The National Jurist - Back to School 2017 - 38
job search hotline
Get your job search started
off on the right foot
by HiLLary Mantis
Looking for an internship
If you want to quickly line up a fall internship, check with your
school's career services office for a list of employers who have
hired students in prior years. Make sure you are signed up for
your school's job listing database. It's called Symplicity at many
Talk to professors, especially those in your preferred practice
area. They are often tapped into the job
market and sometimes have connections
with those who hire interns.
Be aware that government agencies
usually hire in advance, so it may be
easier to get a last-minute internship in
the private sector. If your school has a
public-interest career specialist, ask if
they know of any agencies still hiring.
Looking for a summer position
You may have already started interviewing during your school's early interview week. If not, or if it hasn't started,
schedule a meeting with a career services
counselor to update your resume and set
up a mock interview.
You may need help adding the job
that you finished last summer to your
resume, and career counselors are very good at helping you highlight accomplishments while keeping your resume to one page.
They also have good interview advice.
There's nothing like getting tips before you interview to figure out what you should focus on. After all, those 20-minute
interviews go by fast. Tempting as it may be to just read tips on a
career website, nothing compares with in-person advice when it
comes to preparing for something that will affect your future.
Now, here are some pitfalls to avoid:
1. Don't pressure yourself. It's so easy to worry if you aren't
able to get a job overnight. Or if your friends and classmates
already have jobs lined up but you don't. I find that job offers
often arrive when you've almost given up. Think long-term,
not short-term, and have faith that it will work out. Do not
discuss your job search with too many people. It will just make
you more nervous. Talk with those who are most encouraging.
The NaTioNal JurisT
2. Don't limit yourself to on-campus interviews. It's nice when
employers come to your school for interviews and the career
services office sets up the schedule. But it's a big world out
there, and the majority of legal employers don't interview on
law school campuses. So, don't feel bad if you don't get a job
offer through an on-campus interview. It's a very small segment of the legal employer population overall.
3. Don't be passive during job interviews. I recently heard a
partner at a law firm advise students to talk up to 80 percent of the time during their interviews. I think the partner
makes a good point. Whether it's 50 percent or 80 percent, it's
important to contribute actively during
the interview rather than just passively
answer questions. Make sure the interviewer knows all of the important qualifications you have, even if you have to
mention them during the question and
answer part of the interview.
4. Don't ask about the salary during the first interview. Don't you
wish more employers would just state
the salary up front? Some do, but most
don't. However, it's often considered a
job interview "don't" to raise the issue
before the employer does. Generally, a
company will talk salary only when it
is close to extending an offer. When an
interviewer asks if you have any questions during the first interview, it's more
typical to ask about job specifics than about the salary. But be
prepared to negotiate when pay is brought up. Once the topic
has been raised, it's certainly fair game to discuss the salary and
5. Don't use vague phrases on your resume. Use examples. I
have read hundreds of resumes that say the applicant is a team
player or a hard worker. That's great, but it's also vague and
unsubstantiated. Try to give concrete examples. Instead of
just saying you are a hard worker, you could say you work 15
hours a week to help meet your law school expenses and still
maintain a high GPA. It will most likely be more impressive to
Hillary Mantis consults with law students, pre-law students, and lawyers.
She is director of the pre-law program at Fordham University and author of
"Alternative Careers for Lawyers." You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to School 2017
all is here, and that means its time to get serious about your
job search. Whether you are looking for an internship, a
summer position or full-time employment, there are some
key things to do and some to avoid.