Career Jumpstart

Law school is a uniquely competitive experience. You are surrounded by similarly intelligent peers, the pacing is much faster than undergrad, and the competitive nature of the curve and the importance of grades on some legal employment opportunities often jars many new law students. Because of this, the Career Services Office (CSO) encourages you to focus as much of your time during the first semester getting acclimated to law school. This will leave little time for career development and the job search: two very important aspects of your personal growth as a budding lawyer.

In order to free up some of your time during fall semester, we invite you to complete as many components of the Career Jumpstart (CJ) as possible before classes begin. These tasks and assignments are ones that we ask all 1Ls to have completed in the fall, but by doing them while you have some downtime, you will give yourself a competitive advantage with more time to focus on studies.

1. Create or revamp your LinkedIn Profile. 

LinkedIn is used by many professionals, including lawyers, to establish a professional online presence, create a reputation for professionalism, and to build a network of potential employers, referrals, and clients. You will benefit by creating a profile and becoming more familiar with the platform’s features this summer. For your first summer legal job, you will likely need to implement some networking strategies. Starting your profile now, will give you the leg up as you are taking the first step to expanding your professional network.

These resources have helped law students build effective LinkedIn profiles:

 

2. Build your first legal resume.

It is critical that you adapt the resume used to apply for law school, or other positions, into a resume that legal employers will find appealing. Revisit every line on your current resume to determine if everything is as relevant and impactful as it once was. Here are some resources to use as you perfect your legal resume:

 

3. Take the Attorney Assessment and complete a short market research survey.

Complete the Attorney Assessment using your msu.edu email address. https://app.myrightprofile.com/register?Code=msulaw This assessment will take about 40 mins to complete, and 20 mins to review the abbreviated results. We invite you to review the full results with your assigned adviser in the fall.

 

4. Conduct market research https://msulawcso.com/SCJMarketResearch by selecting three practice areas from the list provided in your Attorney Assessment results. Choose two that are of interest to you, and the third should get you out of your comfort zone with something you haven’t heard of, or that you don’t currently think you would enjoy. For each, use publicly available information to:

    1. Research if there is a current/projected demand for this line of work,
    2. Identify geographic areas that have the highest demand,
    3. Determine what experience and skills would be most beneficial for this type of work.

This research will help make you aware of current realities in today’s market and will provide you with a toolbox of questions to ask yourself as your career plan adapts in the next few years.

 

5. Register for a mock event in CASESummer Career Jumpstart Mock Event – https://law-msu.12twenty.com/events/30006101060066

Purpose: Apply knowledge of CASE to locate a specific event, become familiar with the information provided in an event post, and register.

 

6. Schedule a mock career advising appointment (NOTE: The appointment that you schedule will not be held as this is a test exercise to make you familiar with scheduling advising appointments.) https://law-msu.12twenty.com/appointments

  1. Attach a PDF of your LinkedIn profile
  2. Provide background information by answering these two questions in the Additional Information field:
    1. What, if anything, did you find surprising about your Attorney Assessment results?
    1. Write a brief note to the adviser about your background, comfort level, and understanding of career development throughout law school (i.e. Are you a first-generation law student? Do you know any attorneys? Do you have any work experience in a law-related workplace? Is law school something that is new to your plan? etc.)

Purpose: Learn to navigate the Appointments tab in CASE, and provide your future assigned adviser with background information that will allow for personalization of your initial advising appointment later this fall.

 

7. Apply for a mock job: Sparty Law LLC - Summer Career Jumpstart: 2020 Intern https://law-msu.12twenty.com/job-postings/31999904378530

  1. Upload a PDF of your legal resume
  2. *Due to the unforeseen delay in receiving access to CASE, we have shortened this assignment to require only a resume for this year. The work you did to familiarize yourself with a strong cover letter and reference list will be used later in the fall.

Purpose: Apply knowledge of job search filters and CASE functions to locate specific job posting and resolve potential issues with uploading application materials to job postings. The submission of your resume will allow the CSO staff to provide a first-level objective review and return to you with feedback during your first semester.