Friday, December 18, 2009

Ways to Gain Legal Experience While Working Full-Time

If you are an evening student, most likely you are juggling many tasks: working full-time, attending classes in the evening and spending valuable time with your families. Taking on a summer job that will give you legal experience simply is not a reality for you. So, what are some options for getting legal experience while working and going to school? Consider exploring the possibility of getting legal work through your current employer. Contact the legal department and see if there is some legal work that you can do for them after regular business hours in addition to your regular duties. Also, you could serve as a research assistant to a law professor. The research and support you provide to professors can often be done outside of regular business hours. You may even be able to get course credit. Participate in moot court and writing competitions, including the write-on for the law journals. These experiences will provide you with material to include on your resume that will show that you have significant experience performing legal research, writing and advocacy. In addition to getting this type of practical experience, think about bolstering your resume by engaging in activities that demonstrate your commitment to the practice of law. For example, become an active member of a bar association (the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New York City Bar, the New York County Lawyers Association, and the Inns of Court are all organizations to check out). Similarly, joining student organizations at the law school will afford you the opportunity to both learn more about an area of law in which you plan to practice, as well as make contacts with the legal community. In addition, be sure to check this blog for upcoming programs and networking opportunities featuring alumni and practicing attorneys.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The New Jersey Law Firm Group Mentor Program - Career Services is still accepting registration forms

Founded in 1990, the New Jersey Law Firm Group ("NJLFG") is a group comprised of New Jersey law firms, law schools, corporate legal departments, government agencies and public interest organizations that recognize the importance and advantages of diversity in serving the needs of clients and enhancing the legitimacy and public image of the legal profession. The NJLFG is committed to its mission of increasing the diversity of the New Jersey bar and assisting its members with their individual diversity initiatives. The NJLFG's Mentor Program is designed to match interested, diverse law students with attorney-mentors from some of the top New Jersey law firms and organizations. Mentors serve as a resource for the law student while they complete law school, navigate the recruitment process, and search for career options and opportunities. Law students may register for the NJLFG's Mentor Program by filling out a registration form found here. Completed forms should be submitted to the Office of Career Services on the 2nd Floor. The Office of Career Services is still accepting registration forms - please submit them as soon as possible. The NJLFG is planning to hold a Mentor/Mentee reception on Tuesday, January 26, 2010.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Effective Networking Tips

In this economy, it is important to use all job search methods. Even after sending out resumes and cover letters in response to job postings or targeted towards specific law firms and judges, it may be that law students and alums are getting little response. Networking has always been a crucial tool in a job search for a legal job but it is even more important these days.
What is networking? Networking means establishing contacts and building relationships for career development. Networking gives you a chance to get in on opportunities earlier than others, not because you have asked someone for a job, but because you have told your network of contacts of your interests and goals and those contacts let you know of possible job openings.
So, what are the best ways to effectively network?
First, start with the people you know - friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. Although they might not have a job for you, they may know other people who will have a potential opportunity. Contacting a friend of a friend to discuss your career development and aspirations is much less intimidating than reaching out to a complete stranger. Tell everyone you know and meet of your interests and that you are looking for advice and information.
Second, join bar associations, student organizations and other professional groups. Volunteer. Put yourself in situations where you will have a chance to strike up a conversation with someone who does what you would eventually like to do. Networking in this manner does not require a boisterous, outgoing personality. You can network effectively by just listening thoughtfully and taking a sincere interest in others.
Third, if you are intimidated by the prospect of networking, try to remember that you are asking for advice, not for a job. In this way, you are not putting people on the spot. Rather you are exploring your options, gathering advice and researching the job market - all of which set the groundwork for positioning yourself in the right place for when a job oppportunity comes along.
Fourth, don't be discouraged or take it personally if someone is unresponsive. Try someone esle. Most people like to talk about what they do and are flattered to be asked for assistance and advice with your job search.
Fifth, follow up with people you have met. The sooner you reach out after your initial meeting, the more likely that person will remember you and keep you in mind when they learn of an opportunity that might be of interest to you.
Sixth, don't forget that networking is a two way street. If someone gives you a lead to either another contact person or potential job opportunity remember to thank them and let them know how things turn out. Determine what you can do for the people in your network - you don't want to be the person people hear from only when you want something.
Lastly, once you start networking, be sure to keep track of your efforts. Devise a system for organizing your network contacts and keep it updated.
Networking is an ongoing endeavor. Continue to network even after you have found a job. You never know when you might need your network contacts again.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Symplicity Job Highlights

