Friday, August 30, 2013

Around the Web

This is a new feature that we are trying out.  Every week (hopefully!) we'll list a few articles related to career planning and development.  Below is this week's round-up:

How to Tell Your Network You're Looking for a Job when you get started on your job search.

Results of the 2013 Midlevel Associates Survey - see how midlevel associates feel about their careers.

How to Be a Better Conversationalist - for all the networking you should be doing!

And because typographical mistakes can ruin your chances before you even get in front of an employer, we give you How To Use An Apostrophe.

Have a great Labor Day weekend everybody!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hot Jobs Wednesday

Every Wednesday we will highlight a few positions that are currently available and that offer a fantastic opportunity to gain legal experience. Additional information about these positions is available on Symplicity - just search by the Job ID number listed. 

And remember - a wide range of opportunities are listed in Symplicity - these are but a few to whet your appetite!

Experienced Litigator at New York City firm.  JOB ID # 11059

Judicial Extern for NJ Superior Court Judge in Hudson County. JOB ID # 10830

Law Clerk at Bayonne, NJ firm. JOB ID # 11060

Full-Time Law Intern with New Jersey/New York based organization. Great for evening students!  JOB ID # 10794

Judicial Intern for Judges in Passaic County. JOB ID # 11027

Thursday, August 22, 2013

1L/2LE Suggested Job Search Timeline for


Your first summer of legal employment offers a fantastic chance for you to explore the various opportunities that are out there for lawyers. There are a variety of opportunities available to Rutgers-Newark students for the summer after their 1L/2LE year. It is important to gain legal experience and VITAL to begin laying the groundwork for future career-building efforts.  If you want to find a job as a lawyer following graduation -- whether you are a full-time, part-time, or evening-division student – you will greatly improve your marketability by gaining legal experience – paid or unpaid -- during law school.
After the jump, you'll find a suggested job search timeline for your 1L/2LE year of law school to get you started on your career planning.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

GUEST POST: Standing Out

Today's guest post is from William Dolan, a recent graduate in the Class of 2013, where he tells what he did to "stand out" from the crowd during OCI.

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As someone from one of the big N.Y. firms told me last year when I was participating in OCI, “you need to ‘stand out’ to get a job offer in this market.” The way I chose to “stand out” was to be more prepared than other candidates.

In terms of interview preparation specifics, I wrote out a list of potential questions, and the answers I intended to give. I created a list by taking career services’ general interview questions and adding questions specific to me. For instance, since law is a second career for me, I prepared for the question, “why law school”? Similarly, because I was not from N.J., I included the question, “why N.J.”?

Reading back my answers allowed me to see them from a more objective perspective, identify weaknesses, and refine them before I began interviewing. Equally important, I rehearsed my answers. This helped me to cut out awkward pauses. Practicing your answers also helps eliminate the dreaded “ums” for those of you cursed with that problem.

Finally, I researched every firm and interviewer to identify substantive questions I could ask in the interview. By doing so, I was able to convey that I was informed and engaged in the interview and that firm in particular. For example, on a callback interview with a top N.Y. M & A lawyer, I asked if I could pose a practice question at the end of the interview. With the interviewer’s encouragement, I asked how he dealt with a particular personality type when negotiating a deal.

With the interviewing success I achieved, I believe I accomplished my goal of “standing out” from the competition.

Friday, August 9, 2013

GUEST POST: Four Suggestions from an OCI Veteran

As you get ready for your OCI interviews that start next week, keep these tips in mind from today's guest poster, a recent graduate who successfully obtained a summer associate position at a large New York City law firm through the OCI process.

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Be Flexible.
A lot of OCI stress goes into formulating answers to the questions "why law school?" or "why do you want to be a lawyer?" These are valid questions that you will get asked and that you should be prepared to answer. However, I found that a not insignificant amount of my OCI stress stemmed from anticipating questions asking "what type of law would you like to practice?" and "corporate or litigation?" These questions are not only less frequently asked, but a firm answer to them may not always work in your favor. This is true for two reasons: (1) it's unlikely that you'll have a developed idea of what it is you'd like to do, not having previously worked in a firm (this is especially true concerning the "corporate or litigation" question) and (2) firms may be looking for particular summer associates, taking into consideration what departments are busy, where the anticipate growth, where a lot of attorneys have been leaving, etc., and your seemingly unwavering commitment to ERISA work, in the name of having a definitive stance on the issue of what you'd "like to do," may hurt you when your partner interviewer knows in a year's time, the ERISA group will be downsizing. My advice here is to remain flexible. If you're interested in something specific, it's fine to address it and let it be known, but you should also take care to equally highlight your desire to try different practice areas, your eagerness to learn, and your ability to be flexible.

