Sunday, September 22, 2013

Daily Communications with Strangers Can Make a Big Difference in the Job Search

Do you find it more difficult to start conversations after communicating through email, text and social media?  Does the word "networking" strike fear in your heart?

The majority of law students and law school graduates DO NOT find their internships and post-graduate positions by responding to job postings.  Most people learn about job openings through word of mouth.   That's pretty tough when you aren't accustomed to talking to people.    Here's a simple, no risk assignment that will make networking easier for you.

For the next week, start a conversation with ten people.  Any ten people.  If you're on line at a store, start a conversation with the person in front of you.  Ask the person why he/she likes the product he/she is purchasing.  Say something nice about his/her haircut or outfit.    The more you speak to people, the easier it will become to make conversation.

During the following week, tell ten people that you're seeking a legal internship or your first post-graduate legal position.  Ask each person if he/she has ever had a reason to use a lawyer.   Ask each person for his/her lawyer's name and location.   Do a "Google" search for each lawyer to obtain contact information.  Call each lawyer and ask for a 15-minute informational interview.  During each informational interview, ask each lawyer if he/she can suggest at least one other lawyer to speak with.  Before you know it, you'll be speaking to dozens of people.   Each person you speak with increases your chance of finding one person who will offer you a job.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

George W. Bush was a “C” student and John Kerry got several “D”s  at Yale.  Yet, they each managed to secure employment and succeed in their careers.    The key is networking and you need to start now.   It can take years to cultivate relationships that will pay off.  The majority of people do not obtain post-graduate employment by participating in OCI or responding to job postings. Furthermore, few attorneys advertise jobs for new grads.  They hire through referrals from other attorneys.   Here’s an easy way to start networking.  Ask your neighbors, doctors, ministers, and rabbis for the contact information of lawyers they know.   Call their contacts and ask to meet with them for 15 minutes to learn about their careers and practice areas.   Stay in touch with them so they don’t forget you.   If you are shy:  Get. Over.  It.  Now.    

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hot Alternative Legal Careers for 2013

Hilary Mantis consults with law students and lawyers in career transition.  In an article in The National Jurist (April 8, 2013), Ms. Mantis discusses careers such as Development/Fundraising, Legal Recruiting and Finance.   Contact Ms. Mantis at