Category Archives: Job Searches

Need Legal Experience?

 

 Sally Kane writing for About.com has outlined ways to get legal experience during your law studies, or while you are looking for a permanent position upon graduation. 

 Internships, externships and clinics are a wonderful way to get your feet wet in the legal profession and this experiential learning necessity is much touted by Coastal and the Career Services Department alike.  Volunteer positions, both during and after law school, are also great ways to obtain quality experience and the non-profits, public interest organizations and legal aid offices would appreciate the help with tasks that really make a difference in the lives of people and the community.  While still in school, extracurricular activities like moot court, writing competitions, writing clinics and more hone your skills that may help you get your foot in the door of legal employers.  The more experience you gain during law school can only better prepare you for your practice in the future. 

Part-time legal jobs, like file clerks, court filers, data entry clerks and the like may allow you to work in the legal field, or in a particular firm you like until they will consider you for an associate position, if, for example, you are waiting for bar results, or they don’t have an opening.  Temping is another method where you may be placed in short-term assignments through a legal staffing agency.  Temping is a great way, also, to explore a particular firm and vice versa.  Some firms hire temporary employees to recruit permanent staff by testing them out on a trial basis, so keep that option in mind.

Contract jobs are becoming more plentiful in this market as law firms seek ways to reduce costs.  In a contract job, you are not considered an “employee” of the firm, but are an independent contractor hired to work on a contract basis.  Sometimes, these positions may work as a stepping stone to full-time permanent employment with the firm.

Complimentary Webcast on Job Search, Networking & Interviewing

Lexis/Nexis is offering a complimentary career webcast this Thursday November 8th at 3:00pm ET titled “Ask the Experts: Answers to your Questions about Legal Job Search, Networking & Interviewing”. Please see additional information and the registration link below.Law Student Webcast: Attend a live webcast featuring four legal career experts and get your career questions answered. Send in your questions ahead of timeand our panel of legal career experts will answer them during the webcast.Learn how to identify the right legal career path for you and how to prepare for your interviews.The first 500 to attend and complete the email survey at the end of the webcast will receive a complimentary membership in the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division*.  REGISTER NOW

Meet the panelists:

  • Rachel Marx Boufford: currently the Law Editor at Vault.com, Rachel is a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former litigation associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP.
  • Sheila Nielsen: a lawyer turned career counselor with 20 years of experience counseling and coaching more than 3,000 attorneys. She runs Nielsen Career Consulting and a number of large firms rely on Ms.Nielsen for outplacement and executive coaching.
  • Brynne Lehner: a legal recruiter with more than 8 years of experience working both the law firm and law school side of recruiting. Before joining Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, she worked in the Career Development Office at Pepperdine University School of Law, and prior to that for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York.
  • Richard D. Williamson is a partner at 5-member firm Robertson, Johnson, Miller & Williamson, and a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Nevada Lawyer magazine, and holds various leadership positions within the American Bar Association. His practice focuses on Real Estate Law and Complex Civil Litigation.

After the webcast Ask the Experts: Answers to your Questions on Legal Job Search, Networking and Interviewing, join the after-party on Facebook for a lively interaction with all of the panelists.

 

Small Firm Hiring

Improve your chances of getting hired by a small firm by understanding that while law is a profession, it is also a business.  While getting legal experience during law school, you should also gain other skills required for running a business that can differentiate you from other candidates.  Skills such as marketing or sales experience, accounting, collections or billing experience or budgeting experience could give you the edge, as these are all skills required to run a successful small business.

Are you tech-savvy or can you set up and maintain a network for a small office?  While large law firms have a multitude of support staff, small firms have little or no support, so if you want to make yourself attractive to a small firm employer, being able and willing to perform non-legal tasks can make the difference.  By demonstrating that YOU can help keep the business end of things running smoothly, you can land yourself a job in a small firm.  You can read the rest of Damon Chetson’s article here.

Locating Small Law Firms

There are many resources you can use to identify and research small law firms.  A great starting point would be Martindale Hubbell, which is a listing of attorneys and firms, and allows you to search firms by practice area, firm size and location.  Bar Associations in your desired locale usually keep lists of their members, and you should consider joining as a student member in order to start making connections.  The American Bar Association is organized into divisions by practice area, and if you are interested in small firm practice, the General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division is a good place to look.  In fact, the Florida Bar has their own General Practice Solo and Small Firm Division which may guide you in the direction of small Florida firms.

Tips for Informational Interviews

In a post on the Daily Muse, Jennifer Winter spells out a few tips for avoiding an awkward informational interview.

1. Come prepared. Do research on the firm and the attorneys before the meeting.

2. Keep it short. Make sure not to take up too much of your contact’s time. If the attorney wants to, he or she can extend the interview or start to wrap up. This is a courteous way to ensure you’re not taking up too much of their time.

