By Britt Wiegand • March 28, 2018•Writers in Residence, Careers, Law School, Choosing a Career and Landing a Job
Whew! This semester is flying by. Spring break is now over, appellate brief season is upon the 1Ls, and finals are on the horizon. Because everything has been so busy, I’ve come to appreciate those golden eggs of information even more than I did before. As a 0L and 1L, I wasted a lot of time looking for and using various resources, but there have been a few I repeatedly use and to which I continually return.
So, this post is dedicated to a few of my favorite (and best!) resources. Whether you’re heading to law school or are currently a 1L, check these out – they can be immensely helpful in the job search process!
NALP, or the National Association for Law Placement is an association decided to advising lawyers, law students, law offices, and law schools in North America. The resource is massive – but, for starters, go here. The section for law students and graduates is especially helpful. Several guides discuss professionalism, understanding small firms’ hiring practices, and judicial clerkships, to name a few.
When I was deciding which law school to attend, I used this directory to see whether firms I may be interested in went to OCI at the two main law schools I was considering. Everyone knows about rankings, so I could compare schools that way, but I was curious to see if that MEANT anything – would the slightly lower-ranked school impact potential employment outcomes? To try and gauge this, I used the NALP directory to search for employers and see who went to my schools of interest for OCI. For the schools I was considering, the lower-ranked school was still very competitive in the market I’m hoping to enter, so this information was incredibly helpful for my decision.
My personal favorite, though, is the NALP Directory of Legal Employers. From the beginning of 1L year, I’ve heard so many law firm names thrown around. Though I’m getting increasingly familiar with several of them, I still often struggle to keep them all straight. The NALP Directory helps compare different firms, especially within BigLaw.
Searchable by location, office size range, employer size range, and practice areas, the directory is insanely helpful when sorting between law firms. Once you’ve found firms, the Directory includes information about the demographics of the firm, practice areas, compensation, advancement, and recruitment… and this isn’t even listing everything.
Especially as OCI comes up, I’m going to be using it even more.
Oh… and the best part? It’s FREE.
2. Chambers Associate
I.LOVE.THIS.BOOK. When my career advisor asked me if I had “The Chambers book” at a meeting in January, I had no idea what I was missing out on. He handed me a book (which I was able to keep!) called the Chambers Associate. And, it’s amazing (and, also free)!
Available online, the information is split up into various sections: “The Inside View,” “Bonus Features,” and “Firm Profile.” In addition to fast facts – information about offices, first-year salary, billable hours requirements, and the number of summers hired – there is a wealth of information on each firm’s page.
The format is incredibly easy to read, with key quotes from associates and partners highlighted. I’m always looking for ways to learn more about different firms (there are so many!) and this book/website is incredibly helpful. The candid quotes and depth of information make me feel like I’m getting an insider’s view of the firm culture.