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 meeting 
    • You may want to supplement based on information your learn at the meeting
    • Some examples
      • Prior work experience
      • Education
      • Particular skill (attention to detail, strong writer)
      • Potential client contacts
      • Background (including foreign language proficiency)
      • Interests/hobbies
  • Explain in sufficient detail why you believe the employer needs someone that possesses those attributes
  • Note that anyone who has those attributes could be helpful to the employer (i.e., does not have to be you)
  • Make the sale by explaining that in addition to these attributes, you possess one or two intangible skills that further separate you from the competition
    • Reasons you are bound to the area for the long-term so it is less likely you will move shortly after the employer has spent money to train you (family here, young children, just bought house, etc.)
    • Reasons you will be able to put in sufficient time at work (no family commitments, no children, live close, etc.)
    • Glowing recommendation letters that speak to your work ethic, legal skills including attention to detail, writing proficiency, etc.

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