How I Graduated From Law School With A Job

The job market is horrible. You can walk around moaning and groaning about it. You can join in with the complainers out there, debating whether law school is worth the time and effort. However, that’s not going to help you get a job.

Getting a job is difficult, stressful, time-consuming, and lots of other horrible adjectives. But, I want you to know that it can also be a life-changing experience. You have the choice to make it rough and tough; or, you can follow some simple tips and tricks to put yourself one step closer to landing a job. I’m not guaranteeing it will be your dream job right away, but it’s somewhere better than your current position, right?

Earlier this week, I reached out to a few friends from across the country that recently graduated from law school and obtained legal jobs. I have compiled below a number of tips, tricks, and suggestions that you can implement as you embark upon your own job search.

Law Firm Clerking 101

I spent an amazing summer clerking at a law firm in downtown Nashville, TN.  Litigation was the last thing I thought I’d be doing, but it turns out (as everyone often says in law school) I enjoyed it more than I ever thought I would!  In all honesty, the process had a huge learning curve because I had never been in a law firm environment.  This blog post is an attempt to educate other law students about what you can expect going into a position clerking at a law firm.

Book Preview: “Careers in IP Law” by Sharra Brockman

“If you get a law degree you can do anything you want.” That is a phrase often heard before, during, and after attending law school. How much valuable information ever follows that sentence? My guess is not much.

Image courtesy of the ABA-IPL.However, Ms. Sharra Brockman aims to bring real answers to that token phrase in her new book, “Careers in IP Law,” published by the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law.

Keeping A Professional Image Online

A recent segment on ‘The Ellen Show’ got me thinking about the importance of your online image. In the clip, you can watch as Ellen DeGeneres surprises members of her audience by showing embarrassing photos they posted on Facebook. Some are mortified, others are strangely proud. Below are a few take away points from Ellen’s mischief.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/SCaKuAdKumA?rel=0

Legal Blogging for Reputation 101

Have you been thinking about starting a blog, but don’t know how? Or, do you have a blog, but can’t find the time or inspiration to update it?

Image credit: Sue Richards (via Flickr)I highly suggest you check out Ernie Svenson’s new book, Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers. The book was recently released by the American Bar Association (ABA) and offers advice for attorneys looking to blog.  The book provides entire chapters on setting up a blog for attorneys that might not be tech-savvy. At one point, Ernie talks about a blog providing attorneys a way of standing out in a competitive world. The book starts off by encouraging readers to “Google” themselves. Have you done this recently?

Legal Tech News Sources For Law Students

Finding the time in school to complete the assigned reading and projects is hard enough. That’s why efficiency is critical when it comes to staying informed about the latest developments in your legal field. I’ve put together a list of technology-related legal news sources for the general public as well as attorneys and law students. I’ve attempted to organize the list based upon the weekly commitment it takes to stay updated:

I recommend making a folder on your bookmarks bar for quick access to your favorite news sources.

 

Essential Law School Apps – Part IV – WestlawNext

This is the fourth part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student. The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign while at home.

“Whether you find yourself at a court bench or park bench, WestlawNext can produce results unlike any other legal platform available.”

1: Westlaw Goes ‘Next’

Learning to research effectively. That is one of the many goals all law students will have during their time in school. Effective research techniques will continue to become refined through practice. When new technologies are developed to help the research process, they are certainly welcomed.

WestlawNext is known as the “Google”-like approach to legal research.  This is because the service offers a simple, unified search bar which delivers powerful results, much like Google itself. The searches can be limited to specific jurisdictions, sources, dates, and more. A WestlawNext search is optimized for plain language as well as the classic Boolean operators. Therefore, Westlaw Classic users will feel right at home in the use of Boolean operators, while new students will become familiar with their plain language counterparts. Both are necessary and helpful in researching on WestlawNext.

Essential Law School Apps – Part III – Dropbox

Welcome to the third part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student! The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign outside of class.

“Backing up your data is one of the most essential steps in using technology today.”

1: What Is Dropbox?

When first telling someone about Dropbox*, I explain that the service is a USB stick or thumb drive that you never have to carry with you. Dropbox and the files you choose to store with the service are easily accessible from any computer or device, provided you have an Internet connection. Dropbox is free at the base level and gives you 2 GB of storage space. I will discuss later how this can be increased.

My Dropbox folder is stored in ‘My Documents.’

I recommend starting with the installation of the Dropbox program on your main computer after creating an account. The installation will automatically create a Dropbox folder wherever you choose. I use a Windows laptop and created my Dropbox folder in “My Documents.”

Essential Law School Apps – Part II – Evernote Mobile

This is the second part of a series of posts in which I will profile the apps and services I found essential to my first year as a law student. The first semester I restricted use to a laptop. After receiving an iPad 2 for Christmas, the second semester was limited to in-class use of the iPad and free reign while at home.

For more on Evernote, see my previous post on the desktop clients available.

3: Evernote for iPhone/ Evernote for Android

Evernote is a powerful little tool to carry in your pocket. I currently have an iPhone 4S, but had an HTC Eris and had Evernote installed on that as well. It appears as though there is a new version of Evernote for Android, which you can read more about at the official Evernote blog. For the most part, I never used the phone version of Evernote during class. It just doesn’t look great to be on your cell phone during class, despite the fact you know you’re using Evernote.

Bullet list on Evernote for iPhone.