What legal employers are looking for

The answer to this question seems fairly obvious, especially if you are familiar with the posts on this blog --- employers are looking for what you can do for them.   Law students should keep this in mind when considering classes to take as a 2L and 3L, preparing for and participating in interviews (including informational), and corresponding with potential employers (initially, thank you letters, and any follow up).

One technique to help shift your thinking generally and to help you prepare for an interview is to make a list of your qualities and the potential employer's qualities. Head the first list "What I Can Do for Them."  Under this heading, list all of your talents and skills, taking into consideration the types of abilities legal employers are likely to look for: writing ability, analytical skills, research skills, interpersonal skills, and some understanding of the business of practicing law. Then make a list headed "What They Can Do for Me."  Here list all of the reasons why you want to work for this particular employer.  Consider size, type of practice, location, and anything else that draws you to the firm.  Next, distill each list into two or three points about yourself and about the firm and commit to communicating those points in your interview.  You may have the opportunity to communicate your selling points as answers to questions, but if not, volunteer them in the interview.

Image courtesy of cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net