June 5, 2012

2L's: Law Library Orientations for Summer Associates: June 5 & 13

The HCBA and the Hennepin County Law Library will again be hosting orientation sessions to acquaint your firm's summer associates with the library and its services.

Upcoming dates: Tuesday, June 5, and Wednesday, June 13. Additional information is here.

October 18, 2011

1L: Intro to the Career Center

Oct. 28, 12:15; Rm 25

Join Career Center staff as we review key information about the services the Career Center provides and the partnership between you and our office. This session is required for all 1L students.

August 23, 2011

Etiquette Dinner

Etiquette Dinner
Thursday, September 22, 2011
5 p.m. Registration
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Program & Dinner
Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center
Do you know where to put the silverware when you are done using it? Where do you place your napkin when leaving the table? Should you tell someone they have food in their teeth? Join the University of Minnesota Alumni Association for the annual Etiquette Dinner and get answers to these questions and many more!
Enjoy a three-course meal from D'Amico while learning how to professional handle any dining situation.
Costs are:
$10 Alumni Association Student Members
$20 for U of M students
$30 for Alumni Association Members
$35 for General Public
No Refunds
Space is limited. This event usually sells out.

Register by Wednesday, September 14 at

For group registration, please contact Kat Snell at
Questions? Check our FAQ page.

December 22, 2009

A Letter to the Next Generation of Lawyers

A nice letter from a father/lawyer to his two children entering the profession. It gives some solid advice on how to be a good lawyer. A Letter to the Next Generation of Lawyers

October 7, 2009

5 Reasons for Lawyers to Use Social Media

Check out this article by Evan Brown.

"These days there is a lot of talk about lawyers using social media -- writing blogs, posting to Twitter and maintaining profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. This popularity might be due to the wider availability of social media tools and the shifting demographic of a profession that has more digitally raised attorneys joining its ranks. The downturned economy may play a role in this as well, with lawyers looking for new ways to find work.

These days there is a lot of talk about lawyers using social media -- writing blogs, posting to Twitter and maintaining profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. This popularity might be due to the wider availability of social media tools and the shifting demographic of a profession that has more digitally raised attorneys joining its ranks. The downturned economy may play a role in this as well, with lawyers looking for new ways to find work.

Because social media is a time investment, one should determine whether the pursuit is worthwhile. No doubt there are plenty of social media proponents singing the praises of concepts like connection, community and collaboration. We hear talk about transparency and how "content can be your best advertising." One can certainly bring about positive results through a planned and disciplined social media strategy.

This article recommends using social media for business and career development, and presents five non-exhaustive reasons why attorneys should consider using social media for themselves or for their firms. The what and how of blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc., are beyond the scope of what is covered here. This discussion is about why a lawyer might want to use social media."

Click here for the entire article.


August 26, 2009

Online Reputation Management

I thought this discussion regarding online reputation management interesting.

"As lawyers participate in social media - Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, just to name a few - there's a growing sense that Internet presence is becoming online reputation. In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell look at this important new phenomenon and suggest practical ways that you can find and manage your online reputation, while avoiding the most common pitfalls."

Click here to listen to the podcast.


July 10, 2009

Make the Most of Your MWL Membership: Get Involved!!

Save the Date
Minnesota Women Lawyers 2009 Committee Fair on August 26th
Have you ever wondered how MWL is able to attract so many phenomenal speakers, print a great publication, hold top-notch events, and so much more? MWL has its many committees to thank! Find out how you can get involved at the 2009 MWL Committee Fair. Join us for lunch and meet the active members who get it all done. You'll learn about opportunities to get involved and network with MWL's leadership and members.

The MWL Committee Fair will be held on Wednesday, August 26th from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. (80 South 8th Street, IDS Tower, Suite 2200 in Minneapolis; in the Minnesota Room). All members and prospective members are invited to attend. Lunch will be provided.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by Friday, August 21st to We hope you will be able to join us!