1Ls and 2Ls can check out Symplicity's job postings for these interesting summer job programs.
A New York County government entity is hiring legal interns for this coming summer. Depending upon the assignment, the summer legal intern may help prepare cases for grand jury presentations, hearings and trials. They also research and write appellate briefs and trial memoranda. This job has a 12/15 application deadline.
A federal banking/insurance agency is hiring summer law clerks who will assist attorneys in the preparation of all aspects of legal work as well as research projects. This job has a 12/18 application deadline.
Any questions about these or other Symplicity job postings, just email us at careerservices@kinoy.rutgers.edu

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Are you a Facebook user? If so, check out this article!

In an interesting article in the October 2009 New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, authors Scott Jon Shagin and Paula Shagin explore the legal issues, especially for lawyers, of being a Facebook user. "Facebook At Your Own Risk: the Dark Side of Social Networking Websites" describes the risks (privacy settings, potential employer searches, marketing use of "personal" information) and legal ramifications (Rules of Professional Conduct, changing expectations of privacy) surrounding the usage of Facebook as a social networking tool.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clerkship opportunities in the New York Uniform Court System for 3Ls and recent alums

The New York State Unified Court System is now accepting applications for the Clerkship Program - Commercial Division and the Legal Fellows Program. The deadline for submitting applications to either of these programs is January 15, 2010 for clerkships starting in September 2010. The Clerkship Program - Commercial Division: The New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division, New York County, is offering one- and two-year clerkships to law school graduates. These clerkships will provide valuable professional legal experience to new attorneys with an interest in commercial law and afford them a unique perspective on judicial decision making and court operations. Commercial Division Clerks will work directly with one of the Justices of the New York County Commercial Division. For information about how to apply the Clerkship Program - Commercial Division, click here. The Legal Fellows Program: The New York State Unified Court System is offering one-year legal fellowships to recent law school graduates interested in pursuing a legal career in public service. Legal Fellows are assigned to work in judicial offices, assisting with legal research and writing. Assignments offer valuable professional legal experience to new attorneys and expose them to judicial decision making and court operations. For information about how to apply to the Legal Fellows Program, click here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Idealist.org - a source for non-profit job and internship listings

Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 with offices in the United States and Argentina. It is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, and locate opportunities and supporters. It has an extensive job postings database for permanent, part-time and temporary jobs in the non-profit/government sectors, as well as listings of paid and unpaid internships. While Idealist is not dedicated to legal jobs only, you can use the search parameters to limit your search of the Idealist job or internship databases to "law and legal assistance" under the "area of focus" tab. This is just one more resource for a job or legal internship search.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Jersey Superior Court (Trial Level) Judicial Clerkships

