Some of you law students are finishing a 6-week internship; some of you are just starting one. Congratulations on finding summer employment – it’s a tough job market. So when should you start thinking about next summer’s employment opportunities? Now.
I hear many of you sigh in frustration. “I just started my job.” “I just finished my job and want to enjoy my summer.” “I don’t have a job so this may be my last summer not working – I want to enjoy it.”
I also love enjoying my summer. It’s called vacation and I take a week (or two) away from my job. However, you are a law student. You have debt and financial responsibilities that are going to require that you get a job. I understand that being a student feels like a full-time job, but you have to add job seeker to your plate.
How do you find your 2015 job? Here are some ideas:
Do such good work this summer that your current employer wants you next summer.
Do such good work this summer that your current employer recommends you to friends and professional colleagues.
Talk to everyone in your current job about the type of work you’d like to do or ask them about their prior work experience and ask them to recommend you to places they think you would be a good fit.
Attend networking opportunities this summer, introduce yourself and find out about their hiring practices for next summer. Our summer intern had the opportunity in just six short weeks to attend a Triangle Legal Administrators networking event, a Legal Marketing Association networking event, multiple Wake County Bar events, an Orange County Bar event, three NC Bar Association events, multiple lunches with Lawyers Mutual claims attorneys, and two mediations. This could keep our intern busy for the next 6 weeks following up with people she met and inquiring about hiring for next year.
Make an appointment with your law school Career Services Office to talk about career goals, the job market, your resume, your writing samples, networking tips, interviewing traps and any other helpful information they have to share.
Invite a lawyer to coffee. Or lunch. Or after-work drinks. Someone you’ve met, someone you admire, a law school alum, a local Bar association officer or a Young Lawyers Division member.
Begin researching alternative legal careers to determine if that is a path to explore. I have lawyer friends who work in law schools, work for non-profits, work in legal marketing, work as legal consultants, work as contract lawyers, teach or write. On October 15, the North Carolina Bar Association is hosting their first AltJD conference – watch their website (www.ncbar.org) or ours (www.lawyersmutualnc.com) for more details.
I hope you have a great summer, but you should be very busy. Finding a job is a full-time job.
Camille Stell is Vice President of Client Relations for Lawyers Mutual. Camille has worked as a paralegal, business developer and a law firm recruiter. She loves that the Student Resource Center (visit @LMLNC_STR) allows her to continue providing career guidance for law students.