Using Your Law Degree for a Career in Social Entrepreneurship

Using Your Law Degree for a Career in Social EntrepreneurshipThis week we welcome Natalie Holzaepfel, bar and law school tutor, to talk about how you can find an alternative legal career path in the area of social entrepreneurship.

During law school, we’re primed to walk the traditional path into a role as an attorney, whether that’s at a law firm, in government, or at a non-profit. But there are many other options worth exploring, whether you’re still in law school or already in practice. Right now, an increasing number of attorneys are using their law degrees in the growing field of social entrepreneurship. [Read more…]

How to Know When a Job isn’t for You: Tales of Terrible Interviews

How to Know When a Job isn’t for You: Tales of Terrible InterviewsThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to talk about some bad interview stories and why you should remember you are also interviewing your future employer, as well as being interviewed.

I sometimes wonder why the veil of naivety was so strong with me when I was in law school. I assumed, like many outsiders, that I’d go to law school and come out with a job. It was that simple. It didn’t really dawn on me until I graduated that finding a job might be harder than I thought – especially since I had no idea what area of law I wanted to go into and (at the time) was feeling quite repulsed by a career as a lawyer in general.

Since passing the bar in April of 2018, I have gone on a number of terrible interviews. Looking back, I understand that all of them taught me a valuable lesson – especially the two I’ve laid out for you below.

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Could A Designer Purse Cost You a Job Offer?

Could A Designer Purse Cost You a Job Offer?This week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan who discusses how to dress for a job interview and what questions to ask yourself before making certain fashion choices.

Could a designer purse cost you a job offer? Well, according to an attorney who posed this question at a diversity conference I attended, it sure could. Do I think that this opinion should impact how you prepare for an interview? Well possibly, but keep reading to find out.

We typically all want to look our best before going into an interview, so it only seems logical to pull out your absolute best suit and accessories that serve to complement the image of perfection and professionalism you want to convey. Right? So what’s the issue if your absolute best includes a pair of Christian Louboutin’s, a Dolce & Gabbana blazer or a Hermes purse? Well according to the attorney I saw at the conference, this image could rub some people the wrong way. She stated that she was once conducting an interview for a legal intern position and the candidate came in with a designer handbag. She said that this accessory choice made her wonder why the candidate would even need a job in the first place. She said that this handbag communicated that the candidate was likely well off and therefore not particularly in need of additional income and as a result she did not offer the candidate the job. [Read more…]

Will I Get the Job I Want If I Wear My Natural Hair?

Will I Get the Job I Want If I Wear My Natural Hair?This week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to offer her thoughts on wearing natural hair in the workplace (and during job interviews).

I received my first relaxer at eight years old. I was fortunately blessed with thick curly hair, but to my mom’s misfortune, my rambunctious, stubborn hair was extremely difficult to maintain. Therefore, she did what essentially every black mom was doing in the nineties, and she got me my first relaxer. I for one was immensely overjoyed. Although I grew up in Jamaica where the majority of my peers looked just like me and shared similar coiled hair textures, our beauty standards were very much influenced by what we saw on TV, white women with straight hair. Therefore, at the age of eight I was elated to finally share what I believed was a similarity to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. [Read more…]

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Letters of Recommendation for Clerkship Applications (and Beyond!)

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Letters of Recommendation for Clerkship Applications (and Beyond!)Please welcome guest writer Kelsey Russell, a recent clerk for the Chief Judge of the Southern District of New York, to discuss how to get letters of recommendations, an important aspects of clerkships applications.

If you are considering a judicial clerkship, you are likely well aware that your letters of recommendation are an essential component of your application.

