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…]

Is the Secret to Acing a Job Interview Passing the Happy Hour Test?

Is the Secret to Acing a Job Interview Passing the Happy Hour Test?Please welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to discuss some important skills to work on when preparing for job interviews (including some you may not have thought about).

How do you prepare for a job interview? Do you set aside a block of time to review every nook and cranny of your prospective employer’s website, or do you run through the set of situational questions you’ve pieced together from numerous Google searches on career preparation? Although these are both very highly recommended preparation techniques that will certainly prepare your mind for the toughest questions thrown your way, have you considered polishing up on your social skills during this preparation? [Read more…]

It’s More Than Presents and Overeating: How to Make Winter Break Work You

It’s More Than Presents and Overeating: How to Make Winter Break Work YouPlease welcome back Mark Livingston, guest writer and 3L, to talk about some strategies for making the most of your job search during winter break.

As we approach the pain of finals and the euphoria of the end of the semester, it’s time to think about the big picture. Of course, you have earned some R & R (rest & relaxation) after a challenging semester, but don’t miss the opportunity to make some invaluable connections and start positioning yourself for work during and after law school. It’s time to push away from that sticky-figgy pudding and start networking over the winter break.

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5 Ways to Prepare for a Job Fair

5 Ways to Prepare for a Job FairPlease welcome back guest writer John Passmore, an assistant managing legal editor in Houston, Texas, to offer advice on how to get ready for a job fair. These can be great opportunities to find positions from 1L summer employment all the way through post grad positions.

Whether it is an internship fair your first semester of law school or a job fair your last semester, such events present a high stakes speed-dating-like opportunity to meet with potential employers. These events are made tougher because they inevitably fall during a hectic law school week, on a crazy law school day. Finding the time to actually prepare for a job fair that carries no GPA weight may seem like a waste of time, but some upfront effort could pay big dividends in the long run. A little preparation can make you stand out among your peers. Here are a few ideas for putting your best foot forward: [Read more…]

Can I Be an Introverted Attorney in a Profession that Seems Made for Extroverts?

Being an introvert in a profession that seems made for extrovertsToday we welcome back Christen Morgan, guest writer and foreclosure attorney, to discuss how to handle the legal profession as an introvert.

In a culture that’s permeated by visuals of “the outspoken attorney,” we’ve developed a concept that all attorneys should aspire to be the Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro or Perry Mason type. It has been drilled into our minds that attorneys at the very least must be outgoing in an effort to fight the good fight and win the toughest legal battles within the courtroom. So if you’ve always been a quiet, reserved and overall introverted individual, it’s understood if you feel intimidated about pursuing this career. You may be passionate about the law, but you don’t see yourself arguing a major case before a judge and a jury. Also, while you can envision yourself communicating with clients on a one on one basis, you could never see yourself heading a client meeting with several attorneys and staff members involved. If you’ve experienced these thoughts at some point or another, I implore you to not give up on your attorney dreams just yet. Being introverted is by no means an indicator that you’re not a good lawyer. The stereotypes that we’ve been fed about this profession are simply just stereotypes and is in no way an indicator of a dominant attorney personality trait. The legal profession is filled with individuals from different backgrounds, personalities, and mindsets. I assure you that as an introvert, you are not alone. [Read more…]

Bouncing Back from Rejection

rejection confidence

Today, we’re excited to welcome back Gabriella Martin, 2L guest writer, to talk about the inevitable and always unpleasant rejection and how to recover without breaking your stride.

Rejection sucks. Honestly, I don’t think there will ever come a time where you get rejected—from a job, a date, whatever—and your first thought will be, “Huh, I’m so glad that happened.” Yes, you may get there eventually, but when you first hear that, “thanks, but no thanks,” you feel upset and, to some degree, unsteady. Why? [Read more…]

What’s Your Brand?

Interview stand out personal brand

Please welcome back Keri Clapp, professor and tutor for the Law School Toolbox and Bar Exam Toolbox, to discuss establishing, developing, and promoting your personal brand in a competitive legal environment.

Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Lexis or WestLaw? Washington Post or Wall Street Journal? You probably have a quick response to each of these questions based on not just on specific experiences, but also on how you identify the brand of each of these products.

Take coffee, for example. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts both sell coffee, but have distinct and differentiated brand attributes. These successful businesses have spent a lot of time and money deciding on their target customer profile; their marketing efforts—from packaging to product to location—are primarily directed to what that customer base will appreciate. This type of strategy doesn’t get derailed because some people will get coffee at home or at the gas station convenience store; a well-differentiated brand does not try to be all things to all people.

In a competitive legal market, spending some time creating and marketing your personal brand is a strong move. What qualities do you want to project when you meet someone? What attributes do you want to jump out on your resume? In sum, what do you want people to associate with you when they hear your name? [Read more…]

Surviving On Campus Interviews: Tips to Ace Your Callback Interview

Law Firm Interviews

It’s almost OCI time, so today we are excited to welcome back Peter from Law Firm Interviews with a follow up to his first article, Dealing with Adverse Facts During Interviews in the Surviving On Campus Interview Series. Today he is sharing tips to ace your callback interview. 

Welcome back, Peter!

I was at a cocktail party at the firm last night, and chatted with a few people, one partner, a couple of mid-levels, and a senior associate, about the folks they’ve been interviewing over the past few days. What they said reminded me to write this article.
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