Professional Development News
If you borrowed a copy of The Official Guide to Legal Specialties when you met with the Office of Professional Development as a first-year student, please return it.
Second- and third-year students may now "bid" (upload documents to a specific employer) for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. Please note that the KY DPA is listed as a separate session. If you are interested in interviewing with the KY DPA, please select that session. The deadline for KY DPA bidding is Wednesday, September 5th.
Part 2 of our presentation: How to Get a Government Job during the Fall Hiring Season - U.S. Dept. of Justice – Attorney General’s Honors Program and Summer Law Intern Program Information Session – Wednesday, August 29 at Noon in room 175
If you are interested in a career with the U.S. Dept. of Justice, please attend. Mr. Lou DeFalaise, Director of the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management at the Department of Justice, will be speaking about the opportunities available for new attorneys and interns at the U.S. DOJ.
Pizza and drinks will be served.
If you are not meeting new people, put yourself out there. Go to events held on campus and in the community. Join the local bar association and be sure to participate. Volunteer somewhere. Check out meetup.com, and find a group of people with similar interests just to hang out with. The point, again, isn’t to ask every person you meet for a job; it’s to expand your social network in a way that feels comfortable for you. If you are worried that you might not know what to say when meeting possible professional contacts, have an “elevator” speech ready. (See attachment.)
If you want to focus specifically on meeting attorneys, consider setting up informational interviews. This means calling or e-mailing someone in a practice area in which you are interested and asking for a few moments of their time to pick their brain about what they do and how they got where they are. (See attachment.) Once again, people like to talk about themselves, and most attorneys are happy to share advice with current law students.
Finally, make sure to follow up. You don’t have to bombard people with daily phone calls and emails, but an occasional email sharing a link to a topic that you know is of interest to another person is a way to stay in touch without being intrusive. And if someone offers you advice or sits down with you for an informational interview, by all means, send that person a thank you note, and check in with him or her now and then to report on your progress through law school.
Remember – networking doesn’t have to be painful. Your skills will improve with practice, and you may just find that it’s a lot of fun!
The “Networking in your Comfort Zone” originally scheduled for Thursday, August 30th is going to be rescheduled. Stay tuned for details.
Where to Start
So how do you do this? A good first step is to think about all of the people you already know. If you think you don’t know anybody, just take a look at your Facebook page! Start making a list of contacts including family, friends, former professors and co-workers, and other acquaintances, and don’t be shy about letting them know that you are now in law school and will be looking for opportunities to gain legal experience.
When you meet new people, pay attention! Effective networking comes as the result of being genuinely interested in what someone else has to say. If you’re not a naturally outgoing person, don’t worry – people love to talk about themselves, and while you’re thinking that you’re being too quiet, they’re admiring what a great listener you are! Ask for a business card and take a moment to write yourself a note or two on the back to remind you of your conversation with this person.
The Clark Legal Self-Help Center, located within the Clark County Courthouse in Jeffersonville, IN, is seeking law students to perform volunteer pro bono work during the fall 2012 semester.
The Center is open twice per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to approximately 3:00 p.m. Its goal is to help local residents in navigating the often confusing court system by providing preliminary information, guidance, and referrals to walk-in clients. The Center also provides a computer system to enable qualified clients to prepare and print certain court documents for filing with the court clerk's office.
Local attorneys staff the Center, but law students are also needed to make initial assessments of client issues and to assist the on-duty attorney in providing information about the legal process to clients. Students may also help clients in using the computer system to fill out court documents.
Students (2Ls or 3Ls) are welcome and encouraged to volunteer. Hours worked at the Center will count towards the fulfillment of a student's public service requirement. If interested, please contact Jina Scinta at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.