UDSL Job Search Manual

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2 UDSL Job Search Manual Table of Contents Career Services Office Overview Staff... 3 Contact... 3 Office Hours... 3 Student Services... 3 CSO Programs... 3 Career Fairs... 3 On-campus Interviews... 4 Resume Collection Service... 4 Direct Contact Listings... 4 Job Postings... 4 Resources... 4 CSO Publications... 4 Student Files... 4 State Bar Exam Materials... 4 Internships/Writing Competitions... 5 Telephone / Fax / Copier... 5 Computerized Job Searching... 5 Preparing for Your Job Search Career Planning Guide... 7 Job Search Checklist... 8 The Resume Guide Introduction The Basics A Note on Ethics Preparation Resume Content References Writing Samples Resume Samples Interviewing Tips Tips for Successful Interviews...31 Preparation...31 The Interview...33 Closing the Interview...34 Networking Tips Introduction...36 Process...36 Informational Interviews...36 Bar Exam Preparation Glossary of Bar Terms...38 Ohio Bar Exam Information...39 Bar Exam Info for 8 Most Popular States...42 Judicial Clerkships Judicial Clerkship Information...45 Federal Government Jobs Careers in the Federal Government...47 LawMatch Reference Guide LawMatch Reference Guide...50 NALP Guidelines Timing of Offers...52 Cover Letter Writing Introduction Preparation Assessment of Strengths Contents Cover Letter Tips Sample Cover Letters Thank You Letter... 29

3 Career Services Office Overview

4 Staff Tim Swensen Assistant Dean, Director of Career Services Julie Jackson Program Coordinator/Counselor Rita Barney Senior Administrative Assistant Contact Phone: (937) Fax: (937) Website: Office Hours Monday Friday, 8:30 a.m. 4:30 p.m. Student Services Individual Career Counseling schedule a session with Tim or Julie to discuss your job search strategy. Job Search Skills Workshops watch your mailbox or the Opening Statement for a schedule of workshops and programs. Review and critique of resumes and cover letters bring your resume and cover letter to the CSO. Job Vacancy Postings visit the CSO website and LawMatch. Reciprocity Assistance gain access to the Career Services Office at other law schools. Request forms are available in the CSO. CSO Programs We offer a variety of career-oriented programs each year. Examples of these informational programs include: Super Start Saturday Resume and Cover Letter Writing Interviewing Tips Lawyers in Practice Program Judicial Clerkship Panel Ohio Bar Application Workshop Public Interest Law Intellectual Property Law Sports and Entertainment Law Real Estate Law Guest Speakers Career Fairs UDSL participates in a number of career fairs every year. Watch your for more information. Chicago Patent Law Program Chicago, IL (August) Cook County Bar Association Minority Job Fair Chicago, IL (August) Tri-State Diversity Recruiting Program Covington, KY (August) BLSA Midwest Regional Minority Recruitment Conference Cleveland, OH (August) Prosecutorial Symposium Chicago, IL (September) AIPLA Job Fair Washington, D.C. (October) Equal Justice Works Job Fair Washington, D.C. (October) Midwest Public Interest Law Career Conference Chicago, IL (February)

