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June 5, 2010

Graduate and Professional Students' Guide to Career Planning

The University of Minnesota's Career Development Network (CDN) has created this excellent website for graduate students: Graduate and Professional Students' Guide to Career Planning. Check it out and visit the Career and Professional Development Center for more information specific to legal employment.

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April 26, 2010

Is Your Next Law job a Click Away?

I thought you might be interested in this post which is filled with resources.

Is Your Next Law job a Click Away?


Best wishes.

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February 17, 2010

Is "To whom it may concern" the kiss of death?

Excellent advice from Career Builder's blog regarding addressing your cover letter.

"Most job seekers know that, whenever possible, it's best to address your cover letter to the person who has the power to hire you -- or at least the person who can bring you in for an interview.

But, all too often, if a name isn't listed on a job posting, the job seeker resorts to an old-fashioned salutation like, "To Whom It May Concern." What they don't know, is that this approach can sometimes be considered the kiss of death.

Impersonal salutations like "Dir Sir/Madam" or "To Whom It May Concern," show an employer two things. The first is that you lack the initiative to locate the appropriate contact; the second is that you show a disregard for any research needed to be done on your part. In short, employers will think you're lazy and your cover letter will end up in the trash.

One of the most common questions we get is how to find the name of a hiring manager, particularly at a large company. Here are four ways to find out the addressee of your cover letter:"

Click here for the four ways and the entire article.

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February 10, 2010

Interview Strategies: Facing and Acing a Panel Interview

by Valerie Fontaine and Roberta Kass
Special to Law.com
February 01, 2010

"Rather than being intimidated by facing multiple interviewers at the same time, you can ace a panel interview with some preparation. Basically, you need to follow the rules for one-on-one interviews, but with a few tweaks. Just as with any interview, you must do your homework regarding the firm, job, and interviewers, and be prepared to sell your skills and appropriateness for the position. You should always be prepared for the possibility of a panel (several interviewers at once) or serial interview (a series of individual interviews) as you may not get advance warning, so bring several extra copies of your resume to any interview."

For the complete article, click here.

December 2, 2009

Winter Break Checklist

Winter Break Checklist

The semester will soon be over, final exams all wrapped up, and you'll be looking forward to some time away from law school. Time away is a good thing, but remember that winter break is also a great time to take a big bite out of your job search. To help you stay in the swing of things with your search over winter break, consider the following helpful Winter Break Checklist:

____ Catch up on sleep
____ Update/Revise your resume and general cover letter
____ Send your resume and cover letter to your CPDC counselor for review - especially if your documents have never been reviewed or if it's been a while
____ Spend quality time with friends and family
____ Log on to Symplicity a couple times each week to check new job postings
____ Read a non-law-related book (or two) and/or go see a movie (or two)
____ Reach out to area attorneys for informational interviews and/or shadowing opportunities
____ Get some more sleep
____ Apply to postings on Symplicity that are of interest you
____ Attend holiday receptions or other networking events hosted by firms, businesses, and/or local bar associations
____ Say "thank you" to the people in your life who support you and make your law school experience better
____ Make an appointment to meet with the CPDC in January to talk about your job search and career goals

(Thanks to our friends at Case CSO.)

November 1, 2009

100+ Career Blogs ALL Professionals MUST Read

Check out this great post that includes many resources.

Whether you are seeking career advice or job opportunities, developing your personal brand, taking the next step in your career or simply just want to keep track of news and updates from the career industry, Career Rocketeer has compiled and presents to you the ultimate, definitive list of career blogs you should be reading, including those of authors, bloggers, coaches and experts in the world of personal branding and marketing, career and job searching, networking, social media, resume writing and more.

For the entire post, click here.

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October 2, 2009

"A Student or Graduate Walks Into a Bar..."

...and gets experience, training, contacts and more.

Please take a moment and note the many professional development resources at the Hennepin County Bar Association

Serving member attorneys and the community since 1919, the Hennepin County Bar Association is Minnesota's largest district bar association.

The HCBA provides its 8,000+ members with continuing legal education, publications and professional development, networking and mentoring, and opportunities for pro bono work and service to the community.