As someone who decided to apply for a clerkship pretty late in the game, getting quality recommendations felt like a tall order. Many of my classmates had already taken advantage of opportunities such as research assistant positions, which led to relationships with professors who, in turn, could write personalized recommendations. By the fall of 3L year, no single professor stood out in my mind as a natural recommender. So I started brainstorming: Should I start with the professor who gave me my highest grade? Or the professor who ran my pro bono project? What about employers prior to law school? Given that I was trying to compile my materials in relatively short order, I was also working against the clock. [Read more…]

Transitioning to a Non-Traditional Legal Career

Transitioning to a Non-traditional Legal Career

Please welcome guest writer Kathryn Blair, law school tutor and PhD student, to discuss the transition from a traditional law career to something different.

It has been about two years since I left a successful career as an attorney and turned back to academia for the start of what I hope will be my third and final career. This was a difficult transition for me. The joke about law school being an escalator — seamlessly delivering you to a career in Big Law — is funny because it is true. But jumping off that escalator was a big and hard decision, and, despite the support of family and friends, it still felt a bit lonely. But it shouldn’t feel that way. Many attorneys face and make these decisions, and the shared experiences of others can be helpful as you think about these questions. [Read more…]

What To Do If You Start 3L Year With No Job – Advice From a Fellow 3L

What To Do If You Start 3L Year With No Job – Advice from a fellow 3LPlease welcome back guest writer and current 3L Shirlene Armstrong to discuss some options if you find yourself in your 3L year without a job offer.

You did it. You finally get to your last year of law school and you are already looking forward to never going back to classes. You are excited about the next step in your journey and can’t wait until this last year is finished. All you need to do is survive this year, study for the bar exam and sit for everyone’s favorite two-day exam then you will be on your way to becoming an attorney. (Right??) However, something else lingers in the distance: you have to get a job. It is great to have that “Esq.” after your name, but you have to find some sort of placement beyond law school to utilize it to its full extent. But what happens if you don’t have a job when you start your 3L year? Should you panic? What should you do to make sure you snag a position for after graduation? Here are some tips from a fellow 3L in order to help you in your job search at the beginning of your 3L year. [Read more…]

3 Skills of Top Lawyers that You Can Start Developing as a Law Student

3 Skills of Top Lawyers that You Can Start Developing as a Law StudentOur guest writer this week discusses some skills you’ll need as a practicing lawyer and how you can start working on them as a law student.

Here’s the bad news and the good news. The bad news: law school doesn’t show you how to be a real lawyer. The good news: top lawyers have three skills that you can start developing in law school, so you can hit the ground running. [Read more…]

Alternative Careers – Investigator for Workplace Complaints

Please welcome Joanna Sattler, Law School Toolbox tutor, to discuss her alternative legal career as a workplace investigator.

I’m the child of no fewer than three lawyers (if you count my stepmother, that is). All three practiced law upon graduating from law school and pursued “traditional” legal careers (two at large firms, the third in-house). As such, I had a certain view of what lawyers did and a (fairly) certain path I planned to pursue: work at a large law firm after graduating and then, maybe, try to work in-house. (At the time, I didn’t realize I could go in-house straight from law school; I truly thought there was one path and one path only!)

A planner by nature, I followed my plan. I worked hard in law school. I summered at a large firm and received an offer of post-graduation employment. Although I didn’t take that job (I didn’t love the firm’s satellite office in the city where I planned to live), I took another firm job soon after passing the California bar.

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Perfecting Professionalism at a Summer Internship

Perfecting Professionalism at a Summer InternshipPlease welcome back guest writer Jaclyn Wishnia to discuss how to maintain a professional demeanor at your summer internship.

Law students are expected to maintain a steady level of professionalism regardless of the venue. In class, you are held to a higher standard by both your professors and peers; for extracurriculars, you are urged to communicate as well as uphold your responsibilities in a respectful manner; and of course, at work, your behavior has the potential to make or break your future legal career. Thus, it should go without saying that how you present yourself during a summer legal internship matters.

Despite the title, a summer legal internship is more akin to a job than what you may have experienced at a college internship. Whether you have a full-time or part-time internship this summer, strive to be professional; especially if you are heading into your 3L year. Want to ensure you have the basics of professionalism covered? Continue reading for some tips pertaining to various areas of work where you should be exhibiting professionalism and perfecting it.

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