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Advice for Recent Law School Graduates
by Chuck Panzarella, Esq., founder of Consumer Action Law Group
Single most important piece of advice: if you know what you want to do, you are very lucky. Do it for free if you have to, as long as you put yourself in a position to move up and eventually make a living. If you don't know what you want to do, but you want to practice law, then volunteer for 2-3 lawyers or firms or companies or anybody you can pitch an intern position to get a foot in the door.
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The best plan is to find a niche and become the expert on that niche. Own it. Master it. With some luck your niche will grow and you will be in high demand. If you are smart you will pick a niche that is dynamic and interesting so that it keeps you engaged. Avoiding burnout from repetition is a factor.
Most recruiters will look for grades and top tier schools. Sell name brands on your résumé and emphasize any interest or experience you have. But most people looking are in the same boat. We would love to be Yale grads with a very helpful alumni network. But it's up to you to make it better. It takes a lot of hustle and knocking on doors.
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Meet as many people as possible. Go to free bar mixers. Or pay if you have to. Go to the CLE classes. Get out there and talk to lawyers. Show an interest in what others do. Remember that other people need to be more interesting than you are. Ask lots of questions. Go deep. The deeper the interest the more likely the impression will be lasting and memorable.
You make your luck. It really is a numbers game. Never mind good luck. Go meet 100 lawyers!"
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