HCBA News & Association Updates


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September 25, 2009

The One Best Thing You Can Do for Your Job Search

"One challenge in a job search is that it seems there are a hundred things to do and you have to do all of them, all the time. That's mostly true. The more avenues you can pursue, and the better job you can do pursuing them, the higher the likelihood you will find a new position sooner. However, if there were one thing you could give the greatest focus to that might have the greatest impact... what would that be?"

For this "one thing", click here.

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September 8, 2009

Welcome!

Welcome to the University of Minnesota Law School. All of us at the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) hope you had a terrific summer. We are truly looking forward to connecting and working with you.

To stay in touch with the CPDC

* Subscribe to this blog (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/lawcso/vocare/) Put this into your reader.

* Visit our CPDC website

* Read the weekly CPDC bulletin

* Make an appointment with your counselor (First year students: In accordance with National Association for Law Placement guidelines (NALP), first-year students may not receive one-on-one counseling until November 1st of their first year.)

* Stop by the CPDC table in the subplaza over the lunch hours on most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Best wishes,

Alan, Stacey, Vic, Dana, John, & Michael

Career and Professional Development Staff
cpdc@umn.edu / 612-625-1866

July 31, 2009

Prepare for Law School Success During Your Pre-1L Summer

University of Minnesota alum Nena Street provides excellent tips for pre-1Ls.

"Waiting for law school to start this fall and wondering what you should be doing to prepare? Here are my top 7 tips for using your pre-1L summer to prepare for law school success."

For the entire post, visit Prepare for Law School Success During Your Pre-1L Summer.

Thanks Nena!

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July 29, 2009

Navigating the Career Development Process

Are you wondering how to begin your job search? Check out this article in the July issue of Hennepin Lawyer, by two of our very own, Dana Bartocci and Vic Massaglia.

July 22, 2009

Career Services for Student Veterans and Service Members

There is a new online presentation available, "Career Services for Student Veterans and Service Members".

Check it out at http://umconnect.umn.edu/veterans

Special thanks to St. Paul Campus Career Center volunteer Kari Trad for all of her hard work on this project!

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July 10, 2009

Open Letter to Law Students from the National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP)

View and print in PDF format: Open Letter to Law Students (PDF)

As employer members of NALP, we have developed this letter to give students additional insight into employers' perspectives on the recruiting process. We think the following suggestions will help you interview more efficiently within the broad provisions of the NALP Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities, and particularly the "General Standards for Timing of Offers and Decisions."

For the entire letter at NALP's website, click here.

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Want to Advance Your Career? Clean Up Your E-mail Etiquette.

"These days, using e-mail effectively isn't just a nice thing to do -- it's a critical part of managing your career. Why? First, because e-mail is a dominant form of communication and we often use it to talk to people we don't know well, or even people we've never met in person. This means people may form opinions of you based mostly or entirely on your e-mail style. Second, e-mail forms a permanent record of communication, so if you've used it poorly, it could come back to haunt you. Finally, e-mail lacks those helpful interpersonal cues that come across in phone or in-person contact, making it easier for miscommunications to occur. This can compromise people's impressions of you or even jeopardize a job interview.

So, what are the biggest e-mail faux pas? To answer this question, I conducted an informal survey here at ISEEK, asking my coworkers to tell me about their e-mail pet peeves. Here's what they said.


* Avoid sending long, wordy e-mails. Do you skim your e-mails looking for the bottom line? So does everyone else! If what you have to say is complicated or can't be conveyed in a few lines of text, you're probably better off talking in person or over the phone."

For the entire post, click here.

July 7, 2009

Top 10 Tips for Success in Law School

From: Law School Academic Support Blog

Whether someone is just starting out as a 1L student or getting ready to enter 2L or 3L year, the following tips can help with both academic and personal success. These are my top 10 tips out of several hundred that could be given.

* Have a restful summer. Law school is hard work. To get consistently high grades, law students need to work 50-55 hours a week outside of class. It pays off to have a blissful and restful summer. In addition to any work hours or class hours, have some fun. Get lots of sleep. Enjoy life. Do at least some things that have nothing to do with law. (And, if you are an entering 1L, do all things that have nothing to do with law.)

For the entire post, click here.

