0L jobhunt prep advice?

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japes
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0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby japes » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:07 pm

So, I'm a 0L with a lot of free time on my hands. I'm interested in PI and I'm starting to get together a list of things I need to do by the end of the summer to prep for my job hunt. I'm particularly interested in PI work. Other than reaching out to alums with jobs I want, volunteering, and prepping my resume/cover letter, is there anything I can really do? Any advice for reaching out to alums? Any good examples of cover letters? Anything else I should be doing that's PI specific?

Danteshek
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby Danteshek » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:13 pm

japes wrote:So, I'm a 0L with a lot of free time on my hands. I'm interested in PI and I'm starting to get together a list of things I need to do by the end of the summer to prep for my job hunt. I'm particularly interested in PI work. Other than reaching out to alums with jobs I want, volunteering, and prepping my resume/cover letter, is there anything I can really do? Any advice for reaching out to alums? Any good examples of cover letters? Anything else I should be doing that's PI specific?


Yep. Volunteer at schools, homeless shelters etc. I am sure you are doing this already though.

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Rock-N-Roll
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby Rock-N-Roll » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:13 pm

You don't think you might be being a little over-zealous?

kaiser
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby kaiser » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:16 pm

Rock-N-Roll wrote:You don't think you might be being a little over-zealous?


This guy is running circles around the people wasting time with 0L prep. I don't think one can be too over-zealous in this area. The job market is really tough and it may be the tiniest thing that gives you an edge. But you really have to work for it.

Any one of those alums he turns into contacts could be the one who puts in the good word that gets him an interview. Any volunteer experience could introduce him to new people as well. And writing up cover letters will save him time during finals, and allow him to send out his applications much earlier. All of this is very good stuff that I would encourage.

Danteshek
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby Danteshek » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:54 am

Rock-N-Roll wrote:You don't think you might be being a little over-zealous?


Nope. If you truly interested in PI, helping people who need help should be something you do naturally.

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Rock-N-Roll
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby Rock-N-Roll » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:01 am

Danteshek wrote:
Rock-N-Roll wrote:You don't think you might be being a little over-zealous?


Nope. If you truly interested in PI, helping people who need help should be something you do naturally.


No. My post wasn't in response to yours Danteshek. Volunteering and community service are awesome at any time! It was rather directed at the OP and what I was trying to ask was that maybe it is premature to stress over job prospects without having first gone to law school. That's all.

Danteshek
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby Danteshek » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:28 am

Rock-N-Roll wrote:
Danteshek wrote:
Rock-N-Roll wrote:You don't think you might be being a little over-zealous?


Nope. If you truly interested in PI, helping people who need help should be something you do naturally.


No. My post wasn't in response to yours Danteshek. Volunteering and community service are awesome at any time! It was rather directed at the OP and what I was trying to ask was that maybe it is premature to stress over job prospects without having first gone to law school. That's all.


Oops... yeah PI job prospects are not really something to be concerned about if you spend law school burnishing your PI bona fides

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japes
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby japes » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:59 am

Rock-N-Roll wrote:
Danteshek wrote:
Rock-N-Roll wrote:You don't think you might be being a little over-zealous?


Nope. If you truly interested in PI, helping people who need help should be something you do naturally.


No. My post wasn't in response to yours Danteshek. Volunteering and community service are awesome at any time! It was rather directed at the OP and what I was trying to ask was that maybe it is premature to stress over job prospects without having first gone to law school. That's all.


Oh, I'm not stressing over job prospects. I just happen to be in a situation where I can dedicate time to it. I'm working a 9-5 lawjob in a town that's a couple hours away from any of my friends. I don't really know anyone in town, so I've got /tons/ of time after work to do this for an hour a day or so.

I guess I'm really wondering two things. I've got some cover letters for other nonprofit jobs I've applied for, but I guess really I have no idea what a PI law employer is going to want on a cover letter. I think I have a pretty good story on why I want to do PI law, but beyond that I'm not sure what I should be saying. Also, I know there are resume templates all over for lawjobs, but I haven't really seen one that's PI-specific. The resume I have now has a section for volunteer experience - is that overkill?