Are you a 3L thinking about clerking for a judge? Although the hiring season began earlier this fall, there are still opportunities for clerking in the New Jersey Superior Court (Trial Level) for the 2010-2011 term. Of course, to maximize your chances of securing one of these competitive positions, you should apply as soon as possible.
There are fifteen Superior Court vicinages, each with an Assignment Judge (head judge) and Chancery, Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions with a total of approximately 395 judges. In addition, there are several tax court judges who also hire law clerks.
The New Jersey Judiciary utilizes two application methods for judicial clerkships:
1) Apply directly to individual judges. Send a strong detailed cover letter and resume (with J.D. month/year) to the judges' chambers. Applicants may also choose to include a transcript and a list of references (letters of recommendation and writing samples are generally not necessary; however you may contact each judge's chambers to confirm this is the case). Go to the New Jersey Judiciary's Law Clerk Recruitment webpage to find information about the application process, to the 2009-2010 General Assignment Order to find out which judges are are assigned to the various divisions in each vicinage, and to the Judges' Chambers Listing to get the contact information for those judges. For any updates to a judge's status or new assignments, check out the Notices to the Bar on the Judiciary's website.
2) Send a copy of a cover letter and resume for inclusion in the Judiciary's centralized resume book. This centralized resume book is then sent to judges. The cover letter should be formal but addressed generally ("Dear Your Honor). Do not include a writing sample, transcripts or references. Your cover letter and resume should be sent to lawclerksresumes.mailbox@judiciary.state.nj.us by December 24, 2009 for inclusion in the resume book sent to judges in January 2010.
The Office of Career Services strongly recommends that even if an application is sent to the central resume book, students should also apply directly to individual judges as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

1L Summer Job Search

Are you a 1L and wondering what you need to do in terms of looking for a summer job? At this point in the school year there are only a few steps you should be taking. First, concentrate on your academics and getting through your first semester exams. Although it is important to get some legal experience this summer, nothing will help you with your job search more than getting good grades. Second, take this time to work on your resume and cover letter. Samples can be found in the 1L/2L Handbook posted on the Office of Career Services section of Blackboard. Make an appointment with Career Services to have a career counselor review them with you. Third, if you are interested in either working at a large law firm or for a federal judge the summer after your first year, these are more competitive summer jobs. Therefore, you might consider sending your resume and cover letter to these places in December. A list of federal judges can be found on Symplicity. Finally, be sure to sign up for the NYU Job Fair. The registration deadline is December 1st, 2009. After final exams, you can start to target and apply for your ideal summer job. Next semester be sure to check with our office for upcoming events, networking opportunities, and help with your summer job search.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Managing a Career Transition in Tough Times

Are you a 3L looking for a job after graduation? Are you a graduate in search of a job or a transition to a new job? If so, NALP and ALI-ABA have teamed up to present "Managing a Career Transition in Tough Times," a free online presentation offering guidance and advice for finding a job in a difficult job market. Please click here for this free presentation by Marcia Pennington Shannon and Susan G. Manch of Shannon & Manch, LLP.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Follow Up: Using Social Networking Sites in Your Job Search

On November 5th, Amanda Ellis of Amanda Ellis Legal Search spoke to students about using social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, in their job search. In addition to her presentation which you can access through Blackboard (go to the Office of Career Services, Programs), she recommended the following "6 Things to Do" to get started using these social networking sites to your advantage: 1. Use the photo privacy settings on Facebook to limit who can access your photos. 2. Sign up for and complete a LinkedIn profile. Include detailed information about yourself and your job experience. 3. Connect with contacts via LinkedIn - initially and each time you meet a new contact. 4. Search for firms and attorneys in LinkedIn and determine if there are 2nd and 3rd degree contacts who might be able to introduce you. 5. Try Twitter - Create a profile and observe 10 people or organizations in the legal profession for a week. 6. Increase Twitter communication in week 2 with 1-2 people.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Registration for the NYU Job Fair is now open!

New York University School of Law will hold its Annual Public Interest/Public Service Legal Career Fair on Thursday and Friday, February 4 and 5, 2010. The Career Fair gives prospective employers the opportunity to meet with current students and allows students to gain greater perspectives on various aspects of public interest law. Last year, nearly 2,000 law students and representatives from more than 200 organizations attended the Career Fair. This event is a source of summer internships for Rutgers students every year. Registration for students will close at 3:00 p.m. on December 1, 2009. To register for the Career Fair, go to this link and fill out the online registration form. Please note that your Student ID should be your Rutgers ID number. The registration process only takes a few minutes. There is no obligation to attend even if you register, but you cannot apply for interviews if you are not in the system by December 1st. Once your registration has been approved by this office, you will receive an email with information about submitting your resume to employers interviewing at the Career Fair.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

LSPIN Deadline November 12th!