June 17, 2009

EJW Student Debt Relief Webinar Series

There's a lot to know about student debt relief and the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Attend a free, live webinar to learn more about public service loan forgiveness, income-based repayment and how to qualify.

SERIES 1
Getting Your Student Loans Forgiven: How government and nonprofit employees can earn public service loan forgiveness

SERIES 2
Income-Based Repayment: A new way to lower your monthly federal student loan payments

June 15, 2009

Managing a Legal Career Transition in Tough Times

As a public service, ALI-ABA and NALP are pleased to offer Managing a Legal Career Transition in Tough Times — a 75-minute presentation by Marcia Pennington Shannon and Susan G. Manch of Shannon & Manch LLP, who generously donated their time and talent to this special project to assist lawyers and 3Ls who are currently seeking employment.

http://www.ali-aba.org/career/

May 31, 2009

Focus on Your Target Employer

This posting from Career Rocketeer provides an excellent strategy for looking for work: Focusing & Networking: Focusing on Your Target Employer

"According to a survey just published by ExecuNet, 2009 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, 73% of executives find career options from networking. This is up 3% from 2008. What do you think the percentage would be if you targeted a specific company, did your research, and found contacts at the company from your network?."

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May 8, 2009

Managing a Legal Career Transition in Tough Times: A Special Video Presentation

As a public service, NALP, the National Association of Legal Career Professionals, and ALI-ABA, the American Law Institute / American Bar Association, have teamed up to offer Managing a Legal Career Transition in Tough Times — a 75-minute presentation by Marcia Pennington Shannon and Susan G. Manch of Shannon & Manch LLP, who generously donated their time and talent to this special project to assist lawyers and graduating students who are currently seeking employment.

To view this great video, go here.


Thank you to our colleagues at Touro Law.

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May 7, 2009

A Simple "Thank You" Goes A Long, Long Way

Here is a terrific posting addressing 'thank yous'.

Take Note! Don't Forget to Say "Thanks"

A thank note is always appreciated. Remember: No typos!

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April 8, 2009

Top 100 Twitter Feeds for Law Students

Top 100 Twitter Feeds for Law Students

Thanks to our friends at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

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March 22, 2009

If You Have Not Met with Your Career Counselor Recently - It is Time to Make an Appointment!

We meet one-on-one with students to review resumes, cover letters, thank you letters and any other relevant information related to employment. The CPDC staff will assist you in completing a comprehensive plan for your short and long term employment plans. Even if you have already received summer or permanent employment or are still seeking, it is important to touch base with your CPDC counselor.

Please take advantage your career counselor.

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November 17, 2008

1Ls: A Quick Guide for the Summer of 2009

RESOURCES
nalpdirectory.com - search for employers hiring 1Ls. Use mail merge to craft letters (find instructions in WORD).
University of Arizona Government & Honors Handbook (ask the CPDC for the password). Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the 1L listings by application date. Click back to the main page and find complete info in the alphabetical listings.
Public Interest Summer (law firms that split) (link to follow)
Idealist.org (a great site – the name says it all)
PSLawNet: A prime online resource for public interest careers (a division of NALP)
GAPSA Travel Grants for student professional development

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES
1. Judicial Externships
(a) Externships in the Twin Cities: register for summer school and have patience. For the past six years, every student who has wanted an externship has gotten one. Every federal and state Minnesota court accepts externs except the MN Supreme Court.
(b) Externships outside Metro/out of state: Find a judge; apply by mid-January. CPDC has directories.

2. Minnesota Justice Foundation Clerkships – don’t miss the Public Interest Expo at William Mitchell on November 18 where you can meet the employers and quiz students who have had MJF clerkships. County attorneys and public defenders – Summer 2009 will depend on budgets.

3. Summer School and Study Abroad – see Dean Keyes for study abroad information.

4. Upper Midwest Human Rights Fellowships

5. Work study – info to come. $$$ for inside and outside Minnesota in public sector offices.

6. Faculty Research Assistant: Law faculty have a continuing obligation to publish and most hire research assistants. Some announce jobs to their classes; some post in Symplicity. Why not knock on the door of someone whose work is interesting to you? Bring a resume and offer to buy a cup of coffee.

