Don't let your school control the recruiting process
By Theresa DeLoach
Every law student in this country is familiar with Career Services. You have probably used them to look for either a summer associate position, or a law clerk position while you attended school, or even a post-graduation position after you had taken the bar exam but before your results arrived. Some students have achieved varying degrees of success, but most students have been left dissatisfied, frustrated, and, most important, jobless! If this describes your situation, Legal Authority exists to help students like you.
This article is not designed to bash Career Services or the job that they do. Rather, this article is meant to highlight the fact that while Career Services serves a function, that function is rather limited. One thing that law students are not aware of is the fact that Career Services Departments can only be effective for the top 10% of the class! Unfortunately, the other 90% of the class is left struggling to find positions. Legal Authority will assist that other 90% in finding the best jobs for them.
The primary purpose of this article is to make sure that you, the job seeker, are equipped with all the information you need to take control of your job search. We will look at Career Services in terms of what do they do and whom they help the most. Next, we will look at why it does not make sense for you to place your future in the hands of Career Services. And finally, we will lay out your plan of action and determine how you can take control of your job search!
Career Services: Who are they, and what do they do?
As noted above, every law student in this country will at one time or another visit his/her Career Services office for assistance with a job search. In the fall, most if not all Career Services offices organize some sort of on-campus-interviewing process. Many schools refer to it as fall OCI (on-campus interviewing). During this process, many large law firms go to various law schools and recruit law students up to one year in advance to begin their positions with these firms the following summer. Career Services will help law students draft resumes and cover letters for the available positions. In addition, they will help law students get their resumes to the hiring coordinators of the large firms.
Unfortunately, your decision to work for a firm that recruits on campus is not always in your control. First, firms are usually looking for the top students with the best grades, as well as journal/moot court participation. Second, you might be a student who is looking to move to a different geographic region for the summer, and firms from that region do not recruit on your campus. For the lucky few students who land their positions through this process, the hunt is over. However, for the majority of students, the job search is only beginning, and these students can no longer rely on their school's Career Services office.
Your Future in the Hands of Career Services???
Most students need to be proactive in their job searches and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that they find the best jobs for them. If you are one of those students, Legal Authority can help you apply directly to almost any legal employer anywhere, including law firms, corporations, judges, public interest organizations, public defender's offices, prosecutor's offices, state and federal governmental agencies, law schools—you name it. With the largest database of legal employers anywhere, Legal Authority has contacts for more than two million legal employers in all 50 states and more than 150 countries. It is not unusual for our clients to get 10 or more offers. The limited resources of your law school's Career Services office simply are not designed to help you get such results.
When looking for a job as a 2L, 3L, or recent grad, it is important to note that the job that you take is critical and will set up the first stage of your legal career. Because your first job as a law clerk or a first-year associate is so important, the wisest job seekers do not leave their job searches in the hands of Career Services. They are great for helping students with the best grades land great positions. And you must remember that your Career Services office has every incentive to promote their best students in landing jobs with firms. This is primarily because it helps to increase the school's ranking and prestige in the legal community. Nevertheless, if you are not one of those select few, Career Services can leave you feeling hopeless.
Take Control of Your Job Search: Your Plan of Action.
As you might have experienced, it is very difficult to land a summer associate position if you have not been recruited. It is not, however, impossible. To maximize your chances of getting a great position, you need to first maximize both the quality and quantity of the interviews and then maximize your interview efficiency. This is where Legal Authority makes all the difference. We will help you get your resume and cover letters out to great firms that are looking for someone just like you.
This opportunity is being utilized constantly by students and attorneys alike. Many 2Ls and 3Ls use targeted mailing as a way of getting around the nightmare of fall OCI, where only the top 10% of the class is offered job opportunities. The savviest students know that they can use Legal Authority to create their own fall OCI that is tailored to their needs and targeted to those employers that are not going to dismiss them simply because they are not first or second in their class. The service has helped numerous students from all over the United States bypass Career Services and take control of their job searches!
Remember, when you conduct a job search using Legal Authority, the purpose is not to find just any job. If you sit around long enough, you will find any job. The point of this search is to find the best job for you. You will sample all of the opportunities out there and find the job that is the best fit for you and your needs. No other job search allows that. If you find a job through an advertisement, then you are at the mercy of that employer, including whatever salary and workload it dictates. There is no opportunity to weigh several offers and negotiate the best deal. Targeted mailing affords you that opportunity. You future does not have to be governed by the lack of success during the on-campus-interviewing process. You can determine your career path and land a great position when you take the initiative with Legal Authority and take control of your job search.
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