What to Know if You’re Thinking about BigLaw

What to Know if You’re Thinking about Big LawThis week we welcome guest writer Alexis Storey, Law School Toolbox tutor, to talk about the ins and outs of BigLaw.

Like many students who go to law school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with a law degree. I was generally interested in trying to “help people” but I didn’t have a clear idea of how to go about doing that. When asked, I would tell people I had no desire to work in BigLaw. (I am the type of person who turns into a monster on less than 9 hours of sleep, so I wanted to stay clear of billable hour requirements!) But then I got my 1L grades, I was pleasantly surprised to see I had done well enough to put myself in the running for summer associate positions at BigLaw firms, and figured “why not upload a resume to a database and see what happens?” I put as little effort into the process as possible, only applying to firms that did not require a cover letter. And with that first click to upload my resume, I stepped onto the conveyer belt to BigLaw. [Read more…]

How to Prepare for Callbacks

How to Prepare for CallbacksThis week we welcome back guest writer Briana Borgolini to talk about some advice for handling callback interviews.

First, congratulations on finishing (or almost finishing) OCI, and reaching the callback stage! This can be a very exciting time, but it can also be very stressful. It is one thing to get through a twenty-minute interview on your own campus, and quite another to get through an hours-long interview at the firm itself. For many, the callback interview is a very new experience. Fortunately, there are a few things you can consider doing to prepare yourself for successful interviews. [Read more…]

Be the Next Great Trial Lawyer

Be the Next Great Trial LawyerThis week we welcome guest writer Jordan Dickson to talk about how to set yourself up as a law student to be a trial lawyer later on in your legal career.

The first kind of lawyers almost all of us are introduced to are trial lawyers. On those TV shows all aspiring lawyers seem to watch, we see trial lawyers yelling “objection!”, pointing determinedly at the defendant, and (improperly) telling juries to “send a message.”

For those of you who want to pursue a career as a trial lawyer, be it as a prosecutor, defense attorney, or some other kind of litigator, there are steps you can take in law school to prepare. These practical steps can help prepare you to come into the courtroom ahead of the game. [Read more…]

How to Use Your Summer to Reset for the Following Year

How to Use Your Summer to Reset for the Following YearThis week we welcome back guest writer Alexandra Muskat to discuss how to use your time during the summer to start out on the right foot in the fall as a law student.

In undergrad, we generally spend our summers working and relaxing, but when you get to law school, you learn that your summer should be used more wisely. I don’t know if “wisely” is really a good way to put it – what I mean is, summers should be used to reset for the following year.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

How to Balance Screen Time as a Law Student

How to Balance Screen Time as a Law StudentThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about how to make sure you’re not overdoing it on screen time as a law student.

Immersed in an era of recurrent tech developments, it’s no secret that we’ve transitioned from a point where screen time was optional to a point where it’s a mandatory portion of any school curriculum and workplace agenda. I recall my time in college where my laptop spent most of its time in my dorm room mainly to be used for additional research or the final draft of a class project. I rarely saw a need to bring it to class because all of my notes were handwritten, and as much as I enjoyed the independence it gave me from being tied to the library desktop computer, its clunky and slow pace was oftentimes more of a nuisance than anything. Needless to say, too much screen time wasn’t much of an issue. Fast forward just a year later to law school, with a new laptop and smartphone in hand, I arguably spent more time on my screen than interacting with actual people. Complex course lectures pushed me into typing my class notes and my case briefing, memo writing and brief writing assignments resulted in my spending endless hours on Lexis Nexis and Westlaw. My increase in screen time had not just become more of a reality, it was now a requirement bordering on the wall of obsession. [Read more…]

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…]