Last-minute job search tips

By Hillary Mantis

Spring is right around the corner. But you’ve been buried in schoolwork, with no time to look for a summer job. No worries — there are still options.  Here are some ideas:

Job Websites:
Don’t fret if you haven’t found anything through your school’s job listing database. Many employers, especially small law firms, post throughout the spring and into the summer. So keep checking, and also look at other websites such as www.psjd.org  for ideas.

Public Interest Summer Funding:
Talk to the Public Interest Career counselor at your school. You may qualify for funding to work for a public sector organization this summer.

Government Honors Programs:
Many federal agencies have summer programs.  Check out the Government Honors and Internship Handbook (most law school career offices subscribe to this publication) for more information.

Bar Associations Fellowships:
Many local bar associations, as well as the American Bar Association, have Fellowships which fund law students for the summer. Check your local bar association for more information.

Alumni:
Have you tapped into the alumni network at your school? It can offer a wealth of ideas and job leads. If you are headed home for spring break, or Easter break, you might want to set up some meetings with alumni who live in your area. Also check to see if your law school has a mentor program — usually, alumni in mentor programs have already agreed that students could contact them.

Externships:
If you are willing to work for school credit, you may still have time to apply for your law school’s externship program.

Talk to your Professors:
Professors sometimes need Research Assistants to help them with projects they are working on, or books they are writing.  If you have a Professor who teaches in an area that interests you, you might ask them. They may also have private sector contacts they can refer you to for networking.

Attend Job Search Panels:
Around this time of year, students start to get so busy they may not go to events held at their own law school. Yet, most schools often bring in alumni to speak on career panels. Be one of the students who attends events — if the room is not crowded, that gives you an even better opportunity to approach the panelists afterwards, then later contact them for a networking meeting.

Hillary Mantis is a Legal Career Consultant, a Director of the Pre-Law program at Fordham University, and author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers. You can write to Hillary at altcareer@aol.com

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