February 11, 2009

Self-Marketing Is Key to Being a Top Lawyer

"Self-Marketing Is Key to Being a Top Lawyer "

Shai Littlejohn, The National Law Journal, February 3, 2009

"Young attorneys are often led to the field of law because of a seductive proposition: You can do anything with a law degree.

Unfortunately, a law degree does not even guarantee an opportunity in law, let alone an entree into a different field. For those law graduates who choose to pursue legal careers, many find that navigating the profession is far more complex than the bar itself, and while some learn to tread water and stay afloat, others tank.

A multitude of smart folks pass the bar, only to find themselves stuck behind prefabricated desks without much interest in the subject matter that fills their days. Their brains overloaded with statutes and data, many wonder why opportunities fail to abound.

Unfortunately, a critical message was omitted from the recruiting process: Although you may be able to do anything with a law degree, a law degree and solid experience alone will not do it for you. For those young attorneys who dream of becoming top lawyers, the key is to be three parts lawyer and one part marketing agent."

For the complete article, click here.

February 6, 2009

Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand

Here is an informative article that gives many ideas how to invent yourself and manage your perception.

"Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand" by Dan Schawbel

In the past few years personal branding has been discussed exhaustively throughout the Net. The difference between today and over ten years ago when it was first mentioned by Tom Peters, is the rise of social technologies that have made branding not only more personal, but within reach.

From the corporate brand (BMW), to the product brand (BMW M3 Coupe) and down to the personal brand (car salesman), branding is a critical component to a customer’s purchasing decision. These days, customer complaints and opinions are online and viewable through a simple search, on either Google or through social networks. There is no hiding anymore and transparency and authenticity are the only means to survive and thrive in this new digital kingdom.

Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. We can build brand equity just like them.

For the entire article, click here.

January 3, 2009

New Year's Work Resolutions for Junior Associates

An interesting article regarding associate professional development:

New Year's Work Resolutions for Junior Associates

Kathryn C. Newman
Special to
January 05, 2009

"Most of us begin the New Year with a handful of resolutions. Doesn't your career deserve the same attention as your waistline?

This January, I recommend that you spend a few hours setting resolutions and goals for your own professional development. Associates who commit to reflecting on their careers, skills and needs, to writing these goals down, and tracking their progress, are far more likely to achieve these goals, and have higher job satisfaction."

Click the title above for the entire article.


December 6, 2008

Manage Stress During a Job Search

Manage Stress During a Job Search

(Adopted from an article by Mary Jeanne Vincent)

“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest
we take between two deep breaths.? – Etty Hillesum

Reducing and managing stress is one of the keys to a successful search. Too much stress and you appear desperate. Not enough and people question your motivation. Only you can decide how much stress is the right amount! Here are seven steps you can take to significantly lower stress, improve your effectiveness, and ultimately shorten your job hunt.

1. Have a realistic understanding of how long a job search takes. Many job seekers have an unrealistic time frame for finding their next job. It always takes longer than you think. When you don’t have a realistic expectation for how long it can take it is easy to feel stressed out.

2. Develop a job search action plan. Map out where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Set specific daily and weekly goals; then develop a contingency plan for when Plan A doesn’t work. Once your plan is in place and you are emotionally prepared – take action!

3. Reduce unnecessary expenses immediately. Minimizing financial responsibilities and maximizing financial resources will significantly reduce stress. This is not the time to go stress shopping. The greater your financial resources the more flexibility you have to accept the right job offer rather than grabbing the first one that comes along.

4. Think of your job search as a job. Consider putting specific job search activities on your calendar and treat them like a job.

Continue reading "Manage Stress During a Job Search" »

November 12, 2008

The War on Productivity

I thought you'd find this posting from Jott interesting and helpful.

"We usually talk about ways to be more productive, but getting things done is always easier said than done. For every task that lay ahead, there is always something or someone happy to distract you from your work. Sometimes these distractions are welcome breaks and sometimes a small break can spiral out of control to be an all out unproductive hour. It’s hard, after all, to stay focused and motivated 100% of the time. Below is a look at the five greatest weapons in what I call, “The War on Productivity?."

Click the title for the complete article.


