October 04, 2005

Advice for New Associates

Although new associates probably aren't going to visit this site for advice, readers who aspire to be new associates someday soon might learn a thing or two from Blonde Justice and Fresh Pepper (no permalinks; scroll to Sept. 29) about starting that job. A selection of my favorite tips includes:

  1. Your life is supposed to suck. Get used to it.
  2. Save as much money as you can. Don't get caught up in the swanky attorney lifestyle, it's just fancy-looking slavery.
  3. You don't have to kiss ass. Just be friendly.
  4. Start studying for the GMAT.
Obviously, some are more serious than others, but the more lawyers I talk to, the more I realize that their snarky cynical comments (i.e. “start studying for the GMAT”) are less jokes and more serious than it's comfortable for you or them to admit.

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May 03, 2005

Resources to Prepare You for Your First Days as a Lawyer, and for the Days that Follow

Hey all you recent or soon-to-be graduates: Check out Dennis Kennedy's advice for “every law student and young lawyer”, by which he means all associates and all new partners. In short, Kennedy recommends working with a career coach to help you make good career decisions from the start, and reading What Law School Doesn't Teach You: But You Really Need to Know by Kim Walton. He also recommends some online resources for new lawyers, including materials from the ABA, Findlaw, and Vault. Not surprisingly, he also recommends reading blawgs:

If you listen carefully, you will start to hear talk about the way that the lawyer bloggers are helping change the image of lawyers for the better with their helpfulness and generosity. Although there are many examples, I want to single out three blogs that often have useful advice, tips and discussion for young lawyers: Evan Schaeffer's Notes from the (Legal) Underground, Scheherezade Fowler's Stay of Execution, and Arnie Herz's Legal Sanity.

I'm sure he just decided not to mention his own blawg because he assumed everyone was reading it regularly already.

[link via Notes from the (Legal) Underground]

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February 13, 2005

Summary of the Law Clerk Hiring Plan

Also from JD2B: The Summary of the Law Clerk Hiring Plan for 2005-2006 is up. If you're a 2L hoping for a judicial clerkship when you graduate in 2006, this is for you. Plan to have your applications in the mail on September 6, 2005. See also the FAQ. If you're a 1L or 0L and don't know if you'll ever want to apply for a clerkship, you still might want to file this in the back of your head for future reference. The 2006 dates are up on the above site, as well, for those of you who really like planning ahead.

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January 22, 2005

3L Seeks Transaction Position

The New York Lawyer offers some advice to a 3L seeking a “mid- to large-firm position doing transactional work before it's too late.” The advice-seeker has a rich background and has switched to law after first pursuing a career in philosophy, so the advice is aimed at the “career-changer”:
Whenever changing careers or career goals, you must show that you are not still clinging to your former life and that you are not going to be hopping from one career to the next. You must reassure employers that you have settled on a career path. In your situation, you have to indicate that you are a law student who has an interesting background in philosophy and policy work, as opposed to a philosophy student and academic who happens to be in law school. The way that you talk about yourself is the way that employers will view you.
Sounds like good advice. The advisor goes on to basically give a little lesson in what those in the “business communication” field call “positive emphasis”—always say only positive things in an interview and/or cover letter. (The negative way to say the same thing: Never talk about negative things in an interview and/or cover letter. See the difference?) The advisor also discusses how a 3L seeking law firm work might handle a situation where he/she didn't work at a firm after his/her first or second year of law school. [Link via JD2B]

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September 28, 2004

Want to be A Law Professor or Judicial Clerk?

University of Wisconsin law professor Gordon Smith has begun a series of posts on faculty recruitment. It promises to be filled with good information for all you aspiring law professors, so be sure to check back at his blog to follow along. I'll try to catch the installments as they come out and post them here. Part II discusses the AALS Faculty Appointments Register, revealing that over 1,000 people apply to become law professors each year, as well as many more interesting details about the applicant pool. (Note: " a PhD does not punch your ticket into law teaching." Part III discusses more of the details about the candidate pool and how various factors may be weighed by hiring committees. This includes some comments on judicial clerkships, and it's followed up with some insider's perspective from a Wisconsin appellate judge. More to come, I expect...

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August 16, 2004

Table Manners

Right now, many people are finishing summer internships and/or preparing for fall interviews, and Biting Tongue has just a couple of tips just for you. First, here's a tip for those of you finishing an internship: don't forget to thank those who deserve it. Second, if you're going to be interviewing soon (or even not-so-soon), make sure you know which bread plate is yours.

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August 01, 2004

Course Selection Brain Dump

Sua Sponte offers a list of courses she recommends and which have been recommended to her. Includes many comments from others with their opinions on which courses are important and why.

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