Tag Archives: Alumni

Alumni

Resume Workshop–February 14th

 

Is Your Resume Flawless?  Are You Sure? Join the Career Services Department on Thursday, February 14th at Noon in Room 455 for a Resume Workshop. CSD Counselor Ray Adams will review what makes a legal resume stand out and how to get noticed (in a good way) among the sea of applicants! 

 

Stay a step ahead of your competition and learn some new tips. Even if you think your resume is perfect, a quick refresher is always a great idea!  Make sure to bring your computer to work on your resume while you learn!

 

Pizza and refreshments will be served. RSVP through Symplicity or First Semester 1Ls can send an e-mail to careerservices@fcsl.edu.

 

Consider a Family Law Practice

Most people go to law school because they want to help people, argue in court, or work on sophisticated legal issues.  Most do not belief a family law practice offers that, but they are mistaken.  Helping individuals resolve problems, in contrast to making corporations more money, can be very fulfilling and will show you directly how your legal knowledge and skills can make a difference in someone’s life.  Family law is also a very litigation based practice.  Depending on the jurisdiction you practice in, there should be numerous opportunities to make court appearances, argue motions, or try the whole case, in the event negotiations are not successful.  While many family law cases do not involve sophisticated legal issues, some do, and in those cases, you will be called upon to understand and argue complex business as well as family law issues.  Because you will be dealing directly with people, you will also need a working knowledge of real estate, bankruptcy, will and estates and perhaps even criminal law. 

Because 40 to 50 percent of American marriages end in divorce, long term prospects in this field are excellent.  Family law can and is practiced in every jurisdiction as well.  Family law is not for everybody, but if you want to help people and be in the courtroom, this area may be one for you to consider.

Consider a Tax Law Practice

Tax law deal with the rules, policies and laws that oversee the tax process and can involve charges on estates, property, transactions, income, licenses and more by the government. This area is extremely complex and ever changing, so an attorney practicing in this field must be on top of his game and continually keep up with all the amendments to the tax law.  There are also many entities that are entitled to collect taxes, from the Federal level to the city or township level.  The Federal tax practice has its own court and is a very detailed practice. 

As a tax attorney, you may represent clients in tax disputes or may assist clients to navigate the intricate laws.  If you are interested in this field, you could explore the option of getting your LLM in Taxation, which may give you an edge in your job search.

Consider a Real Estate Practice

Real Estate or Property law covers a lot of ground and often overlaps with Contract Law.  It is regulated by federal and state statutes, as well as common law and encompasses more than just land and structures on that land.  It can also involve interests people may have in the land, the air above the land, drilling rights, or rights to live on the property.

While primarily a transactional field, there may be occasions when a real estate attorney may appear in court to handle zoning disputes or to represent a client threatened with foreclosure, for example.  Of course, attorneys in this field also deal with related issues like landlord-tenant issues, title issues, home loans and foreclosures and more.  It is a very complex area further complicated by inconsistent laws throughout cities and states.

Consider a Bankruptcy Practice

Due to the current market conditions, bankruptcy is one of the hottest legal fields in our nation and is continuing to grow.  Bankruptcy lawyers represent creditors and debtors in financial restructurings, workouts, and bankruptcy cases, therefore the attorney must know the bankruptcy code as well as understanding mergers and acquistitions, corporate and securities, real estate, employment law and regulatory practice.

Bankruptcy is really a hybrid between litigation and transactional practice, so the practitioner should be skilled in both drafting documents as well as being able to argue them successfully.  Writing skills are a necessity for drafting the pleadings, motions, and other documents the bankruptcy attorney will use daily.  Because bankruptcy law is economy driven, now is a great time to find your opportunity in this field.

Interviewers’ Pet Peeves

So, you’ve landed an interview for a position and you want to be prepared.  Make sure, then, to avoid things that may jeopardize your chances. 

1.  Showing up late.  If being late is unavoidable, make sure you call and explain the reason.  Do not, though, run behind due to your lack of planning–it implies you will not be able to make deadlines and is unacceptable to employers.  Plan ahead, figure out where the interview is located and get an early start.

2.  Lack of preparation.  This is the single biggest complaint of interviewers and indicates to them that you may not be ready for the responsibillities of the position.  Make sure you have copies of your resume, have researched the position and the firm, and are dressed appropriately.

3.  Dressing inappropriately or wearing too much perfume/cologne.  Please consult the Career Services Handbook for tips.

4.  The inability to answer multiple questions or failing to answer the question asked.  This is where preparation comes into play–if you have researched and prepared some answers in advance to possible questions, you will not be caught off guard.  If you don’t know the answer, say so, and let them know that you will find out the answer.  With regard to failing to answer the question asked–practice your listening skills and during an interview directly answer the question asked, do not go off on tangents.

5.  Talking too much.  While you are probably nervous, answer the question at hand and then stop unless encouraged by the interviewer to go on.

6.  Lack of eye contact.  Again, everyone understands you are nervous, by you must greet the interviewer with a handshake, a smile, and eye contact.  This eye contact should continue for the duration of the interview.  Practice if you have to.

7.  Not having questions ready to ask the interviewer.  Nothing says lack of interest more than you not having a few well thought out questions ready to ask your interviewer.

Upcoming Webinar

This Thursday, December 20th from 1pm-2pm (EST), the Career Services Department’s Ray Adams will present “Electronic Job Searches, Postings and More!”  This will be the last installment of the 2012 Alumni Webinar series and will focus on different resources you can use in your job search.  The webinar will cover everything from writing firms to job posting websites.  You can register here.

Does Your Resume Need An Update?

Resumes are often a law firm’s first glimpse of you, so it is important to make a great first impression!  For example, it is a myth that your resume must include every single job experience you’ve ever had.  A resume is your opportunity to highlight experiences that are relevant to the job to which you are applying.  As such, you should carefully select jobs which were meaningful and which reflect the skills and abilities needed to perform the position you are seeking.  Including too many experiences can overshadow the more important ones.  Ask yourself what the experience demonstrates about you and whether it is necessary for this position.

Strategic Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

Legal Support Personnel.com has published a list of 10 questions you can ask a possible employer at the end of your interview.  There most likely will not be time to make too many inquiries, but you can utilize these to come up with some of your own.  For example:  You could ask–

“How would you describe the individuals who are successful in this position? What qualities or characteristics distinguish those individuals?”  or

“What are the greatest challenges of this position?”  or even

“At this point, do you have any concerns as to whether I would be a suitable fit for this position? If so, I would like to provide you with additional information that I hope would eliminate any doubt in your mind as to whether I would be an appropriate match for this position. I firmly believe that I am a strong fit and could make a valuable contribution to your team.”

To see the list in its entirety, Click here.

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.