Job Search Methods for Rising 2Ls & 3Ls

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1 Career Planning & Professional Development School of Law - Camden Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 217 North 5 th Street Camden, NJ Fax: Job Search Methods for Rising 2Ls & 3Ls The vast majority of law students nationally and at Rutgers-Camden do not obtain their 2L summer or their first post-law school job through on-campus interview programs. Most 2Ls and 3Ls find jobs through networking, referrals and by uncovering unadvertised opportunities through targeted mailings. While some students secure jobs in the fall, many 2Ls and 3Ls get offers late in the spring semester; other 3Ls obtain employment after graduating and receiving bar exam results. A survey of Rutgers-Camden law school graduates shows that the most common methods of getting a post-law school job are: 54.55% 10.91% 1.21% 1.21% 4.85% 9.09% 1.21% 3.03% 13.94% 2L summer jobs search methods follow similar patterns. Outlined in the following pages is a suggested plan for an effective job search. However, you are encouraged to meet with your counselor to discuss your individual goals and develop a strategy that best suits your individual needs. The Career Planning Office is open all summer. Evening and phone appointments are also available. 1

2 Job Search Plan for 2Ls & 3Ls 1) Sharpen Your Tools If you have not had your resume reviewed recently or if you have been using a resume/cover letter that is not working for you, it is time to assess the problem and fix it. Career Planning can help you revise and polish your resume and cover letter; all you have to do is ask for help. Along the same lines, if you are getting interviews, but no offers, make an appointment with Career Planning to assess your interview skills and/or to do a mock interview. 2) Build a Professional Community, i.e., Network Networking is the process of establishing relationships with individuals in a position to connect you with the job you want. Networking does require more effort on your part, but it is the single most effective way to land a job. When talking with people, ask for information and more contacts. Take an interest in other people. This will help your visibility and make you memorable. If you are not memorable, your connections will not think of you when opportunities become available. Business connections need nurturing, so keep in touch, even if it is just an or a holiday card. If you join a new pro bono project or have some other new experience, add it to your resume and send it to your contacts. If you ve just read an interesting case or law review article on a topic that might be of interest to a contact, pass it on. 1. Start by identifying possible resource people: classmates, friends, family members, acquaintances, professors, speakers at events, previous employers. A great resource is Rutgers-Camden Law alumni. You can search for Rutgers alumni by going to (click Find a Lawyer or Law Firm ; at the next screen select the location and practice area. Then enter Rutgers into the Law School search field and press search). Once you get the list you can send them an requesting information and advice on your job search or a particular field of practice. Do not ask for a job. If you do, and one is not available, then your conversation ends. Instead, ask alumni how they got their job, who hires entry level lawyers, what are the better places to work and why, what credentials do those employers look for, etc. Set reasonable networking goals. Make one or two contacts each week. Send one or two s per week. Remember that networking is a long-term investment and results might not be immediate. 2. Join Bar Associations (ABA, State Bar, County Bar, Inns of Court). Go to monthly meetings. Offer to volunteer at the check-in table at events. Do not be afraid to let people know you are seeking work. 3. Go to Law School Events. Ask the person coordinating the event for a copy of the guest list. Ask for help with introductions. 4. Go to CLEs and Law School Panels. Talk to people seated near you. Talk to speakers after the event. Send a polite to those you met thanking them for their time, etc. 5. Learn about the practice of law to help you network more effectively. Keep abreast of a couple blogs/websites that target the field in which you wish to practice. Write a paper or 2

3 article about a topic that s relevant to your chosen field of practice, preferably before the end of your 2L year. 3) Identify and Gather Information on Employers in Your Area of Interest Since most job openings are not advertised, use online directories to research a targeted group of employers and send applications to those that did not post a job opening. This is not the same as a mass mailing. Mass mailings rarely pay off. What does pay off is identifying the kind of work you want to do and building a personal connection to targeted employers who offer jobs in that area. Create a chart, spreadsheet, notebook or other tool to use to write down employer names and keep track of contacts for and personal connections to those employers. Show your contacts the employer list and ask them what they think. Check out employer websites. Look at practice areas and profiles of their attorneys to find information of interest or connections (did they go to Rutgers? Same college or university as you? Clerk for the judge you are interning/externing for?) Look for mention of the employer in legal periodicals which you can search via Lexis and Westlaw, or set up a Google news alert. Mention common connections in your cover letter. These connections can increase your chances of getting an interview/job offer. Law Firms & Corporations. Martindale Hubbell (martindale.com) - Extensive directory of law firms and corporate in-house counsel. Use the advanced search option to search for law firms by name, location, practice area and/or firm size. You can also search for lawyers by name, location, practice area and/or law school attended. If you are searching for Rutgers School of Law-Camden alumni, enter Rutgers into the law school search box. Large Law Firms. NALP Directory (nalpdirectory.com) - Directory of the larger law firms in the U.S. Searchable by employer name, location, size, practice area and more. Each employer's listing contains information on salary, number of anticipated hires and class years for which they plan to hire, contact information, pro bono and more. Rutgers students can use the mail merge features to download a spreadsheet of information, but you must access the site through the following link to use this feature for free: Be aware that the NALP directory is not a comprehensive database of all legal employers and contains primarily large law firms and some government organizations. Public Interest & Government. PsLawnet.org Searchable directory of government and public interest organizations. Federal Government. Government Honors & Internship website (linked at the Government section of the Career Planning Website, https://camlaw.rutgers.edu/government) - directory of primarily federal government organizations and corresponding summer and entry level programs. 4) Check Job Listings Check job listings on the websites below, but be aware that only about 20% of all job openings are advertised. Symplicity. Job listings for various types of job openings on the Career Planning webpage https://lawcamden-rutgers-csm.symplicity.com/students (click on job listings). 3

