Law school is competitive and the legal job market is even more competitive. This doesn’t mean you can’t carve out your own path in life and get a fulfilling job after law school. But it does mean that in order to do so you have to have a game plan from the beginning.
Your law school career counselor can be integral in assisting you to get a job after law school. The law school career counselor at the school I attended was one of the smartest and most caring people I have ever met. She helped current law students as well as already-graduated law students with their job search. She was full of invaluable insight that I never would have known had I not scheduled an appointment with her! Her insight and ideas led me directly to one of my first jobs after law school. Many of my colleagues said the same.
A good law school career counselor knows what the legal job market is like and what you need to do to set yourself apart to get the job that you want. Thus, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your career counselor earlier, during your 1L year, rather than later.
Some Tips for your Appointment with
Your Law School Career Counselor:
- Come to your appointment with information. Be honest about your grades, your experience, and your ambitions. Tell your career counselor what kind of jobs you want and what fields you are looking to work in (as well as what fields you are looking to stay away from!)
- Be open-minded. Your career counselor does this for a living. He or she knows the legal job market and may have alternative ideas for how you can get to where you want to be. He or she will also be honest about your career search in terms of what kind of jobs you are likely to get.
- Bring your resume and cover letters. Ask for tips about what you should include, what you should not include, and how to organize your resume and cover letters. Your career counselor will not re-write these for you, but they should be able to briefly review your resume and give you invaluable insight. The career counselor at my law school amazed me with the insightful tips she gave with just a brief look at my resume and cover letters.
- Ask what you can do now to improve your chances of getting the job you want. Should you focus on networking? Grades? Any specific classes you should take or professors you should talk to? Your career counselor can be a great source of information. Make sure to ask this very important question to maximize your chances of getting a good post-law school job that fits with your goals.
It is true that not all career counselors are great at what they do. But making a half-hour appointment certainly cannot hurt you. Also, even if your career counselor doesn’t go above and beyond for you, they will certainly be able to provide you with some assistance in your legal job search. Something as simple as a few resume tips or a new idea on what kind of job you can look for can make all the difference in your job search.