3. Cement the connection.  Follow up with a thank-you note–it shows you truly appreciated your meeting–and it could open the door to further career opportunities some day.

Informational interviews are all about forging connections and broadening your understanding of your career. You can read more of Winter’s advice here.

Immigration Attorney Position Available

Andrade Legal, a boutique progressive immigration law firm located in beautiful Boise, Idaho, is seeking an associate attorney to represent our primarily Spanish-speaking clientele in all immigration matters, with a focus on family-based immigration.

The associate attorney will handle his or her own sizeable docket.  The caseload will be comprised of removal defense cases, BIA appeals, federal litigation (primarily petitions for review), motions to reopen, consular processing, T & U visas, asylum, DACA, VAWA, adjustment of status, criminal advisements, post-conviction relief, and likely some employment-based immigration.  The incoming attorney will be expected to conduct consultations with new clients, diagnose possible relief, and secure for clients the benefits they seek. In addition, candidates will be expected to conduct CLEs and community workshops.    Candidates should have a strong foundation in immigration law, gained either through work as an immigration lawyer or through law school clinical work and internships.  Strong candidates will have a firm grasp on the nexus of criminal and immigration law. The position requires strong oral advocacy skills, excellent writing and legal research skills, attention to detail, ability to work independently and collaboratively, comfort speaking in public, ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure, and good judgment in dealings with judges, opposing counsel, ICE, and USCIS.

Spanish language fluency is strongly preferred.

 Andrade Legal’s attorneys collaborate closely. The incoming attorney will enjoy as much mentorship and guidance as necessary and appropriate.  The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to social justice and the expansion of immigrants’ rights.  Andrade Legal offers a competitive salary and benefits, including the payment of AILA and NIP membership dues, a CLE stipend, and generous health care coverage.  Andrade Legal is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals to apply.

We are looking to fill the position as soon as practicable.  To apply please send your cover letter, resume, and a brief writing sample to Patrick Taurel at the following email address: ptaurel@andradelegal.com.  Please cc Maria Andrade at mandrade@andradelegal.com

Bar Association websites can be a great source of Job Postings

Bar Associations are fabulous resources for job postings in many areas, particularly in larger cites.  Most are organized based upon the county or city in which they are located, so you can find them online through a simple search using the county or city name and the words “bar association.”  For example, if you are interested in the Jacksonville and Florida markets, check out the Jacksonville Bar site here.  On the left side of the home page, you will find the “Job Target” tab which will take you to the Career Center.  From there you enter a keyword for your desired practice area and you will be taken to jobs in Florida and beyond.

To start your search for bar associations in your target area, make a list of the counties and cities in the region in which you are interested, and search for each of their websites.  Then peruse any job postings, which may be listed under classifieds or careers.  If you don’t see any, pick up the phone and call the bar association to ask them how most legal employers in the area advertise positions.

Small Firm Recruitment

If you are interested in private practice in a small firm, the GPSSF of the Florida Bar is a wealth of information.  Some of their insight:

 

When do small firms recruit?

  • Whenever the need arises – there is no set hiring cycle
  • Small firms typically do not have a formal summer-associate program.

How do small firms advertise their openings?

  • 80% of the openings are advertised by word-of-mouth
  • Cannot rely solely upon career services postings as most small firms do not participate in on-campus interviews or list openings with career offices at law schools.

Then how do you find a job in small firm practice?

  • Networking!
  • Volunteer to participate in service projects in local bar organizations or law offices
  • Do a targeted mailing -The National Association of Legal Professionals survey indicates that over 22% of law students gained their post-graduation position by conducting a targeted mailing.

3L Week!

The Career Services Department has designated the week of September 17th “3L Week” with two special programs designed to help 3L’s in their career search.  You can RSVP through Symplicity or stop by Career Services.

September 18th–”How I Got My Job” from 12-1 pm in Room 550.  This is a panel presentation featuring Coastal Alums and a current student, who has already secured employment after graduation.  Lunch is included with your RSVP.

September 21–”3L Job Search Boot Camp” from 10 am-2pm in Room 425.  This has been approved for 1 (one) CPE credit!  There will also be Giveaways.  Lunch (not pizza) is included with your RSVP.

****3L Boot Camp****

Want to know how to find the job postings that apply to you?  Have you ever wondered what employers are looking for in applicants?  Need more information on different career options? 

Then the 3L Job Search Boot Camp is for you!  Come learn tips on interviewing, networking, and finalizing your application documents.  Discover resources to use in your job search and get your salary questions answered. 

  • When: Friday, September 21, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
  • Where: Room 450
  • RSVP through Symplicity (Lunch will be provided)
  • Give Aways!  Attendees have a chance to win a $500 custom suit and $50 AMEX gift card!
  • CPE credit applied for (1).  Approval pending.

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