Monday, August 27, 2007

Interviewing Tips

It's that time of year again, where OCI and interviewing is going on. One question that almost every interviewer asks is "tell me about yourself?" In otherwords, they are not asking for a life story, but rather are asking you why they should hire you or what makes you the best canditate. For more advice check out CareerJournal. You can also check out this article on "mastering the interview" for more tips. Some of the questions are more focused to recent college grads, rather than law students, but it will help you think about the types of things you should prepare for when getting ready for your interview. Remember to study potential questions and think of potential answers so you are ready with anecdotes and examples. Access these articles additional advice on preparing for interviews.

These are other things you should be prepared to talk about
  • things you do well
  • greatest strength
  • greatest weakness (make sure to leave the answer on a positive note, so they know you are working on this weakness)
  • Favorite class/professor
  • your inspiration
  • what makes a leader or examples of your leadership
  • Be prepared to talk about anything listed on your resume or cover letter.
  • why you want to work in X city or in X firm, government agency, non-profit
  • know ways to spin negative aspects of yourself positively (grades, lack of familiarity with the city, one bad semeter, ect)
Try to portray the most positive, confident version of yourself you can. The interviewer is looking for reasons NOT to hire you and you are there to give them as many reasons that you can why they should hire you. Just try to have a conversation rather than a monologue or rehearsed speech and you'll do great!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Network in Law School

First know where you want to work or at least what type of law you want to practice. Contact your Career Services office and ask for alumni that practice in the area or field that you want to practice. Then send an email or mail a letter explaining that your Career Services director recommended you contact them and if they had any advise for a future lawyer wanting to practice in this city or in this area of law. If possible, ask to meet them for coffee or lunch just to pick their brain. When they say yes, come armed with questions. This is basically an informational interview. Don't ask about jobs, ask about advice. Start this process early in your law school career and you'll build up your networks and land yourself a legal job upon graduation. If you have friends or family who are lawyers or know lawyers, go ahead and send them the pro forma letter. Try to start the letter with Mr. or Ms. Z recommended I contact you, so that you are not some random person. You can also say that you came across their name or law firm while doing research about the field of law you are interested in. Once you meet with these networks, keep in touch with them every couple of months so they know where you are in the job search process.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Law school books

Search for your law school text books here for good deals.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Bar Exam: Afterthoughts

So it's been over a week since I took the bar exam and I have a few reflections. I think the hardest part about the whole process was  feelings of the unknown. Before you take the bar, you don't really know what to expect during the exam days. You don't know if you are studying too much or not enough. Everything is just this dark abyss of unknowingness. I know I was so nervous before the bar exam that I threw up! I was just so scared that my worst nightmare would come true and I'd see a question that I would have no idea how to answer. But the best thing is just to relax, stay calm, and go in to the examination room with what you know and not worry about the rest. I think making flashcards helped me because I could visualize my little card and try to remember what was on it and write it down on my exam. I tried to keep my essays organized, citing the rule and then applying the rule to the facts of the situation. I think a student should utilize every method necessary to get the information in their head and remember it, whether it be flashcards, re-writing or re-tying notes, listening to tapes. Get in your head several different ways so you can remember it. It also helps to repeat things out loud or write it down. For instance, when studying, I would read a section and then try to re-write it from memory. It's tedious, but it works.

Another tip, don't' try to guess which essays they will test. I tried that and was wrong. Just study everything because there is a chance that any of the subjects will be tested. Don't blow off income tax or negotiable instruments because you think there is no way they will test on it.

Oh people love to stand around during breaks and after the exam to talk. I bolted out of there. I hate when people talk about the exam, because you just second guess yourself and feel worse. If you like to do this, fine, go ahead and torture yourself (and others!) But I prefer to not talk about the exam with anyone and I may just go back to my room and try to look up something that I thought I missed. Even this is not a good idea, but it's better than standing around with everyone and feeling like you may or may not have missed an issue on the essay or got the wrong answer on the MPC.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Law School Tip: Business Cards

While in law school, I got cheap business cards made at Vistaprint.com to pass out when networking with potential employees, to hand out at conferences, or just to give to my friends and family for contact info. It's a good idea to get some made. Choose a professional design and then carry your business cards in your wallet or purse and you'll always have your contact information at hand.  Make sure to include your name, law school, phone number, and email address.  You can get 250 free business cards at Vistaprint.com.You can even create add images of your school logo!




Vistaprint.com