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As a recent law grad, you’re steadfast in winning your first legal job. So how do you boost your chances of getting hired?
Simple: Read the hiring partner’s mind.
You think you already know this. You think hiring partners are focused on law school tiers and coveted law review positions, on class rankings and grades. Important, yes, but hiring partners are also hunting for a particular set of skills. Actually, they’re hunting for the basics – research and writing.
In the whitepaper, Hiring partners reveal new attorney readiness for real world practice, hiring partners give you a glimpse inside their heads. Here’s what they’re thinking about you:
Knowing this, you can boost your hiring chances by sharpening your skills. As other candidates optimize their resume fonts, you optimize your legal research and your legal writing. You establish yourself as the superior researcher / writer. Here are a few things that’ll help you:
Legal research is basically magic: Can you pull the rabbit out of the hat? Not everyone can. And like magic, the more tricks you know, the better researcher you are. If you limit yourself to the ABCs of legal research, then be content as a low-tech lawyer. But if you want to be a research badass, if you want to be the juggernaut in the resume pile, get under the hood and master the sophisticated features. Start with Lexis Advance® Support, which has all the tips, videos and guides you need to elevate your legal research skills.
If you’re not reading about writing, then your legal peers are outdistancing you. Need proof? Writing, legal and general, is a top 5 topic with our social media audience. Writing is so important to our Twitter / LinkedIn audiences that we’ve dedicated Wednesdays to writing-related content. You can track our writing content via LexTalk or via Twitter using the hashtag #writinglegally.
Here are our Top 10 writing posts (+2 blogging posts) from the 1st half of 2015:
Here’s the hard truth on becoming a better legal writer:
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things [emphasis added] above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things …. ― Stephen King
So two things: reading and writing, significant to both novelists and lawyers. So where’s a good place to start writing? Your legal blog.
As noted by Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Publisher, LexBlog, Inc., you might get a job by blogging. And what should you blog about? O'Keefe says:
There are a ton niches not covered in legal blogging. Law students can report on these niches and tie threads together across statutes, case law, news stories, and blog posts.
You can start blogging from a non-legal platform, or you can optimize LexTalk. LexTalk is tailored to lawyers and law students. Plus, some LexTalk blogs receive promotion on our Twitter and LinkedIn channels. And as an added bonus: you could be awarded 500 Law School points for your blog contribution. Check out potential LexTalk topics >>
I am puzzled and somewhat offended by the partner questions because the tone and nature of these inquiries condescend the law school graduate by a presumption that the graduate was passed through classes by instructors that cared little about an inferior product consequence. Succeeding in law classes is a tremendous feat that our colleagues should not take for granted. Allowing for nominal mistakes until seasoned experience is acquired is part of the developing phases in a successful law career. Abraham Lincoln enjoyed a sharp advantage as an attorney in that Mr. Lincoln never was graded on his briefs or pleadings, nor examined by his peers, but Lincoln was fully accepted as the legal professional he studied to be. If one has dedicated hundreds of hours to professional research and concentrated study of the law, certainly this counts for something, even the passing up on condescending questions which should never be asked.