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Friday, October 16, 2009

Thank You Notes

Our office receives many questions about sending thank you notes after an interview. Is it always necessary to send one? Can it be sent via email? What do you say? As a general rule, you should always send a thank you note within 24 hours of an interview.

What To Send
Use a nice, conservative, blank card found in most stationery stores (see an example here.) A handwritten note is ideal, however, if your handwriting is truly indecipherable, a printed card is fine. Sending an actual thank you card is best, but email is fine if you are short on time.

Who To Send It To
Send a thank you to everyone you met with. If you interviewed with a panel of attorneys, send a note to each panelist. You should receive a business card from each of your interviewers for this purpose. If you don't have a business card and have forgotten the names of your interviewers you can do one of three things:
1. If the interview was on-campus or through a job fair, contact the Career Services Office for the interviewers' names.
2. Look at the attorney profiles on the firm's website in hopes that the names/faces will jog your memory.
3. Call the firm and ask the receptionist. It is better to call and ask than to not send a thank you note at all!

What To Say
Use your note to thank the interviewer for their time and reiterating your interest in the position. Also refer to at least one thing the interviewer said about the organization that was of particular interest to you. You can personalize your note further by talking about any mutual interests you may have.

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me regarding the[position name] position with [firm/organization name].
I was extremely impressed by your description of the firm’s family law practice and enjoyed our conversation concerning spouse abuse in conjunction with child custody. Having met with you, I am even more enthusiastic about joining [firm/organization name] as a [position name].

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
Don't lose out on an opportunity because you have spelled the interviewer's name wrong! Your thank you note is another example of your writing skills. Double check your note for grammar, spelling, and typos as you would for anything else you are sending to a potential employer.

For further reading:
Thank You Letters, Career Services Office Handbook

Walton, Kimm Alayne. "Interviewing: The Secrets That Turn Interviews Into Offers." Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams. Harcourt Brace. 1995 (Available in the CSO.)

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Coping Mechanisms for Dealing with the Stress Caused by Joblessness, Layoff (or the Prospect of Either)

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) has posted a four-part series on their blog on how to deal with stress caused by job loss. The series covers three helpful steps towards coping with stress: shifting one's perception, using time to your advantage, and accepting help, giving help.

LCL is the sole lawyer assistance program in Massachusetts exclusively dedicated to helping with the many personal and professional issues of life in the law. Since 1978, they have been the only confidential counseling and referral resource for Massachusetts law students, lawyers and judges and their families.

Currently, the organization has created a Layoff Support Group which meets twice monthly at LCL and has speakers on a host of career development topics which range from networking and refining your resume, to putting together a career development plan and improving your marketability. Like everything else at LCL, it’s free and confidential.

For further reading:
Coping Mechanisms for Dealing with Stress in the Wake, or in Fear, of Job Loss (4-Part Series)

Lawyer Assistance Programs Outside of Massachusetts

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Results from the 2009 Summer Employment Survey

The results from the 2009 Summer Employment Survey are in! Thanks to all who completed the survey on RPC. You gave us valuable information on where New England Law students worked and how they found their jobs. For those of you who have not filled out the Survey, log on to RPC today to tell us how you spent your summer!

A total of 255 students responded to the survey. 56% of those who responded were 2LD/3LEs and 44% were 3LD/4LE students.

Type of Employment
The majority of students who responded worked in a legal job this past summer.

- 81% worked in a legal job.
- 3% worked in a non-legal job.
- 9% participated in a summer abroad program.
- 2% took classes.
- 5% did not work.

How did students find employment?
Most students found their job through informal means, either through networking or self-initiated contact. Many students also found employment through the CSO JobNet!

- 31% found their job through the CSO JobNet or other job site.
- 24 % found their job through a referral by a friend, family member or colleague.
- 11% found their job through self-initiated contact or networking.
- 10% obtained summer employment through a job fair or on-campus interview.
- 8% returned to a previous employer.

Where did students work this summer?

- 60% worked in Massachusetts.
- 31% worked out of state.
- 9% worked abroad and/or participated in study abroad program.

Below are just a few of the law firms and organizations who hired New England Law students this past summer.

