Monday, April 09, 2007

Screaming Against The Darkness

For the past couple weeks I've been writing about the grim employment prospects for many law school graduates. Certainly, not everyone or even a majority of people are unemployable, but a sizable minority are and no one ever speaks about them. I'm glad some people were candid enough to share their experiences with the rest of you.

Anyways, for those of you who choose to see law school through even though you feel like you might be unemployable (or at least your professor's grading curves do), I want to give some final departing advice for the desperate.

1) Distinguish yourself! If you're not at the top of your class or on a journal find something else about you that will separate you from the pack. I first chaired two jury trials in law school which distinguishes me from the vast majority of law students (and even most lawyers). My current boss seemed impressed with that.

2) Get a job to get a job! Before law school, in law school, and out of law school get any kind of legal employment you can. Even if you're working in a mail room, you'll get exposure and connections. I worked as a paralegal for a few months for a law firm. This made interviews far less embarrassing when I could announce that I was "currently temping at a law firm".

3) Do anything you can to get some applicable experience! Join your law school's clinic, volunteer at legal aid, call up any and all government offices seeing if they need a free legal intern. If you've seen a divorce, bankruptcy, or lawsuit through from start to finish you'll be much more employable (and you'll sound like you know what you're talking about) than any other candidates.

Good luck guys. It's way tougher out there than anyone says but if you're truly active and strategic about your job search, things will work out.

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