Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

February 9, 2010

B.A., 1L

One concern widely shared by law students these days is securing employment after graduation. The legal field seems a bit down recently, with lawyers being laid off and starting salaries declining. Luckily, not only does the name “Yale Law” often get you past the hiring partners and into an interview (talk about a great network of alumni), the resources at the Law School also give you great preparation before you even shake your first hand.

As a 1L, I was not allowed to even inquire about jobs until after November 1, due to standards agreed upon by all law schools. However, as soon as that date passed the Career Development Office (CDO) organized a seemingly limitless schedule of lunchtime seminars and panels on how to write a job application, interviewing tips, and potential employment opportunities. There was also a student job fair that allowed 1Ls like me to connect with 2Ls and 3Ls who had done the kinds of jobs over the summer that we were interested in exploring. I found these sessions to be very helpful as I scoured the legal markets for the firm, agency, or organization that fit me best and created the best possible cover letter and resume to send to them for the next summer.

Additionally, the CDO staff is available for one-on-one advising sessions to give direct and personal feedback on cover letters, resumes, applications, you name it. My advisor was helpful and direct, even though I know I probably caused her computer to explode with the amount of emails I sent her asking about the tiniest and most likely inconsequential details. Nevertheless, she replied promptly and her counsel was a huge part of my confidence and preparedness as I attended my first summer job interviews.

The CDO also held mock interviews in early December to give us the chance to hone our schmoozing skills. I interviewed with a local federal Magistrate Judge who gave me great advice. I also got a burned DVD of the mock interview, so I could critique (or laugh at) myself later.

After the excellent preparation I received from the CDO, I landed a job at a U.S. Attorney’s Office for the summer. The Yale Law CDO directed me to the job and gave me the tools I needed to successfully get the offer. What could be better career development than that?