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>
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
Nail your interviews by reading the full article, The Right Answers to Law Interview Questions.
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.
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.”
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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.