Stand Out in Class
Before you graduate and begin your career, your final years in law school are essential to preparing for your first job. You’ll be able to focus more deeply on the areas that interest you as you learn how to make a great impression.
<b>Our upper-level resources will help you discover hot topics for law review, thrive as a summer associate, and prepare to practice. </b>
Resources for Upper-Level Law Students
When you transition to an upper-level law student, our guides turn more career focused.
A rapidly changing professional world awaits you after graduation, and you are seeing the scope of your education shift to better equip you for success.
Listen: Preparing to Practice
You get respect by showing up prepared and ready to undertake the responsibilities of a law student operating at the highest level that you can achieve. You should start that now, because you’re going to have to do that for the rest of your career."
Robert J. Grey Jr., President, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
Writing for Law Review:
Selecting a Publish-Worthy Topic
A law review note is a student-written piece that critically analyzes an aspect of the law. It should be deeply researched, well-documented, and make a clear argument on an original, timely topic.
But how do you choose that topic?
When first approaching the task of choosing a law review topic, think about the following questions:
How much interest will there be for work centered around your topic?
Consider multiple perspectives when determining interest – you, the legal community, and your future employer. Don’t forget that you'll be spending a lot of time working on your note or comment. Make sure you pick something that you can hold interest in.
You might also try to pick a topic related to a practice area you’re thinking about entering after graduation. This can help you explore whether it is a good fit for you and also obtain expertise in relevant topics.
Will your note or comment on this topic ultimately be publishable?
A law review note is a law student’s first chance to publish something that will enter the record of legal scholarship, so getting published is an important goal. You might also find opportunities to publish your work in journals outside of your own law school.
A published piece is a great thing to feature on a resume or CV – and it will come up in job interviews for the rest of your career.
How much coverage has there already been on your topic and is there still space for additional discussion and perspective?
Perhaps an issue has already been discussed quite a bit in scholarly writing, but you see unexplored territory. Maybe your personal experience can provide a unique or a fresh perspective or even a new framing angle to use in approaching the issue. Choosing an unexpected, unpopular, or even unusual stance alone can generate interest and readership.
Tools for Researching and Writing for Law Review
Topic-based In Focus pages are a great starting point for exploring potential options. Each page provides a robust set of relevant resources, with a topic summary, illustrative graphics, and direct links to relevant news and insights written by leading practitioners in this area.
Circuit Split Charts
U.S. Law Week, a prestigious legal news publication available on Bloomberg Law, summarizes and publishes selected splits among United States federal courts of appeals. These splits occur when one or more federal appeals courts disagree on how to interpret a particular law or legal issue. These circuit splits are considered hot legal topics because the Supreme Court is more likely to take on a case when such a split exists for the issue to be considered.
Law Firm Client Alerts
Law firm client alerts are real communications shared by law firms to educate their own clients about relevant current events. These can let you know directly what law firms in a given practice area are currently thinking about, and therefore, what is of current interest to them. Take advantage of this resource to pick a topic that directly addresses what's on their minds.
News and Analysis
News coverage is organized into more than 35 areas of interest, so you can easily find the content most relevant to you; we feature articles by our own reporters, as well as Bloomberg Law Insights – thought leadership by expert practitioners on emerging issues. Sign up for newsletters and alerts related to your favorite topics to receive the latest developments right in your inbox.
Bloomberg Law analysts offer data-driven perspectives on trends in developing areas, such as litigation finance, legal operations, and data privacy, while also staying abreast of changes in more traditional topics.
Are you prepared to practice?
Bloomberg Law’s Law School Preparedness Survey recently asked 1,143 practicing attorneys and law school students, faculty, and librarians about skills needed for practice and how well law schools prepare individuals to enter the legal profession.
Four Ways Law Schools Can Close the Practical Skill Gap
Teach practical skills as part of the doctrinal courses
Provide more real-world experience and opportunities
Increase the number of required experiential learning skills
Introduce more skill-based courses and programs
1st-Generation Law Grads Have More Debt, Survey Finds
Bloomberg Law’s 2021 Law School Preparedness Survey results show that nearly half of respondents have amassed at least $50,000 in law school-related debt—and debt levels are higher for those who came from families with lower educational attainment levels.
What I Learned as a Summer Associate
You can mess up and still survive
“Your assigning attorney knows that you might not – and likely do not – know what you are doing at first. The learning curve can be steep, but rewarding. After rising to a level of competence my first summer, I came back my second summer with a game plan, ready to go. By the end, I was drafting full motion briefs and contributing in real, meaningful ways.”
– Serena Gopal, Blank Rome LLP
Make lasting connections
“Having others who are in your position and who you can always run to for a sanity check is invaluable. Those friendships have carried on into my first year as an associate and any time one of us has a ‘silly’ question, no one hesitates to run it by the group. Some of the people who were in my summer associate class have become my best friends.”
– Keshav Ahuja, Mintz
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
“Do not be afraid to ask questions because that is how you truly understand what the assignment entails. Asking questions will also show your assigning attorney that you are thinking through the issues. They would rather answer all your questions than have you spin your wheels on your own for hours because you do not fully understand the assignment.”
