The cover letter is your first – and possibly only – opportunity to engage a prospective employer. It is a key marketing tool to convince the employer to take the time to look at your resume. Think of it as “bait” that you are using to “hook” the reader. Attorneys or law firm recruiting coordinators are searching for a reason to dismiss your application. Don’t give it to them by writing a cover letter that is rambling and poorly written or contains typos or grammatical errors.
The Office of Career Development & Opportunities can help you create a cover letter that best “hooks” potential employers to consider your application. Before meeting with a Career Consultant, make sure to check out our cover letter tips:
- Cover Letter Basics (Powerpoint) »
- Sample Cover Letters (PDF) »
- The Importance of the Cover Letter (PDF) »
The interview can be a daunting experience, and is, ultimately, the deciding factor in whether you get the job. However, interviewing is like anything else you have learned to do well; it is a skill you improve with practice and preparation.
The Office of Career Development & Opportunities can help you develop your interviewing skills through workshops and mock interviews. Make sure to check out our interviewing tips:
Interviewing is like anything else you have learned to do well; it is a skill you improve with practice. Schedule a mock interview with one of our career consultants and participate in our fall or spring Mock Interview Days. Also, ask a friend or relative to interview you. Solicit the mock interviewer’s candid feedback and discuss ways to improve your performance.
To prepare for the mock interview and help alleviate those pre-interview jitters, read The Essential Book of Interviewing by Arnold Kanter. By knowing what to expect in the interview setting, you will feel more comfortable and confident. Also, keep in mind that the interviewer expects a little nervousness early on in the interview. The key is to control your anxiety so that it does not prevent you from doing what you need to do in the interview: communicate who you are and why you are the best candidate for this employer.
- Key Elements to Prepare for the Interview (PDF) »
- Interview Strategies (Powerpoint) »
Networking and Job Search Strategies
It’s never too early to start strategizing for your new career after law school! Networking is an essential job search tool to connect and interact with others in order to achieve your ultimate jobs search goals – getting interviews and offers.
The Office of Career Development & Opportunities can not only help you begin your networking by connecting with alumni and other people in the legal community, but provides useful advice on how to develop, build, and expand your own network:
Resumes are an individual expression of who you are. They are also your one chance to make a great first impression. The idea is to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd, while still maintaining the traditional professionalism required in the field of law.
The Office of Career Development & Opportunities can help you create a resume that best showcases what you have to offer to potential employers. Before meeting with a Career Consultant, make sure to check out our resume tips:
- Killer Legal Resumes (PDF) »
- Perfecting Your Resume (PDF) »
- Resume Basics (Powerpoint) »
- Sample Legal Resumes (PDF) »
Thank You Letters
One of the first questions students and alumni ask is whether it is imperative to write a thank you note following a meeting with an attorney. Will it really be the deciding factor in whether they hire you or someone else?
Possibly. The same standards apply for a thank you note as for the initial cover letter. If it contains grammatical or typographical errors, is poorly composed, or reflects poor judgment (sending a funny Hallmark card, for example!) it could result in knocking you out of the race.
Conversely, even if it is perfect, it will not ensure that you get the job. The goal is to reinforce the decision made during the interview to offer you the job.