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"The most common means of obtaining a job was a letter or other "self-initiated contact" with the employer..."
- NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LAW PLACEMENT
Legal Authority BLOG

Why Legal Authority Works: Myth versus Reality


A. Harrison Barnes

The most common means of obtaining a job was a letter or other “self-initiated contact” with the employer …”

-National Association of Law Placement

If you contact all of the employers in a given city that match your interests—if there is a job for you, you will find it. It is as simple as that. No job boards, classified sections, legal recruiters, on campus interviewing program or job fair has all of the jobs and many employers DO NOT HAVE JOBS until they are presented with a candidate that is attractive to them. It is as simple as that.

LEGAL MYTH: This is just mass mailing, which is one of the most ineffective ways to find a job.

LEGAL AUTHORITY: You’re right, mass mailing is an ineffective way to find a job. However, targeted mailing is NOT mass mailing! Mass mailings are generic letters that make a blanket statement to firms of all sizes, locations, and disciplines. You can expect one or two letters out of every hundred to solicit any response. On the other hand, targeted mailings are letters to a carefully compiled list of employers, distinctive as a group for their geographical location, type and size of firm, and areas of practice. With targeted mailings, you can expect a much greater return.

The National Association for Legal Placement, a non-profit legal research organization, has determined that targeted, self-initiated mailing was the most successful job hunt tactic used by graduates and experienced attorneys, beating both on-campus interview programs and online resume posting.

LEGAL MYTH: I’ll just post my resume on Monster.com, and wait for the fruit baskets to come rolling in.

LEGAL AUTHORITY: Monster.com is effective for companies that are comfortable with online job hunting and recruiting. As a rule, law firms remain most comfortable with “snail mail” – cover letters and resumes they receive from the post office, not from the Internet. Writing professional cover letters, on good stationery that show you have taken the time to contact the firm by writing a letter, addressing an envelope, stamping it and putting it in the mailbox is far more effective than simply hitting the “send” button on your email program.

With the number of attorneys seeking jobs, hiring partners and recruiting coordinators have the luxury of waiting for the resumes to come in the door. Unless they are doing proactive recruiting with legal search firms or law schools, there is little “resume searching” that is done.

LEGAL MYTH: I can’t trust my future career prospects to your firm – I need to do it all myself.

LEGAL AUTHORITY: With Legal Authority you are doing it all yourself! Who better to trust your future with than a firm that spends 100% of its time creating and revising resumes and cover letters for attorneys? We will help you save time, improve your resume, and create a cover letter that will garner attention. With your input, we will select the firms that meet your standards, and you will have approval every step of the way. You—and not us—will be sending out the final cover letters and resumes. Why spend valuable time researching firms when we have one of the most sophisticated databases in the industry that will guarantee accuracy and precision?

LEGAL MYTH: I already have a headhunter – I don’t need to do any more work to find a job.

LEGAL AUTHORITY: The truth is, many legal recruiters have a distinct disadvantage over self-initiated targeted mailing. For in-house hiring, clerkships, and of counsel positions, you have a much greater chance of receiving a positive response if you do not use a recruiter. For many law firm positions, recruiters will limit your exposure to a small amount of firms, normally less than 20 firms! Targeted mailing can be done for more firms, and we can help you send resumes and cover letters to as many hundreds of firms as you desire!

LEGAL MYTH: I don’t have the time to prepare 200 cover letters and resumes.

LEGAL AUTHORITY: All it takes is filling out our Firm Profiler, spending a short amount on the phone with us discussing your options, and signing your cover letters. That’s all the time you’ll spend in your job search. Legal Authority is committed to helping you, the busy attorney, in your job search. Click here to see how the process works.

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