Thursday, January 31, 2013

Landing the Job: Top 5 Ways to Spend Your Spring Break

by Kristen Pavón

Spring break is right around the corner and while most students will be relaxing it up on the beach or lounging around in their PJs, you should take this time to intensify your job search. Sure, it’s not the ideal way to spend your week off, but your efforts will pay off.

1. Meet with contacts!
Set up lunch or coffee meetings with former employers, professors and colleagues. You never know where your next job lead may be hiding. Also, always remember to ask your contact for 2-3 other people that can reach out to.

2. Shadow attorneys.
Spend the week shadowing a local attorney in a field you’re interested in. Of course, call ahead to see if shadowing is possible.

See full article here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Use Twitter As A Job Search Tool

When I suggest using Twitter as a job search tool, I often get blank stares and responses such as, “Twitter, really? I’m not into the whole tweeting thing.” The good news is you don’t have to be. You can be an observant follower and still reap many benefits. Twitter gives you free information about people, organizations, and job listings.

Start To Follow People And Organizations

Following someone on Twitter simply means receiving their posts which are called “tweets.” Every time the person posts a new message, it appears on your home page in real time. To start the process, use the search function to find people or organizations you want to follow. Once you find them, click on the follow button and you will begin instantly receiving their updates. The best part about Twitter is that you don’t need to get the person’s permission. Anyone on Twitter can follow any person or organization.

Who Do You Follow?

Begin by following organizations you are interested in pursuing. Next, follow employees in your target companies. The information you will receive will be valuable in helping you research the culture and mission of an organization.

See full article here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Make Your Body Language Work for You During an Interview

You've been practicing what to say at an interview, but have you considered what signals your body language is sending? Research suggests up to 93 percent of communication isn't transmitted via our words, but is broadcast through our actions and attitude.

Patti Wood, author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, suggests the following tips to help you wow your interviewer:

Palm-to-palm contact is key. Wood explains: "My research suggests that palm contact is more important than how firm your grip is … If someone shakes hands with you and gives you just her fingers and not her full palm, at a subconscious level you may think, 'What is she hiding? What is she keeping from me?'" Evaluate the all-important handshake and worry less about if you have a firm enough grip and more about extending your entire hand and palm when you greet someone.

How to sit. Don't make yourself smaller in stature. Appear brave by keeping your body open. Wood notes: "Keep your arms away from your body, legs uncrossed, and shoulders down and back."
Also take note of how you sit. Wood adds: "Research says that women perch, sitting on the edge of the seat, arching their backs, while men tend to slouch, relying more on the backrest. Perching the entire time makes you look less powerful. Vary your position, use lots of space, and put your arms on the armrest to look confident." When you position yourself effectively, you'll appear confident, vital, and energetic.

See full article here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

5 Ways to Ruin Your Chances of Getting the Job


With more than 12 million Americans still unemployed and many overworked professionals contemplating the pursuit of greener pastures, it’s easy to see why competition for jobs is fierce in most industries.

Hiring managers and human resource professionals are looking for the best of the best within the resumes they receive and the interviews they conduct. Unfortunately, there are many opportunities for job seekers to go awry. If you’d like to avoid an extended unpaid vacation from the workforce, steer clear of these five ways to run your chances of getting the job.

1. Submit a sloppy cover letter and resume
Employers are looking for go-getters, not candidates who put in minimal effort. So don’t submit a generic cover letter and resume unless you want yours to be among the first in the trash. Customize each piece you send for the company and position. This may mean reworking your goals, rewording your accomplishments or even using different references. Then check and double-check your documents for spelling errors, punctuation issues and problems with grammar. Don’t rely on the spellchecker in Word either—it doesn’t always catch what another pair of eyes will, so solicit help from a well-read friend or relative.

