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Friday, December 16, 2011

5 Things to Do Over Winter Break

Whether you are seeking your first legal job or looking for post-graduate employment, the winter break is a good time to organize your job search!

1. Reconnect with old contacts and establish new ones. Send holiday cards to former employers and colleagues updating them on your academic and career progress. Use the "Contact Alumni" section of the Symplicity site to find alumni in the area and ask if they are available to meet after the New Year.

2. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Use holiday parties to update old friends, relatives, and neighbors with your interests and where you would like to practice law. You never know who has valuable contacts that could lead to job opportunities!

3. Update your resume. Be sure to add any clinics you are taking during the spring semester. Re-read previous blog posts on resume writing for frequently asked questions and mistakes. The CSO will be available to review resumes and cover letters beginning January 4th.

4. Apply to jobs listed on the JobNet and research potential employers to contact directly. Utilize our handout "Targeting Small to Medium-Sized Law Firms Using Martindale-Hubbell" to do a targeted search for firms and organizations in your geographic area and field of interest.

5. Relax. Focus on a little rest and relaxation so that you will feel rejuvenated upon your return to law school next semester: sleep in, catch up on your favorite TV shows, do some non-law school related reading, and spend quality time with your family and friends.

Best of luck with your exams and have a happy and productive winter break, from your friends in the Career Services Office!

For further tips on networking over the holiday season:
Listen to a free podcast on holiday networking tips!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

2011 Summer Employment Survey Results

This year 211 New England Law students completed our 2011 Summer Employment survey giving us valuable information about where students worked and how they found their employment.  58% of the respondents were from the class of 2013 and 42% of the respondents were from the class of 2012.

Types of Experience
  • 81% worked in a summer legal job
  • 9% worked in a non-legal job
  • 6% worked in a permanent legal position
  • 3% participated in a study abroad program
  • 1% did not work
Of those students who were employed in either a legal or non-legal job, 38% were in paid positions while 62% worked in unpaid positions. This is a slight rise in unpaid positions from last year’s results

How Students Found Employment
Networking is important in any job search and the results from this year’s summer job survey reflect that.  Most respondents found their job through someone they knew or through networking. Many students also found their employment through the CSO JobNet!
  •  30% found their job through a referral from someone they knew 
  •  24% found their job through the CSO JobNet 
  •  14% found their job by networking or contacting the employer directly
  • 10% found their job through an on-campus interview, job fair, or school program 
  • 7% returned to a previous employer 
  •  4% found their job through a posting on the employer’s website or an on-line job posting site 
  •  11% did not disclose how their job was found
Where Students Worked 
    •  68% remained in Massachusetts 
    •  27% worked out of state 
    •  5% worked internationally or participated in a study abroad program
    While the majority of New England Law students remained in Massachusetts for their summer work, a number of students also worked in other New England states as well as in Washington, DC and New York.  Students also participated in study abroad programs in Malta, Prague, London, and Galway.

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

    ACLU of Oregon
    AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts
    Akerman Senterfitt
    Alaska Public Defender Agency
    Barnstable County Probate & Family Court
    Bonner Kiernan Trebach & Crociata LLP
    Boston City Council
    Boston Housing Authority
    Cape & Islands District Atttorney's Office
    Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP
    Friedman & Atherton LLP
    Greater Boston Legal Services
    International Criminal Court
    Kings County District Attorney's Office
    Legal Advocacy & Resource Center
    Lubin & Meyer, P.C.
    Massachusetts Attorney General's Office
    Massachusetts Department of Revenue
    Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
    MBTA Legal Department
    McGregor & Associates, P.C.
    Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston
    Middlesex County District's Attorney's Office
    New Hampshire Attorney General's Office
    Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP
    Office of the Maine Attorney General
    Office of the New York State Attorney General
    Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General
    Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender
    Rockingham County Attorney's Office
    Shelter Legal Services
    Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner
    State of Connecticut Judicial Branch
    Suffolk County District Attorney's Office
    Suffolk County Probate and Family Court
    Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers, P.C.
    The Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts
    Transportation Security Administration
    U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Massachusetts
    U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee
    U.S. Department of State, U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva
    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
    U.S. Immigration Court
    U.S. Attorney's Office
    UTi Worldwide Inc.
    Washington State Office of the Attorney General

    Are you looking for a job for next summer? Make an appointment with the Career Services Office. Call 617-422-7229 to schedule a meeting today.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Top 5 Reasons to Join a Bar Association

    What does joining a bar association have to do with my job search?
    Many law students and recent graduates do not realize that participation in a local or specialty bar association is an important part of any job search. Becoming a bar association member and participating in events (i.e., committee involvement and continuing legal education classes) is an excellent way to make connections with the local legal community, build a network, and learn more about a particular practice area. Here are five reasons to join one today.

