Job posting sites such as Symplicity are fabulous resources. However, contrary to the beliefs of many Millennials, they are not the only or even the best resource for finding legal employment. More than 70% of jobs are NOT advertized on such boards, but rather, are communicated through networking and personal contacts. So if your job search strategy consists solely of checking Symplicity, make an appointment with a counselor today to discuss how you can utilize networking and personal relationships to find employment opportunities.
Millennials are superb at utilizing technology such as the internet or social media in their job searches. However, there is growing concern that Millennials fail to understand the importance of personal communication, whether in person or on the phone. The danger is that “tech savy” Millennials could become “tech dependent.” This is a valid concern since I have seen firsthand with my own students how reluctant they are to conduct informational meetings over the phone or even to make a simple phone call to the local bar association. The next time you are wary of talking with an attorney rather than emailing him or her, remember that there is no substitute for the value of personal interaction. In upcoming blogs, I will highlight some job search strategies for Millennials to overcome this challenge.
In light of the changing legal landscape, many firms are changing their attitudes about traditional partnership models. They are more open to hiring associates on the non-partner track. Non-partner positions are increasingly attractive to firms who are under pressure from their clients to reduce their billing rates. They are a good option for associates because it allows them to obtain meaningful legal experience with a reputable firm and creates more positions in an already tight legal economy. Some non-partner attorneys might choose to remain in such a position long term, while others might use it as a springboard for securing employment with other firms. If you find a firm hiring for the non-partnership track, don’t just pass it over. Consider whether it might be the right fit for you and discuss it with your Career Counselor.
An elevator speech is a sound bite that outlines your professional story. Before you attend a networking function, conduct an informational meeting, or have an interview, you should be able to provide a short elevator speech. To help you prepare one, follow the guidelines I will outline in the upcoming weeks.
Tip #1: Focus on why you want the job and write down every reason. Delete anything that could apply to practically any candidate and focus on personal, unique motivators. If there is something that makes you a good fit for the firm’s culture, be sure to mention it. For example, if the firm likes to hire associates who will stick around and become partner, mention that you are returning home to that locale and that you are excited about establishing your career near your family.
The Solo Practitioner and Small Firm Section of the Atlanta Bar is hosting a Fall Social on Wednesday, October 26th at 5:30 p.m. at First Citizens Bank located at 3300 Cumberland Boulevard, 4th Floor in Atlanta. The cost is $25 to non-section members. The event will feature complimentary beer, wine, & hors d’oeuvres, as well as a live jazz band. If you are interested in finding a law clerk or associate’s position in Atlanta, attend this event to meet more local attorneys! Ask for their cards, then give them a call a couple of days later and ask them questions about the local legal market. Schedule an appointment with a counselor if you would like assistance in preparing for your informational meetings. Register here.
The Dade County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section is sponsoring a Social Networking Event on Thursday, November 10, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Kyma Lounge of the Epic Hotel. The fee is $10 per person, and you may pay at the door. For more information, please e-mail Monica Ospina at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a great opportunity to meet attorneys in the Miami area and to learn more about the local legal community. Remember to ask for cards and to follow up with the attorneys you meet.
To learn more about the Miami area legal community, review the Dade County Bar Association’s monthly newsletter.
The purpose of a thank you note is to express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview and to reinforce why you are the right person for the position. Follow up on any substantive areas you discussed and, when possible, include a reference to a comment from your conversation. For example, if your interviewer mentioned he was working on a huge trial, you might casually wish him success in the upcoming trial.
To enhance your job search, you need to understand the business of law. Read legal publications and target those published in the geographic area in which you wish to practice. Research by speaking with local practitioners and officers in the bar association to learn more about the law firm hiring process. Do your due diligence!
In this age of texts and tweets, it may be tempting to use informal slang or abbreviations in emails. However, email in the legal arena is still a formal means of communication and as such, should reflect proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Always include a subject, a saluation to the person you are addressing, and a closing remark thanking them as appropriate. Remember – no 1 will b ROFL if u send txt style email to prtnr/client.