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Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome back to law school, upper-level students!

The best thing about coming back to school is seeing the brand-new first-years wandering around and reminding yourselves how far you've progressed.  (No!  Even if you're tempted, do NOT hit on the brand-new first-years!  They have enough stress in their lives.)

We wish we could tell you that the job market has bounced back, but we can't.  Our buddy Scott Unger just passed along this link (here) demonstrating how disappointed many law school graduates are in today's job market.

What can you do to improve your odds of getting a (good) job?
  1. Work on your writing skills.  If you don't write well, it's difficult to analyze issues well; sadly, if you can't analyze issues well, you can't write well, either.  If you don't have strong writing skills, figure out how to make them better, either by taking more upper-level writing courses or by working one-on-one with a professor to improve your skills.  (That's what NBR did when she was in law school.  She entered law school committed to using passive voice, and thanks to Bob Weisberg, she exited law school committed to destroying passive voice except when she intended to use it for a specific purpose.
  2. Work on your teamwork skills.  Lawyers tend to work cooperatively in teams, if not with other lawyers (howdy, solo practitioners!), then with their support staff.  If you are a lone wolf, you're doing yourself a disservice.  Brush up on your "people skills."
  3. Network, network, network.  Go to every law school event at which actual lawyers are speaking.  Chat them up.  Give them a (good) reason to remember you.  And for good measure, write them a nice follow-up email (which is fine) or note (which is better).  They're volunteering their time to come to your school, so make them feel appreciated.
Now go out there and have fun resuming your courses!

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