Bingham McCutchen
Cellai Law Offices, P.C.
Correia-Champa & Mailhot
Federal Defenders Office
Manhattan Legal Services
Office of Bar Counsel
Parker Scheer, LLP
Suffolk County District Attorney's Office
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Massachusetts Superior Court
Morrison Mahoney LLP
Rhode Island Attorney General's Office
Shelter Legal Services
U.S.Air Force JAG Corps
U.S. Army JAG Corps
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Wiggin & Nourie

Are you searching for a summer job?
Attend the 2LD/3LE Summer Job Search Program! Monday, September 28th, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, Room 507. To RSVP, email the CSO.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Answering Difficult Interview Questions

The interviewer shouldn’t ever ask you a question that catches you off-guard. The fact is that a large part of the interviewing process is designed to knock you off your game, to encourage you to say something that will eliminate you from contention. Prep yourself for the difficult questions so you never get caught flat-footed.

"Tell me about yourself."
How does one answer such a broad question? Does the interviewer really want to know your life story? To prepare your response to this (or the similar question "Why should I hire you?") , list three or four of your most impressive attributes and achievements. If you do not get another chance to speak during the interview, what do you want the interviewer to know? Next, find examples from your resume and other life experiences that support each of your attributes. Finally, find a way to incorporate your achievements and strengths into a brief "history of you". Your answer should last for about 2 minutes and may also include:

- Where you went to college and your major
- Any relevant activities or jobs while in college
- Why you decided to go to law school
- Why you chose New England Law
- Any legal work experience
- Any long term career goals
- Why you want to work for this employer

"What is your greatest weakness?"
How can you answer this question without giving them a reason not to hire you? The worst answers to this question are the ones that either sound disingenuous ("I work too hard.") or raise red flags ("I never finish anything on time.") The best way to answer this question is to talk about a past weakness and how you have worked hard at correcting it.

Example: I have really struggled with speaking in public. However, I am taking a public speaking course right now which has helped immensely.

You could also point out a weakness that the interviewer may already see on your resume such as lack of legal work experience or poor grades.

Example: As you can see from my resume, I do not have a lot of legal experience. However, I am starting a clinic this semester during which I will be handling my own caseload.

Whatever your answer is, you want to make sure it reflects an honest self-awareness while not remaining too negative.

"Do you have any questions for me?"
The answer to this question should always be yes! Asking questions is the best way to let them know how interested you are in the position. Good examples of questions to ask are listed in the interview section of the CSO Handbook and include:

- What’s a typical day for an associate?
- What type of training should I expect?
- How will my work be evaluated?
- What cases best highlight the [firm’s/organizations’] strengths?

Make sure the questions you ask are not ones that can be answered by reading the organization’s website and do not ask about salary during the first interview. If you find that the majority of your prepared questions were already answered during the interview, ask the interviewer for their own point of view of the organization, why they decided to work there, and what they like best about their job.

In approaching any interview, it is important that you are honest and straightforward about the kind of job you want and about yourself as a person. Your initial goals are to establish rapport with the interviewer, to communicate your qualifications, to convey your self-confidence and enthusiasm, and to receive a job offer. However, your ultimate goal should be to find a job in a place where you can do the kind of work that interests you, with people you like, and with whom you will have a positive working relationship.

For further reading on interviewing:
Interviewing section of the CSO Handbook
Walton, Kimm Alayne. "Interviewing: The Secrets That Turn Interviews Into Offers." Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams. Harcourt Brace. 1995 (Available in the CSO.)
"A Question to Make a Monkey Out of You." The Wall Street Journal. 3 February. 2009
"Tell me about yourself." New York Lawyer. 24 March. 2009

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Clerkship Statistics in US News & World Report

It was recently brought to our attention that US News & World Report published a story listing the “Best Law Schools: Whose 2007 graduates are most likely to be employed as Federal judicial clerks with Article III Federal judges?” The percent of graduates employed in a judicial clerkship by an Article III federal judge is listed incorrectly as 12.5% for New England Law | Boston. The overall percentage of our 2007 graduates who were employed as law clerks is 12.5%, and that figure includes both state and federal clerkships.

After seeing the US News article, we reexamined the data that we submitted to US News in 2008, and we now realize that we inadvertently listed this same percentage (12.5%) for overall clerkships and for federal clerkships on the survey. We have contacted US News and alerted them of this mistake. It appears that the separate question about federal clerkships was new in 2008 and that several other law schools made the same error.