Be Prepared to Really Answer "Why XYZ firm?"
Do your research. I'm not talking about just visiting the firm website and NALP. Check out Vault, search the Wall Street Journal, run some general searches to see if the firm has popped up in the news, try to really get a grasp of what the firm does and where they are headed. You will get pushed on this question if you provide a generic answer. Interviewers are busy people and it's important that you come across as having done your homework to avoid taking a 20 minute time-slot to interview for a position at a firm that you really know nothing about. This is not to say you need to go nuts here and research trial brief style, but you do need to dig a tad deeper than you may think necessary to come up with the good stuff that will allow you to stand out and earn you a check mark on your resume for really knowing why you're there in the first place.

Just When You Think You Have Enough Questions Prepared, Prepare Some More Questions. No doubt by now you have 5-6 questions prepared for the end of your interview. You've made sure to jot inquiries like "What makes for a successful summer associate at XYZ firm?" and "In what practice areas do you anticipate growth?" (both good questions) in your handy leather portfolio. Heck, maybe you've even expanded that list to 8-10 questions or even, if you're really ambitious, 10-12. You'll likely make it through 80%, or even all of your interviews, and not have used all of these questions and you'll be proud of your erring on the side of caution by having so many prepared. However, that moment will come, whether it's on the 2nd floor of CLJ or in a partner's office during a callback, where the interview will be placed in your hands, where the typical "Do you have any questions for me?" will not be tossed over to you with only a few minutes remaining in the interview, but rather right at the beginning of your time together, and you'll be left with 30 minutes or so with nothing else to do but ask questions. This is the situation you must prepare for. Your generic questions will likely be good to carry over from firm to firm, but I would take care to spend some extra time forming firm-specific questions, that will enable you to fill time, allow the interviewer to segue into other discussions about the firm, and most importantly, as above, stand out as researched, prepared, and truly interested in the job.

Drink Water. Eat Lunch.
Sounds obvious, right? I thought so too. During interview week, you will be faced with long days of sometimes back-to-back interviews. Worse, your interviews may not be back-to-back, but will have just enough time between each to be inconvenient yet not enough time to ensure that leaving the building is not a risky proposition (Will I make it back on time? Will a Newark police officer on horseback write me up for j-walking?). To add to the variables, it will also be hot, likely very hot and walking outdoors could mean turning into a sweaty mess right before your 1st choice firm interview. With the above in mind, I suggest you (1) keep snacks on hand so as to avoid the "I'll eat later" mentality and wind up close to passed out in your 4:40 interview and (2) keep hydrated as you will be talking more than you make think possible and dry mouth (and the accompanying breath) is not ideal.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

GUEST POST: My OCI Experience

Our previous guest poster provides some specific information for evening students from a first-hand perspective as the guest poster was also an evening student.

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I was an evening student when I participated in OCI and I worked full-time during the process. If you are going through the OCI process as an evening student, here are a few tips that may be helpful:
  • Legal Experience. As an evening student, I did not have the chance to intern for a judge or at a law firm during my first summer. I was concerned that this would affect my chances in OCI.  From my experience, this was not a problem for most firms.  They did, however, want to know how/why my experience made me a better candidate. Make sure to emphasize the skills that your work experience has helped you develop that would transfer to the practice of law at a firm such as your interpersonal skills and professionalism.  At the very least, working 9-5 and going to school at night has prepped you for the long firm hours! 
  • Why the Evening Program? Many firms asked me why I chose to attend school part-time and why I chose to change careers.  If your career is one where becoming a lawyer is a natural progression, it may be easier. If not, you should think about this and be prepared to answer the question.
  • Scheduling time off from work. This can be difficult depending on your employer.  Remember to reserve a few days for call-back interviews in addition to the days you will need for OCI.