3 ways to expand your job search


By Hillary Mantis

It’s winter and you don’t have any job offers yet. No job offers? No worries. You still have plenty of time, and plenty of options. While there may not be as many lawyers recruiting on campus, that does not mean that there are no jobs left.

Here are some ideas for gearing up for a spring semester job search:

-Register for a spring semester clinic or externship in a practice area that interests you: If you can get experience to add to your resume in an area you are trying to break into, that will help reinvigorate your job search. Law schools have expanded clinics and externships in recent years. They are now offered in many different practice areas. Between clinics, externships, journals, and centers, law schools offer several ways to get specialized experience, which you can add to your resume. Contributing to school blogs, or other writing opportunities can also help you develop a specialization.

-Sign up for opportunities to meet alumni: Does your career services office or alumni office offer an alumni mentor program? I’ve heard so many great stories about students connecting with an alumni through these types of programs. Is there a panel at your school with alumni speakers? Go to it, and introduce yourself to them at the end of the program. Does your school have a holiday party coming up that students may attend? That’s another opportunity to meet alumni that may have valuable advice for you about your job search.

-Go for a resume/cover letter tune-up: Has it been a few months since you’ve been to career services? Maybe there are ways to improve your resume and cover letter? Or come up with specialized resumes and cover letters for different types of positions? Make an appointment before the semester ends. If you have not yet done a “mock” interview with them, sign up for that as well. While you are there, be sure to ask about spring on-campus recruitment programs, funding for summer positions, and other programs they are planning for spring that could help you land a job. Smaller law firms and government agencies often recruit during the spring semester, as well as all sorts of other legal employers. Finding out what’s scheduled for spring will make you feel better-and realize that hiring does not end when fall recruitment programs are over.

Hillary Mantis works with pre-law students, law students and lawyers. She is author of career books, including " Alternative Careers for Lawyers" and director of the pre-law program at Fordham University. You can reach Hillary at altcareer@aol.com.