We are extremely proud of the high percentage of our graduates who obtain judicial clerkships and serve state and federal judges. Employment as a judicial clerk is an honorable service, and it provides new law school graduates with a strong foundation for launching a legal career

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Top Ten Ways to Find Employment: A Checklist for 3L's and 4LE's

1. Don't wait until May to start looking for a job!
- Half of the 2008 New England Law graduates were employed before graduation.
- 90% of the 2008 graduating class who sought employment secured positions within nine months of graduation or pursued an LL.M.

2. Get referrals from mentors, family & friends.
At least 1/2 of all positions are obtained by informal means!
- Bar Associations and CLE Courses
- Professors
- Alumni (Check the "Networking" section in RPC and use
- CSO Panels and Other New England Law Programs

3. Conduct informational interviews.
Informational interviews lead to referrals!
- Contact NEL|B Alumni
- Contact Undergrad Alumni
- Contact Lawyers in Your Practice Area

4. Keep a list of everyone you contact.
Include their contact information, dates of contact, and a list of what you sent and when.

5. Start working now.
Gaining substantive experience always helps!
- Strengthen your Practical Legal Skills
- Improve your Confidence
- Build your Resume
- Add to your Professional Network!

6. Check the JobNet 1 -2 times a week.
As of September 9, 2009 there are:
- 106 jobs listed for 3LD and 4LE students
- 94 jobs listed for recent graduates

7. Search other on-line job search sites.
Check popular sites such as:
- Craigslist
- USAJobs
- PSLawNet
- Email the CSO for our On-Line Job Resources Handout!

8. Start contacting employers directly.
- Find employers who do what you are interested in by using Lawyers Diary, Martindale, Lexis, or Westlaw.
- Contact them by email or mail; send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample.

9. Sign up for networking events.!
- NEL|B Events (Dean's Reception, Law Day, etc.)
- Alumni Career Forum (March Date TBA)
- Bar Association Events

10. Develop an in-the-meantime plan!
- Consider contract attorney work by researching legal temp agencies.
- Consider starting your own practice. Find a mentor who has a solo practice to advise you.

Always use three strategies for finding a job:
1. Search the JobNet & other Job Search Sites;
2. Contact Employers Directly;
3. Network, Network, Network!

And remember: We are here to help! Schedule an appointment with a counselor in the Career Services Office to go over your personal job search strategy today.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Frequent Resume Mistakes and Questions: Part II

We previously went over some of the most frequent resume questions and mistakes our office encounters. Below are a few more resume issues we often see in the CSO.

Law School and Undergraduate GPA:
You should list your law school GPA on your resume only if it is a 3.0 or higher. If you decide not to include your law school GPA, then you should omit your undergraduate GPA too.

1. Capitalize the official name of a document, but not the kind of document. For example:
- Completed Children in Need of Services (CHINS) petitions.
- Drafted motion to dismiss, memoranda, and interrogatories.

2. Capitalize a person's title when it precedes the name, not when it is used in place of a name. For example:
- Assisted Attorney Callahan with all aspects of trial preparation.
- Assisted attorney with all aspects of trial preparation.

3. General areas of law should not be capitalized. For example:
- Performed research on various areas of law, including land use and real estate.

Bullet Points
Our office encourages all students and graduates to use the bullet point format to describe work experience rather than the paragraph format. Bullet points give the resume a clean look and make it easier to read. The paragraph format takes the reader more time to read.

Converting to a PDF
Before you email your resume and cover letter, always convert the documents into a PDF. This insures that the document's format can not be altered.

Read Frequent Resume Mistakes and Questions: Part 1

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Social Networking and Your Job Search

According to a recent Boston Business Journal article, the number of companies using social networking sites to screen candidates has doubled in the last year. A CareerBuilder survey of over 2,600 hiring managers found that 45 percent are researching candidates on networking sites and another 11 percent say they plan to start using social networking sites for screening.

Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace are the top sites being screened, but 11 percent of employers are searching blogs and 7 percent are following job applicants’ Twitter postings.

[The survey] says 35 percent of employers decided not to hire someone because of what they found out about them on these sites.

Top reasons for choosing not to hire a candidate based on their social networking content include posting inappropriate photographs, content about them drinking or using drugs, bad-mouthing previous employers or clients and showing poor communication skills

Students should take great care in making sure their personal accounts on social networking sites are set to private and do not contain any pictures and/or postings that they would not want future employers to see.

