Help Us Help You!

It always shocks me how some law students do not take advantage of the resources available to them through the Office of Career Services.  When I was in law school, it was an office I located early on and became a regular visitor which later turned into a part time job for me in my second and third years of school.  The primary focus of this office is to get to know you and connect you with potential employers and opportunities. To that end, they are always offering new programs and ways for students and employers to connect.

As a student or alum it is important to get to know the folks in these offices and make sure they know what you are looking for in a position.  I regularly think of students who I meet with when I hear about new jobs.  In most cases, we will send them an email with the posting as soon as it comes out.  As with all networking, it is important to share with folks what you are looking for so they know how they can help. This is no different with your career counselors.  When visiting with your career services office, ask them about some of the following programs and resources and find out how you can make them part of your job search tool box.

Five programs and resources to seek out through your law schools career services office beyond resume and cover letter reviews and on campus interviews:

  • Resume Books– Most schools have resume books based on geographic area or practice area.  It is important to have your current resume posted in these.  Many times employers will call requesting one of these books in lieu of posting a job and you want to be sure your resume is being sent to employers for consideration!
  • Programs and Events– Career Services Offices put on programming throughout the year and bring alumni and other attorneys in to speak to students. This is a great way to jumpstart your networking and gain exposure to attorneys and employers without leaving campus. Many times these events include a free lunch for attendees! Check out these events and vow to attend a few each semester! If you are unable to attend, schools offer online programming you can watch 24/7 when it suits your schedule!
  • Mock Interview– Nervous about interviewing? Have questions that trip you up every time? Don’t leave the opportunity for a good first impression to chance. Meet with someone in your career services office to go over these difficult questions.
  • Print and Online Resources– Your career services has many print and online resources available. Most have books you can borrow on a wide variety of career related issues. In addition many of them subscribe to a host of resources that are free to you including listings of government honors postings, policy postings, state clerkship information and public interest opportunities. Ask your career services office to point you in the right direction for gaining access to these resources.
  • Reciprocity with other schools– Are you considering leaving the city or state where you attended law school? Did you know that most career offices can help you gain access to job postings at other schools throughout the country for short periods of time so that you can check their postings and apply to positions in your geographic area of interest? You can only gain this access through a request done by your career office to the other career services office so let them know where you want to go!  Additionally, there is something called the Intercollegiate Job Bank and most schools post their positions at the beginning of every month through that resource. Your career services office should have that password and log in information for you.

Hopefully, this post has given you some insight into the wide variety of resources available to you through your offices of career services and as your return to school in the fall or after you finish studying for the bar you will reach out to them to partner with you in your job search.  Remember, most offices offer their services to current students and alumni so even if you have been a practicing lawyer for a few years and are looking to make a change, they may be a good place to start. Happy Hunting!

Suzanne Patrick
Director, Office of Career Services

Law Career Services Category: General Advice.