Our 1L students are deep into their job search process, seeking legal experience in any number of fields for the summer after their 1L year, so we asked 1L Jason Lawrence to write about his job search experience to date. Here's what Jason had to say:
"I’ve been asked to write this blog post to let you know about the great career opportunities available to you, even as a first-year law student, here at the U of C. But as one of my favorite professors once told me - show, don’t tell. So I’m going to do my best to describe the opportunities that have been available to me and let you decide.
The Career Services office has given us first year students the opportunity to interview with summer employers including law firms, corporations like Microsoft, and government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service. This "on-campus" interviewing is generally available only to second year students at most law schools.
I recently interviewed with a large international firm for a summer associate position in their Chicago office. In preparation for the interview, our Career Services office helped me learn how to effectively research the firm and their practice areas, so I was prepared to ask informed questions and speak to my interests in the areas of law that they practiced. In addition, the office conducted a mock interview with me to give me practice, advice and confidence in my interviewing skills.
The interview itself was, if nothing else, a very educational experience. Our interviewer was a 2006 law school graduate, who had only been with the firm for four months. As a result, the interview was less formal than I had expected. I felt that it was a good experience because the reality is that not every interview you will have with prospective employers will be with established associates or partners, or even the attorney that you expected to interview with. Regardless of whether I ultimately get the job, I felt that this process has prepared me well and given me what I hope will be an advantage over other students as I look ahead to the more traditional interviewing process for a job after the second year.
In addition, our career services office recently arranged a lunch with employers from the Minneapolis/St. Paul (Twin Cities) area. I honestly had not given a thought to working in the Twin Cities prior to the lunch. Now, I am thinking about seeking employment there this summer and beyond. While there are plenty of opportunities to find employment in a big legal market like Chicago, New York or Los Angeles, our career services office has made several opportunities in other markets available as well. If you’re from a somewhat smaller city than Chicago like the Twin Cities or Pittsburgh or St. Louis - or like me and from Eastern Iowa where Chicago is the closest city - and want to work in a smaller market, you’ll have plenty of opportunities and support in finding quality (and still well-paying) employment in those markets here at the U of C."