Ask LawCrossing: Aspiring Lawyer Wants a Firm That Doesn't Interview on Campus

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Working in a Law Firm That Doesnt Interview on Campus

Dear LawCrossing,

The firms that interview on campus for associate positions don't interest me. How do I find a job at a firm that doesn't interview on campus?

Searching in Connecticut

Dear Searching,

There are thousands of opportunities out there for bright minds just like yours-and about 1 percent of them interview on law school campuses.

The upside is that these extracurricular opportunities are there for the picking. The downside is that you have to do the picking (read: extra effort, long hours, and pay only at the end of the day).

First, take a serious look at what you truly enjoy. Then narrow your search to law offices that serve that niche. In this, an understanding of the practicing world is essential. This is one reason part-time jobs for 2Ls and 3Ls, along with externships, are so helpful-the guidance of seasoned practitioners is invaluable. As a general rule, it's okay to ask. Most attorneys are happy to talk (as long as you're not hitting them up for a job).

Don't assume, however, that a particular law office will do only one type of work. If, for example, you like environmental law, there are a great many opportunities. Yet 90 percent of the actual work in that office will be the same as 90 percent of the work in most other law offices (even those that don't do environmental work). The difference, usually, is that a smaller office will be seriously understaffed, which means that you'll get to do more than you would elsewhere. Nice if you like it; not if you don't.

As with anything else, taking the high road while others take the low one carries certain risks, along with certain personal imperatives. Know that your search will very likely be a serious, arduous process. Yet the result, with perseverance, will quite likely be a more enjoyable first decade in your career.

Here are some resources that might help you:
Good luck.

Summary: The firms that interview on campus for associate positions don't interest me. How do I find a job at a firm that doesn't interview on campus?

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