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Students fresh out of law school have little better than a 50-50 shot at landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving a degree, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Many of the graduates find work as sole practitioners or at smaller firms, which tend not to hire full-time until graduates pass the bar exam.
Here are some ways to get lucky in landing your name on the hired list:
The ability to network while in school and upon graduation has never been easier. You have a computer and the Internet for research, email, and networking. Today you have LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging, Twitter, and more to network with your target audience of leading lawyers.
Don't wait for graduation. Build your network through the Net throughout law school. How many recommendations on your completed LinkedIn profile do you have from college and law school professors, employers going back to high school, and colleagues? How many alumni events have you attended - even if it means bar tending or waiting the tables at events to meet lawyers. How many blogs from practicing lawyers do you follow? Do you engage those lawyers through your own blog? Connect with them on LinkedIn? Follow and engage them on Twitter?
Don't wait for people to post internships. Go ask for one where you want to work, work for free, and let them know that no one wants the internship more than you and that no one will work harder.
While you're knocking on doors and bar tending after graduation, work for free. Work for the public defender's office for free doing research, briefs, and memos while your job hunt is underway. Working for free shows you are driven to succeed and are not going to say no.
In your free time, knock on the door of the law firms you most want to work at and ask to meet the partner you'd most like to work with.
You know that competition is hard in your field. How many law students in the community you want to work in, for the firm you want to work at, and in the area of law you want to work are going to do the above? None. Do it and you will shine like a star.
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