5 On Campus Interviews On campus interviews take place in the fall and spring. We will post an updated list of participating employers on our web site. This information will also be supplied in the CSO Summer Newsletter. Resume Collection Service Many firms and organizations contact us to express an interest in hiring UDSL students. They request that we collect and submit resumes from interested students who meet certain qualifications. The CSO forwards these resumes to the employer in one packet. Our Resume Collection schedule changes frequently throughout the fall. Check the CSO web site or office bulletin boards for an updated list of employers and due dates. Direct Contact Listings Employers notify us in the fall of an interest in UDSL students for summer and permanent jobs and request students forward their resumes directly to the employer. This list changes frequently and the CSO maintains an up-to-date list of participating employers and applicable deadlines on our web page. Job Postings Many area firms, companies, and government agencies contact us throughout the year when they have part-time and full-time job vacancies. We post these vacancies on bulletin boards in the CSO and on our webpage via LawMatch. LawMatch is an online job bank in which UDSL and many other law schools participate. This job bank allows students to search quickly and efficiently for part-time, fulltime, and summer jobs using a password. See the LawMatch Reference Guide at the end of this book for instructions on how to use and register for LawMatch. Resources The Career Services Office houses an extensive resource library containing employer profiles, legal directories, periodicals, and career related books on topics ranging from legal practice areas to interviewing skills. We also maintain a very comprehensive list of online career related web links on the Career Services website under Job Postings where you can directly link to over to many other job search sites. CSO Publications Opening Statement Student Newsletter (monthly) Student Summer Newsletter (mid-summer mailing) Employer Brochure (as needed) Law & Technology Resume Book (fall) Workshop Handouts (as needed) Student Files As we often receive calls from employers who are looking to fill a certain position, we recommend that students submit a Registration Release form available in the CSO along with three copies of their resume. The CSO also maintains student files and a database to aid in our ability to provide individualized job search assistance. Thus, having information about your undergraduate major, job experience, and areas of interest allows us to refer you for these types of employment opportunities. Be sure to keep us informed of your job status and supply us with updated copies of your resume throughout the school year. State Bar Exam Materials The CSO provides students information about the Ohio Bar Examination and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. For all other state bar examinations, we can provide students with the appropriate contact information. Our materials include information such as required courses, application deadlines, and application procedures. Each fall, representatives from the Ohio Supreme Court give a presentation outlining procedures for applying to the Ohio Bar Exam.

6 Internships, Fellowships and Writing Competitions We keep files on all writing competitions, fellowships, and internships and they are announced in the Opening Statement newsletter. Please keep in mind that winning a writing competition or getting published in any fashion is a tremendous resume booster! Telephone, Fax Machine and Copier We have a telephone that may be used at no charge to make calls related to your job search. Permission to use the phone is granted by the CSO on a case-by-case basis. We also have a fax machine students can use at no cost for job-related or bar-related communications. On a limited basis, photo copies can be made in the CSO for five cents each. Computerized Job Searching We have lists of web links students can use to access job postings. We also have two standalone computers with dedicated printers for revising resumes and cover letters and conducting job-related Internet research. Students wishing to develop superior Internet job search skills should visit the LexisNexis and WestLaw representatives in the Keller Hall Computer Lab. Note: The CSO computers are not to be used for printing course assignments or writing samples.

7 Preparing for Your Job Search

8 Career Planning Guide To be effective, your career planning and development must be systematic. There are three basic steps involved in the process. Self-analysis Identification and exploration of career options Proper packaging of your skills and qualifications Step-by-step Guide to Securing the Right Job 1. Self analysis: Figure out who you are and what is important to you Identify your Areas of Interest Given today s tough legal market, many students think they will have to take any job they can get. Don t fall into this trap. Access your personal aspirations, values, and needs. In what sort of setting would you like to live and work? Do you want to make a difference in the world or in individual lives? Are money and prestige important? What about quality of life issues? Do you want control over your schedule? Are you willing to work hours a week? Do you want to travel? Are you happy sitting behind a desk all day? Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Do you need creative freedom or is guidance necessary? The answers to these and other important questions can be discovered through self-assessment. We also offer workshops designed to help you with your own personal self-assessment. Identify your Abilities Next you need to define your abilities: intellectual, emotional, physical, and interpersonal. These are the attributes, expanded by your education and experience, which you have to offer potential employers. 2. Identify and Explore Your Career Options Identify your Options Once you have a career path in mind, you need to find out what jobs are available. Certainly there are positions in small, medium, and large firms. There are also positions in the judicial system, in state and federal agencies, in large corporations, and in public interest organizations. There are also alternative legal careers in academia, corporate America, and consulting firms. The options are endless and it is up to you to discover them. The CSO offers a number of programs and resources to assist you in the identification process. Research your Options After you have identified different areas of interest, you must begin your research phase. Read as much as you can to learn about various positions. What kind of educational background, work experience, and skills do they require? How well would the position satisfy your needs and aspirations? Talk to people at different levels in a variety of jobs. Get their perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages, requirements, day-to-day activities, etc. We offer numerous resources, networking opportunities, and workshops that teach you step-by-step how to build and utilize a legal network. Properly Package your Skills and Qualifications Once you know what career path you are pursuing, you need to properly sell potential employers on your eagerness and ability to fill the position. You must be able to write effective cover letters and resumes, conduct informational interviews, and perform well in job interviews. We provide workshops, resources, and individual counseling sessions to assist you in these endeavors.

