Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Networking 101 - After the Event

This is the last installment of our networking tips series.  Check out the first and the second installment if you missed them.

Networking does not end when the event is over.  To truly be effective at networking, you must actively maintain the connections you have made to gain the most from your networking efforts.  Below are some tips to help you do that:

  • Record Key Information Immediately:  Immediately upon leaving the event, record some key details on the back of the business cards you collected while they are still fresh in your mind.  This will help you follow-up with the individual you connected with.

  • Follow-up:  Follow-up with the individuals you connected with by email or telephone and arrange to meet with them again for a longer conversation.  Be specific here - invite them to meet for coffee or lunch in a specific time frame.

  • Networking is a Two Way Street:  Like any good relationship, a networking relationship is most effective when both parties get something out of it.  Make sure you are contributing to the relationship also.  If you come across an article or a recent development that may be on interest to the person you met, forward it to them.  If you are attending a professional event that might interest the person you want to connect with further, send them the details and let them know you will be attending.

  • Connect on LinkedIn:  If both of you have a LinkedIn account, ask if you can connect with the individual on it.  Once you are connected, check out the person's profile and join any groups that he/she belongs to related to the practice area you are interested in.  (And if you do not have a LinkedIn account, this might be a good time to start one).

  • Track Your Networking Efforts:  Devise a system for keeping track of your contacts and efforts, whether its  electronic, a notebook or binder, or some other system.  Record information about who you met, when and where you met, what you discussed, important information about the individual such as their practice area and employer, and what follow-up you intend to do.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Jersey Law Firm Group Mentor Program

The New Jersey Law Firm Group announces the 2012 New Jersey Law Firm Group’s Annual Mentor Program for first-year law students. The purpose of the Mentor Program is to guide the selected first-year law students through the interview/hiring process that typically takes place at the commencement of their second year of law school. The Program is not designed to guarantee a summer job or even an interview with the volunteer mentor’s employer; rather, the Program will provide the student with a contact within the New Jersey legal community and hopefully, give the students insight into the practical aspects of the legal profession.

To participate in the program, go to the Job Postings section of Symplicity and search for the 2012 Mentor Program. You will need to complete the contact information form and provide your current resume. Follow the instructions on Symplicity on how to submit your materials to participate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NYU Public Interest Career Fair

New York University School of Law will hold its Annual Public Interest/Public Service Legal Career Fair on Thursday and Friday, February 8 and 9, 2012. 

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 School of Law | Newark students every year. 

Registration for students will close at 11:00 PM on December 1, 2011. To register click here and fill out the online registration form. 

You must register using you law school (pegasus) email address and your Student ID should be your Rutgers ID number. 

Registering 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.

Networking 101 - At the Event

This is the next installment in our networking tips series.  If you missed the first installment, you can access it by clicking here.

You've done all of the things we talked about before the event.  You found an event that interests you, prepared an introduction, done your research,set a goal for yourself, and have a positive attitude about the event.  

Now what?  

GO TO THE EVENT!  Once you are there, keep the following things in mind:

  • Pay attention:  If there is a lecture, seminar, or other presentation portion of the event, pay attention to it.  This will enable you to start a conversation or contribute to the conversation if a point made during the presentation comes up when you are meeting people afterwards.  

  • Take the Initiative:  You are there to meet people so take the initiative and talk to them.  Don't stand in one place the entire time, but rather walk around.  If you see someone by themselves, use your practiced introduction and strike up a conversation.  It is also easier to join a conversation between three or more people, than one where only two people are talking to each other.

  • Use Open-Ended Questions:  Your goal is to learn as much information about the person as you can.  The easiest way to do this is to ask open-ended questions that require more than a one word answer.  Also, most people like to talk about themselves and are almost always willing to provide information.

  • Don't Hover by the Food or the Bar:  Again, the purpose of attending these events is to gather information and meet people.  You cannot do that by spending your time eating the free food or having free drinks.  Get some food or a drink (preferably non-alcoholic) so that you blend in and have something in your hands to occupy them.  But then concentrate on what you are there to do, which is to make connections.

  • Leave on a High Note:  Do not feel obligated to speak with one person the entire night.  Have an exit strategy ready that you can utilize before the conversation dies down.  If you made a connection, ask for a business card so that you can follow up with them in the future.   Always express gratitude to the person for speaking with you.

  • DO NOT HAND OUT YOUR RESUME!!  Need I say more.

