Pick a law major — part two

This post provides advice on how to use your major to help secure employment.  In particular (and mostly), the post provides information about how to effectively articulate your work experience (or academic background), which relate to your major.

How to use your major to secure employment?

  • The major you selected will be an additional item in common for your second round of reaching out to folks (again career services can get you the alumni contact information)
    • The short meeting with alumni this time is not for a job but a chat about opportunities in the area
    • Goal is to leave meeting with one or two contacts that person thinks may be helpful to you
  • In your "informational interview" (all meetings are interviews even if no job openings currently), articulate how the tasks you performed in previous or current work experience, or classes you took will help you hit the ground running day one.
    • You learned "to think like a lawyer."  No one knows what this means.  Here are some reasonable possibilities.
      • It may mean that you have a methodical way of approaching a problem such that you:
        • set out to learn the facts;
        • are able to become facile with the facts such that you can organize and evaluate them and determine which ones are most relevant and which ones are not relevant;
        • are able to determine the operative law given your facts;
        • are able to understand the operative law (including general rule and exceptions) given your facts; are able to apply the law accurately given your facts; and
        • are able to put the law in context, perhaps because you understand its legislative history and/or policy underlying the provision.
    • You learned "to write like a lawyer."  Again, there is not a universal definition for this concept.
      • It may mean that you can write concisely (with an appreciation for the concept that every word carries freight) and clearly (so that a layman can understand).
      • It may also mean you have a constructive habit in your writing that you can apply to every project.
        • A common one is to summarize what you are going to say, then say it, then summarize what you just said.
        • Repetition can be effective assuming you can stay somewhat concise.
        • Even if you have not perfected your writing (it is probably always improving), you may have learned that your final draft is probably better labeled your first draft.
    • You may have learned "to talk like a lawyer."
      • Similar to writing in that concise and clear are helpful concepts.
      • Big part of this is learning to LISTEN (to clients, to partners, etc).  It may be more useful to contribute one smart idea at a meeting then two or three average ones.  Sometimes, it may be useful to say nothing.

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