9 Job Search Checklist First Year: Fall Semester/Holiday Break Attend Super Start Saturday Schedule an appointment with the CSO to discuss job search strategy Draft resume; submit it to the CSO for critique Develop targeted list of employers Draft targeted cover letters Begin networking; visit targeted geographical area(s) to conduct informational interviews Prepare a list of references to contact and provide each one with a copy of your resume Decide on a writing sample (5 to 15 pages) and make it flawless Spring Semester/Spring Break Send resumes and cover letters to targeted employers (resumes to large firms should be sent by early January; inform the employers you will follow up with a letter when your class rank is available) Continue networking and conducting informational interviews Attend CSO workshops and informational programs Brush up on interviewing skills-conduct a practice interview, read books on interviewing (available in the CSO library), and attend workshops Attend Lawyers in Practice program Attend any relevant career fairs Check our summer positions bulletin board in CSO or on our web page Summer After First Year Make the most of your summer-if working a legal job, gain as much experience as possible in hopes of either receiving an offer to continue or a great reference; consider volunteering 10 to 20 hours per week with a legal employer Continue networking and conducting informational interviews Record your work assignments and keep written work on a disk for potential writing samples (with appropriate redactions to protect confidentiality and with approval from your employer) Update resume, cover letter, references, and writing sample Review CSO Summer Newsletters; note resume collection deadlines; check web page on regular basis for fall recruiting updates Begin researching firms scheduled for fall recruiting Suggested Resources: (also see on-line resources section) Nalpdirectory.com detailed hiring information for select large law firms from the National Association of Law Placement; use search employers information or browse employer info Bar Directories search the many city and county bar directories in the CSO; become a student member of a bar association where you intend to practice; and add this to your resume Martindale.com search for attorneys, law firms, and UDSL alums by practice area and geographical location LawMatch frequently check this on-line job bank which lists UDSL job postings plus postings from six additional Ohio law schools, IU, and others CSO Website check recruiting schedules such as on-campus interviews and the CSO newsletter The Opening Statement Bulletin Boards in CSO same information will be found in LawMatch & OSBA (see below) OSBA.org Ohio Bar Association job postings Job search web links on CSO home page Google it search for state, city, county web sites (consider surrounding areas, too) Periodicals i.e., IP Today, Ohio Bar, Indiana Lawyer, and Florida Bar in CSO Job Search Reference Guides in CSO Top Firm Lists for Dayton, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis copies in CSO Local newspapers

10 Law professors Undergrad school: career office, advisors, or professors Networking talk to everyone you know, especially those connected with law firms, courts, government agencies, etc.-the #1 way to get a job! Reciprocity to use another school s Career Services Office for 3Ls and graduates (see Rita in CSO) UDSL Alumni Office (located in the Dean s suite) Resource Library in CSO Application Materials: (Have these materials accessible at all times and take copies to your interviews.) Resume References (3-4 including one law school professor, on nice resume paper) Writing Sample (5-10 pages preferred or excerpt with fact pattern on cover sheet; on plain white paper) Cover Letters (create a generic letter that you can tailor for each employer) Law School Transcript (get an original from the UDSL Registrar s office and make copies for employers) Note: it typically takes 2-3 days to get a transcript, so plan ahead! Undergraduate Transcript (needed especially for IP employers)-can take up to 3 weeks to get from some schools, so plan ahead! Reminders: 1) Only submit the specific materials requested by the employer. 2) Always include a cover letter unless the ad says not to. 3) Carry copies of all above mentioned materials with you in a leather portfolio to every interview and job fair.

