Category Archives: Networking

Landing an Interview

If you are trying to land an interview, here are some tips to getting the interview and getting hired.

1.  Research each firm carefully.  Let the firm know you are interested and why you are a good fit.  Ensure you do your homework on the practice areas or specialties of the firm and the attorney with whom you will be interviewing.  They can tell if you are prepared and interested in them, or if you are just winging it.  If you show you are serious, you will be received more warmly.

2.   Be enthusiastic!  If you know you would absolutely accept an offer from the firm, let them know in your interview, thank you note, and in any follow up you may have. 

3.   Be sure your resume, cover letter and thank you notes are perfect.  If they see misspellings, typos, or grammatical errors, your application will be dismissed.  It is that simple.  Please ensure you review your documents with your Career Services Counselor prior to submission.  Please call 256-7744 to make an appointment.

4.   To better your chances, consider applying to firms that are located a little farther away from your desired locale.  You will still be in the area, and you will have the benefit of  a wider variety of firms.

5.   Network.  You can join the local bar association and then get involved.  Most voluntary bar associations will welcome you as a Student Member.  You will have the opportunity to meet many practicing attorneys who may remember you when they hear of an opportunity or position.

6.   Be a leader.  Emphasize in your resume and then in interviews leadership roles you have held or your local voluntary bar involvement.  Firms are looking for those people who know how to network successfully and will be able to bring in future business.

7.   Be ready to give examples during an interview of how you may have solved a problem, showed leadership or acted as a team player in the past.  Don’t be surprised if employers ask a question of this sort and be prepared with an answer.

Networking at an Event

If you are planning on attending a gathering of attorneys, whether it be a bar sponsored meeting or a legal seminar, there are a few tips that will serve you well.

*Decide on your networking goals prior to the event.  A realistic goal may be to meet and speak to at least 3 attorneys you don’t know and to make a connection. 

*Prepare and practice an “elevator speech” which is 2 minutes of introduction to who you are.  For example ” I am originally from Orlando and would like to practice in the family law field. . .”  Also prepare questions you may ask potential contacts, like “are there any organizations you would advise me to join in order to get to know family law attorneys?” Or “how did you decide to practice personal injury law?”.

*Place your legible nametag on your right and high up so it is easily read by your contacts.

*Write hints on business cards about who they are or what you talked about.

*Keep circulating to people you do not know.  If you are having a particularly good conversation with a contact, suggest a follow-up meeting or lunch.

*Follow up in order to build and nurture these new relationships, whether that be connecting on Linkedin, scheduling a future meeting, or writing a thank you note to a contact who spent a little more time with you.

Building Professional Relationships

Many law students don’t realize that they are building their professional networks and forming relationships during law school that will aid in their client development as they progress in their careers.  Building these relationships now and keeping in touch with classmates, will result in business referrals down the road.

Not only are you building referral sources, but your classmates may become a sounding board to bounce ideas off in the future during your legal career.  Building these professional friendships is one thing, but these relationships must be nurtured as well.  Linkedin is a great professional networking site to keep these contacts current and can help you stay in touch with classmates, professors, and all the contacts you make throughout your career.

Your Linkedin Profile

 Image Copyright LinkedIn

Allison Doyle writing for About.com speaks to the importance of your Linkedin profile and how it can help you look for jobs and how employers are finding you.

The Importance of Your LinkedIn Profile

One of the most important parts of LinkedIn is your profile. That’s what you use to connect with people in your network and your profile is how you get found on LinkedIn by potential employers. In addition, your LinkedIn profile can increase your visibility online and anyone looking for information about you will find everything they need to know at a glance – your skills, your employment information, your recommendations, etc.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and detailed. In fact, you can consider your LinkedIn profile your online resume. It should have the same information that is on your resume and, if you’re looking for a new job, you will want prospective employers to be able to review your credentials for employment, including your qualifications, your experience, and your skills.

How to Use Your LinkedIn Profile as a Job Search Tool

  • Create a Profile. Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn, including employment (current and past), education, and industry. Review your resume and copy/paste the relevant information into your profile. If you are currently unemployed list your current position as “Open to opportunities.”
  • Add a Photo. You can add a photo (a headshot is recommended or upload a larger photo and edit it) to your LinkedIn profile. Note that it must be a small photo – no larger than 80×80 pixels.
  • Professional Summary. The Professional Summary section of your profile is a good way to highlight your experience. Select an Industry, because recruiters and firms often use that field to search. Don’t forget the Headline, because that’s right at the top of the page when someone views your profile.
  • Keywords and Skills. Include all the keywords and skills from your resume in your profile. That will make it easier for your profile to be found in search results.
  • Contact Settings. Your contact settings let your connections (and firms) know what you’re available for. Options include: career opportunities, consulting offers, new ventures, job inquiries, reference requests. Even if you’re not actively seeking a new job, it’s beneficial to be flexible about your interests, because you never know when a good opportunity might come along.
  • Links. The links section of your profile is a good way to provide even more information to potential employers and to your contacts.
  • Public Profile URL. Don’t forget to make your profile public – that’s how the world can find it. Also, customizing your URL will give you a link that’s easy to share.
  • Create a Signature. Create a LinkedIn signature to use in your email. That’s another way to increase the visibility of your profile.
  • Update Your Profile. Don’t forget to update your profile when you change positions or companies. Your profile should be current and up-to-date.
  • Grow Your Network. Connect with other members and build your network. The more connections you have, the more opportunities you have, but don’t randomly connect with people you don’t know. All that does is annoy them – you won’t gain anything by attempting to connect with someone who never heard of you.
  • Get Recommendations. To a potential employer, a LinkedIn recommendation is a reference in advance.
  • Use LinkedIn to Job Search. Use LinkedIn as part of your job search strategy – it will help expedite your job search.

