LegalJob has been assisting folks with refining their so-called elevator speech for talking with firms. The speech should be short, 30 seconds to one minute — probably not too much longer than that.
LegalJob recommends that you articulate succinctly two points:
- Your commitment and focus to the particular area of the law. This is possible even if you are late to decide your specialty. Explain why you are interested and demonstrate your laser-like focus. You could point to past or present classes, jobs, projects, clinics, awards, etc. If you have nothing on the list, then you are obviously less competitive then others with list items. LegalJob will provide thoughts on developing the list in later posts.
- How you can contribute right away to this firm and why you are a particular fit with the firm’s culture. This sounds like two things but they are so interrelated that they are really one. You want to demonstrate that you have done your research about the firm and that you will be able to hit the ground running doing xyz. Perhaps you know that they are working on a certain high profile case (because it is public) and you can identify certain of your skill sets that would benefit them. You want to be cognizant of the firm culture, however. A conservative firm may bristle at someone who appears over-eager or excitable, whereas another firm may value enthusiasm and outward passion. You have to make sure to match your tone with that of the firm’s.