The Law Student Public Interest Fellowship Program (LSPIN) will provide grants for first- and second-year law students attending law school in New York and New Jersey to work with public interest organizations in the New York metropolitan area for ten weeks during the summer. Selected students will receive stipends in the amount of $4500 through the program. You can access an Application Form, as well as the Application Instructions describing the program here. You must email the Application Datasheet to careerservices@kinoy.rutgers.edu and submit the Application to the Office of Career Services (2nd Floor) NO LATER THAN 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2009. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Kitson, Associate Director of the Office of Career Services, and Co-Director of the Neisser Public Interest Program.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Using Social Networking Sites in Your Job Search

Amanda Ellis Legal Search Presents: The 6Ps of Using the Big 3 Social Networking Sites in your Job Search: Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter When: Thursday, November 5th at 4:30 p.m. Where: Room 90 Purpose: Learn how you can use the sites to connect on a professional level. Picture & Profile: Learn what to include and exclude from your profile. Privacy: Learn how to use the privacy settings of the Big 3 to control what potential employers can see. Professional Use: Learn how to identify and connect with other legal professionals. Phone applications: Learn how the phone apps can be more efficient than your desktop.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New York City Bar Event for Law Students

You've Survived Your First Year of Law School: Now What? A Roadmap for Law Students When: Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Where: New York City Bar, House of Association, 42 West 44th Street, NYC This program is free, however registration is required. You've made it through the Socratic method, mandatory classes, outlining, and first-year finals. Now what? Come hear panelists discuss the ways in which you can continue to develop your skills and make yourself marketable. Panelists will cover topics such as important classes to take, the Bar Exam and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Test, internships, externships, clinics, study abroad programs, and Bar Association membership. A reception will follow and light refreshments will be served. Speakers: Andrew Chapin, Director of Counseling and Public Interest Scholars, Fordham Law School Stuart D. Smith, Director of Legal Recruitment, New York City Law Department Please RSVP to lspchairman@yahoo.com. Sponsored by the Committee on Law Student Perspectives, Jodi Savage, Chair.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Writing a Winning Resume

It is very important to have a well thought-out, well-written and visually attractive resume prepared for your job search. Your resume provides the first and possibly only opportunity to make contact with a potential employer and hopefully to obtain an interview. Faced with the fact that employers spend only seconds skimming a resume, how can you create a resume that makes you stand out from the crowd? It takes some self-reflection and a little leg work, but it can be done!
1. A resume should be a personal marketing piece that promotes you. Your resume must show the employer that you have what it takes to do the job. It should not be a dissertation of every activity you have performed in your life. Rather, you should include those activities that cast you in the best light and that demonstrate you have the skills, abilities and motivation to meet the employer's needs.
2. Establish that you possess the desired qualifications by describing accomplishments, rather than listing potentials, talents or responsibilities. Your resume should be full of achievements that demonstrate that you are prepared to perform the job the employer is seeking to fill.
3. If you do not have much legal experience, make the connection between your non-legal experience and what the employer is looking for. For example, you can show a potential employer that you are hard-working by listing part-time or full-time jobs you held while attending school. Similarly, you can demonstrate your initiative by including a description of the charity work you perform in your community. Include instances of when you were required to use your strong writing ability (for instance, if you independently researched and wrote a business plan for the employer you worked for before attending law school).
4. Use the resources of the Office of Career Services. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor to take a look at your resume. Review the Office of Career Services Handbook posted on Blackboard (click on the Job Search button on the Office of Career Services page). It gives detailed advice on how to prepare your resume, line by line.
5. Other tips: Keep sentences short and direct. Don't lie or embellish. If it is not something you want to talk about in an interview, do not put it on your resume. Keep your resume continually updated and create more than one version, tailoring it to suit different employers' needs. Make sure your resume is free of typos and grammatical errors.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Tax Law Career Panel: An Evening of Information and Networking