After the Interview. . .

You stressed about it, you practiced, you dressed appropriately.  The interview is over–what should you do now? 

**Thank You Notes:     You should always send thank you notes, preferably within 24 hours of your interview.  Email is fine, but if possible, a handwritten missive, on personalized stationery should be sent.  Your note should be short, with no typos, and should re-emphasize your interest in the position and why you are the ideal candidate.  You may reference something you discussed during the interivew or mention something of interest to the interviewer.

**Follow Up:     This is touchy with no bright line rule–too much follow up, and you look like a stalker.  Not enough and you run the risk they may forget you.  A polite email two weeks after the interview is appropriate, if you haven’t heard back from them.  You can inquire about the status of the position and that you are still interested and available.  After a month with no word, you should not give up–employers are busy with their caseloads and they may still be interviewing.

**Follow Up after an Informational Meeting:     This is different than an interview as you met with someone for advice and guidance, not to ask them for a job.  But, in this instance, you never know who may have a job opening later, or may recommend you to others, so it is crucial to follow up and stay in touch.  Firstly, it is important to send a thank you note right away, not unlike after an interview.  Then, perhaps monthly, you can check in with the attorney with any news you may have (an award, graduation, great bar results) or a link about a subject that may be of interest to them.  It never hurts to remind people that you are looking for a job.

CFAWL Networking Event May 18th!

Florida Coastal School of Law students are invited to reserve their spot now for CFAWL’s upcoming program on professional progress for students and young professionals.  This event, Developing Distinction in Women: Progressing as a Professional, Networking, and Staying Safe, Healthy and Sane Along the Way, will be limited to just 100 attendees.  Co-hosted by the Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers (CFAWL) and the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), this event will provide students with a unique opportunity to learn about important tools essential to progressing as a professional, as well as the opportunity to network with powerful women in law and among different disciplines across various fields in Central Florida.   The program will feature key speakers and “how-to’s” on professional development and networking, plus interactive workshops on health, safety and mental health for today’s young professional women.  Speakers will include local judges and commissioners, as well as leading professionals in medicine, education and law enforcement.  This event will take place on Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the OCBA Offices (880 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801) Breakfast will be served.  There is no cost to attend this event, but seating is limited.  To RSVP, please click here

Alumni Weekend April 19-20!

The Florida Coastal Alumni Association invites you to save the date for Alumni Weekend 2013 on April 19-20

Alumni from across the country will be back on campus to reconnect with each other, participate in CLE courses, tour the school and meet our students.   Don’t be left out!  Come take advantage of the CLE courses offered on Friday, April 19 hosted by Natalie Tuttle, Sarah Sullivan, Rod Sullivan and graduates Renee Maxey and Christine Bell.  Visit the Alumni Weekend homepage for more information or to register online.

We hope to see you next month!

Southeastern Minority Job Fair

 

Registration for SEMJF began on April 3, 2013 and will end on April 19, 2013. Registration is FREE! Students will be able to register in the Atrium during Coffee Wednesdays, on Symplicity, or by email. To register via email contact Amber Williams at arwilliams@fcsl.edu.

Job Fair Details

 When:            Friday, July 26 & Saturday, July 27, 2013

Where:           Hyatt Regency Suites Perimeter Northwest in Marietta, Georgia

 Log on to http://www.semjf.org/Home_Page.html to learn more about the job fair. Should you have additional questions, feel free to contact Amber Williams at arwilliams@fcsl.edu

Come Network at the JaxBar’s Monthly Luncheon!

The next Jacksonville Bar Association’s monthly luncheon will be on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at noon at the Hyatt Downtown, 225 E. Coastline Dr.  The program this month features Terence C. “Terry” Coonan, who is the executive director of Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. He leads the multidisciplinary center’s efforts to educate and train a new generation of human rights advocates, track human rights issues and serve as an advocate for human rights nationally and internationally. Professor Coonan has served as the Managing Editor of the Human Rights Quarterly. He also has worked at the Department of Justice in the Executive Office of Immigration Review, litigated asylum and immigration cases nationwide, and has worked on various United Nations human rights projects.

To attend, email cortiz@jaxbar.org to make a reservation.  Be sure to mention that you are a student and whether you are a Bar Association Member.  If you aren’t a member, request to attend as a guest and simply pay for your meal, but remember, joining the Jacksonville Bar Association as a Student Member is only $25 a year and entitles you to attend all luncheons and many other events for free.

 RSVP deadline:  1:00 p.m., Monday, March 4, 2013
JBA Member $ 0.00
Non-Member $ 40.00