Tag Archives: 1L


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.

Clearwater/Pinellas County Networking Opportunity

If you are interested in practicing in the Clearwater/Pinellas County area and want to network and meet potential employers, colleagues and judges, Coastal students have been invited to participate in the 74th Annual Clearwater Bar Oyster Roast as a student volunteer. 

The Oyster Roast is an event held annually by the Clearwater Bar Association where local attorneys and judges put aside the adversarial process, “kick off their shoes,” and enjoy food and drinks from local vendors.  In addition to being a great time, it can be a unique opportunity for law students to socialize with practicing attorneys and judges.

This year, as they have in the past, they are inviting law students to attend for FREE (yes, free!) if they assist with the cleanup process.  There are a limited number of volunteer spots available, so if this is something that you or your organization is interested in participating in, please contact nick@lawyergriffin.com or ryanbresler@tanneygriffithlaw.com as quickly as possible. as the volunteer spots will be given out on a first-come first-serve basis.  Please include the following in your email.

  1. Name, address, and phone number;
  2. Your law school;
  3. Are you a student-member of the Clearwater Bar?  (We encourage all student-volunteers to sign up for the Clearwater bar Association.  There are no membership fees for student-members and this is a terrific way to connect with the local legal community)
  4. Are you available for cleanup on
    1. the night of the Oyster Roast (Saturday, March 23, 2013);
    2. the morning after the Oyster Roast (Sunday, March 24, 2013); or
    3. Both?

They ask that you only offer to volunteer for time slots if you are genuinely able to attend, as they will be depending on your help.

Join the Networking Club!

Did you know that over 80% of law students obtain their first post-graduate position through networking contacts?

 The Career Services Department recognizes how critical networking is to your success, and to foster your networking abilities, we have launched a networking initiative targeting three key markets – Orlando, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.  The program will meet monthly throughout the year to cultivate your networking skills, and you will receive invaluable guidance from career service counselors, as wells as other students, as you work together to prepare a network of contacts in your target market.  These efforts will culminate with a networking trip to each city to attend an event sponsored by the Career Services Department with the local bar association.  Students who participated in the Networking Clubs last year gained confidence in their networking abilities and learned how to translate those skills into legal experience and job opportunities

Please join us for the next Networking Club Meeting Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. in Room 400.  Our networking clubs include students interested in developing practices in Atlanta, Orlando or Washington D.C., but the skills we are learning and discussing would benefit all students.  Next week’s meeting will focus on Informational Meetings–What they are, how to land them, and how to prepare for them.  Please plan on attending and bring a friend!

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.

On Campus Interviews!

We have several new and exciting OCI opportunities available for you on Symplicity now with application deadlines fast approaching! Many of the positions are PAID spring clerkships with local firms, which will allow you to gain valuable legal experience while building your resume.  We strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors on Symplicity or by calling us at 680-7744 to review your application materials prior to applying to any OCI. Your appointment should take place at least 48 hours prior to the application deadline date so that you have time to edit your documents before applying. Complete details about each position can be found under the OCI tab in Symplicity.

Update Your Resume!

The dawn of the new year may be a good time to pull our your resume, update it with any legal job experiences, and polish it up so that it is readily available as soon as you find a job opportunity for which you might want to apply.  To ensure it is in final form, follow this checklist:

1.  Review the resume samples in the Career Services Handbook under the “Application Materials” tab.  Don’t have an updated Handbook?  Come by our office to pick up one or see us in the atrium each Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Grab a free cup of coffee while you are there.

2.  Check your heading.  Is your name more noticeable than anything else on the page?  This requires the right balance of font and size.  If you are unsure, run it by your Career Counselor.  Don’t have one?  Make an appointment by calling our office at 680-7744 or request an appointment online.

3.  Check your font.  It should be either 11 points or 12 points, and the style should be either Times Roman or Garamond.  Use the same font throughout the entire document.

4.  NEVER put your picture on your resume.  (Yes, there actually are some students who do this.)

5.  Proof for typos and spelling by reading the document backwards from the bottom of the page up.  This keeps your eye from automatically filling in what it thinks it should see when you read phrases or sentences.  By reading backwards, the focus will be on each individual word.

6.  Do your descriptions of your work experience convey the specific skills your utilized and list examples?  The most specific you can be, the better.  For example, list types of motions you prepared rather than simply stating that you prepared motions.  It is more impressive to state that you prepared motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and motions in limine.

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.