    1. Build your network. Now, more than ever, networking is a key component to finding a job. If you do not come from a family of lawyers, are new to the area, or are just looking to meet attorneys who specialize in a particular area of law, a bar association is a perfect place to make connections. Bar activities such as section meetings, mentor programs, and social events provide excellent opportunities to meet lawyers and get your name circulating in the legal community.
    2. Expand your knowledge. Bar associations offer a variety of educational programs including round table discussions, symposiums, panels, and free or discounted continuing legal education (CLE) classes. Participating in these events is also another opportunity to network and show future employers you are sincere about your interest in a particular field.
    3. Gain access to members-only resources. Many bar associations offer student members access to their bulletins, membership directories, job postings, and other resources not available to non-members. Benefits to becoming a member also include discounts on a wide variety of services – anything from car rentals to CLE courses.
    4. Stay informed. Newsletters, symposiums and other bar association activities keep you up to date on the latest news and developments within the legal community. If you are searching for a job out of state, joining a local bar association is a great way to learn more about that state’s legal community and any growing fields of practice particular to the area.
    5. Show your professionalism. Joining a bar association as a law student or recent graduate demonstrates your commitment to becoming lawyer. Becoming active in sections or other activities not only builds your leadership skills but also increases your visibility as a responsible member of the legal community – something that will pay off for years to come.

    Most bar associations encourage student involvement and offer free or heavily discounted membership fees to students and newly admitted attorneys. 2012 students should also note that New England Law has partnered with the Boston Bar Association (BBA) to provide all students in the Class of 2012 with a one-year membership to the BBA.

    Massachusetts Bar Assocations:
    Boston Bar Association
    Student Membership: $65; Free to Class of 2012
    Essex County Bar Association
    Student Membership: $45, Open to students who either reside or work in Essex County only.
    Massachusetts Bar Association
    Student Membership: $35
    Norfolk County Bar Association
    Worcester County Bar Association

    Specialty & Diversity Associations:
    Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts
    Student Membership: Free
    Boston Patent Law Association
    Student Membership: $105
    Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys
    Student Membership: Free
    Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association
    Student Membership: Free
    Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association
    Student Membership: Free
    Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts
    Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts
    Student Membership: $25

    Additional local and specialty bar associations may be found on the Massachusetts Bar Association website.

    Searching for a job outside of Massachusetts? Find an out of state bar association.

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    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Frequently Asked Questions About the Fall Recruitment Program

    Q:  What is the Fall Recruitment Program?
    A:  The Fall Recruitment Program (FRP) includes a variety of public interest, government, law firm, and judicial employers seeking 2012 summer and post-graduate associates and clerks.  FRP begins in July and will continue throughout the Fall semester. 

    Q:  How do I apply for the Fall Recruitment Programs?
    A:  If you are applying for an on-campus interview, resume collection, or the New Hampshire Legal Interview Program, apply through the CSO’s Symplicity site.  If you are applying for the National Recruitment Program, or the Government and Public Interest Interview program, apply through the Massachusetts Law School Consortium’s (MLSC) site.  For detailed, step-by-step instructions, please refer to the Fall Recruitment Instructional Packet, which was emailed to your New England Law account on July 8th, and can also be found in the Document Library on the CSO’s Symplicity site.

    Q:  When I’m in Symplicity, and I click on the “OCI” tab, it says something about a summer survey and I can’t find the participating employers.  Where do I go from here?
    A:  Every Fall, all 2LD/3LEs and 3LD/4LEs are required to complete summer surveys and update their profiles including the Transcript Waiver and Interview Policy Acknowledgement before they are able to view the OCI section.  When prompted to complete the summer survey, click “Add New” and fill in the required survey fields.  After you submit your survey, you should automatically be taken to the OCI section. 

    Q:  My grades aren't great.  Should I even bother applying to big firms?
    A:  You should be realistic when applying to large firms.  They typically are very strict about their grade requirements and most likely will not interview students who do not meet the standards which they have set. That said, occasionally there are exceptions to that general rule when a student exhibits better than average grades with special skills or highly relevant experience. However, there are plenty of other legal job opportunities that are not heavily grade driven.  Review the Job Search Timelines section in part I of the Fall Recruitment Instructional Packet for more information on law firm, government, public interest and judicial clerkship employers.

