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.