The ABA Section of Taxation, Rutgers Law School - Newark, and Seton Hall Law School Present: A Tax Law Career Panel: An Evening of Information and Networking When: Wednesday, October 28th at 5:00 PM Where: Seton Hall Law School, Faculty Library, Fifth Floor Guest Speakers: The Honorable Raymond A. Hayser, New Jersey Tax Court; Julia A. Cannarozzi, IRS Office of Chief Counsel; Pat Rufolo, Law Office of Pat Rufolo; David Kahan, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; James Venere, KPMG. Beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Please dress business casual.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Save the Date! ABA Event - Job Search Strategies for a Challenging Economy, Panel & Reception

The American Bar Association, Section of Science & Technology Law Presents:
Job Search Strategies for a Challenging Economy: Panel & Reception
November 10, 2009, 5:00 P.M. to 6:30 P.M., Room 292
Free Food, Beer & Wine Will Be Provided
Come learn more about job search strategies for finding opportunities in the Science and Technology law fields.
A panel discussion will be moderated by Christine M. Grant, Chair of the ABA's Science and Technology Law Section and CEO of InfecDetect, a company focused on preventing infectious disease through rapid diagnostic tests, protective gear and food safety products. She is also an alumni of Rutgers Law School - Newark
Panelists include: Paul Arcioni, Chief Security Officer for the New Jersey Office of Technology for the State of New Jersey; Richard L. Field, a solo practitioner who focuses on financial systems, information technology and policy; and Sean F. Kane, Manager of Drakeford & Kane's Intellectual Property Practice Group.
Please RSVP by Monday, November 2nd to gamboam@staff.abanet.org; for more information call (312)988-5599.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beyond OCI for 2Ls: Finding a Summer Job

If you have not obtained a summer job even after participating in OCI, do not panic! Only 20 to 30% of 2Ls get a job through the on campus interviewing process, even in years where the market is robust. Many summer jobs, like those at small and medium sized firms and government and non-profits, become available as the year progresses. A job search for your summer job after your second year of law school is just like any other job search: it takes endurance and persistence (qualities necessary for being a successful attorney). It is never too late to apply but it is better to apply earlier than later. Here are some tips for your job search process:
1. Networking and Informational Interviewing: Learn as much as you can about potential employers (practice areas, culture, life-style) through networking and informational interviews with family and friends, Rutgers alumni, professors, other students, speakers and panelists at on-campus events, and by joining Bar Associations.
2. Make Yourself Marketable: Try to gain experience that will enhance your skills and demonstrate your commitment and interest to a certain type of employer or area of the law. Ways to do this include seeking part-time employment during the school year (sometimes this work can turn into full time summer employment), as well as reading law journals, taking a CLE course, volunteering in a clinic or community outreach program or doing an externship or conducting independent research for credit. Keep yourself up-to-date on both the status of the law in which you are interested (The New Jersey and New York Law Journals; http://www.law.com/) and about the state of the world in general (The Wall Street Journal; The New York Times; your local newspapers).
3. Prepare to Apply: If you have not already done so, put together your resume and a cover letter. Most importantly, make an appointment with Career Services to review your materials by emailing CareerServices@kinoy.rutgers.edu .
4. Target Potential Employers and Apply: First, check job postings and opportunities on Symplicity and other websites such as http://www.lawjobs.com/, http://www.vault.com/, http://www.idealist.org/, http://www.pslawnet.org/, http://www.nalp.org/ to name a few. Second, if you are interested in a job with a firm, conduct your own research on firms via http://www.martindale.com/, Westlaw and Lexis Nexis. Many firms have their own websites with contact information. You may want to call the firm to see who at that firm is the contact person for job inquiries. Third, be sure to tell everyone you know that you are in the market and continue to network (see step 1 above). Fourth, take advantage of the Career Services Library: Kimm Walton's "Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams" is just one of many books that may help you with your job search.
5. Keep Detailed Notes of Your Job Search and Follow Up with Employers: It is important to keep a record of where you applied, when you applied, and what version of your resume and cover letter you sent. This makes it much easier to follow up with employers either to confirm they received your materials or to resend updated materials.