2. Air your dirty laundry online
Hiring managers will Google you and look you up on Facebook. When they do, what will they find? Check out your Facebook profile as a public user. Just go to your profile page and select “view as” to see exactly what the hiring manager will see. For best results, change your privacy settings to “friends only” to keep the majority of your posts and photos private. If you Google your name and find inappropriate photos of yourself on other websites, request their removal. And avoid political or religious rants within the comments you post on any discussion boards or blogs.

See full article here.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 Things Every Employer Wants to Hear in an Interview


Ever wonder what a potential boss wants to hear in an interview? What exactly can you say that will increase your chances of receiving a job offer? I recently heard some great advice that lined up with my previous experience as a human resources manager, and so I thought I would share this great advice with you! Here are five things to communicate during an interview that will convince the employer you’re a great hire.

1. You will never have to tell me what to do twice. Every employer wants to know they can give you instructions once—and you’ll get the job done. I guarantee you that no employer wants to micromanage or ask an employee more than once to do something—no matter what it is.

2. I will complete the job/assignment you give me with excellence. The employer wants to hear that, no matter what, you are going to make it happen—that you’re going to get the job done and do it to the best of your ability.

See full article here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Frequently Asked Judicial Clerkship Interview Questions

The Most Frequently Asked Questions:

·    Why do you want to clerk?

·    Why do you want to clerk for this court?

·    What do you hope to get out of clerking?

·    What are your career plans?

·    How does clerking play into your career plans/ambitions?

·    What do you have to contribute to chambers?

Other Questions about Clerking:

·    Why did you apply to me specifically?

·    How did you choose the judges that you applied to?

·    What would you do if you found that you disagreed with me on a case?

·    Would it bother you to work for a judge with whose judicial philosophy you did not agree?
     ·     Political leanings?

·    Do you consider yourself a strong legal writer?

·    How have you honed your legal research skills in law school?

Personality Fit Questions:

·    What do you consider your greatest weakness? Strength?

·    What do you like to do with your free time?

·    What is your favorite movie?

·    What is the last book you read?

·    How would you describe yourself?

·    What do you feel is most important in choosing a place to live?

School Questions:

·    Why did you go to law school?

·    What was your favorite class?

·    What was your least favorite class?

·    Who was your favorite professor?
·    What is the most important thing you have learned in law school?  How will it help you in your professional career?

·    What areas of the law do you find most interesting?

·    Have you/do you plan to write a note?

·    How much criminal law have you had?

Work Questions:

·    What sort of work did you do during your summer internship?

·    What is the most important thing you learned there?

·    What are your 10-year career plan?

·    In what area of the country are you interested in practicing?

·    What public service you have done?

·         How would you describe your work style?

Legal Questions (these are the least common types of questions):

·    Have you read any of my opinions?  Which ones?

·    From a judicial standpoint, how do you feel about the death penalty?

·    What do you think about judicial activism?

·    What do you think the constitution intends as the role of Article 3 judges?

·    How would you describe federal jurisdiction to someone who doesn’t know about it?

·    Which justice’s legal style do you most admire?

Friday, January 11, 2013

6 steps to jump-start a spring job search

by Susan Gainen
The beginning of Spring Semester is the right time to jump-start your job search. Here are six step to help you begin.

1. Check your tool box

Critical tools for a 21stcentury job search are:
  • Electronic and paper resume. at least one version, more if you are approaching multiple types of employers.
  • Spreadsheet of networking contacts. Review your networking efforts from last semester. Be prepared to re-connect with old contacts and to develop new ones.
  • LinkedIn profile, Facebook, and blog posts. Update your LinkedIn profile with new accomplishments. Scrub your Facebook page and blog of anything that could come between you and a job that you might want. Yes, I know that in some places employers cannot ask for passwords, but they make judgments about items that are forwarded or that come up on Google searches.

2. Check in with career services.

While you frolicked during Winter Break, your career services professionals were hard at work doing research, making connections, and developing new avenues for you to pursue. (Yes, even if your law school was closed.)