7. Volunteer – MJF is a great resource for volunteers in Minnesota. Talk to us about out-of-town.

8. Minority Clerkship Programs – application information will be forthcoming.

9. Corporate law departments, small & medium-sized law firms: These employers hire when the need looms large, so they won’t be hiring in January for June. Some will post jobs, some will ask their current clerks who to hire (make friends with 2Ls and 3Ls). Resources for finding them: findlaw, www.martindale.com, Symplicity, alumni.

10. OTHER: 1Ls have biked across the USA, had babies, run summer camps, and trekked all over the world … Your story in interviews? It’s all in how you spin it.

ESPECIALLY IN MINNESOTA Minnesota’s Student Practice Rule allows you to work in the public sector under the supervision of a licensed attorney in your 1L summer. If you work in a county attorney, public defender or legal services office, you will get to represent clients in court and be the lawyer.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY NETWORK: If there are people who have promised to help you since you were a tiny child or since last week, make the call NOW. Close personal friends of yours or your parents will be hurt beyond belief if they find out that they could have helped and you neglected to ask.

DECEMBER 1 IN MINNESOTA: Send documents December 1: Faegre & Benson (send u-grad transcript); Lindquist & Vennum (will require a law transcript); Fredrikson. No 1Ls: Oppenheimer, Maslon, Winthrop. We will pass on info as we get it.

MEET with your CPDC Counselor and Make Your Personal Plan.

(Written by Susan Gainen)

August 15, 2008

Career Services Online Workshops

Check out these 10-minute workshops offered by the University of Minnesota. Although the legal job search as well as the legal profession as a whole have many nuances, you will be able to glean useful, universal career and professional development advice.

* Topics include

Resumes, CVs, & Cover Letters
Interviewing
Job Search Strategies
Job Fair Tips
Graduate/Professional School
Job Offers & Salary Negotiation
Transition to Employment
Transitioning from Student to Professional

* Please consult the Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) for specific advice regarding your legal job search and career development strategies, documents, salary negotiation, etc.

August 14, 2008

100 Tips and Resources to be a Happy, Successful Lawyer

Check out this action-packed resource written by Laura Milligan: "100 Tips and Resources to be a Happy, Successful Lawyer". Milligan provides a wide-array of material to help you in your professional and personal development.

"Lawyers and law students are under lots of stress tracking billable hours, attracting new clients, landing the right summer program and researching, networking and managing cases after hours. To keep you grounded and focused on elevating your career, we've generated this list of job boards, quick reference guides, tips for avoiding the burnout and advice for finding time for yourself. The rest is up to you."

Topics in this article include:

Lawyer Associations
Lawyer Blogs
Social Media and Networking
Continuing Education
Avoiding the Burn Out
Articles on Work-Life Balance
Job Boards
Law References and Research Tools
Lawyer Humor
Resources for New Lawyers and Law Students
Fighting Discrimination
Getting out of Debt

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August 8, 2008

Three Things Employers Want to Know About You

There are basically three things employers are looking for and it is your job to express that you have all of them clearly.

1) Can do the work? Employers are considering if you have the skills, abilities, talent, and potential to get the job done? Your resume and interactions with employer are excellent tools that give the employer a sense if you can or can't be successful.

2) You need to convey what it will be like to work with you - are you a good 'fit'. Employers will be creating a mental picture of what working with you will be like. "What will we talk about?" "Can I trust this person with a senior partner or a client?" "What will we talk about at a luncheon?" Don't be afraid to share a bit of your interests and personality during your interaction with employers. Just remember to be your 'professional self'.

3) Employers want to know that you are sincerely interested in them. Your job is to express your enthusiasm about the opportunity to work for them. Many employers I've talked with express concern about how little some candidates know about their firm or organization; interviewees seem to have neglected to do their homework. Do your research before writing your cover letter and before the interview. It will certainly impress your interviewer(s). Also, be prepared to ask a lot of questions and ask yourself: "Is this opportunity a good for you too?"