October 27, 2008

How to Present Yourself Powerfully

Checking out this helpful article regarding public speaking:

How to Present Yourself Powerfully, Part 1

"You may have a great idea bouncing around in your head. It may be something that could revolutionize the company that you work for, or even change your own career. But if you can't find a way to get that idea out and in front of others, you and it will be forever stuck. The key is to have the ability and the courage to get up in front of a room—full of your friends, your peers or your bosses—and tell them what you know. Once you are able to speak your passion, you can pass it along to others and begin to make a difference. Perhaps you are just plagued by shyness, like I was way back in the seventh grade, when everyone was getting called to the front of the classroom for the spelling bee. Gulp! That was my worst nightmare! But as I grew up, I learned more and more ways to speak effectively. These days, I speak all over the world many times a week. But getting there wasn't easy."

Click here for the entire article.


August 12, 2008

10 Skills You Need to Succeed at Almost Anything

I thought you'd find this posting from Stepcase Lifehack useful:

"What does it take to succeed? A positive attitude? Well, sure, but that’s hardly enough. The Law of Attraction? The Secret? These ideas might act as spurs to action, but without the action itself, they don’t do much.

Success, however it’s defined, takes action, and taking good and appropriate action takes skills. Some of these skills (not enough, though) are taught in school (not well enough, either), others are taught on the job, and still others we learn from general life experience.

Click here for the 10 Skills.


July 21, 2008

Don’t Wear Flip-Flops . . . And Other Advice for Summer Associates

Great advice from the Wall Street Journal.

"The last time we heard about an anonymous hiring partner starting a blog, it was a ruse by Harvard law grad Jeremy Blachman, whose summer associateship at Willkie Farr & Gallagher provided him with enough fodder for both a blog and a book. We couldn’t help but think of Blachman’s “Anonymous Lawyer? this morning, when we opened up an email sent from announcing a new blog, called — you got it — “Hiring Partner Office.? "

For the complete posting, visit WSJ Law.

July 20, 2008

Split summers -- from a Recruiter's Perspective

Lynne Traverse of Bryan Cave, spoke at the U of MN in January 2008. She has more excellent advice for you -- this time on the pros and cons of splitting your summer.

She suggests that during the fall 2008 recruiting season, that employers may be less inclined than in the past to permit splits, and she offers some advice for students who are in splits right now.

July 16, 2008

"A new game plan for retaining women in law firms..."

The National Association of Women Lawyers has recommendations for recruiting and retaining women in law firms.

From the National Law Journal on line, July 14, 2008.

June 28, 2007

How is your research received at work?

We are hearing from employers that some research memos are well-crafted, well-drafted, and well-reasoned, but that they come up short on source material which assigning attorneys believe to be critical to solving the problem.

When you get an assignment, ask "What resources would you consult?" Your supervisor is probably an expert, and he or she will not steer you wrong. Real-world research assignments are not "hide the ball" exercises -- the imperative is to solve the client's problem in the most effective and efficient way. Having law clerks and new attorneys wander on useless research journeys frustrates you and your supervisor, and does nothing for the client, who will not pay for your work.

If your supervisor has suggested that you might expand your research beyond Westlaw, Lexis and other electronic sources, check out the Law Library's selection of research pathfinders. In addition to pathfinders created by our Law Library Professionals, they have created a second list of other helpful resources.

There is a wide world outside of Lexis and Westlaw -- some of it is electronic and some exists on paper. All of it may be useful to you, and you ignore it all at your peril.

For other helpful tips, refer to the "Work and Work Product" section of Paths to Professionalism in CareerFiles on the CPDC website.

June 13, 2007

"Excellence in the Workplace: Legal & Life Skills" -- a student book review

Excellence in the Workplace: Legal & Life Skills
A West Nutshell By Kay Kavanagh & Paula Nailon, University of Arizona Law School
Reviewed by Amy Lowe, U of Minnesota, Class of 2008

From the law student to the newly hired (and everyone in between), this quick-reference has useful nuggets of wisdom for every aspiring legal professional. The authors answer questions many of us might be embarrassed to ask (how to overcome shyness in the professional sphere) or not even think to ask (at a reception or cocktail party, hold your beverage with you left hand to keep your right hand dry for handshakes). Each section also includes excerpts from student journals—although these occasionally border trite, many are insightful and applicable.

