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!