    For Further Reading:  
    What are Memorandums? Frequent Resume Mistakes and Questions
    Frequent Resume Mistakes and Questions: Part II
    Tips for Writing the Perfect Cover Letter
    Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Samples

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Networking to Find Post-Graduate Employment

    By now you have heard about the importance of networking in any job search. But what exactly does networking entail? In their “Beating Unemployment” series, the Lawyer Mentor defines the networking process in a few basic steps:

    • Meeting people, online and in person;
    • Making real connections with those people (not just collecting names and business cards);
    • Collecting information about those people and keeping that information updated;
    • Maintaining contact with those people; and
    • Helping people as much as possible, and thanking them appropriately when they help you. [The Lawyer Mentor]
    So, where do you start? There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to networking. Below are a number of the different resources for making contacts within the legal community. Decide which outlets work best for you and begin to incorporate them into your job search today.

    Past Employers – Even if you know they are not hiring, contacting past employers can still be beneficial. As graduation approaches, update former colleagues and supervisors of your progress. Let them know what areas and fields you are interested in, send them an updated copy of your resume, and ask them for advice about your search.

    Alumni – Use the “Contact Alumni” tab in Symplicity to contact alumni working in your area of interest and ask for advice. To search for additional law school connections as well as alumni from your undergraduate school use an on-line legal directory such as Martindale-Hubbell.

    Bar Associations – A bar association is a perfect place to make connections. Bar activities such as section meetings, mentor programs, and social events provide excellent opportunities to meet lawyers and get your name circulating in the legal community. Most young lawyers divisions include attorneys who have been in the field for up to ten years, so don’t assume you will only be meeting new graduates who are also seeking employment.

    LinkedIn – Use LinkedIn to highlight your accomplishments while connecting with fellow classmates, old friends, professors, family, former colleagues, and law professionals. Also join “Groups” to widen your network even more. For tips on how to create a professional profile and make yourself standout, read NALP’s e-guide “LinkedIn: Facebook for Lawyers”.

    Continuing Legal Education (CLE) – CLEs not only broaden your education in a particular area of law or legal issue, but they also provide easy opportunities to meet leaders in the field. Most CLE programs also provide needs based scholarships to assist with the program costs.

    Volunteering/Pro Bono – Connect with your local bar association for on-going volunteer and pro bono opportunities. Volunteering in the community and providing pro bono assistance is an excellent way to meet fellow attorneys in the field while also building your own experience.

    The hope is that the more connections you make (and maintain) the more likely you are to hear of job opportunities. There is also the possibility that the people you meet through this process may act as recommenders when applying for future positions.

    Still have questions about networking? For further reading:

    Other Networking Articles on Our Blog
    Beating Unemployment: Networking in Person (The Lawyer Mentor)
    Tips to Finding a Job After Graduation (Lawline)
    LinkedIn: Facebook for Lawyers (NALP e-Guide)

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    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Find Summer Employment in 7 Steps

    If you are currently looking for summer employment, follow these helpful suggestions for finding a legal internship.
    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 12th, there are currently 80 summer internships posted on the JobNet section of the CSO's Symplicity site
      . Last year, 72 summer internships were posted between April 1st and June 30th.
    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 Job Search Resources handout found in the document library on Symplicity offers a helpful list 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 Targeting Small to Medium-Sized Firms Using Martindale-Hubble handout as well as the specialized career guides located in the Documents & Handouts section of Symplicity 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 2010 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-initiated contact. Don’t know where to start? Read the networking sections of this blog and the Career Services Handbook located on Symplicity.
    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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    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    Spotlight on Judicial Clerkships

    Judicial clerkship positions are an excellent opportunity for recent law school graduates to extend their legal education and gain invaluable practical skills by working for a judge on the state or federal court level. The following is a brief overview of judicial clerkships and the application process.

    What is a judicial clerkship?
    Judicial clerkships are typically one- to two-year post graduate positions working for a judge in federal and state courts of general and limited jurisdiction, at both the trial and appellate levels. By working closely with a judge, clerks gain valuable behind-the-scenes perspective while being exposed to a wide range of issues and cases.

    What are the job responsibilities?
    While some job duties vary depending on the judge and court, a judicial clerkship is largely a research and writing position. Clerks perform research, prepare issue or case summaries, draft internal documents, observe oral arguments, and sit in on conferences. Judicial law clerks will also have the opportunity to discuss cases with the judge and draft opinions.

    What does a judge look for in a judicial clerkship candidate?

    Hiring criteria can vary from judge to judge. In general, an application for a judicial clerkship should reflect the candidate's strengths in research, writing, and analytical and communication skills. Judges also look for candidates who show good judgment, leadership, and the ability to work with a team. Judicial clerkships with federal or state supreme court judges are more competitive than other clerkship positions and are based largely on academic credentials and law review experience.

    What is the application process?
    The usual application for a clerkship consists of a cover letter, resume, official law school transcript, letters of reference from law school faculty and legal employers, and a legal writing sample. Procedures vary by judge, court, and state.

