Thursday, July 29, 2010

OCI Deadline Reminder

Remember, the deadline for submitting your application materials for OCIs in Symplicity is 8 a.m., Monday, August 2.  Make sure and look at both 2010 Fall OCIs and 2010 Fall Resume Collects.

If you run into trouble, call or email MariLee Allred for help (801.422.1857).

Monday, July 26, 2010

References vs. Letters of Recommendation


When employers are asking for references, they would like to see a list of two or three people they can contact to find more out about you. It's common to include 2 employers and 1 personal reference (like a professor). Be sure and notify those you are using as references so if they receive a phone call or email from an employer, they will be prepared.

You will use the same heading you used on your resume and then list the contacts in block format:

John Smith, Associate
Smith Hartvigsen
1111 Main St., Suite 101
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Once you have that document put together, you then will upload it in Symplicity like you would your resume or transcript. Go to the "documents" tab, then "documents;" "add new," give it a good descriptive title such as "Your Name references", then select "other documents" as the document type. Browse for the file and then upload it. Then when you go to the employer under OCI/Job Fairs/Collect Employers, then "review", that document will be available to you to select in the "other document" drop down box under "bid details" on the right hand side. Select your references document and complete the rest of your selections. Make sure to include a bid number and then apply.

Letters of Recommendation

If an employer would like to see letters of recommendation, they will specify that. They will tell you how many they would like to see. Again, it's common to ask for two or three letters. It's common for one to two of them to be from employers and one a personal reference, such as a professor. Sometimes employers will ask that these letters of reference be sent directly to them in a sealed envelope. Others will allow people to email letters of reference. If that circumstance arises, make sure and find out their preference.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bids in Symplicity

So, what's the story with bids?

There's still some confusion surrounding bid numbers, so here's some additional clarification for those who still aren't clear.

Bid numbers are used as a part of the application process in Symplicity. You must enter a bid number for each firm you apply to. It is important to rank your top 4-5 firms by assigning them corresponding bid numbers. (Your top firm, use bid number 1, second firm, use bid number 2, etc.)

Employers never see the bid numbers you assign them, however they are permitted to ask if a student preferred them, meaning assigned them a bid number of 1-4. They are not automatically privy to this information, but have to ask for it. The other numbers don't matter--but to complete the application process, you must include a bid number for every firm you apply to.

If you have any questions about the OCI process, Symplicity, etc., please email, call, or drop by to see MariLee Allred, the On-campus Recruiting Coordinator.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010 Fall Lecture Series - Fridays from 10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.

Announcing the 2010 Fall Lecture Series - here's a preview for our upcoming lectures.  If you are signed up for the class, we'll see you there.  If you are not signed up for the class, but still interested in attending, please feel free to do so (you just won't earn credit).

Aug 27 GOVERNMENT/JUDICIAL, Tom Griffith, Judge, US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, and Former General Counsel for BYU


Sept 10 PRIVATE PRACTICE/LARGE FIRM, Jared Sine, Latham & Watkins

Sept 17 PRIVATE PRACTICE/IMMIGRATION, Barbara Melendez, Kirton & McConkie

Sept 24 JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS, Chief Judge Dee Benson and Magistrate Judge Paul Warner; US District Court, District of Utah

*Sept 30 REGIONAL MEETINGS, Law Society and Alumni Leadership, 11:00 – Noon



Oct 15 GOVERNMENT/PUBLIC INTEREST, Amy Mitchell, Guardian ad Litem

Oct 22 BYU LAW SCHOOL HONORED ALUMNI LECTURE, Annette Jarvis, Dorsey & Whitney

Oct 29 PRIVATE PRACTICE/EMPLOYMENT LAW, Steve Bednar, Partner and Tyson Snow, Associate; Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar

Nov 5 GOVERNMENT/PUBLIC INTEREST, Matt Bates, Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office; Geoffrey Landward, General Counsel, Utah Department of Workforce Services

