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August 28, 2006

Tips for Early Interview Week and Beyond

Submitted by the Office of Career Services

According to employers and legal consultants across the country, the job market for law students is quite robust, and there is a high demand for new talent. Thus, Susan Guindi, Assistant Dean for Career Services, is optimistic that this year’s Early Interview Week will prove successful for Michigan Law students.

How to maximize the number of interviews you have

During EIW, employers’ interview schedules are posted on the doors of their interview room. If there is a blank space or a student has crossed his or her name off the interview list, you can write in yours. (Just make sure that the employer hasn’t blocked off this time.) Bring extra copies of your resume and transcript because the employer you’ve just signed up with won’t have them. Last year a student made a habit of walking around and looking at schedules several times a day. She picked up six interviews that way.

Another way to show your interest in a firm is to visit its hospitality suite, if there is one. Most firms expect the students who are interviewing with them to drop by the hospitality suite before their interview. If you’re interested in an employer but don’t have a scheduled interview, the hospitality suite is a great way to meet the firm’s recruiting staff and attorneys. Express your interest in the firm but note that you couldn’t get an interview time, and then provide your resume and other documents they request. Often the firm will send their junior associates who are recent UM Law School graduates to staff the hospitality suite. Consider your time speaking with the firm’s representatives as a type of prescreening interview. You could get asked to come back at a later time for a more complete interview.

What to do next/what else you can be doing

During this week and next, your resume and cover letter should be going out to employers that do not come to EIW. A list of more than 150 employers who do not come to EIW but want to receive applications from Michigan students can be found on the OCS website. Keep an eye on the deadlines for these jobs, some of which are coming up soon.

In addition, your resume and cover letter should be mailed to employers you have found in various sources such as www.martindale.com, the Small and Medium Sized Firm List on our website, and the In House Directory. The companies run the gamut from Major League Baseball to Guess Jeans, from the Screen Actor’s Guild to American Greetings Corporation. These databases will be updated as we receive new information, so please share any information you have by emailing it to: lawcareers@umich.edu.

Westlaw also has the "Law Student Jobs Online" (LSJO), postings with opportunities for 2Ls and 3Ls. The "Summer Associate Law Firm Directory" is particularly helpful in finding firms that may not be in the NALP Directory as well as firms outside the United States. You can find law firms by location or practice area or both. Another function allows a student to search for firms that allow split summers with a public interest or government agency. Westlaw is also very helpful in locating lawyers using not only a lawyer’s undergraduate institution, but also membership in a sorority or fraternity, or representative clients.

EIW is not the final chapter in on campus interviewing

Every year additional employers will come to campus to recruit students after Early Interview Week. These employers include government agencies as well as smaller local and regional firms. We will email you more information about this Fall Interview Program in the coming weeks. The bottom line in finding a summer job is to be persistent and proactive. Make an appointment with a Career Services counselor. We’re here to help.

The Office of Career Services may be contacted by phone at (734) 764-0546 or by e-mail at lawcareers@umich.edu.

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