Wednesday, August 22, 2007

dumb luck?

Someone posted a comment asking me how I got my job, because they knew I didn't get it through the school's career center. Unfortunately I don't have much advice or wisdom to offer anyone still looking for a job, but I can tell you what I did.

Early in the second semester I made a list of firms with practice areas I liked in the area I wanted (it's a niche field - almost no firms in this state do this area solely because there isn't enough business) and started cold calling and mailing them. I had three interviews with them. It helped that a partner there was formerly partners with a guy I interned for one summer.

I had interviews at maybe seven or eight places. I had two offers and a third was almost certainly coming had I not accepted the one that I did. The one I didn't accept was a firm that my Lit Skills professor steered me towards because she's close friends with the managing partner. The third was a tiny firm; I liked it but couldn't shake the feeling that the firm was basically the one guy and what if he got hit by a bus or became a judge or got struck by lightning or was in a bad mood one day and decided to fire me. Anyway, I'm happy with my choice.

I chose one over the other for these reasons (not necessarily in this order): (1) my firm has the practice area I most want to do, although it's not as lucrative as other fields so they made it clear to me that although I might be able to do it when cases come in (and they stressed the 'might' part but when I talked to rank-and-file types they explained how you can get yourself assigned to a certain department), I'll also have to do other stuff (2) I liked all the people I met with and (3) I wanted to move to a different part of town and was unwilling to commute 40 miles each way. No. 3 might sound strange to some people depending on where you live, but with a new baby and a job involving billable hours, the last thing I want is to be spending two or more hours a day in the car. That would have a huge (negative, obviously) impact on my quality of life and state of mind.

That's it. I guess my only other suggestion would be to talk to other law students, including employed ones. I saw at least two people get jobs over the summer essentially because friends (fellow graduates) had offers that they turned down or reneged on. Personally I haven't got a clue if my new firm still needs people but once I start I'm sure I'll get a sense of it.


At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got mine when the firm 'found me' through a resume I had on and gave me a call.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger some guy said...

holy moly. i thought i was lucky. i've never heard of anyone actually getting a job through monster. congrats. i guess what most people gloss over though is that just because they found you doesn't mean they hired you - you still had to interview and impress them.


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