Job seekers should also consider how they can use social networking sites to make professional connections and promote themselves in a positive light.

In a similar article in the Metro on how social networking can hurt or help careers, Rebekah Hudder, a social media specialist, notes, “Social networking gives you the opportunity to build relationships with people across the globe, 365 days a year […] It opens doors to meeting new people who could be potential clients, referral sources or employers. You can further your career and promote your personal brand recognition.”

Remember . . . you are what you tweet. Be careful and use social networking sites responsibly.

For further reading on your on-line presence and your job search:

"Job seekers need to watch what they tweet." Boston Business Journal. 19 August. 2009
"Link up to get ahead." Metro International. 27 August. 2009
"How law students should use LinkedIn." Lawyerist. 14 April. 2009
"Start a blog, get a job." Lawyerist. 7 July. 2009

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tips for Writing the Perfect Cover Letter

1. Use a business letter format.

Please be sure to follow the format listed in the CSO Handbook when writing a cover letter. Always include your contact information as well as the employer’s address and hiring contact name and title, if available.

2. Tailor the letter specifically to the employer.

Form letters do not get interviews. Unless the posting you are responding to is a blind job posting and no employer information is given, your letter should be specifically addressed to the employer and hiring contact. If no hiring contact is listed, contact the employer to see who the letter should be addressed to. If you are still unable to get a specific name, use “Dear Sir/Madam”. Never use “To Whom it May Concern”.

Also, be sure to state why you are particularly interested in the firm/organization and include statements that reflect your knowledge of the employer’s work.

3. Address their needs, not your own.

It really is about them, not you. The cover letter should focus on how your skills and experience will help them, not on how the job will enhance your skills and ultimate career goals.

4. Do not recite your resume.

You do not need to repeat your entire resume in your cover letter, only go over those experiences that are particularly relevant to the hiring criteria. Now is also your chance to highlight those strengths and skills that may not be evident from reading your resume.

5. Back up your statements with examples.

Just saying it doesn’t make it so. Always follow a statement about your skills with an illustrative example. For instance, after stating that you have strong multi-tasking abilities, give an example from a previous job where you successfully completed multiple projects at once.

6. Keep it concise.

Limit your cover letter to one page.

7. Proofread, proofread, proofread.

We cannot stress this enough. In addition to having your cover letter reviewed by a counselor in the Career Services Office, have one or two other people check it for typos. Especially make sure both the employer and hiring contact name are spelled correctly.

Other things to keep in mind:

Paper & Font - Should be same as resume (bond paper, same font and text size as resume.)
Enclosure - Include the word "Enclosure(s)" or "Attachment(s)" at the bottom indicating resume, writing sample, etc. enclosed.
Email Tip - When sending your cover letter by email, attach it to the email along with your resume. Do not make the main text of the email your "cover letter".

Still have questions? Post them in the comments or email the CSO!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Follow us on Twitter

The Career Services Office is now on Twitter.

Follow NELBostonCSO for the latest "tweets" on program updates, blog posts, and deadline reminders.

Monday, May 4, 2009

New On-line Resources

The American Bar Association has added a new section to their website called Economic Recovery Resources to deal with the current economic downturn. The section provides advice and resources on a variety of topics including networking, professional development, stress management, and career transitioning. The ABA site also contains a useful guide on how to gain experience through pro bono opportunities. Locally, the Boston Bar Association's Health Law Section will hold a program on pro bono opportunities in the Boston area on Thursday, May 21st. For more information on the program, click here.

Another new resource now on-line is PSLawNet's Government Careers section. According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), one-third of the entire federal government workforce will leave in the next 5 years. The PSLawNet guide provides details on where the jobs are, the variety of practice areas available, and how to apply. The Government Careers section also includes information on the Federal Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), security clearances, and citizenship requirements. Navigating federal job opportunities can seem overwhelming at first, however PSLawNet provides job seekers with a clear guide on where to begin.

While the economic times may be challenging some great opportunities still exist. Pro bono work and unique government positions are two experiences job seekers should consider when seeking employment.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Alumni in the News: Paul Finn '76

1976 New England Law graduate, Paul Finn, was featured in a recent issue of the Boston Globe Magazine as one of the most prominent mediators in Massachusetts. Mr. Finn is well known for his work brokering deals in a variety of high-profile civil lawsuits including the Station nightclub fire and the Big Dig ceiling collapse. Read the full story here!