11 The Resume Guide 10

12 How to WOW Prospective Employers Introduction Your resume introduces you to prospective employers. Its purpose is to get you an interview, not a job offer. Keep in mind that a legal recruiter or hiring attorney may screen 100 or more resumes at a time, spending only seconds on each. To maximize your chances for an interview, your resume should clearly and concisely tell the reader that you are a prime candidate for the job and you are worth interviewing. Students often make the mistake of listing every past job and activity on their resume. The main objective, however, is to highlight only relevant education and experiential qualifications. Point out your strong skills and attributes and then illustrate how they will be beneficial to a particular employer. The Resume Guide walks you through the legal resume writing process. The samples are in chronological format which is commonly used for traditional legal resumes. However, if you are pursuing an alternative legal career (in which you use your legal training in a non-traditional legal job), then you may need to develop a functional resume. Please meet with the Career Services personnel for guidance on drafting a functional resume. The Basics Format There is no prescribed format for a resume since different people will be reading your resume and have varying preferences as to style and format. Resume writing is an art-not a science. However, general rules have developed over the years to help guide students in preparing legal resumes. These guidelines are meant to give you direction while allowing your resume to reflect individuality. Legal employers expect the categories of EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE to appear on your resume. Include at least one additional category such as INTERESTS, COMMUNITY SERVICE, or SKILLS. Your resume should be printed on 8 1/2 x 11 medium weight bond paper in white, off white, light cream, or light ecru. Avoid grays or darker shades as they do not copy or fax well. You will want your resume to look clean when reproduced and distributed within a given employer s office. Rarely should you exceed one page. The general rule is one page for every 10 years of work experience. If you require two pages, include your name and the words page 2 at the top of the second page and be sure to completely fill up both pages. Choose a font that is easily readable within the 10 to 12 point range. Acceptable font styles are Times New Roman, Book Antigua, Arial, Century Schoolbook, or Garamond. Leave a one-inch margin on all sides. The goal is to have a document that is clear and concise. Be absolutely certain your resume is error-free. The top of your resume should contain the information an employer would need to contact you. Your name (in bold in a larger font size than the rest of the resume) Your address (list two addresses, a school address and a permanent address, if you are trying to get a job out of state) address (optional it is preferable to have on your resume but only if you regularly check your account). Be brief and to the point. Do not include unnecessary personal information (height, weight, marital status, etc.). Organize your resume in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to follow. Use lots of action verbs and phrases. Be sure to note all the academic and work-related experiences that make you qualified for a given job. Keep in mind that attorneys are notoriously conservative in their view of a proper legal resume. Also be mindful that listed participation in a particular religious or political organization may affect an employer s willingness to consider you. 11

13 A Note on Ethics Although it is sometimes tempting to exaggerate credentials, to do so is to risk disqualification. Always be ethical, honest, and practical. Every piece of information you include on your resume is fair game for questioning in an interview. An employer may also try to verify information on your resume through your references, law school faculty, law school staff, and/or former employers. This does not mean that if you did not perform well with your last boss that you have to disclose it in your resume. There are ways to highlight the positives without exaggerating or misleading. For your own sake, avoid even the appearance of impropriety on your resume. Preparation Before you begin drafting your resume, you need to do a little preparation. Your resume will be more effective if you know what type of position you are targeting and what you have to offer. The best way to narrow down your career options is to talk to as many practitioners as possible across a range of practice areas and settings. Talk to lawyers who work in small firms, medium-sized firms, and large firms. Talk to lawyers who work for government agencies and state and federal judges. Talk to lawyers who work in corporate legal departments and those who are sole practitioners. Talk to lawyers who have chosen alternative careers. Self-assessment is the other part of your preparation. We have numerous books in the CSO and offer counseling sessions and materials to help you analyze and discover the skills and attributes you have to offer. Take some time to figure out what you have to offer an employer and what type of practice area and work environment will make you happiest. Resume Content Education This section should be written in reverse chronological order and should contain the following information. Names and locations of schools and programs Dates of graduation (for law school include Juris Doctor expected, Month/Year or Candidate for Juris Doctor ) Degrees awarded and whether you graduated with honors Grade point average for undergraduate and graduate school programs if 3.0 or better Law school class rank (e.g. 22/150 or Top 15%); (we don t recommend including your law school GPA.) Coursework related to position sought (optional) Honors, awards, scholarships, activities Publications Generally, you should only list institutions from which you received a degree except for studyabroad programs. Do not list your high school unless it is necessary to establish a geographical identification or if it has a strong reputation in the community where you will be sending your resume. Work Experience This section is critical. Employers weigh a number of factors when screening resumes, but the two most important are your academic credentials and your work experience. Make sure you show a record of success. List your employment/experiences in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. Be sure to include (1) the employer s name, city, and state; (2) your job title; (3) dates of employment; and (4) a brief description of the experiences you had and the skills you developed or demonstrated in that position. For instance, be sure your resume reflects your ability to research, write, analyze, communicate, organize, work independently or as part of a team, and solve problems. Give examples of traits you demonstrated on the job such as initiative, 12