Stay tuned for the last installment in this series on what to do after attending a networking event to further develop the relationships with the connections you made!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

LSPIN Summer Funding

The application process for the 2012 LSPIN summer grants is now open.  The deadline to apply is November 17th!!!

The LSPIN Fellowship Program 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.

Click here to begin the application process.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Networking 101 - Before the Event

You are going to a networking reception hosted by a local bar association.  Or you are attending a panel discussion at the law school which is followed by a cocktail reception.  Or you were invited to a local bar association's holiday party as a student member.  These are all great opportunities to meet people and develop relationships that will serve you well in your current job search and throughout your professional career.

But if you are anything like us, going to an event where you have to actively talk to strangers who you know nothing about makes you wish instead that you were at the dentist having a root canal - without anesthesia!  Before you schedule emergency dental surgery, hear us out - it's not so bad.  Like anything else, for most people, networking takes practice.  Once you do it a couple of times, it will start coming naturally to you.  

But first things first - we are not talking about networking where you ask for a job - please do not do that.  Nothing will make the person you are talking to run for the door more than having the first words out of your mouth be "Can you get me a job?"  Instead, think of networking as making professional friends - the operative word being "professional."  Just as your personal friends can recommend restaurants or movies that you may like, the professional contacts you make can refer you to opportunities that you did not even know existed.

So, how do you make these professional connections?  One of the ways to do so is to attend an event that will attract the types of people that you would like to meet.  In this series of posts we'll discuss quick tips to help you make the most of these events.  This first installment is all about what to do before the event to help you make connections when you get there.

  • Find an Event That Interests You:  Attend events where the topic is something you are interested in, whether it is an area of law you want to practice in, an employer you want to work for, or a speaker you want to meet, etc.   This will ensure that you have something in common with the other attendees to be able to start a conversation.

  • Prepare an Introduction:  Before you go, prepare and practice an 8-10 second introduction of yourself until you are comfortable with it but do not sound rehearsed.  Your introduction should tell the person you are meeting who you are and end with an open ended question to begin the conversation.  For example, "Hi, I'm Jane Doe and I'm an electrical engineering student at State University.  What did you think of about the presenter's point about electrical circuits?"  Also, prepare an exit strategy to extricate yourself from a conversation (but more on this in the next installment!).

  • Do Some Quick Research:  Do quick research on the topic of the event and/or the organization sponsoring the event, such as any recent developments in that area of law or any news headlines that the organization has been mentioned in.  We're not talking about research for a 60 page law journal article - just brief research to know enough that you can discuss these things intelligently if they come up in conversation.  In a similar vein, be aware of current events as they are frequently conversation topics (as an aside - you should be doing this anyway as a professional!).  Preparing ahead of time will help avoid any awkward pauses in conversation, but be careful to avoid any controversial topics.

  • Set a Goal:  Know what you want to accomplish by going to the event, whether it is to get more information about the practice area, a particular company, or to speak to the presenter.  And then try to accomplish it while there.  Having a goal will help you focus your energy on something productive.

  • Have a Good Attitude:  If you think of going to the event in a negative manner, then that attitude will carry over to the event.  If you think it is going to be a waste of time going in, then it will be a waste of time for you.

Look out for the next installment in this series, where we'll discuss what to do when you get to the networking event!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Entrepreneurship/Small Firm Practice

TOMORROW, THURSDAY, Sept. 22nd at 5 PM in Room 292

If you are interested in learning more about the entrepreneurial opportunities a law degree can provide, including starting your own practice, please join us Thursday, September 22nd at 5:00 PM in Room 292, as we welcome a distinguished alum as part of the Dean's Alumni Practice Series. John Carrino (R-N '00), partner at Carrino Gallagher in Nutley, NJ, will be here to speak about his career path to his current position and answer questions from students. Along with equity positions in a variety of businesses, John has taken his legal education and practice and has successfully applied it to the many moving parts in the business world. John has a diverse background in technology and currently holds a patent on an advanced communication and notification software application that is widely adopted and used in the marketplace today. In addition to discussing the various business opportunities a J.D. can provide, John will be also able to offer his perspective on the current state of the legal market.

Refreshments will be served!

Please let us know that you are planning to attend by RSVPing in the Events section of Symplicity, under Workshops. 1L/2LE and 1LE students should RSVP by sending an email to our office (  Seating is limited.