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Networking Follow Up

I emailed an alum and they answered all my questions and provided me with some good advice. Now what?

Many students are unsure on how to best follow up with a networking contact either because they don't have any other questions to ask or fear that they will be bothering the person if they email again. Don't let the relationship end with just one email exchange! Maintaining regular contact (every 2-3 months) is the most important aspect of networking. Below are a few simple ways to keep in touch:

Did you follow the advice the contact gave you? If so, then let them know! Whether they suggested a class to take, a lecture to attend, or a person to contact, let them know that you followed their suggestion, report on the outcome, and thank them.

Did you read an interesting article relating to their area of practice? Pass it along to your contact! This is a thoughtful way of proving your interest while also continuing the conversation with your contact about a particular practice area. Also let them know if you recently read an article written by them. And if you read or heard something positive about them (a promotion or award received) send along a note of congratulations.

Keep them in the loop! One of the best ways to maintain and build a relationship with a professional contact is to use quarterly markers to update them on your progress in school and/or the job search. At the end of a semester, send them a note letting them know how it went and which courses you plan on taking next. Let them know where you will be working for the summer and follow up with them again at the end of the summer to let your contact know how it went. Holidays are also good opportunities to get back in touch with people.

Remember: It's not just what a contact can do for you now, but what they may do for you in the future. By maintaining your relationship with your contacts, you are keeping the lines of communication open for future job opportunities and recommendations!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting the Most Out of the Alumni Career Forum

There are two purposes to the Alumni Career Forum taking place this Thursday,March 26th:

Network: You’ve heard this before - - people often find a job through people they know! The Alumni Career Forum is designed to help you get to know practicing attorneys. While the Alumni Career Forum is not a job fair (resume exchanges are not allowed), students often gain employment through meeting alumni and following-up with them on their own. The alumni participating will be ready and waiting to meet you.

Exploration: This is an excellent time for you to explore many different practice areas of the law and learn about different career paths. You will find out what areas are growing and which are declining and changing. You will gain practical information and realistic insights as to what you can do NOW to prepare for gaining legal experience/employment in the future. You will also learn how New England Law alumni found their first job(s) and how they came to work in their practice area.

The Do’s and Don’ts:

1. Do: Dress in appropriate business attire. This event is taking place after work hours, and the alumni volunteers are coming straight from work in their business attire. You want to impress these individuals. Dress professionally.

2. Do: Be on time. Give yourself the full two hours to attend the event if possible. There will be lots of people for you to meet. Give yourself enough time to make the most of this opportunity.

3. Do: Be aware of how much time you are spending with one person. At this event, 5-10 minutes is enough time to talk with someone. Be mindful of other students who may be waiting behind you to talk with the alum you are talking with.

4. Do: Be open minded in choosing who you speak to. You may receive excellent advice on how to get a job from someone who is practicing in an area that you have no interest. You may also become interested in areas that you haven’t yet explored!

5. Do: Collect business cards from participants. After you have talked with an alum, ask for his/her business card. Try following up with an email, letter or phone call.

6. Do: Be prepared. Review the Participant Biographies booklet before the event and know something about the alumni you would like to meet before you attend the event. Try to think of questions that you would like to ask that person about their career so that you will be well prepared to make the most of this opportunity.

1. Don’t: Bring a resume to this career forum. Collect business cards to follow-up with the alumni in the future.

2. Don’t: Ask for a job! This is not a job fair. Focus on building new professional relationships, gathering information for your career plans and making valuable contacts, rather than focusing on the job you hope to gain.

3. Don’t: Limit your questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. For example, there are many aspects of practicing business/corporate law. The simplest question of: “What does a corporate attorney do?” is a great way to start a conversation.

4. Don’t: Limit who you are willing to meet. Look around and see who is by themselves at their table. Go to them and strike up a conversation. Even if you are positively sure you have no interest in their practice area, they may be full of great job search information, or you may learn of a new area of interest or they may know someone to connect you with.

5. Don’t: Feel like you are “schmoozing” people. Attorneys love to share their story. You are allowing them a chance to do so. Also, alums remember what it was like to be a student and they want to help you!

Networking Etiquette and Sample Questions

Introductions and Closings
1. First, introduce yourself and give the alum relevant information such as your class year, your interests, work
experience, student associations/memberships and organizations.

