Professional Development News
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 email@example.com to sign up.
Each year, the Kentucky Justice Association conducts mock trials at the Kentucky State Fair. They are looking for students to volunteer as attorneys for both the plaintiff and defendant. People attending the fair act as the jury and actors are the witnesses. The mock trials take place in the South Wing at the fairgrounds. Students are needed on Saturday, August 25 at 12:30; 2:30 and 4:30. Students will need to be available for all these times. Students will need to arrive at least 45 minutes early.
Students will receive public service credit for the hours worked. Interested students should contact Jina Scinta at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservation Forms will be sent to the students who sign up.
You’re probably sick of hearing about the importance of networking, but the fact remains that it is the #1 way in which people find new jobs. Networking is an inescapable fact of job searching, but it doesn’t have to be painful.
You’re Already Doing It
The key thing to remember about networking is that everyone does it. Every time you make a new friend, talk to a professor, or even just chat up the grocery store clerk, you are networking. In the job search context, networking simply means taking these natural connections a step further.
Many people are put off by the word networking because they think of it as trolling amongst strangers looking for jobs, but nothing could be further from the truth. While the ultimate goal of networking in the job search context is, of course, landing a job, the key to good networking isn’t putting on an act amongst strangers but rather being yourself and making your social connections, both new and old, work for you.
To learn more about how and why to network, please attend “Networking in your Comfort Zone” on Thursday, August 30 at Noon in room 175. Find out how other students have been successful at networking and take their advice to create an effective networking strategy of your own.
Government agencies and public policy organizations provide a wealth of exciting opportunities for law students and lawyers looking to make a difference. However, many application deadlines are early so now is the time to begin learning about these opportunities. Please join us TODAY, August 21 at noon in Room 175 for Part 1 of our presentation: How to Get a Government Job during the Fall Hiring Season information session. This session will:
• Provide you with an overview of the type of work lawyers do in government agencies and public policy organizations.
• Assist you in identifying opportunities for law students and lawyers in these settings.
• Inform you of upcoming deadlines and explain how you can apply.
Please take a moment to look at the Government Honors & Internship Handbook and the Public Policy Handbook to see all of the exciting opportunities available to you. The Government Honors & Internship Handbook is located at: www.law.arizona.edu/career/honorshandbook.cfm. User ID: ranger; Password: cookies. The Public Policy Handbook is located at: http://www.law.arizona.edu/publicpolicyhandbook. User ID: end; Password: hunger.
The Public Service Program is pleased to announce that we have added the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Legal/Risk Management Services Office to our list of public service placements from which students can choose to do their public service work. They currently are in need of one to two students to work on two projects. Here's a description:
Project No. 1: This is a one-time project to assist General Counsel to identify and gather needed documents from a client to complete projects related to endowment compliance and/or other compliance efforts.
Project No. 2: This is an on-going project updating state law summaries to assist in church property law project.
Students (2Ls and 3Ls only) can sign up for this placement by contacting Jina Scinta at email@example.com. The first two students contacting Ms. Scinta will be signed up for the placement.