Nov 12 PRIVATE PRACTICE/BOUTIQUE FIRM, Charles Roberts, Workman Nydegger

Nov 19 NON-TRADITIONAL/SOLO PRACTICE, Nancy Kennedy Major, Major Law Firm, PLLC, formerly Corporate Relations Director, United Way of Utah

Class Policy This course is based on attendance and one assignment. One hundred percent attendance is required; you must make up all missed lectures by listening to the lecture (web wire stream) and emailing your corresponding notes to the CSO secretary at Each student is allowed one unexcused absence (although you must still make up the lecture), but all other absences must be cleared with either Mary Hoagland or Beth Hansen. A short (two page minimum, double spaced, regular margin) reflection paper is due at the end of the semester.

*Note the day and time change.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Building Your Reputation as a Young Lawyer

Michelle Samuels and Shannon K. Stevens
New York Law Journal

If you have a position as a junior associate, you are undoubtedly learning that it brings daily challenges, new learning opportunities and occasional frustration as you journey along the learning curve. As a first-, second- or third-year associate at a law firm, you are being challenged to learn the law in a practical way, bill a set number of hours and impress the junior partners and senior associates who determine your workload.

Equally important to those lawyering skills is creating, and maintaining, a solid public reputation. A what? Yes, even as a junior associate, you are still wholly responsible for marketing and building up the credentials of you, the trusted and skilled attorney. In today's tenuous economic times and competitive climate, attorneys need to have more than just client relationships and legal skills; they must have good reputations amongst their audiences to succeed.

A public reputation can't be built in a day. Stellar attorney reputations are built step by step, a little at a time, through a collaborative effort by peers, clients, reporters and you. If built correctly, your public reputation will expand your client and referral network, increase your visibility and stature among colleagues, and even cause reporters to stop and say, "This is an attorney to keep our eyes on."

So what exactly goes into developing your public reputation? As we've mentioned, it is no longer framed by one single method of communication. There are a number of ways you can get started on your path to reputation management:

Get Firm Approval

Before you try to call The Wall Street Journal to introduce yourself, you will need to check with your group head and marketing director for your firm's policy for associate media relations and marketing activity. Some law firms encourage public relations activity for associates. Others don't (although they should).

And while some firms will introduce you to a marketing staff member who will help you craft a detailed, action-oriented plan to work from, others may just recommend that you work with a partner or mentor to come up with a plan.

Either method is fine. The key point to remember is that your public reputation is yours for the taking, no matter your firm or its policy. Tailor your personal public reputation plan to your firm's policy, but by all means, don't abandon the plan.

Seek Out Role Models and Ask if You Can Help

As you work with partners, watch how they do marketing, not just lawyering. If you look closely, you'll learn a lot about different attorney marketing styles and approaches to media outreach. Observe how articles are written, interviews take place and speaking engagements come to fruition. Take cues from how attorneys work with the firm's internal and external marketing folks.

Sometimes assisting a partner with his or her marketing efforts is the easiest way to get started. Partners frequently need help writing articles and it is always impressive to share a byline with a prominent partner.

In some firms, researching and co-authoring a bylined article for a trade publication may be the only marketing tactic allowed for associates. If so, ask if a partner you work with is interested in writing an article, and offer to help with the research and writing. And if you have an idea for an article, don't keep it to yourself. Run it by your group head and check online to find out which publication may be a good fit for the topic. Many legal and trade publications welcome associate-written articles, while others require a partner on the byline. If the latter, ask a partner if she'd like to share a byline for the article. And remember to always run the final article by your group head before submitting it for publication.

What is true for writing articles is also true for speaking engagements. Attorneys are often pressed for time and welcome the offer of help to prepare for a presentation by doing research or creating PowerPoint slides. While this may not result in getting your name in print, it will give you an opportunity to show your skills to the partner, and provide you with insight into how such presentations come to fruition, whether they play a key role in the partner's rainmaking efforts, and their direct impact on the group's client work.

Market Yourself Internally

Your public reputation as an associate is most critically shaped by how you are perceived by colleagues. If you are the attorney who always eats lunch at his desk, only attends mandatory group or firm functions, and shuns all marketing efforts, then your public reputation will reflect that.