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August 4, 2008

Interface is EVERYTHING

Kimm Walton writes that "Interface is everything" when looking for a job. She breaks this down and suggests you manage two things: Your image and your message. Here are three ways to review and craft your image and message:

1) Make sure you have a professional (or at lest neutral) email address and voice mail message. Hotdude99@aol or yournumber1lawyer@hotmail.com are not appropriate nor is a voice mail message that says "Hey dude, I've fallen and can't reach the phone."

2) Crafting an image requires that you figure out what you want. Self-awareness is extremely important when promoting yourself, and if you don't know who you are and what you want, how is an employer to know? Consider taking an assessment such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or Strengths finder to gain greater self-knowledge.

3) Think before you speak. This will not only reflect your thoughtfulness but will also help you manage your 'umms,' 'ahhs', 'you knows', 'likes', etc.

From Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams.

April 8, 2008

Best Selling Legal Career Guide Updated and Expanded

Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, 2nd Edition, by Kimm Walton, 2008.

* The long-awaited second edition of this bestseller has finally arrived! This essential and very readable handbook is now significantly expanded to over 1,300 pages. Kimm Walton's informal and infectious style, wit, and humor remain, however. She covers every aspect of the job search, from exploring practice areas to conquering the large firm without stellar grades.

Note that we have copies of this comprehensive text in the CPDC.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Secret to Being Happily Employed for the Rest of your life
Chapter 2: Figuring Out What the Heck the Job of Your Dream Is
Chapter 3: Getting the Most Out of Your Career Services Office
Chapter 4: The Most Important Element of Your Image

Continue reading "Best Selling Legal Career Guide Updated and Expanded" »

January 7, 2008

More On Line Resources

Although I don't advocate using the Internet solely for those seeking employment, I do suggest it be a part of students and clients strategy to find a job. Career expert Richard Bolles asserts that only 4 to 10% of job seekers land a job via the Internet. He does, as I, advocate the net be used extensively in the research stage of the career development process.

Here are more (I posted a similar article earlier in the year) websites I'd like to pass on to you.. The first one listed include "70+ [Internet] Tools For Job Hunting" and is a terrific resource.

http://mashable.com/2007/07/21/job-hunt
http://www.jobhuntersbible.com
http://www.quintcareers.com
http://iseek.org
http://www.mnwfc.org/jobseekers.htm
http://www.collegerecruiter.com/jobs/

July 13, 2007

Learn About NALP

In case you haven't heard of NALP or have a vague idea as to what this organization is, we strongly suggest you visit www.nalp.org ASAP and become familiar with the various resources available to you.

Note that "The National Association for Legal Professionals (NALP) was organized in 1971 to promote the exchange of information and cooperation between law schools and employers. In order to advance those interests, the Association has developed these "Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities"

April 3, 2007

Employer Outreach Update: Seattle

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been spending some time on the road to meet with employers to discuss ways they could connect with our students here at the law school. My most recent trip was early last month when I visited employers in Seattle and attended a local alumni reception. My experience was helped greatly by the fact that I landed on a day when it was 66 degrees and sunny -- not typical of early March in the Pacific Northwest. During my time, I met with legal recruiting personnel and attorneys at Perkins Coie, Lane Powell, Stoel Rives and Riddell Williams. At each of these firms, there was uniform interest in having more Minnesota law students make there way out to the area. These employers have had some track record of hiring alumni from the law school and, after our meetings, well aware of all that students and grads from this institution have to offer. A couple of tips for those interested in applying to these and other Seattle area firms:

1) It helps to have had some experience living and/or working in the region. These employers want to know that you understand the area and have a sincere interest in starting your career there. While connections to the Puget Sound area are helpful, it is also a plus to be from the greater Pacific Northwest region (Eastern WA, OR, ID, Western MT -- even northern UT).

2) If you are interested in practicing in Seattle with these kinds of employers, make sure that you apply during the late summer and consider flying out to the area (at your own expense) to do screening interviews. At this point, none of these firms participate in our interview programs. (Of course, convincing them to do so was one purpose of my trip.) However, recruiting staff and partners read your cover letters and resumes and are impressed when someone says they will be coming just to meet them. After the screening interview, fear not, any callbacks will be at the prospective employer's expense.