4 BYU Intercollegiate Job Bank. A compilation of job bulletins from law schools across the country https://www.law2.byu.edu/career_services/jobbank/. PSLawnet. Public interest and government positions Government & Public Interest sections of the Career Planning Website. Links to job listing websites https://camlaw.rutgers.edu/government & https://camlaw.rutgers.edu/publicinterest-0. Government Honors & Internship Website. Linked at the Government section of the Career Planning website https://camlaw.rutgers.edu/government. Public Policy Handbook. Linked at the Government section of the Career Planning website https://camlaw.rutgers.edu/government. 5) Consider School Year Positions A school year position is an excellent way to gain legal experience and build your professional network and may even turn into a summer position or a permanent post-graduation job offer. 3Ls should keep in mind that many employers, particularly small and mid-sized law firms and some government agencies, will require candidates to have passed the Bar exam prior to making a hiring decision. Therefore, they may not seek out candidates until the months following the release of Bar exam results. However, these employers often hire school year law clerks, which, in some cases, can turn into permanent positions after Bar results are released. Though most will not characterize a school year position as one that can lead to a permanent position, it is wise to treat all school year positions as a year-long job interview. If nothing at all, a school year position is an excellent way to build your resume and network. Finally, there are far fewer applicants for positions during the school year, so the competition is not as high as it can be for 2L summer and post grad positions. 6) Participate in Job Fairs & Interview Programs There are various jobs fairs throughout the school year which offer opportunities to interview with law firm, government and public interest employers. A list of upcoming job fairs can be found at For questions and information on all job fairs, contact Gwen Tolbert in the Career Planning Office. All job fair application information is ed to students well in advance of deadlines and posted on the website at In addition, each fall Rutgers School Law-Camden hosts a Fall On-Campus Recruiting Program (OCI). Fall On-Campus Recruiting is an interview program in which large (and some mid-sized) law firms, corporations and government agencies interview 2L students for summer and, in some limited cases, 3Ls students for post graduate positions. Most interviews take place on campus in the Career Planning Office. This fall, interviews will begin on August 13 th and will end sometime in September or October. For details on this program see the Fall Recruiting document. During the spring semester, a small number of employers interview students on campus. The Spring On- Campus Recruiting Program is a much smaller program than the fall program. This is because employers who recruit in the spring semester (small and mid-sized firms, public interest and government organizations) generally hire through less formal means and do not typically come to campus to interview students. 4

5 7) Participate in Law School Pro Bono Programs, Clinics & Externships Law school pro bono programs, clinics and externships offer excellent ways to get legal experience and develop professional contacts. For most clinics and externships, you must have completed two-thirds of your legal education and have taken Evidence and Professional Responsibility. For more information on these programs go to 8) Public Interest Students: Apply for Public Interest Fellowships Fellowships provide funding for recent law graduates to work at Public Interest Agencies and are one of the only ways to get an entry-level job at a public interest legal organization. Third year students interested in working for a public interest employer should apply for fellowships in the early fall of your 3L year. However, public interest students should begin developing relationships with potential fellowship sponsoring employers early in law school. The Independence Foundation Fellowships, the Skadden Fellowships and Equal Justice Works Fellowships are three public interest fellowships that are project based and are intended to fulfill a specific purpose over a specified period of time, usually two years. Many public interest agencies interview fellowship candidates in much the same way they would for a permanent position. If selected by an agency, the candidate and the agency collaborate on the preparation of the fellowship application. Applications are generally due early in the fall of your third year. For more information, see You may also contact Eve Klothen, Assistant Dean for Pro Bono and Public Interest Programs, or Rebecca Baehr, Career Planning Specialist. 9) Third Years: Apply for Judicial Clerkships Each year there are more than 400 state judicial clerkships available in NJ alone. In addition, federal judges also hire law clerks, although due to the highly competitive nature of these clerkships, far more students are successful obtaining state clerkships. For detailed clerkship information, please refer to the handouts on state and federal judicial clerkships at https://camlaw.rutgers.edu/judicial-clerkships 5

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