Walton's 'Guerilla Tactics' an essential in today's job market

Some things never go out of style. The little black dress. The Beatles. Kimm Alayne Walton's "Guerilla Tactics For Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams."

That last one usually doesn't make the average person's list of "classics," but for any law student or recent law graduate, it should. Though this book is almost 15 years old, it's incredibly relevant to today's job market woes.

Using humor and self-depreciation throughout, Walton makes the legal job market seem a little less intimidating — especially for those whose grades aren't anything to write home about. Walton starts at the very beginning of the search for employment, and asks readers to identify what it is they really want to do with their law degrees. After that, she provides detailed coaching on getting the most out of your school's career services office, networking, cover letters, resumes and interviewing. Her section on life in the big firms is also a must-read for anyone with their heart set on making it into an AmLaw 100 firm.

But Walton's book is not written for the wallflower. Many of her suggestions would make even an outgoing person blush — but, if Walton's anecdotes and testimonials from real students, administrators and employers say one thing, it's that her tips work. She does offer guidance on interviewing for shy people, most of which entail admitting to your shyness, which might not be the easiest thing to do for someone who struggles to even talk about the weather.

Some pieces of advice also may be a bit out of date. For example, she reminds ladies not to dress like Melanie Griffith pre-makeover in "Working Girl." Maybe "don't dress like anyone in 'Working Girl' is more appropriate for the times.

"Guerilla Tactics" definitely gets it right in forcing readers to reconnect with their true desires and passions during the job hunt. A law school graduate herself, Walton writes of the discouragement and disappointment that many students encounter in law school, and the low self-esteem that comes along with it. Walton does a great job of pulling up students who feel down, and giving them the confidence and motivation to go out on a limb to get what they want. By writing with candor, compassion and a comedic touch, Walton makes Guerilla Tactics an easy and invaluable read for anyone who is willing to do the work to get a job they really want.

-- by Jennifer Pohlman

Pohlman will be a third-year law student at the University of Nebraska College of Law this fall. She is working with The National Jurist as an editorial assistant.