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leobowski
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby leobowski » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:22 pm

I would put volunteer experience in the other/misc. section of your resume. Def. keep it on there though, it's a great thing to have for almost any job. I have extensive volunteer work on my resume and I couldn't see how it could ever hurt me.

PI employers are going to want to see dedication to the field. Volunteering is good. Immigration work is also good. Indigent criminal defense is great (i.e. public defender work). Relevant PI work is the best. Make sure your interest and dedication comes across in the cover letter.

Don't make it sound like PI is a fallback choice for you. make it sound like that's all you want to do and you'd sooner drink poison than work at an insurance defense firm. That's a bit dramatic but it's how you need to approach this.

adonai
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby adonai » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:32 pm

japes wrote:I guess I'm really wondering two things. I've got some cover letters for other nonprofit jobs I've applied for, but I guess really I have no idea what a PI law employer is going to want on a cover letter. I think I have a pretty good story on why I want to do PI law, but beyond that I'm not sure what I should be saying. Also, I know there are resume templates all over for lawjobs, but I haven't really seen one that's PI-specific. The resume I have now has a section for volunteer experience - is that overkill?

Guide to resumes and cover letters from Harvard's Office of Public Interest Advising. This might be a good place to start --LinkRemoved--

According to them, short term volunteering would probably belong in a "personal" section. If you volunteered full-time or even part-time to the point you had some major responsibilities and experiences, I would list it as job/work experience.

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japes
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby japes » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:37 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone! Keep it coming.

leobowski wrote:Don't make it sound like PI is a fallback choice for you. make it sound like that's all you want to do and you'd sooner drink poison than work at an insurance defense firm. That's a bit dramatic but it's how you need to approach this.


Actually, I've got a gig right now at a firm that does insurance defense. A family member is a partner and he offered me the job between UG in December and law school. What's the best way to show that I'm doing this for the experience, not because I want to do this kind of work? I enjoy it, and it's been a great experience, but I know it's not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I feel like admitting I got the job because of family makes me look less impressive as an applicant, but if I give off the impression I applied for the job I may look undedicated. Thoughts?

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leobowski
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby leobowski » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:02 pm

japes wrote:Thanks for the advice, everyone! Keep it coming.

leobowski wrote:Don't make it sound like PI is a fallback choice for you. make it sound like that's all you want to do and you'd sooner drink poison than work at an insurance defense firm. That's a bit dramatic but it's how you need to approach this.


Actually, I've got a gig right now at a firm that does insurance defense. A family member is a partner and he offered me the job between UG in December and law school. What's the best way to show that I'm doing this for the experience, not because I want to do this kind of work? I enjoy it, and it's been a great experience, but I know it's not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I feel like admitting I got the job because of family makes me look less impressive as an applicant, but if I give off the impression I applied for the job I may look undedicated. Thoughts?



Just be prepared to explain it if this comes up in interviews with PI jobs. I would say exactly what is bolded. Just get the point across that you wanted to try different things instead of settling on one certain thing. A single firm job isn't necessarily the kiss of death for a PI gig.

adonai
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Re: 0L jobhunt prep advice?

Postby adonai » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:28 pm

japes wrote:Thanks for the advice, everyone! Keep it coming.

leobowski wrote:Don't make it sound like PI is a fallback choice for you. make it sound like that's all you want to do and you'd sooner drink poison than work at an insurance defense firm. That's a bit dramatic but it's how you need to approach this.


Actually, I've got a gig right now at a firm that does insurance defense. A family member is a partner and he offered me the job between UG in December and law school. What's the best way to show that I'm doing this for the experience, not because I want to do this kind of work? I enjoy it, and it's been a great experience, but I know it's not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I feel like admitting I got the job because of family makes me look less impressive as an applicant, but if I give off the impression I applied for the job I may look undedicated. Thoughts?

It is all about how you spin it during your interview. You can say something like "I learned how to work closely with other attorneys and learned how to operate in a law setting/firm environment" and that that was what you learned/wanted to get out of that job. If you are that worried about showing dedication, I would try to ask if you can switch to part-time at the firm and use the rest of your hours to volunteer at your local legal aid or some other public interest organization. From my experience, legal aids tend to teach you some high responsibility work and give you plenty of client interaction since some of them lack workers.




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