3) Seattle is a modest-sized legal market. This means that there are still more lawyers for the number of positions available. You need to find a way to distinguish yourself -- either by your academic, credentials, experience, connections to the area or sincerity of interest. One recent alum worked a number of different angles to land a job with the branch office of a large law firm. She spent her summers there and networked with alumni and other attorneys around town. It paid off for her and it can for you.

We have a reasonable number of alumni in the Seattle area and the ones I met seemed eager and interested in helping Minnesota students. They can be one of your best resources to making connections and finding your way around town. Don't be shy.

Dean Charles and I will be returning to New York in May for additional employer visits. In addition, Susan, Vic and I will be attending the annual NALP conference in Colorado later this month. The conference affords us an opportunity to meet with dozens of legal recruiter types from employers throughout the country. We plan on making sure the good news about our law school spreads.

February 18, 2007

On-Line Professionalism: Blogging

As employers increase their background checks and look more closely at their applicants, the issue of managing one's on-line persona is more important than ever for job seekers. Remember, the purpose of the interview process is to confirm that you have the experience, skills and abilities listed on your resume. In addition, employers are equally concerned with ensuring that you will be a good fit for their organization.

Like it or not, one of the steps added to the due diligence process is conducting Internet searches to learn more about you and how you ‘behave’ online, i.e. what you are writing about (your opinions), including comments about others (respect and civility), and your overall level of professionalism (self-awareness, responsibility, maturity). These searches include looking at sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster. They also include search engine tools like Google, which often lead an employer directly to a candidate’s blog, which can be a treasure trove of personal (and often damaging) information about the blogger. Do not underestimate the extent to which blogs are explored and the content and tone thoroughly examined by employers, classmates, potential colleagues, mentors, professors, your parents, etc.

Simply stated: Your words can, and most probably will, come back to haunt you in a variety of ways and environments.

That said, I’m not suggesting that you give up your freedom of speech online for, as one U of M student suggests, these mediums are “valuable communication tools and great ways to express oneself to a large network of friends in varied locations.? I am suggesting, however, that one carefully monitor and manage his or her online presence. Many of the responses I received to my e-mail inquiry regarding social networking suggested the following:

• Keep privacy settings high and be careful who has access to your blog.

• Don’t publish anything on your page that you would be embarrassed about having a hiring partner read.

• Make yourself ‘unsearchable’, which means using a name and/or email address that your potential employers won’t know.

• Password protect every page that might have potentially negative or very personal information.

• Keep in mind that even if you have taken every precaution to hide and /or protect your online information, that doesn’t guarantee that someone to whom you have given access won’t pass it along to others.

The bottom line is, as another U of M law student eloquently stated: “Students should keep it classy. Schools and employers should aim for high-quality information in a well-designed format and should resist the urge to be cool and trendy.?

January 17, 2007

Making Documents Into PDFs

Many employers and job posting systems, including Symplicity, convert your word processed resumes and cover letters into PDF documents. The on-line application system for federal judicial clerkship applications, OSCAR, requires all applicants to submit documents in PDF format. There are also advantages to converting documents to the PDF format when attaching them to e-mail applications. But what can you do if you don't have a copy of the Adobe Acrobat program at your disposal?

The answer is to search the web for one of a number of free services and downloads that enable you to convert your Word or Wordperfect documents to the PDF format. One such service recommended by an alum of ours can be found at the following website:

http://pdf995.com

This service allows you to download free software that you can use from your desktop. As our alum stated, "This pdf converter application is very simple to operate. I managed to download it, use it, and upload a doc onto the Oscar page. The good news is that if I can figure it out, anyone can." There are other services available on the internet and you should explore them as well.

January 15, 2007

Warning: Social Networking Can Be Hazardous to Your Job Search

Please take a look at the following article from CareerBuilder.com: Warning: Social Networking Can Be Hazardous to Your Job Search. Note the 'bottom line': "80% of companies perform background checks."

As you seek and secure employment, please Google yourself and also review your social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, blogs, etc.). Are they presenting an image of someone you would like to employ?

January 3, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Career Development

Happy New Year and welcome to 2007. We hope you had a wonderful holiday break.