Instead, make it a point to attend practice group luncheons or meetings, and even offer to prepare a brief presentation on something you've been working on that would be relevant and of interest to your colleagues. This often leads to colleagues viewing you as an expert on a particular topic and may result in more work with other practice areas and greater exposure within the firm.

Also volunteer for work assignments in and out of your practice area. View them as a way to enhance your public reputation in addition to your legal skills. Further, ask if you may sit in on marketing and business development meetings. Offer to be the group "secretary" and scribe notes to add value and get invited back. This shows your interest right from the start and gives you a first-hand look at how marketing works on a groupwide or firmwide level.

Flaunt Your Youth

While most lists and rankings tend to showcase the partners and senior members of your firm, your age can actually serve you well with particular rankings. With "Forty Under 40" and "Rising Stars" lists, you can demonstrate your casework and expertise in a specific area. Aside from rankings, stay active in your undergraduate and law school alumni associations. Inquire about writing articles for your alumni publications, as that exposure gives both you and your firm more recognition.

Join Associations

Your local bar association and Chamber of Commerce, the American Bar Association (which has a Young Lawyers Division), and trade groups can provide exceptional networking opportunities. Looking ahead just a few years, you will be expected to bring in business as a senior associate, so it makes sense to start by building your network now.

Consider leadership roles or volunteer for a committee in the organizations you deem effective for professional growth and networking. As important as online networking may be (and you'll see just how crucial it is below), it is no substitute for face-to-face time.

Network Online

Web 2.0 and social networking are probably already part of your everyday lives. Your expertise in social media and networking online gives you a leg up that you can use to your advantage, and may even allow you to assist partners in better understanding the ever-evolving social media landscape.

Offer yourself as a champion of the Web 2.0 world, but be sure to first check with your firm's marketing department, as most law firms now have a social media policy that you'll need to abide by. If allowed, use sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter to cultivate and create new relationships. Establish your own voice by starting discussions, asking questions and responding to inquiries, so that when the time comes for business development initiatives, you'll be ahead of the curve.

Join the Online Dialogue

If your firm has its own website and/or specialized blogs, find out from the marketing department if any policies exist in relation to blogging. Blogs require constant content and many partners simply do not have the time to contribute on a regular basis. If you can work with the marketing department or marketing partner, you can develop a method for blogging that enables you to represent the firm, establish yourself as a knowledgeable source and, of course, better position the firm as it moves further into the Web 2.0 world.

Make Your Voice Heard

A host of new opportunities in the speaking arena exists for associates. Aside from offering to help a partner with a presentation for an upcoming event, there are now webinars, audio conferences, virtual panels and smaller in-person conferences to consider. These days, you can reach an audience of influencers and potential decision makers without even having to leave your office. Opportunities like these are the perfect way to practice and better hone your speaking skills. Additionally, it helps to attend industry conferences and, as the saying goes, watch and learn.

The sooner you begin thinking about your career in terms of "reputation management," the more poised you will be for success as a partner. It may seem a bit daunting at first, but if associate marketing is permitted at your firm, try implementing some of the above suggestions one step at a time.

Each action, if done effectively, will strengthen the position of the law firm and position you, the associate, as a contributor to the firm's future growth and overall positioning by promoting and showcasing its diversity and depth, its practice areas and its attorneys.

Michelle Samuels and Shannon K. Stevens are account supervisors at Jaffe PR, both based in New York.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Turn Stress Into Success

By Joe Bucher, career counselor at San Jose State University

In the last few weeks, I have seen some pretty stressed students. Typically, these students have been looking for work for some time.

It can be uniquely challenging when you are looking for work in the current economic climate.

One of the unspoken aspects of the job search is the internal process you deal with to manage your emotions. When I say “manage your emotions”, I am not saying you should ignore or suppress feelings of anxiety. I think it’s best to recognize increased stress, acknowledge it, and take proactive steps to relieve that stress.

