Preparation is considered key when a law school graduate seeks legal job placement, especially when drafting a resume and cover letter. Interview preparation, including research on the law firm he or she hopes to join, might also give an applicant an advantage over other candidates. Anticipating interview questions and how to answer them might represent the most important tip for legal job placement. A candidate should effectively market his or her talent with examples of successes in the interview.
The search for legal job placement typically begins before graduation from law school to weed out thousands of job opportunities commonly available. Online legal job sites can be searched by keyword to find an opening in an area the student finds interesting. This process helps a new lawyer narrow down the area he or she hopes to work in. Some firms list the salaries they offer to further help an attorney weigh opportunities.
During the interview, the applicant seeking legal job placement should ask intelligent questions that indicate he or she conducted research on the firm. The candidate might ask about training opportunities or how promotions are handled. If the firm handled a high-profile case, a comment about it might show the applicant’s familiarity with the office. Generally, questions about salaries, bonuses, or vacation time should be avoided during the interview.
In addition to posing good questions, an applicant might experience success in legal job placement by anticipating questions an interviewer might ask. Talking about strengths typically requires less thought than discussing weaknesses. An applicant might discuss a weakness in a way that shows recognition of the shortcoming and efforts to address it.
Making a good first impression starts with the resume and cover letter. Applicants might describe areas where they excelled or showed unusual talent. A properly prepared resume commonly makes applicants seeking legal job placement stand out from other recent graduates. Some new lawyers look at resumes of successful attorneys and use the same format when drafting their own.
Law professors typically make good references, along with business contacts. Personal references might be limited to one or two. Some lawyers looking for job opportunities offer to supply additional references if the firm needs them, along with law school transcripts.