– Sobeida Peralta, Greenberg Traurig
Remember to be a person
“Sure, you should focus on work and be professional, but when you are at social events or virtual hangouts, remember to be a person. You don’t have to pretend your hobbies are reading SCOTUSblog or listening to NPR (but if they are, good for you). Share (appropriate) stories about your favorite vacations, funny experiences, or family and friends.”
– Whitney Swart, Foley & Lardner
Land Your Perfect Role
Finding the right legal job for you isn’t an exact science, but technology can help with the heavy lifting. How company data, analytics, and judge comparisons can help you decide where to apply, and then use Practical Guidance to hit the ground running as a summer associate or new lawyer.
<b>Learn how to find the right law firm or corporate counsel job for you, prep for your interviews, and build your network.</b>
Identify the Right Firm for You
Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics can help you identify the scope of a law firm’s practice areas, trends in its representation, top-performing attorneys, and more. Use this information to inform your job search, applications, and interviews so you can find the right law firm for your first legal position.
- Quickly mine law firm and attorney representation data, judicial and court behavior, case law, and dockets
- Gain insights into a firm’s top performers using attorney and law firm analytics covering more than 100,000 attorneys at nearly 800 law firms
- Assess litigation activity by practice area, volume of cases, and significant clients
We know there are a million law firms or a million legal organizations, but at the end of the day, we want to hire the person who really wants to work for us. [We want to hear] why you chose our firm versus the ones down the road. What is it about us that you think will be a good fit?”
Moy Ogilvie, Managing Partner
McCarter & English, LLP
Work as an In-House Counsel
Navigate to our Business Intelligence Center to find the right company for you or read up on a company before your interview. With Bloomberg Law you can:
- Choose from more than 3.5 million downloadable company profiles, each of which provides a single point of access for financial statements, shareholder information and filings, management profiles, credit ratings, capital structure data, SEC filings, and more
- Track information on a company, its customers, and its industry – easily access filings, news, dockets, laws and regulations, patents, and more, – and add your own messages, action items, and other notes to each dashboard
- Stay ahead of market, regulatory, and legal developments with real-time social media and docket alerts
- Access thousands of news sources by topic, from rumored mergers to bankruptcies to investigations, in order to get ahead of emerging developments
When pursuing an in-house opportunity, learn as much as you can about the company, its products and operations, industry, and risks/challenges. What are the company’s reputation and long-term prospects? Do you respect its values? Are you comfortable tying your fortune to the fate of this company over the foreseeable future?”
Legal Analyst for Bloomberg Law
Former Assistant General Counsel, Alcoa, Inc.
Your Interview Prep Cheat Sheet
When applying to summer internships or seeking your first full-time legal job, feeling ready for your interview will give you the confidence to make a lasting impression and score the position.
Whether the interview is over the phone or face to face, prepare the same way: review your resume, cover letter, job application, writing samples, and any other relevant information; develop your illustrative anecdotes; and know what benefits you offer the employer or what problems you can help them solve.
For video interviews, which will be the norm as the pandemic continues, take time to work on technical and visual concerns in addition to the substance of your answers:
- Consider your background: clean up any mess and ensure you’re the only person who can be seen and heard
- Check your lighting: natural lighting is best, so ideally set yourself up in front of a window, and avoid light directly behind you
- Make sure your internet is working properly, and that you’ve silenced your email and phone notifications
- During the interview, look into the camera lens, not into the computer screen
Dress as professionally as you would for an in-person interview, with additional considerations
Colors are entirely different on screen than they are in person; a blue shirt or blouse is preferable to white or reds; avoid stripes or strong patterns
For in-depth info on how to answer specific questions, how to discuss your strengths and weaknesses, and more, visit Bloomberg Law’s career resources page.
To learn more about how to research law firms, or even your interviewer, check out the career research section of Bloomberg Law’s webinars geared toward law students.
Bring your authentic self to the interview rather than tailoring your responses for what you think the interviewer ‘wants’ to hear – at the end of the day, you are looking for a firm that values you and all of the unique characteristics you possess, and the firm is looking for lawyers in the same way. Authenticity will help you find a stronger, long-lasting match.”
Abid R. Qureshi, Global Chair of Latham & Watkins’ recruiting committee
Do You Really Need to Network? Yes, and Here’s How.
Whether it’s before or after you’ve landed an interview, networking is key to learning about opportunities and making sure you’re top of mind.
“You have to build a personal brand, and it’s a long-term process that starts when you’re in college. All these connections are going to keep growing as you do, so keep updated on where they are. Networking is a practice that invites people to connect with strangers with the understanding that even if you are not friends, you might be able to help each other somehow.”
Claudia Chafloque-Siu, Associate, Eversheds Sutherland
“Be bold. Get out there, but be very judicious and respectful of the time that you’re taking away from somebody. Don't over ask – a 15-minute virtual coffee [is good]. If you’re an engaging law student with great questions, it’s energizing for me to spend part of my day with you.”
Esther E. Cho, Shareholder and Chair of Executive Committee,
Keesal, Young & Logan
“Build your LinkedIn network – work at it. You should be spending time on this every day, not once a week, not once a month. You should be reading articles. You should be understanding who’s active. You should be understanding how their relationships interact with others that may connect to you. You need to start early and work consistently because it takes time to build a network.”