Here are 3 ways to actively manage your stress during a job search:

1. Recognize the signs of stress

It is normal to be stressed during a job search- it’s one of life’s biggest causes of stress.

During your job search you will experience highs and lows, and it can feel like a roller coaster. Part of actively managing your stress is learning how to identify the signs. It is important to be aware of how you experience stress because it can affect your performance and more importantly how you are perceived.

Usually there are four areas where we manifest our stress:

Thoughts-Feelings of worthlessness, worry, fear, feeling incompetent or “broken”.
Feelings/moods- You may feel frustrated, angry, annoyed, overwhelmed, scared, sad or even tired.
Actions/behaviors- Instead of focusing on your job search you may want to quit, sleep, isolate yourself, start arguments, or try to work even harder.
Physical sensations- Recognize that if you are constantly hungry, tired, having head aches, having difficulty sleeping, sleeping too much, or having muscle tension that you may be experiencing stress.

Thoughts, mood, and physical sensations can be difficult to address directly at times. It is usually easiest for people to focus on their actions and behaviors because these are the areas where you have the most influence. The next time you recognize what’s causing your stress, think about it from the standpoint of your actions or behaviors and see what you can change.

2. Have a plan

Planning your job search is critical, especially since the job search is not an intuitive process for most people.

It may be wise to have a professional career counselor or someone you trust to help you set up a plan. Once you set up a plan, it makes sense to stick with it for a given amount of time so that you allow yourself the opportunity to move through the process. Your plan will come into place especially when you start to feel stressed; think of the plan as fallback for you when you start to experience the “lows” of the job search.

Three ways to execute your plan are:

Have a schedule-Schedule daily or even weekly goals for yourself and treat the search like a job. This could include targeting a certain number of applications per week or making sure to set aside time in the morning to do your networking outreach.

Communicate with others- The Student Branding blog has numerous posts on networking- here and here are a few examples. Why? Because roughly 80% of jobs are filled that way. You are working uphill if you choose to look for work online only.

Find a way to organize-You need to keep track of what jobs you’ve applied for, when, what resume you used, who your contact person is, and when you followed-up. Whether you are someone who likes to organize via paper, online, or even on your smart phone-find a system that works to your strengths.

3. Be realistic

The job search is a process that takes time, much effort, and even a little bit of luck.

You are not totally in control of a job search, which can be frustrating. This might not be what you would expect to hear, but it is important to understand the aspects of the job search that are in your control and the aspects that aren’t.

For instance, you can NOT control:

  • What types of jobs are available
  • How long it will take to get a job
  • Getting call backs
  • Your competition
What you can control is:
  • Your plan
  • Your networking efforts
  • Your schedule
  • How you relieve stress
When you have a plan of action, a support group and an understanding of what you can and cannot control, you can help to alleviate some of the stress in your job search.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Did You Know . . . .?

Did you know that on the CSO webpage, there is a list of employers who are participating in on- and off- campus events along with dates they'll be here and hotlinks to their NALP forms?  If you are looking for a quick overview to hiring events, that's a good place to begin.

There are also links to the NALP travel expense form (which you may be asked to fill out if a firm flies you out for a callback) and NALP's open letter to law students that outlines hiring procedures you need to adhere to.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Government Legal Positions

If you are interested in working in a government position, remember, up to 50% of all government jobs are NOT posted on large job boards such as  In addition to checking the large job boards, make sure and visit the websites for each individual agency for job listings as well. 

Where can you find a comprehensive list of different government agencies?
Check Arizona's Government Honors and Internship Program Handbook at:

You'll need the username and password from your All You Will Ever Need to Know quick reference card.  If you don't have one you can drop by the office and pick one up from the secretary, email  or call 801.422.3685 to get the username and password.

For additional resources on government websites, see the 2L, 3L handbook you were given at the beginning of the year (white binder titled, "Professional Development Materials"), or come by the CSO for a copy of that section.

If you'd like to speak to a career counselor about government or other public interest positions, please make an appointment with MariLee Allred, who specializes in those areas.