For students seeking practical advice and tips for applying for legal jobs, How to Get a Legal Job: A Guide for New Attorneys and Law School Students, by Shauna C. Bryce, provides a helpful starting point. A copy of this book is available in the Career Development Office.
The first chapter of the book lays out the basics of a job search. The chapter begins by describing an employer’s point of view and the thought processes of those who make hiring decisions. The author then transitions into a section about setting goals and assessing one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Finally, this chapter concludes with advice for researching employers and finding jobs to which one can apply.
The second chapter provides an overview of various career documents, including résumés, cover letters, reference pages, writing samples, follow-up letters, and networking cards. For each type of document, the author summarizes the different styles, content, and formatting details that are most important. The book contains multiple samples of each type of document.
In the third chapter, the author offers advice for visiting and interviewing with the employer. In particular, there are several point-by-point descriptions of how to dress appropriately, groom properly, prepare for an interview, act while interviewing, and what to bring to an interview. There are also specific tips for how to conduct a lunch or phone interview.
Finally, the fourth chapter describes how to accept or decline an offer professionally. The chapter also has a brief section on how to notify appropriately a current employer of acceptance of a new job elsewhere.
All things considered, this book is a good resource for students seeking a guide full of tips to enhance their job search quickly. Because the topics are segmented by chapter, a reader can easily and quickly find subject matter in which he or she is most interested. One potential drawback of the book is that the margins are filled with anecdotes, quotes from lawyers, and briefly-stated lessons learned from others’ experiences. Although entertaining at times, they give the book a slightly cluttered feel, and they typically do not add much beyond what the main text offers. However, the book still provides a lot of helpful information in a small number of pages.