Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One Student's Amazing Reason to Pursue the Law

When  you apply to law school, most people have to answer the question, "Why do you want to go to law school?"   Many of us, idealistically respond that we want to fight social injustice and help those without a voice. However, few of us are motivated by actual events in our own lives. This is not the case for author, mother, soldier and recent graduate of St. Mary's Law School. It was Melissa Anderson's own abusive past that motivated her to attend law school. At 29, this young woman has endured more than her share of pain.  Her pain and circumstances did not stop her from accomplishing her goals.  She even took an exam two hours after giving birth to her fourth child! You can read her incredible story here and you can find The Big Fib, the book she wrote after her brother's tragic death on Amazon. 

Make your Summer Job Work for You

During my summer internships in law school, I set up several informational interviews with local lawyers practicing or working in areas  in which I was interested.   I met with government attorneys and solo practitioners, as well as, in-house attorneys and big law lawyers.   During both summers, I tried to set up as many as I could to get better idea of what I might like to practice after I graduated. I enjoyed my summer internship, but I also wanted to know what my other options might be.  I recommend that 2Ls and 3Ls use their summer internships and clerkship to network. Ask lawyers in your office for contacts to reach out to, contact Career Services to find out if there are alums practicing in the city you are working in or interested in working or ask family and friends if they know attorneys that would not mind meeting with a ambitious law student!  Before the interview, prepare a list of questions that you want to ask them. Bring that list, but try not to read off of it. It is better to try to have a conversation than to rigidly go through your list of questions.  Ask the person what they like best about their job and how they go to where they are today.   You should also find out what they do on a day to day basis  to see if its something you would to do. At the end of the informational interview, ask them if they know of anyone else that they recommend you contact and if they would mind you using their name when you contact them. Law.com also has a good article on the topic: Use Informational Interviews to Help Your Job Search.

Monday, May 16, 2011


A belated congratulations to all those 2011 law graduates out there!  Good luck prepping for the bar this summer.  As I told one recent graduate, this will be the worst summer of your life, but it will be worth it once you pass the bar.  Plan something fun for AFTER you take the bar, but until then, buckle down and study for the bar exam. :) Good luck!