Here are five resolutions to consider making for your personal career development:

1. If you don't already know, decide what you want to do, where, and for whom you want to do it. "This is the number one reason people have trouble finding a new job. They don’t know what they want. Take the time to figure it out, and you'll be way ahead of the rest of the crowd."

2. Work on your resume and cover letters. Do these marketing tools accurately and strongly promote your skills and experiences? Do they reflect what you have to offer a law firm or potential employer and why you would want to work for them?

3. Build relationships with "new" people who work for employers you'd consider working with. Who are your future colleagues? Find them now! Join school-related clubs, professional/industry associations, and go to their meetings. Volunteer and/or perform informational/investigative interviews.

4. Retain or rekindle relationships with people from your past. "Stay in touch (or get back in touch) with old friends, school mates, colleagues, neighbors, long-lost relatives, etc. Let them know about your job hunt and help them with theirs." Ensure they all have a copy of your resume and know what you are looking for (and where).

5. Keep track of your accomplishments and the people who can provide a recommendation. Be organized and follow-up where appropriate. Remember that career development is a life-long activity,

The CPDC has many resources available to help you accomplish all of the resolutions above. Make a resolution to visit us often this year.


1 - Posting based on and quoted from http://www.job-hunt.org/onlinejobsearchguide/article_new_years_resolutions.shtml

February 20, 2006

Report from the Field: Phoenix, Arizona

Last week, I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to meet with legal employers. These employers included some of the largest firms in the area, as well as the fourth largest prosecutors' office in the US, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Most of these employers are located in downtown Phoenix which seemed to be undergoing a tremendous wave of construction projects, including a new convention center. Here are some details to report:

Bryan Cave - Met with the recruiting director and chairs of the hiring committte. This firm has had a long history of success in recruiting Minnesota students on and off campus. They are very interested in connecting with members of the class of 2008 who are interested in practice in the region. If so, please contact me.

Maricopa County Attorney's Office - This office has extensively revamped their training and recruiting programs in the last year. Jeff Duvendack, the attorney in charge of these areas, now oversees a comprehensive entry-level attorney training program. In addition, entry level salaries have been raised to the low $50K range to be competitive with other major prosecutor offices nationally. If you are interested in prosecution practice in a growing office, this would be an excellent choice.

Snell and Willmer - The largest law firm in Phoenix with branch offices in Denver, Salt Lake City and Orange County. I met with the recruiting director and chair of the hiring committee. This firm is very interested in connecting with Minnesota students -- they are hoping to participate in the West Coast Off-Campus Interview Program in Los Angeles this fall. Please check Symplicity for more information.

Jennings, Strouss - This firm employs over 120 attorneys and features a diverse range of practice areas. I met with the recruiting coordinator who mentioned they would bet returning this year to the West Coast program in Los Angeles.

Fennemore Craig - The oldest law firm in Arizona. They are located in the Midtown area, near some of the more exclusive shopping and dining areas. They are looking for ways to connect with Minnesota students and are considering participating in the West Coast program.

In each case, the people I met were uniformly impressed by the quality and caliber of Minnesota students and graduates. The Phoenix market is growing and these firms are interested in ways to connect with students from top tier schools around the country. The West Coast program offers them the opportunity to meet with a pool of applicants from several law schools. In the case of Bryan Cave, these efforts have proved so successful that the firm now recruits on campus. Our hope is that each of these employers will eventually make the trip up to Minneapolis in a few years.

If you would like more specific information about these firms or other employment options in Phoenix, please let me know.

February 13, 2006

Employer Outreach: Phoenix, Arizona

A major part of our work at the CPDC includes encouraging employers to hire our students and graduates. While our staff regularly meets with local employers throughtout the year, we also target out-of-town employers in several cities throughout the country and try to visit them in their offices. This week, I travel to Phoenix to meet with a range of private and public employers regarding opportunities to recruit at the Law School.

In the fall, my travels took me to St. Louis, where I met with several employers, including Bryan Cave and Thompson Coburn, and hosted a small alumni gathering. Next month, Dean Johnson will join Susan and me for a reception with employers in Chicago to update them on the Law School and have them meet alumni who practice in the area.

I look forward to sharing details of my trip to the Southwest later in the week. Check back here for more details.