2. Shake hands firmly.

3. Use the list of questions below to help get the conversation started.

4. Be aware of the time. Try not to spend more than 5 minutes with someone if there are students waiting.

5. Towards the end of your conversation, ask for a business card from the participant.

6. Thank the alum for his/her time and coming to meet you.

Suggestions of Questions to Ask
What is a typical work day for you?

What types of cases/projects are you currently working on?

How is what I am learning in school different from what it will be like practicing [insert practice area]?

What does an [insert practice area] lawyer do?

How did you become a [insert practice area] attorney?

If I am interested in [insert practice area], what can I do to make myself an attractive candidate for employment by the time I graduate?

Can you recommend any professional organizations that might be useful for someone interested in [insert practice area] law?

Breaking into Certain Fields
How did you get your first job in [insert practice area] after law school?

Did you work while you were a student? Where? Did it help you get into [insert practice area]?

I have had two experiences within [insert practice area]. Should I continue to work in this practice area, or is it better for me to try a different practice area?

How did you get into a “solo/small/medium/large sized” firm? What do they look for in attorneys?

How important are grades to get my first position in a “solo/small/medium/large sized law firm or government agency/clerkship” opportunity?

The Alumni Career Forum is open to all New England Law | Boston students. To attend, please RSVP with the CSO!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Samples

What are employers looking for when they ask for a writing sample?
When legal employers ask for a writing sample, they want to see an example of the applicant's strong legal research and analytical skills. Students may use one of the following: a memorandum or brief, a Moot Court brief, or a Law Review or Journal article. If the application is for a judicial clerkship, then an unedited memorandum or brief should be used rather than a journal article.

How long should it be?
Generally, the writing sample should be no more than 10 pages long. If the writing sample is much longer, use an excerpt and include a cover page explaining what the excerpt is taken from.

Can I use something I wrote for a former employer?
Yes, however, always gain permission from the former employer first. All names of clients and other identifying information should be redacted by using fictitious names or crossing out the original names. Applicants should also include a brief cover page noted that the sample is being used with permission.

What if I don't have any good writing samples?
If you are not pleased with your memorandum from your first year writing course and do not have any other samples of your legal writing, you can always revise your original until you think it is a better representation of your current writing ability. Also consider writing an article for an outside publication or entering a writing contest. Getting published or winning a writing contest is not only a great way to prove to an employer your strong writing skills, it also demonstrates initiative and your genuine interest in a particular field.

Do employers really read writing samples?
While some employers confess they only read the first page to an applicant's writing sample, just as many say they read the entire piece. With this in mind, take care that your writing sample is free of typos and is a good representation of your writing abilities. Excellent writing is an essential skill to becoming a lawyer and writing samples will always be an important piece of the legal job search process!

For further reading on this topic:

Strauss, Debra M. "Building a Successful Application."Behind the Bench: The Guide to Judicial Clerkships. The BarBri Group, Inc. 2002 (Available in the CSO.)

Walton, Kimm Alayne. "Handling Writing Samples."Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams.Harcourt Brace. 1995 (Available in the CSO.)

Wojcik, Mark E. "Get Published." Student Lawyer. October 2008 (Vol. 37, No. 2)

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Friday, January 9, 2009

The Power of Networking

The Jobs section of has an article featuring 10 tips for finding a job.Many of the tips highlight one piece of advice you probably hear a lot from the career counselors here in the Career Services Office: network!

"Asking for assistance and advice is the heart of networking, and the single most important thing a person looking for a new job should do. Your next opportunity could come via a tip or chance encounter with a former boss, colleague, neighbor, recruiter, barber, or golf buddy, but you will never hear about it if they don't know you are looking (even passively). You need to be courageous enough to talk to people you meet about what you ultimately want, instead of regretting that you didn't mention it sooner."

The article also encourages job seekers to join professional associations:

"Whether you are currently employed or not, opportunities flow from being around like-minded people and professional associations and communities are where you need to be. They are a great way for uncovering hidden jobs, to further your knowledge and to make new relationships. Investigate which ones are appropriate for you, and join in."

There are a number of bar associations out there that encourage student membership and hold events specifically for law students. Whether you are seeking a summer internship or post-graduate employment, networking is an essential part of job search process and is especially important during these economic times.

For tips and more information on how to network, read the networking section of our handbook!

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