Four Tips For 1Ls Starting The Clerkship Search
Tomorrow is the day. All across the country, first year law students will fill up law firm recruiters’ inboxes with resumes for summer clerkships. Before you do the same, here ]]>
Personalize each application. Whether you are sending an email with your resume attached, or mailing it in old-school (nothing wrong with this by the way, unless the firm has provided explicit instructions otherwise), make sure the recruiter feels like you sent this one to them specifically. If the instructions dictate you apply via an online tool which removes personalization, you’ll have to get a bit more creative. Perhaps you contact the recruiter separately, just to let them know you applied and make sure they received your resume. Another route might be to find a Baylor Lawyer at the firm, and let them know you applied.
Follow instructions and eliminate mistakes. You would be amazed at the stories I hear of recruiters tossing resumes out from otherwise qualified candidates, on the basis of not following instructions or making mistakes in their application documents. Remember they are receiving hundreds of resumes this month, and are looking for easy ways to cull down the list of viable candidates. Be sure to clear this unassuming but deadly hurdle by re-reading the recruiting website for instructions, and proof-reading all documents you are submitting.
Follow up. Don’t submit your resume and wait for a call; unless you are the child of a shareholder it likely isn’t coming. You need to stay in touch with recruiters throughout the process (see example in (1) above). Also, find out where they will be over the next month or two. Many firms participate in job fairs and host holiday receptions; know their calendar and make plans to meet them in person at one or more of them. Finally, don’t wait for the firm to ask you to for your grades. Submit them as soon as you are comfortable (i.e. if you only have one grade, but it’s an A, I would go ahead and submit. You can always update them as others come in).
Don’t limit yourself to law firms. While the December 1 date generally applies to law firms, you should not limit your search for 1L opportunities to firms. First, there simply aren’t enough opportunities to warrant such a restriction; the odds are you will not find a law firm position in your first summer. Second, the 1L summer is a great opportunity to see a couple of different career options, including government/judicial employers and non-profit/business employers. You will have the opportunity in the 2L summer to work with a firm as well, and in fact may feel the pressure to do so, so the 1L summer is a great time to explore alternatives without any pressure or expectations.
Please don’t hesitate to ask Angela or me about issues related to 1L summer clerkships and related opportunities. Also, don’t forget to review the list of employers who may have 1L opportunities; you can find it when you log in to Symplicity. Good luck!
Connect with Daniel at Daniel_Hare@Baylor.edu and/or @BaylorLawDaniel on Twitter.
Job of the Week: Each week I highlight a job in Symplicity you might be interested in but may have missed. This week's job is: Summer Judicial Internship with United States Bankruptcy Court – Southern District of Texas(1L/2L/3L, McAllen) Log in to Symplicity to view this job and apply.