Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Job Search Intro

I'm a third year in law school. I have less than 3 months until I graduate with a juris doctor, and have to start studying for the bar. (Some say I should already be studying, those people are probably right.) I set up my class schedule this semester so that I could have a part-time, or even full time job during the day. Unfortunately that has not come to pass. Instead my part/full time job is finding a job.

With the economy, a general over saturation of lawyers, the fact that I'm not at the most prestigious law school in a city full of law schools and an academic standing slightly below the top ten percent I have been finding it hard to find a job. So this is a topic that I'm going to start blogging about a little more, my highs and lows, the awkward experiences, and hopefully in the end my success.

First off a little about my job search. I want to be a trust and estate lawyer. This is a subject most people think is deathly boring, but trusts tickle me, or to put it more professionally, I enjoy interacting with new people and I find that working with people about the areas they care so much about, family and finance, is very rewarding. Or at least I hope I'll find it rewarding. I haven't actually worked in this field yet. But I have taken every class on the subject my school has to offer, and done quite well in all of them. Trust and estates is a difficult field to break into, but once you are in it is a small community and everyone knows each other.

My steps to finding a job in this field have been: Cold calling ("Hi, do you need an intern?") which has been disastrously unsuccessful so I have completely ceased doing this, applying to every job I am even a little bit qualified for on school sponsored job posting sites, and networking.
Networking has been wildly successful thanks to the wonderful uncle of a friend of mine who also happens to have been one of my estate professors. I think he would've helped me even if he wasn't my friend's uncle, but its nice to have that additional connection. (We mostly talk about when she is going to get married, we both think it'll be soon, she doesn't appreciate our speculation.) He got me on the informational interview bandwagon by getting me in touch with a partner at a smallish firm. She in turn got me in touch with a couple people who got me in touch with a couple people. All of these people have been tremendously kind and helpful and I am very jealous of all of their jobs.

Unfortunately none of their firms are hiring first year associates, and all of them have told me the same thing: keep networking, and get a couple of years of experience then you'll be super desirable to hire. I appreciate the advice, of course, all of them have also agreed that this step in the search is like throwing a ball or hitting your head against a wall.

Thus, I'll be sharing with you the process of hitting my head against a wall. I hope you enjoy my struggles and we can all celebrate when they are over and I find a job!

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