example, do you have interest in being a government lawyer, a big firm lawyer, or an-house lawyer?  There are various resources to help sort through all the options.  Check out Top 25 Practice Areas And Sample Practice Settings,” University of Michigan Law School Office of Career Services and the Office of Public Service
  • Network with a purpose.  Obtain lists of alumni from the career services center at the law school.  Contact people to ask how they ended up doing what they are doing.  Make it clear you up front you are not asking for a job but just want to learn about their experiences.  Ask permission to update that person with your search.  Meet with people with whom you have things in common, i.e., same hometown, undergraduate school, background, etc.  If person was helpful, look for reasons to stay in touch.  For example, send them a relevant news article that concerns a project in which they are working.
  • Be intentional, have a long view approach, and formulate a specific plan.  That is a mouthful so details to follow in the next post about securing your first opportunity in the area you have picked.  That opportunity many times leads to your first job out of law school.

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