I didn't get a job offer from on campus interviews. What now?

By Hillary Mantis

Let’s face it — it’s not easy to get a job through on campus interviews. Even though some employers will still be coming this fall, if you did not get a job offer, you are probably wondering, ‘what should I do next?’

Here are seven easy steps to move your job search to the next level:

1. Make an Appointment with a Career Counselor at Your Law School

Run, don’t walk to your career services office if you haven’t been there yet, and have them critique your resume in detail. Then, ask if they can do a mock interview with you. If you have had interviews, and not received any offers, they can be helpful in diagnosing the issue. If you are not getting first interviews, your resume could probably use some tweaking.

2. Research Government Agencies

Large government agencies often have summer internship or honors programs, and some have post-graduate entry-level positions. Many have fall application deadlines, so now is the time to look. Ask your Career Services office for information and timelines, and check out web sites such as Psjd.org, and Usajobs.gov.

3. Find out Details about Your School’s Summer Public Sector Funding

 If you are a 1L or 2L, many law schools offer partial funding for summer jobs, especially those in the public sector. Find out now what funding is available, when the deadlines are, and what type of employer would qualify for funding.

4. Stay Tuned for Possible Late Breaking Employers added to Your School’s Interview Program

If the job market picks up, employers may end up coming to your campus later in the year to interview. Sometimes they will hire out of sync from the usual schedule. Keep in touch with your career office, and definitely read their emails to you. Who knows, they might be telling you about new employers who want to see resumes.

5. Learn When Different Types of Firms Will Be Hiring

In general, the larger the firm, the earlier they hire. So, it may be a good time to apply to large and medium size firms, but for many small firms, it may be too early for them to know what their hiring needs are for summer or permanent hiring. Spring may be a better time to contact these firms.

6. Find Out What Practice Areas Are Hiring Now

It’s always easier to land a job in a practice area that’s growing. Healthcare and energy law seem to be hot right now, to name a few areas. Keep up with the legal news, and check out sites like www.robertdenney.com, which publishes a “What’s Hot and What’s Not” industry report.

7. Build Your Resume

While you are waiting for more interviews, there are several ways to build your resume. A few suggestions: write a blog entry to get a writing credential; do pro bono work for a local legal services organization; join a local bar association committee; seek our a research assistant position at your school.

It’s still early in the game. You have plenty of time to look for a job. But get moving.


Hillary Mantis is a Legal Career Consultant and Pre-Law Advisor. She is a Director of the Pre-Law Program at Fordham University, author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers, and co-author of Jobs for Lawyers: Effective Techniques for Getting Hired in Today’s Legal Marketplace. You can write to Hillary at altcareer@aol.com.