“A Great Book For Law Students or Lawyers Looking For A Job: How To Get A Legal Job: A Guide for New Attorneys and Law School Students
In this tough economy recent law school graduates need a way to stand out and have to take advantage of every opportunity they can get. Moreover, the age where ‘mistakes’ were overlooked by employers has disappeared and inadvertent errors, a minor faux pas or a poorly constructed job search strategy can cost you the job of your dreams. Even jobs with low compensation and benefits are competitive. Recently, a Boston law firm received 50 résumés for a job that paid $10,000 per year. (For those of you not familiar with Boston, the city has a cost of living similar to New York)
To make sure you are doing every thing you can to ensure your chances of success you should pick up Shauna C. Bryce’s book How To Get A Legal Job: A Guide for New Attorneys and Law School Students. I recently had the opportunity to review the book and it is a great tool for any lawyer or law student looking for a legal job.
How to Get A Legal Job® provides a comprehensive job search strategy and describes the processes and strategies starting right from the on campus law firm recruiting events in law school. The book also covers lateral transfers and recruiting strategies for jobs outside of a law firm. What struck me about the description of the on campus recruitment process in law schools was how much it mirrored my own experience. Ms. Bryce certainly has hit the nail on the head and has captured this experience perfectly. In terms of content, the guide covers a number of different areas including, establishing your career goals, how to find a legal job, benefits & things you should look out for when using a recruiter, how to research an employer, how to make an effective legal résumés & cover letter, how to effectively interview and how to handle offers.
There are a number of reasons this guide stands out and why I highly recommend it. Here are a few of the reasons.
How to Get A Legal Job® Is Different From Other Generic Job Search Guides
I have seen many job search guides on the market but I have not come across many that focus specifically on the legal market. When I started law school I had worked for over 10 years in an investment bank and thought I was a job search expert. I was shocked to find out though that when it came to hiring the legal community did things differently. For example, when I went to see a career counselor at my school with my résumé in hand thinking that it was already perfect, the counselor provided me with excellent suggestions that improved it and made my résumé consistent with a legal résumé. The résumé did not resemble my old résumé at all and I learned the important lesson of how important it is to understand the specific market & conform your materials and strategy to the way people expect to see things. A generic résumé, cover letter or job search guide cannot do this. How to Get A Legal Job® does not just generically talk about topics like how to make an effective résumé or cover letter but instead focuses in on how a lawyer or law student can pull together effective material and an effective strategy.
The Book Contains A Number of Practical Lessons and Words of Wisdom
In every chapter, How to Find A Legal Job contains separately highlighted ‘lessons’ or ‘words of wisdom’ that are practical pieces of advice that you do not see in most guides. The book labels these as ‘sidebars’ and the key thing here is that these quotations and anecdotes are from real attorneys and hiring professionals. I found these sidebars particularly helpful and they are things that often job searchers only find out after they have missed many great opportunities.
The Book Is Written By Someone Who Knows What She is Talking About
The key to good writing and engaging your audience is to write about something you know. Ms. Bryce practiced law in a large top international law firm in New York, worked in a regional law firm, and also worked as in house counsel. During that time, she reviewed résumés, conducted interviews, worked on a firm’s hiring committee, and mentored junior and mid-level associates. She then brought her experience to job hunters becoming a professional legal résumé writer and career advisor. Moreover, Ms. Bryce graduated from Harvard Law School and successfully navigated her way through the on campus recruitment process there. All of this experience shines through in her book and I really felt like I was reading the advice of an expert when I read it.”
- Ian E. Scott, Esq., Scott Legal Services, P.C. and founder of Law School Success Tips