Photo by Erik Mclean
After Greer Sullivan's internship program was canceled due to COVID-19, she was left scrambling to find another job this summer. Now, she's a part of a new project to help other legal job seekers.
Before the second semester of my 1L year even started, I’d already secured an internship. I'd lined up a position with a public defender’s office, working with the felony team. It was exactly what I wanted. This was the big leagues—and I was ready.
But like so many other law students and recent graduates, the world had other plans for me. I got a call from the Chief Public Defender, just one week before I was to start working. You guessed it: they were canceling their internship program because of COVID. I was in the eleventh hour with nothing lined up. Panic set in promptly.
I sent frantic emails to anyone I thought might have a lead on remote positions for the summer. My luck turned when one of my law professors replied and put me in contact with a former classmate who needed a law clerk. And it’s been great—maybe even better than that public defender job. Instead of an empty summer, I was able to get practical and meaningful experience at a small law firm.
In addition to my new law clerk gig, I’ve also been helping that same law professor with a project near to my heart: a site called Law Job Resources. Law Job Resources is exactly what I needed when I lost my summer position: A curated directory advice, contacts, and help with networking and skills so that law students and new grads can find legal experience during these trying times. I was lucky enough to find support in my personal network when I lost my job. But many of my peers haven’t been so fortunate. So, now we are developing Law Job Resources for folks like them.
Here’s how Law Job Resources makes the legal job search easier.
Law Job Resources has compiled useful resources for every step of the job search process. The site is helpful because it isn’t specific to any field or geographic area. It contains internship information, legal job leads, and other resources from all over the country, for a wide array of practice areas, that can be useful to any law student or new lawyer.
Law school and the legal profession can also be difficult to navigate, especially if you don’t already have connections in the field. In fact, for many, fear of the unknown can be one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of law school. These resources can guide you in the right direction and provide confidence as you move through your job search. Job seekers can find resources aimed at the specifics of landing a new job, from helping law students ace the application process, to drafting cover letters and resumes for interviews, to ideas for networking.
Having one place to go for resources like this is incredibly helpful for students like me. When I was first applying to jobs back in December 2019, I did not know what an industry-specific cover letter should look like, or even what experience was best to include on my resume. I remember grappling with the idea of sending a thank you note to the Public Defender’s Office after my interview, but I didn’t know if that was appropriate. The answers to my questions were all right there on Law Job Resources.
Legal job-seekers can also find candid advice from practicing lawyers on topics covered by the site’s other resources. For example, one lawyer advises paying close attention to proofing your application materials, because a simple mistake here could cost you a job. From there, the site already has a growing collection of resources on this very topic, including writing cover letters, editing your resume, and polishing up your writing sample.
Keep your skills sharp.
Speaking of writing, being a skilled writer and having a good writing sample can help you land a job. If you don’t have a writing-intensive position, or you lost your position, practicing something like writing can seem very daunting. The site also has a curated list of links to other tools and sites that can help you hone your legal skills, with offerings that range from writing boot camps, to “how-to’s" for navigating a job search. There are also resources that allow you to practice writing skills on your schedule.
The best part about Law Job Resources is that it curates links to what you really need to land a job, eliminating the amount of time that you’d spend searching, and making more time to actually take action. The project is very much still in development, and we are adding new resources and contributions every day. So whether you are a law student or grad looking for help, or an experienced attorney willing to offer some resources or advice, visit Law Job Resources and we can weather this storm together.