If you can't join us in person, we'll be tweeting highlights LIVE.  You can also tweet us your questions  - #RNLAWDAPS.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

International Law Program

Presented by Matthew Wilson, Senior Associate Dean of Temple University Law School's Japan Program
Thursday, Sept. 15th, at 5:00pm, the Baker Trial Courtroom
The one hour program covers the following topics:
1. What is International Law? This is a question that many law students interested in the area need to how to effectively answer.
2. What is an International Lawyer? Prof. Wilson talks about his own experiences in the U.S., Japan, Philippines and Northern Mariana Islands, and exactly what an “ international” attorney does.
3. Opening the door: things that a law student can do during law school to get involved in transnational or international legal matters.
4. Studying Abroad: How to effectively utilize study abroad programs during law school. It cannot be used just as a vacation.
5. Where the jobs are: conventional and unique international career opportunities for law students domestically in the United States, overseas, and on tropical islands.
6. Job searching tips: how a U.S. educated law student can go about finding an internationally related legal internship or job either domestically or overseas.
7. Practical Application: How international experiences translate into networking, client development, and career opportunities in the United States

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Regardless of what type of employer you have or where you are in your career, mastering the business lunch is an important skill to add to your arsenal. Business lunches are great opportunities to network, develop clients, and forge relationships with your colleagues. Below are some guidelines to keep in mind:

It's Business Not Lunch. A business lunch is not about eating lunch – it is about building relationships. Pay attention to the conversation. Participate when appropriate. Be interested in the people you are with. If you are interviewing with the employer, the lunch is part of the interview.

Use Proper Table Manners. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Don’t put your fingers in your mouth. Don’t pick your nose or blow your nose in the napkin. Put the napkin on your lap as soon as you sit down. When you get up, place the napkin on your chair – not the table. Use the proper silverware – when in doubt start with the silverware on the outside and work your way in towards the plate. Follow the BMW rule: Bread is on the left, Meal is in the middle, and Water is on the right. If you don’t know proper table etiquette, look it up on the internet.

Pay Attention To What Others are Ordering. You don’t want to interrupt the flow of the lunch by ordering courses that others haven’t. Don’t order an appetizer if no one else did. On the flip side, if everyone else orders a dessert, you should too. Also, don’t order the most expensive or least expensive thing on the menu.

Research the Restaurant. Menus for most restaurants are available online. Spend some time looking it over before the lunch so that you have an idea of what you will order. You don’t want to appear indecisive or keep others waiting while you peruse the menu. Even if you don’t like anything the restaurant has to offer – find something you can eat. Unless you have specific dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, etc.) most restaurants will have something that you can eat or that can be modified easily.

No Blackberries, iPhones or Other Devices. Do not look at your Blackberry or iPhone during the lunch. Put it on silent and put it away – not on the table. If you do not trust yourself to follow this rule, don’t bring the device with you at all. If you are working on something that you feel may require your attention during the lunch either by email or phone call, warn the others attending ahead of time and excuse yourself from the table when the need arises.

Be Polite to the Wait Staff. How you treat others is a direct reflection on you. Be gracious, polite, and kind to the wait staff serving you. Even if you have the worst waiter who got your order wrong and ruined your new suit - grin and bear it and keep your cool. Don’t explode, take out your frustration, yell, or be rude to the wait staff for any reason.

Do Not Send Your Food Back. Unless the food you received is inedible, don’t send it back. If the meat is not cooked or you are a vegetarian and they served you a T-bone steak, then by all means politely tell your waiter. But if you asked for no onions in your salad and they still put them in, just push the onions to the side and don’t eat them. On a related note, don’t order something with complicated modifications or that is hard to eat neatly.

Do Not Get Drunk. If no one else orders alcohol, don’t take it upon yourself to order it or to suggest it to the group. If the more senior people you are with order an alcoholic drink, order one yourself if you like, but don’t finish it or order another one.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Just because your work product is top-notch does not guarantee your success as an associate. Make no mistake – your work product must be stellar. Nothing can kill your career faster than performing your job duties poorly. But even with exceptional work product, there are other key things you should be doing to ensure your success.

Ask For the Work You Want To Do. Tell the department head or the individual in charge of assignments the types of cases or projects you want to be involved in. If you like working for a particular person, tell them to keep you in mind for future projects. You can only get the work you want if others know what it is you want to work on.

Find a Mentor and a Buddy. Whether your firm has a formal mentorship program or not, you have to develop two types of mentor/mentee relationships. First, with a senior associate or partner who embodies where you want to be in the future in your career and who you are comfortable speaking with regarding career advice. The other should be a mid-level associate you can go to with “silly” questions on how to get things done at the firm. Both are important to your long term success.

