Tips for Law Students Preparing Job Applications

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Many third-year law students are seeking employment for after they take the bar. Second-year law students may be hoping to line up a summer job. Even 1Ls should see if they can find a law-related job for this summer. This means now is the perfect time to prepare your job application packet and apply to jobs before your semester gets too busy.

For general advice on resumes, cover letters, and interviews, the University of Georgia School of Law has a good list of tips. Also, I found these instructions for writing a legal cover letter useful. Finally, here are some sample cover letters.

You may also enjoy Georgetown’s Graduate Professional Development FAQs and LLM Resource Manual.  Although they are for LLM students, most of the advice is equally applicable to law students. For international LLM students, the University of Virginia Law School has a shorter handbook with tips and advice.

Additionally, most law schools have a career services office with many resources — so visit them if you haven’t already.

Networking Guide for Law School Students & New Attorneys

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I. Law School Student Networking

As law students start the new year, many are using the break from school to find a law job for after they graduate. Networking plays an important role in helping law students obtain jobs. Skills in networking also help after being hired as new attorneys seek to acquire clients for their firm, something they will do for the remainder of their careers.

How do you start? Networking involves three steps: » FULL STORY

How to Use Law Student Business Cards

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Law students who are looking for a job or networking to build their professional network may wonder how law students can use business cards effectively. The Legal Andrew blog had a good article on Business Cards for Law Students, which linked to another good article with advice for all students.

You can order free business cards at VistaPrint for the price of shipping, if you don’t mind the VistaPrint logo/message on the back.

 

This Law Student has Great Tips

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LegalAndrew.comI’m always on the lookout for blogs with tips and advice for law students. Today I noticed the Legal Andrew blog linking to a TopLawStudent article. The Legal Andrew blog has a number of great articles for other law students:

For the job hunt, Legal Andrew has these good career advice articles:

Judicial Clerkships Ranked by Prestige

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Are you considering a judicial clerkship and wonder which courts are considered most prestigious? I’ve talked with attorneys at large firms, court clerks, and professors. Below is the result of my small (unscientific) survey listing the most prestigious first.

Judicial Clerkships Ranked by Prestige

1. U.S. Supreme Court
2. Circuit Court of Appeals
3. Federal District Court — tied with — State Supreme Court
5. Federal Magistrate Court — tied with — State Court of Appeals
7. Federal Bankruptcy Court
8. State District Court

Please note, some clarifications are required. First, not everyone will agree with this list. In particular, people have different opinions about whether one tied item is actually higher than the other.

Second, the list doesn’t take into consideration an individual student’s plans. For example, a student seeking a career in bankruptcy or state court practice would probably prefer Federal Bankruptcy Court or a state court, respectively, over a Federal District Court.

Third, any ranking of these opportunities may be unfair. Clerkships at any type of court have great educational value. I understand that clerking for a trial court is extremely valuable because trial court clerks experience the mechanics of court, motions, evidence, and the excitement of litigation at its most fundamental level.

Finally, I talked to under ten people, so these could be wrong. If you have a different opinion, please leave a comment here so other law students can benefit from your advice.

Judicial Clerkship Notification Blog

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Law students interested in a judicial clerkship may be interested in this blog which contains notes from other law students regarding whether judges are hiring and related information about particular clerkship openings. Law students anonymously report on the blog for the benefit of other law students. You can also view last year’s blog to see the type of information it provided to students seeking judicial clerkships last year. (Source: 3L Epiphany blog)

Reminder for 3Ls: Submit Your Judicial Clerkship Applications Soon

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Judicial ChambersDon’t forget to be checking the judicial clerkships websites if you are a 3L and interested in serving as a judicial clerk after law school graduation.

Federal court clerkships continue to be posted as courts announce their openings. State court clerkships vary state-to-state.
For more information and links to judicial clerkship websites, visit this article:

Why Law School Students Seek Judicial Clerkships

Consider Joining the Presidential Management Fellows Program

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Presidential Management Fellows ProgramThe Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) is seeking 3L applicants.

Your school may participate in the PMF program by nominating a student to be considered for selection as a salaried PMF Fellow. PMF fellows are placed within a variety of federal agencies, paid at the GS-9, GS-11, or GS-12 level, and serve for two years.

The PMF program was established to attract highly qualified students receiving advanced degrees to federal service, and has served as a stepping stone to highly visible and responsible positions in federal service. The PMF program materials state that the rigorous, paid program involves 80 hours of classroom instruction each year, challenging assignments, accelerated promotions, and the chance to network with other agencies. Fellows are hired by agencies and given exposure to domestic and international issues such as public administration, technology, science, criminal justice, health, and financial management.

Students who will graduate in the upcoming winter or spring are eligible. To be considered, visit How To Apply or the program’s main page.

Summer Associate Lessons for Law Students

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Whether you had the experience of being a summer associate this year or not, you may be interested in the lessons learned by summer associates.

Graduating Students. These lessons may be useful for new attorneys working under partners.

1Ls. If you will be a summer associate at a firm next summer, knowing this advice ahead of time will be especially valuable.

Lexis Nexis posted a “best of” list of lessons learned by summer associates here: What We’ve Learned From Our Summer Experiences.

How to Seek a Higher Salary After a Low Job Offer

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If you are a law student who served as a summer associate this year, you are probably waiting to hear if the firm will extend to you a job offer.

Unlike businesses that post job openings, law firms operate under different rules in the hiring process. One difference is in the counteroffer.

In business, a job candidate offered a low salary can normally counteroffer by modifying the terms. However, as this Lexis Nexis article illustrates, whether to counteroffer at a law firm is a delicate matter. A proper approach in business may not be appropriate in the practice of law.

You can read about one student’s mistake making a counteroffer and what he wishes he had done here: The Counteroffer, By Pete Meyers.

For more information about law job salaries and finding the best legal job for you, visit the law jobs section here at Law Student.

Delete Your MySpace Page

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MySpace.comShould law students delete their MySpace.com page? Like any good law student would say: “It depends.”

If you have a MySpace page, there are some very important questions you should consider to protect your career and privacy.  » FULL STORY

 

Blog of Interest to Law Students

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Here is a blog that may interest many law students: Legal Underground. I especially liked the Weekly Law School Roundup reviewing notable law student blog posts, the discussion regarding a paperless office from an article written by the same author, and his review of the most interesting posts for the month. The blog covers exams, advice from students, jobs, and much more.

Summer Jobs for the Jobless Law Student

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The increasing number of law students often makes the hunt for a summer law job more difficult.

Whether you are a 1L, 2L, or 3L, your job hunt can be difficult in today’s legal job market.

Here are a few tips for quickly lining up a 2L or 3L summer legal job so your resume doesn’t have a gap:

  • Visit your school’s job office to get their advice and learn about current job openings.
  • Visit your school’s legal volunteering office. While these jobs don’t pay, the experience is often just as valuable on a resume as a paid job.
  • Offer to work at a firm as an intern (no pay). Many smaller firms will still accept interns in May or early June.
  • Volunteer for a legal aid group, charity, or your state bar association.
  • Offer to assist one of your professors on their projects this summer.
  • If all else fails, sign up for summer classes so at least your resume doesn’t have a gap.

For more tips and websites with law job openings, check out our law jobs section.

Study-Aids, Practice Exams, and More Online

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If you haven’t visited Findlaw, or if it’s been awhile, check out its great resources, including course outlines, study-aids, practice exams, job search information, and much more: Findlaw Law Student Resources.

You can also find a number of law outlines, law job resources, and practice exams here at Law Student.

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