14 exceptional work ethic, ability to persuade, business acumen, well-developed people skills, leadership capabilities, and willingness to accept increased responsibilities. When possible, quantify your successes. Do not forget to include promotions, company awards, and improvements you made. Be sure to include jobs even if you performed them on a voluntary basis or over summer break. As long as you were providing substantive work, volunteer positions may be appropriately listed under the work experience section of your resume. In drafting this portion of your resume, keep these points in mind. You should not: Describe every aspect of your job List every job you have ever had Use complete sentences Leave large time gaps Lie or exaggerate Try to be cute Be wordy You should: Be clear and concise Proofread carefully Vary your action verbs Be selective in summarizing work duties Focus only on the skills and accomplishments important to the prospective legal employer It is important to capture the reader s attention by using appropriate action words for your job descriptions: Administered Advised Analyzed Arranged Assembled Assimilated Assorted Awarded Billed Built Carried out Chaired Channeled Coached Collected Communicated Compiled Completed Conceptualized Conducted Contacted Contributed Controlled Coordinated Corrected Counseled Created Cut Defended Demonstrated Designed Determined Developed Directed Dispatched Documented Drafted Edited Enacted Established Evaluated Expanded Formed Formulated Functioned as Gathered Generated Handled Hired Identified Implemented Improved Initiated Inspected Instituted Instructed Interpreted Interviewed Introduced Invented Lead Litigated Located Maintained Managed Mediated Met with Modified Monitored Motivated Negotiated Operated Orchestrated Ordered Organized Oversaw Participated Performed Persuaded Planned Prepared Presented Produced Programmed Proposed Provided Published Purchased Recommended Recorded Reduced Referred Reported Represented Resolved Reviewed Revised Saved Scheduled Screened Secured Served as Served on Sold Solved Structured Suggested Summarized Supervised Taught Tested Trained Translated Utilized Verified Wrote Won 13

15 References & Writing Samples References While including a phrase such as references furnished upon request on your resume will not hurt you, it is a waste of precious space. We recommend eliminating this phrase and supplying references only when requested by a prospective employer, unless the employer knows one of your references or your list is extremely impressive. Your references should be typed on a separate page that is the same type/color of paper as your resume. Use the same heading as your resume including your name, address, and phone number. Put the title References for (your name) at the top of the page. Use only three to four references and list them down the left side of the page in address label format. Leave a few blank lines between each one. For each reference, list the name, title, place employed, mailing address, phone number, and address. For example: Timothy G. Swensen Assistant Dean, Director of Career Services University of Dayton School of Law 300 College Park Dayton, OH / If it is not readily apparent, include how the reference is connected to you. For example, if the reference used to be your boss, but no longer works at the same employer, then put a parenthetical explanation next to or underneath the name such as former supervisor at XYZ Company. References should be individuals who can speak knowledgeably about your academic or work abilities. Using family, friends, or character references is not appropriate. Be sure to ask permission to use the person s name BEFORE you submit your reference list to an employer. It is also a good idea to give a copy of your resume to your references and continually update them on your job search progress. Writing Sample Your writing sample should be an impressive example of your legal writing ability. It must be an example of legal writing-not something you wrote before law school. Most employers prefer writing samples between 5-10 pages in length. However, employers also understand that 1Ls typically have legal memoranda in excess of 10 pages to choose from their first year legal writing class assignments. Upperclassmen should, if possible, use a writing sample from a legal job or upper level course that falls within the preferred page limitation. If a writing sample is too long, you are encouraged to either shorten it or take a 5-10 page excerpt from the sample. If you use an excerpt, be sure to attach a cover sheet which provides the reader with a summary of the missing information. For example, if you omitted the Facts Section at the beginning of a memorandum to decrease length, provide a few sentences in your cover sheet outlining the fact scenario. Be sure to have your name clearly typed on the front of the document. Be certain your writing sample is flawless. Employers, especially judges, will look closely at writing samples as the majority of work performed by their law clerks involves legal writing. You can print your writing sample on plain white printer paper. Sample Resumes Several sample resumes follow. You are strongly cautioned against plagiarizing any portion of these samples. Remember that many UDSL students will send resumes to the same employers. 14

