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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Find Summer Employment in 7 Steps

If you are still thinking about what to do this summer, here are some helpful suggestions for finding legal internships: 

  1. Check the JobNet on the CSO’s Symplicity site.
    Many small firms begin posting summer positions late in the spring semester. As of April 16th, there are currently 56 summer internships posted on the JobNet on the CSO's Symplicity site. Last year, 24 summer internships were posted during the months of May and June.

  2. Check other on-line resources.
    Do not limit your search to any single job posting site; instead, look in a variety of places. The on-line job search resources handout found in the document library on Symplicity offers a helpful list of a of other various job search websites depending on your interest.

  3. Request reciprocity.
    If you are looking for employment out of state, you may be able to request reciprocity from a law school career services office in that state in order to access their job postings. To learn about the program and to complete a request form, visit the reciprocity information page on our website.

  4. Contact firms and organizations directly.
    Do not wait for a job to be posted. Be proactive in your job search by contacting firms and organizations directly. Use the career guides in the CSO Career Development Handbook, and other on-line directories to do a targeted search of organizations within your area of interest. Stay organized and follow up with each employer you contact as you would when applying for posted jobs.

  5. Network.
    According to the 2009 Summer Employment Survey, most students found their summer job through informal means, either through a referral from someone they knew or through networking and self-intiated contact. Don’t know where to start? Read the networking sections of  this blog and the  CSO Career Development Handbook.

  6. Be flexible.
    If you have a car, look for opportunities outside of major metropolitan areas. Also consider taking an unpaid position and balancing your time with a paid non-legal position. The more flexible you are regarding pay and location, the better your chances are for finding summer employment.

  7. Contact the Career Services Office.
    Send us your resume and cover letters to be reviewed, schedule a mock interview appointment to improve your interview skills, and meet with a counselor to go over your individual job search needs. We are here to help and look forward to hearing from you!
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Still Seeking Post-Graduate Employment? 8 Steps for Success

Try not to panic if you have not secured post-graduate employment. As a new law graduate, you may naturally be in a limbo period until you receive your bar results in November. Some employers will wait to see if you have passed the bar exam before hiring you. This is okay! Spend your summer studying and passing the bar exam. When your life gets back to normal in August, then you can resume your job search, networking and conducting informational interviews with anyone you think may be helpful. These things will help when your bar results are available and you are a viable candidate for an attorney position.

In the meantime, there is still some time before graduation. If you want to search for jobs prior to graduation day, then perhaps the following tips can help to ease your concerns:

1. Check the JobNet on the CSO's Symplicity site. April-June is the busy season for many small firms and government agencies. Email the CSO if you have forgotten your password.

2. Join the CSO Job Posting Listserv! Each week, CSO Career Advisor, Becky Flanagan, sends out an email to the Class of 2010 featuring the latest post-graduate job openings. The listserv will continue to be sent after graduation. To join, email Becky today!

3. Participate in the CSO's Resume Clinic. As you prepare to graduate from law school, let the Career Services Office help you polish your resume.  Chances are you have added new work experiences and accomplishments to your resume during your time in law school.  Let us help by proofreading your resume for content, format, style and clarity. All members of the class of 2010 are invited to submit their updated resumes for a final review to the Resume Clinic by the last day of classes (April 28th).
 To access the Resume Clinic:
  • Log on to RPC/Symplicity.
  • Click on the "OCI" tab.
  • Select "Resume Clinic" from the session drop-down menu .
  • Click "Review" (at left), for more information and to select your  resume. 
  • Click "Apply" to send your resume to the CSO for review.
We will review your resume and send you our feedback. Our goal is to review all resumes for the class of 2010, as soon as possible, and by the bar exam date (July 28, 2010) at the very latest.

4. Consider applying for federal government work. It is reported that 30 – 50% of federal employees will be eligible to retire in the next few years. This is bound to result in a hiring boom. Check out Making the Difference, a website devoted to promoting careers in public service, also highlights a variety of positions available to law graduates within the federal government.

5. Consider contacting government and public interest agencies that interest you. All state agencies are listed on state and local government websites. Public interest positions can are also posted on For a more complete list of government and public interest resources email the CSO.

6. Consider initiating contact with legal employers.Use on-line legal directories to search for employers according to specifications such as practice area, location and firm size and then follow-up with them about possible employment opportunities. CAUTION: The CSO does not recommend that you send blind mailings to hundreds of employers. Try to focus your search on a small group of employers who may be seeking new associates, but do not have the time to recruit. This is a great tool for contacting small and medium size law firms.

7. Check job posting sites for legal work opportunities, such as,, and Email the CSO for a more comprehensive list of legal job posting sites.

8. Continue to network. Nearly 85% of all Americans get their jobs through someone they know. Inform everyone you know that you are graduating from law school and will need to find a job soon. You never know if someone you know has heard of a job opening that would be perfect for you!

Do not get discouraged. There are more legal jobs out there than you realize. For more job search suggestions, contact the CSO, 617-422-7229 or

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Should You Enroll in an LLM Program?

For students contemplating pursuing an LLM degree directly after graduating from law school, there are a number of factors to consider.  

Do you already have a strong background and genuine interest in this particular area of law? 
Do employers within the particular field value the degree?
Is your main reason for enrolling in an LLM program to delay your job search?

While an LLM degree program can be a great way to specialize in a specific area of law, it is not always a strong substitute for practical experience and may not necessarily make the candidate more employable after graduation. Students should also not expect an LLM to make up for weak grades they received while in law school. This issue was recently covered by the TaxProf Blog in response to a recent question featured in the Advice for the Lawlorn column:

Here we distinguish between two different types of prospective Tax LLM students: (1) prospective Tax LLM students who have a genuine interest in and aptitude for tax and want to develop additional tax expertise to improve their chances of being hired for a tax position to which they aspire; and (2) prospective Tax LLM students who do not have a particular interest in and aptitude for tax, but assume that a Tax LLM degree from a prestigious Tax LLM program will rehabilitate less-than-stellar JD credentials and improve their chance of obtaining a job at an elite, big firm. Based on our experience, the former type of prospective Tax LLM students should apply to Tax LLM programs, but the latter type should not. Tax LLM classes are rigorous and demanding. For many employers, both JD grades and Tax LLM grades are extremely important. A prospective Tax LLM student who is not genuinely interested in tax is not likely to do well in Tax LLM classes. In addition, the potential resume boost from successful completion of a Tax LLM degree is greatest when applying for tax-specific positions.

 Once a student has decided that pursuing an LLM is the best choice for their situation, factors in deciding on a program should include whether the program offers career services and specific recruitment programs for LLM students.

For further reading on LLM degree programs:

Advising JD Students on LLM Programs (NALP Bulletin)
Post-JD Programs by Category (American Bar Association)
Pursuing a Tax LLM Degree: Why and When? (U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 10-11; Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2010-9)

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