Connie Brenton, Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Legal Operations, NetApp, Inc.
Turn Your Passion for Social Justice Into a Law Career
Many law students and young attorneys are eager to roll up their sleeves and use their skills to fight for change. But knowing you want your legal career to have impact is only half the battle.
1. Identify the right opportunity for you.
When pursuing a career in social justice, experts suggest law students lean into issues close to them and look for inspiration from their own life or experiences.
That’s not to say you have to be an immigrant to do immigrant rights work, but you’ll need to be personally connected to or motivated by the work if you’re going to succeed. And if you don’t have the answer right now, try different types of work to figure out what moves you and what doesn’t.
“Something will call you and then you’ll make a life out of it,” said Efrén Olivares, who currently serves as the deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project.
2. Stand out from the crowd.
When applying for jobs, spend a few extra minutes on an organization’s website to learn about its mission statement, then craft a cover letter and resume that demonstrate how your values align with the company’s.
It's important to demonstrate dedication to a movement by thinking explicitly about what change you are trying to achieve, and what tools, strategies, and steps will help you get there.
During the interview process, candidates should show themselves as critical thinkers and lifelong learners. And while a strong academic record is important, a track record of community engagement is critical for employers looking to strengthen their teams.
Where you went to school is not really as important to me as what you did there. What else about you as a human being demonstrates a real passion and a real willingness to dig in, and an understanding that these battles are long?”
Jason Starr, Litigation Director, Human Rights Campaign
3. Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster.
The core of social justice practice is the effort to change society as a whole and do it case by case. The journey is long and arduous, and there are many ups and downs along the way.
Attorneys in this area of law admit that the failures are tough to swallow, and burnout is a reality of their kind of work, but that talking about it is the key to surviving it.
Those who will succeed in a social justice legal career are the ones who understand that the end isn’t always in sight and the losses can be painful, but the work is noble and important – and will leave a lasting mark on the world.
“There’s this saying that ‘The arc of history bends towards justice,’” Olivares said. “It doesn’t bend. We need to bend it. And it’s very, very hard to bend.”
Bloomberg Law convened three leading social justice attorneys to share their personal experiences and advice to those looking to follow in their footsteps – or carve out their own path to a meaningful law career. Learn more from the full article.
Stay Ahead of
The legal profession is constantly evolving, which means that staying up to date on the latest developments and the topics that are front of mind for your colleagues and competitors is essential to success.
<b>Learn how to stay ahead of new legal developments by exploring legal news publications used by practicing attorneys.</b>
Bloomberg Law’s Practical Guidance library provides task-based, how-to coverage, including overviews, checklists, sample forms and agreements, timelines, drafting and negotiating guides, and more. These resources quickly show you how practicing attorneys accomplish legal tasks.
- All sample documents and policies can be downloaded into Microsoft Word so you can edit to fit your needs
- Practice areas covered include nearly every part of the industry, such as bankruptcy, benefits and executive compensation, transactions, employment, health care, intellectual property, labor relations, litigation, privacy and data security, tax practice, and tech
- The guidance we offer is consistently updated based on current events and trends; for example, recently expanded topics include force majeure and bankruptcy, both of which have been in the spotlight this year
Learn how Practical Guidance can walk you through specific legal tasks.
News and Analysis
The first stop to learn what’s hot in the legal industry at any given moment is our real-time news and analysis – particularly our industry-focused sections such as business and practice and in-house counsel.
Visit our Bloomberg Law 2022 resource page for examples of our comprehensive, forward-looking analysis of the legal landscape. By focusing on four key categories – litigation, regulatory and compliance, transactions and contracts, and the future of the legal industry – our analysts offer insights and data about nearly every aspect of the industry during this time of great change.
Our team’s videos dive into current developments and issues affecting legal professionals. Examples include interviews with our analysts as well as the industry experts who are immersed day to day in a given subject.
Leaders from some of the country's biggest law firms to share their return to office plans and whether hybrid work is here to stay.
In Focus Pages
When you need a deep understanding of a particular topic, our In Focus pages
offer curated resources to cover every angle of the most pressing issues
transforming the legal markets.
- Each In Focus page is a one-stop shop, featuring a variety of Bloomberg Law
resources centered around a specific topic; you’ll find news and commentary,
legal primary sources, dockets, business information, Practical Guidance, litigation
filings, and regulatory developments
- We build new In Focus content based on the fast-paced world around us,
spotlighting hot topics such as lawyer well-being, legal technology, remote work,
and global developments in privacy.
See how In Focus pages give you all the information you need on hot legal topics.
What better way to learn about the legal industry than from experts already well established in their fields? Our Professional Perspectives are long-form articles that take a closer look at the current legal issues and developments impacting practitioners.
- Contributors range from law firm practitioners and in-house counsel to regulatory and compliance experts – whatever your area of interest is, we have you covered
- Search more than 400 Professional Perspectives by keyword or filter by practice area to narrow down the wealth of information to best fit you and your career
Access your academic
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