16 Arthur B. Radley Permanent Address: School Address: 3434 West Avenue 25 Engle Park Drive, #2 West Chester, OH Dayton, OH (513) (937) Education: University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio Candidate for Juris Doctor, May 2006 Class Rank: Top 20% (21/130) CALI Award: Criminal Procedure-Police Practices Presidential Academic Scholarship Law Review, ; Staff Writer, , Executive Editor, ; Comment: Defining Property Rights, expected publication in University of Dayton Law Review, Fall 2005 Moot Court Team, Work Experience: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, May 2003 GPA: 3.2 Dean s List, last four semesters Alpha Phi Sigma (criminal justice honor fraternity) Varsity Tennis, (Team Captain, Southeastern Conference All-Academic, Southeastern Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Jack Vredevelt Sportsmanship Award Finalist) University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio Teacher Assistant to Professor Lori Shaw, August 2005 to present Research brief topics for first year legal research and writing class; review and edit students briefs and counsel them on logical organization and structure of legal arguments. Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling Co., L.P.A., Dayton, Ohio Summer Associate, May 2005 to August 2005 Drafted amicus brief in federal suit concerning securities fraud class action; prepared memoranda on choice of law analysis and coverage for complex insurance litigation; analyzed case law on enforceability of continuous operation clauses in commercial leases; and researched political subdivision s immunity for exercise of proprietary and governmental functions. The Honorable Joseph Kessler Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Dayton, Ohio Law Clerk, May 2004 to August 2004 Conducted research and prepared opinions on cases involving zoning appeals, insurance coverage, real estate transactions, forfeitures, business contracts, and unemployment benefits; attended hearings and trials. 15

17 Jean Louise Finch 86 Clearwater Drive, Riverside, OH (937) EDUCATION University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio Juris Doctor expected, May 2007 Class Rank: Top 30% (45/150) CALI Award: International Tax Problems and Criminal Law Dean s Scholarship Recipient Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Supervisor Miami University, Oxford, Ohio Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration, May 2004 GPA: 3.3 Pi Sigma Alpha, Political Science Honorary Miami University European Center, Luxembourg, Spring Semester 2003 Alpha Phi, Community Service Chair EXPERIENCE General Electric Aircraft Engines, Cincinnati, Ohio Law Clerk, (September 2006-Present) Conduct legal research on international procurement law. Draft and administer training modules for topics relating to United States and international government compliance. Create, maintain, and conduct legal review of corporate books for one Austrian and two Turkish General Electric affiliates. COMMUNITY ACTITIVES INTERESTS Georgianna I. Parisi Law Office, Kettering, Ohio Law Clerk, (Summer 2006) Performed legal research on employment, juvenile, and personal injury issues. Reviewed and summarized case files and conducted client interviews. Office of Staff Judge Advocate, 88th Air Base, WPAFB, Ohio (Summer 2005) Law Clerk, (September 2005-Present) Edited law briefs and evaluated personal injury claims using the Personal Injury Handbook. Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., WPAFB, Ohio Assistant Manager and Gift Shop Cashier, (June 2000-August 2004) Appointed to the City of Riverside Board of Zoning of Appeals (April 2004-April 2007); elected Vice-Chair (April 2005-April 2007). Volunteered to perform long-range planning as member of Corridor Overlay Committee for the City of Riverside. Enjoy traveling to the Far East, softball, and scuba diving. 16

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