How do I prepare a 1L job search if I don't know what area I

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
masterthearts
Posts: 396
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:04 pm

How do I prepare a 1L job search if I don't know what area I

Postby masterthearts » Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:25 am

I will begin my 1L in August at a lower T14 school. I have heard that I should have a resume and cover letter ready to be mailed by 12/1. A cover letter should be geared toward the company I want to work for. But, I have no idea what type of law I want to do. I don't even know how to begin trying to figure it out. I am worried that by the time I figure out what I like it will be too late in the year to land a 1L job.
Should I just try for Big Law (event though I'm not sure I even want big law)??
How do I find firms to apply to?
I really want to focus on this over the summer and not in the fall when I will by busy studying, trying to get good grades.
Any suggestions are appreciated.

User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7230
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: How do I prepare a 1L job search if I don't know what area I

Postby beach_terror » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:09 pm

Making up reasons you want to work for a firm or PI organization isn't that difficult. I'm going to have to pretend I want to do biglaw for the majority of my OCI, when I really have no interest in doing it beside the potential pay off.

For instance, if you want to do PI (DA/PD, etc) just tie in some defining moment of your life and say it made you want to work a job where you can give back, etc. They won't notice it's not genuine until you get to your interview. I wrote a killer DA cover letter for my 1L job search and then got to the interview and bombed because they could tell I didn't really care.

For firms, just highlight their various departments and say what interests you about their work.

User avatar
legalese_retard
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:14 pm

Re: How do I prepare a 1L job search if I don't know what area I

Postby legalese_retard » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:40 pm

As a pre-1L, you should not be stressing out over jobs yet. The whole point of your 1L summer is to get a gig that will enable you to get actual experience in a practice area you might have an interest in. Unforuntately, there are fewer opportunities out there for 1Ls and some have sacrificed an interest because they want to make sure their resume looks good the following summer. During your 1L year, the career services office will sponsor lunches and other seminars that will go over the process and highlight some of your options. This will not interfere with your studying so go to these events, ask questions, and do the bulk of your preparation then.

As for now, just do what you are doing: research the options that are available for 1Ls. As far as your cover letter, just prepare the section that overs your "about me" or just create an outline. A cover letter should only take you a few hours at most, so this can be done after you have a chance to learn about 1L opportunities during law school.

Me personally, I externed for a federal district judge during the first half of the summer and then did a study abroad the second half. I had some friends that worked at biglaw firms, state/federal judges, federal govt agencies, legal aid, etc. Some of my friends who did non-big law during their 1L summer were still able to get biglaw after they graduated. Again, focus on your grades...that is way more important than what you end up doing during your 1L summer.

OldManHunger
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:14 am

Re: How do I prepare a 1L job search if I don't know what area I

Postby OldManHunger » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:58 pm

.
Last edited by OldManHunger on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NotMyRealName09
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: How do I prepare a 1L job search if I don't know what area I

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:23 pm

OldManHunger wrote:I honestly don't understand why people go to law school--even apply to law school--having no idea what it means to practice law. If there's one factor that, more than anything else, probably contributes to generally fucking up DURING law school, it's having no concrete idea why you're there.


Meh - how is one to know what field of law they want to go in if they don't yet understand how the law works? Knowing what you want to do as a lawyer has little impact on doing well in law school. You want to litigate? Great - get good grades in contracts, property, torts, etc. You want to be an environmental lawyer? Great - get good grades in contracts, property, torts, etc. You want to work in mergers and acquisitions? Great - get good grades in contracts, property, torts, etc.

I didn't even realize there was a distinction between litigators and transactional lawyers until after my 1L year, and each of them do things completely foreign to the other.

I didn't go to law school to "become" a litigator - I discovered, IN LAW SCHOOL, that I wanted to be a litigator. Prior to lawschool, I had no idea what a litigator even did. Moreover, prior to law school I'm not sure I could have understood. Instead, I would have thought, "well, isn't that what all lawyers do?"

It's fine if you don't know what you want to do. It is difficult to understand the structure of the profession before gaining knowledge above and beyond the layman. So just look around, apply to something that seems interesting, and go from there. Maybe you'll love it, maybe you'll learn that field isn't for you.

But it is totally normal and not unusual. You can be frank and say you want to learn about whatever type of law the potential employer practices. You're a law student, you're expected to be curious and want to learn about things you don't yet know about.

User avatar
beach_terror
Posts: 7230
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:01 pm

Re: How do I prepare a 1L job search if I don't know what area I

Postby beach_terror » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:29 pm

OldManHunger wrote:I honestly don't understand why people go to law school--even apply to law school--having no idea what it means to practice law. If there's one factor that, more than anything else, probably contributes to generally fucking up DURING law school, it's having no concrete idea why you're there.

No. Not knowing what area of law will interest you =\= not having a "concrete idea" as to why you're there. Just by saying "LOL I WANT TO PRACTICE CORPORATE LAW" doesn't mean you'll find it interesting and certainly doesn't mean your reasons for being in law school are better than any other persons. Furthermore, the only people that know what it means to practice law are attorneys.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.