    For Federal Judicial Clerkships:  OSCAR is the central online resource for federal law clerk and appellate court staff attorney hiring. The web-based system allows applicants to file complete applications and recommenders to file letters of recommendation online. While many federal judges now use this system to post openings and collect applications, others still require applicants to apply directly. BNA's Directory of State and Federal Courts, Judges, and Courts (available in the CSO) provides information on federal and state court structures as well as the contact information for judges at all levels.

    For State Judicial Clerkships: The Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures provides information on clerkship opportunities and procedures in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Contact the CSO for username and password information.

    When are the deadlines for judicial clerkships?
    Federal judges are not supposed to accept applications from graduating students until the Tuesday after Labor Day of the candidate's final year of law school. However, students are encouraged to contact federal judges directly to confirm clerkship openings and deadlines. State judges have various deadlines, some as early as the May before the candidate's final year of law school. For this reason, students interested applying for a judicial clerkship should begin preparations the spring semester of their 2L Day or 3L Evening year.

    Are there opportunities to work for a judge as a law student?

    Absolutely. New England Law offers two judicial internship opportunities for students: the Honors Judicial Internship Program and the Summer Internship Program. Click here for more information. Students may also contact judges and courts directly using the BNA's Directory of State and Federal Courts, Judges, and Courts (available in the CSO).  For a list of court websites by state, visit the National Center for State Courts website.

    Interested in learning more about the judicial clerkship experience?
    Judicial Clerkship Information Session
    Tuesday, April 12th, 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Cherry Room

    Sponsored by the Faculty Judicial Clerkship Committee

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    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Networking Follow Up

     Note: The following entry was originally posted on April 9, 2009.

    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 recommendations and job opportunities.

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    Monday, February 14, 2011

    5 Questions for a Practitioner: Elizabeth A. Marcus '97, EEOC Mediator

    Elizabeth A. Marcus hails from Stamford, Connecticut. She was awarded a Juris Doctor from New England Law | Boston in 1997, and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. Since completing her formal education, she has worked exclusively in the area of employment law, initially with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and then with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition to mediating thousands of employment discrimination complaints, Attorney Marcus has completed formal mediation training with New York University School of Law and Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She serves on the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board’s Diversity Committee, chairs a newly-formed Shared Neutrals Committee, and mediates cases for the Shared Neutrals Program. Attorney Marcus also performs federal sector mediations for the EEOC Administrative Judges. 

    1. How did you get started as a mediator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? 
    After completing law school, I worked as an investigator at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. From there, I moved over to an investigator position with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While I enjoyed the neutral role of the investigator, I was making determinations of past events. The mediator position was of interest to me, because in mediation I retain the neutral role, but also work with the parties to look forward and plan future events and outcomes. As the mediator at the time became an Administrative Judge, the position opened. I first detailed to the job, meaning I was selected to try it out for 90 days. Details come up from time to time in the federal sector and are fantastic opportunities for professional development.  I then competitively applied and was selected to be the mediator on a permanent basis.

    2. What is a typical day like for someone in your field?
    I have three typical days.  The first is a day with a mediation session, which typically lasts 4-5 hours.  If I am in the Boston office, I spend the time around the session preparing for the case, and responding to party inquiries. If the case is in another New England location, I spend the time around the session traveling.

    The second typical day is an office day.  I spend my time moving approximately 130 cases through the program.  I spend a lot of time on the phone educating parties and answering questions about mediation and the agency process, and then scheduling mediation sessions all over the New England area.

    The third typical day is an outreach day.  This may consist of educating employer or employee groups about mediation, it may consist of training people how to mediate, it may be a career forum or a brown bag lunch.

    3. Are there certain personality traits candidates should have in order to do well as a mediator?
    To be a mediator, you have to be forward looking, moving beyond disputes of fact and law to focus on interests and options for resolution. You have to be able to put aside any personal feelings you may have on a particular issue, including  issues pertaining to race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability. You also have to be “on” the entire time, so there is no room for an off day where you don’t feel like talking to people. Other traits of importance are patience, comfort with all kinds of people, and strong listening skills. 

    4. Were there any particular law school experience(s) that especially prepared you for this work?
    The skills I learned in law school and use daily as a mediator are to stay organized, focused, identify key issues, and not get distracted by red herrings. It can be far easier to get off track in a live conversation than on paper, so these skills really help.
    5. What advice do you have for law students interested in pursuing a career with the federal government?
    First, create an account on USAJobs and apply often and early. Even if you are not ready to apply for jobs, the weekly job posting updates will give you a sense of what is out there. The application process can be daunting, but the more you do it, the better you become at navigating the system. Second, work with your career services office to identify federal employee alumni and see if you can schedule informational interviews with them. Internships in the federal sector are also helpful as agencies will be more comfortable with you knowing that you have had previous exposure to the federal sector.