Be Aware of Your Billable Hours. Everyone hates doing it but it is one of the most important things you can do as an associate - track your billable time every day. Know what your requirements are and whether you are on track to meet them. If you are not going to meet your requirements, make sure your superiors know why. If it is because you did not have enough work, make sure you have a record of asking for work to meet your requirements.

Use and Track Non-Billable Time. Participate in marketing/networking events to develop relationships that help advance your career and assist in client development. Join in firm activities or committees to demonstrate your commitment to the firm. But most importantly, establish a method for tracking this non-billable time so that you can detail your contributions to the firm.

Talk to your Assistant. Set aside time early on to talk to your assistant to discuss each other’s expectations. Also, your assistant should always know where you are.

Know Your Support Staff. Introduce yourself to the mail room staff (especially the night staff), the copy center, the word processing room, the supply room. Be kind and friendly to everyone. You will, at some point, be the person that has to get a late night mailing out and these are the people that will be helping you do it.

Return Calls the Same Day. Whenever possible return all phone calls, whether they are from clients, the court, a partner, or another associate, on the same day you receive them.

Provide Timely Updates. Always timely update the supervising attorneys you are working with on your progress and any issues that have arisen. Determine the supervising attorney’s preferred method of being updated and use it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

You Graduated - Now Start Studying!

Congratulations 2011 Graduates!!

Now you get to take the BAR EXAM – yeah!! The following link has some tips on surviving this rite of passage without too many scars:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Are you LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals, including lawyers used for career development, job searching, client development, and more. As of November 2010, LinkedIn had over 85 million users with executive representation from every Fortune 500 company. If you aren’t LinkedIn yet – you should be. Build your professional reputation and personal brand now by creating and maintaining your LinkedIn profile.

Here’s how in three easy steps:

1. Create a strong profile that highlights key skills and uses keywords relevant to the industry that you want to be in. Use the summary section to create your personal brand that lets employers know quickly what you bring to the table.

2. Start connecting! Some sources of people to connect with are other law students, individuals you meet at networking events, undergraduate classmates, family, friends, former co-workers, etc. Send a personalized message, not the default invitation, when you ask someone to connect. While you should try to connect with as many individuals as you can, you also want to be selective on who you include within your professional network.

3. Establish a presence by updating the status bar on your home page with your accomplishments. Join groups (such as the Rutgers Law School – Newark Career Development group) and participate in discussions by posting questions, commenting on questions posted by others, or posting articles or events of interest to the group. Use the update tool to stay current with your connections and comment on their postings.

Always remember that LinkedIn is a site for professionals that employers are increasingly utilizing to learn information about applicants. Behave on LinkedIn as you would on an interview with a potential employer.
Be honest. Be professional. Be responsible.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Destination Public Interest Webinar

NALP presents "Destination Public Interest: Landing the Ideal Public Interest Job.” This webinar, designed for 3Ls and recent graduates who are pursuing public interest jobs, offers best practices and tips in the areas of cover letter and résumé drafting, as well as interviewing and professional networking. To watch the webinar, click here. Presenters: •Charlene Gomes, Senior Program Manager, Law School Advocacy and Outreach, Equal Justice Works •Steve Grumm, Director of Public Service Initiatives, NALP •Jennifer Thomas, Director of Recruiting, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia With contributions from Jarrod Shirk, Public Interest Coordinator, American University Washington College of Law

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Interested in Public Interest Law?

If you are considering a career in public interest law, you might want to take a look at this, the NALP Public Interest Market Snapshot Survey. You can learn about employer expectations when it comes to hiring as well as possible layoffs. Don’t overlook the section that tells you how job seekers can compete in the current job market! Also, if you are planning to work for a nonprofit public interest organization this summer, PSLawNet has an extensive list of organizations which offer funding opportunities to support law students in unpaid summer internships, including details about the level of support and application process.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Students Interested in Politics and Government Apply Online Now for the 2011-2012 Eagleton Fellowship Program

The Eagleton Institute of Politics offers interdisciplinary fellowships that provide select Rutgers graduate students the opportunity to further their understanding of the practice of politics, government, and public affairs while connecting the fellowship experience to their chosen fields of study. Eagleton has offered these prestigious fellowships since 1956. Application deadline is March 21, 2011 Visit the Eagleton website ( for more information on the fellowship types, program requirements and how to apply. You can also contact Sarah Kozak at 732-932-9384 x 244or email