See full article here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tip of the Day: Email and Letter Salutations

When emailing or sending a letter for the first time or to someone you don't know well, here are a few pointers to make sure you make a good impression.


  • Spell their name correctly; double check

  • If they have a gender-neutral name, do a little research to find out if they are male or female; make sure your pronouns match their gender; when in doubt, ask someone

  • When the person is in a position of authority and you are asking for something (especially the first time), don't be too casual

  • Use "Dear," not "Hi," "Hello," "Hey," etc.

  • Address the person as "Mr." or "Ms.," "Judge," "Professor," "Dean," etc.  Do not use "Mrs."

  • Don't use their first name and their last name in the salutation, ie. "Dear John Smith," or "John Smith"

  • A comma is appropriate after the salutation, ie. "Dear Mr. Smith,"

  • If your relationship progresses to the point that you can call the person by their first name, check and double check the spelling

  • Letters are inherently more formal, use, "Dear Ms. Jones," "Dear Professor Anderson," "Dear Judge Black"
  • Use a colon following the salutation, ie. "Dear Mr. Smith:"

For additional examples, see the Career Services Office Guide to Professional Development>Chapter 8>Sample Cover Letters

and Sample Cover Email

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Some Big Firms Using Social Media in Recruiting

In your quest to find a job, don't forget to check Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, search for Blogs, etc. for firms and organizations you are interested in working for.  They can be a great resource.

In addition to using them for recruiting, many attorneys are using these forms of social media to tweet and blog about their areas of interest.  You could follow them as well as the organization they work for.

Here is a small sample of some firms using social media in recruiting:

Cooley’s Recruiting Twitter Account. Last summer, Cooley launched a dedicated recruiting Twitter account, @CooleyCareers, and shares information about job postings, law school recruiting initiatives, and associate outings.

DLA Piper’s Summer Associate Blog. Last summer, DLA Piper launched DLA Piper Summer 2012, a blog focusing on its 2012 Summer Associates. Select Summer Associates posted about their experience working at DLA.

WilmerHale’s Careers Facebook Account. WilmerHale has Facebook page dedicated to its recruiting department, WilmerHale Careers, but hasn’t posted since May 2011.

WilmerHale’s Summer Associate & Associate Blogs. WilmerHale also maintains two blogs–one for its Summer Associates and one for Associates. Select Summer Associates and Associates post about their experiences as a Summer Associate or Associate at WilmerHale.

Waller. Waller maintains a blog devoted to young lawyers, Young Lawyers Blog, and a corresponding Twitter account, @wlansden.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Common Interview Questions for Summer Clerk Positions

  1. What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives? When and why did you establish these goals, and how are you preparing yourself to achieve them?
  2. Where do you see yourself three/five/ten years from now?
  3. How would you describe yourself?
  4. What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be a successful attorney?
  5. What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
  6. What area(s) are you most interested in?
  7. What three things are most important to you in a job?
  8. In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
  9. Do you have a geographical preference and, if so, why?
  10. Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which our firm is located?
  11. What do you know about our firm?
  12. Why did you decide to seek a position with our firm?
  13. Why should I hire you? How can you make a contribution to our firm?
  14. What are your three main strengths? What are your three main weaknesses?
  15. Why did you go to law school?
  16. What law school courses have you liked most/least? Why?
  17. Are your grades an accurate indication of your talent/potential? Why/Why not?
  18. Why did you choose your law school?
  19. What have you learned from your participation in Law Review/Moot Court/Law Journal/Trial Advocacy/paid Law Clerk positions/Externship/volunteer work experience?
  20. How has your law school experience prepared you to work here?
  21. Have you interviewed with other firms? If so, where?
  22. Do you have other current job offers? If so, where?
  23. What do you like to do in your spare time?
  24. If you were going to do something other than practice law, what would you do? Why?
  25. Do you have questions about my firm that I can answer for you today? (Remember, the answer should never be "No.")