This book is best suited as reference material; even with the logical structure and clear writing, reading this book like a novel is bound to result in information-overload. However, readers should not only consult this book on a specific-need basis; in addition to the “a-ha? checklists (everything you need to know for your first day, first week, etc), some of the most valuable information is in the more abstract chapters.

As the authors state, “A great deal of early professional training and development is about becoming competent in certain areas and developing skills that you may now have little interest in developing.? Thus, the book’s tension between the concrete, practical tips (such as professional attire and personal budget) and the overwhelming attention to interpersonal skills and communication has a purpose—both are integral to the book’s overarching theme, which acknowledges the gap between legal education and legal practice, and offers tools to prepare for the inevitably steep learning curve that awaits us each after graduation.

So if you’ve ever wondered during a boring lecture or while pondering your astronomical loans, “Is law school really preparing me to be a practicing attorney?? this book provides a refreshingly honest answer: partially. More importantly, by first identifying areas law school does NOT necessarily prepare one for legal practice, the authors are able to provide experienced advice and a variety of references so that we can meet our futures with realistic expectations and confidence.

NOTE: This nutshell will be available in the Law School Bookstore in the fall.

May 23, 2007

Take good notes when you get an assignment

Steve Bernstein, the hiring partner for Fisher & Phillips LLP in Atlanta, shared ten tips for a successful summer with readers of Law Crossing.

For everyone who is working (either permanently or for the summer), a crucial piece of advice is to take good notes. He writes: " It may seem obvious, but those who fail to take comprehensive notes at the time of an assignment will often regret it. The fewer wheels you spin, the better."

This may present a generational challenge. If you have grown up with computers, you may not have well-developed handwriting -- not to mention shorthand -- skills. Because you won't be carrying a laptop around with you in the office, you'll need to carry note cards and a pen or pencil, and be prepared to use them at a moment's notice.

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 15, 2007

Warning: Social Networking Can Be Hazardous to Your Job Search

Please take a look at the following article from 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?

November 14, 2006

Performance Matters: Prepping for Performance Reviews

Mary Crane is a consultant who is well known to NALP professionals. She urges everyone to be prepared. Read her take on performance reviews at:

April 19, 2006

What are they REALLY looking for? An Associate Evaluation Form

For an unambiguous look at what a legal employer really looks for, go to CAREERFILES and check out a law firm's associate evaluation form.

April 12, 2006

Paths to Professionalism: brought to you by U of MN Alumni

Some members of the Class of 1998 wanted to share advice with future law students based on their summer clerking experiences. What began as a document with 10 items, has grown to include 97 specific stories and strategies that will make your transition from school to work as smooth and painless as possible.

Sections include Public Behavior, Public Behavior Includes the Internet, Ethics & Icky Situations, Billing & Recordkeeping, You & Your Employer, Work & Work Product, Your Secretary (aka Legal Admin Assistant) and the Rest of the Staff, and Your Career & Career Path.

March 23, 2006

Managing Your 'Internet' Image

Take a look at the headlines below that have been published just this month regarding various issues with blogging, Friendster, Facebook, and MySpace. Just as you present how professional you are in your cover letters, resumes, and interviews consider your 'Internet Image' as well. What will potential employers see when using one of these social networking tools?

Note that I used a Google News search using these keywords: Employers + 'blogging', 'Friendster', 'Facebook', and 'MySpace'.

“You Are What You Post?
Business Week - Mar 22, 2006

“Bosses Google potential employees?
Monsters and, UK - Mar 20, 2006

“Facebook displays questionable activities?
RU Daily Targum (subscription) - New Brunswick, NJ, USA Mar 23, 2006

Click below for more.

Continue reading "Managing Your 'Internet' Image" »