GPSOLO January/February 2009
Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, Second Edition, By Kimm Alayne Walton
I first came across this book in the career services office at my law school, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. As a new graduate looking for a job at a small law firm, the title grabbed my attention. My first thought, however, was something like this: “Just another book that promises the world.” It did not seem possible that any book would really be able to succeed in helping everyone find a job of their dreams. After all, most people who graduate without a job would consider themselves lucky to get any job in this legal market. I wish I could tell you that this book succeeded and that I now have the perfect job. I do not. However, through the advice in this book, I have learned to better use the career services office at my school and have made extremely valuable contacts. Best of all, I have developed an attitude that will help rather than hurt my job search. I know that this book has become a permanent part of my library.
Guerilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams . . . Regardless of Your Grades, Your School or Your Work Experience! (Eagan, Minnesota: West, 2007)is intended for anyone who is in or out of law school. It seems unlikely than anyone would muster the patience and time to read the entire 1,352-page book start to finish, but Walton clearly knows this and has designed the book so you only have to read the chapters or pages that are relevant to you. The second edition contains a vast amount of advice regarding where to go and what to do in order to put yourself in the right place at the right time and “get lucky” with the offer you have always wanted. This book is very well researched and offers advice that can easily be put into practice. Moreover, the advice in the book is corroborated by real experiences of job seekers and career services offices of law schools across the country. It serves to confirm several clichés you have always heard about how to be happily employed for the rest of your life, but it also brings to light paths that you may have never considered.
The books goes from being extremely general in its aims to being very detailed and specific, offering suggestions of what to put in and what to leave out from your résumé, how to use your résumé, and when not to use a résumé at all. Walton guides you through interview processes at firms of all sizes and even prepares you for informational interviews. She fulfills her promise of showing you how to overcome weaknesses in your résumé such as grades, work experience, or the reputation of your law school. Moreover, examples throughout the book help put her advice in context and make it come alive. Not only is Guerrilla Tactics extremely complete, but it is actually very entertaining. Once you start reading the relevant parts of the book, it is hard to put it down—except to take action based on her advice.
I should caution, however, that this book is not intended in any way to replace a law school career services office, informational interviews, or any of the traditional job search methods that you have been taught to employ. In fact, the book explains how to use these traditional methods in ways that yield results. It will get you away from the computer and involved in activities that will be fruitful in building contacts, bringing new clients, and benefiting you down the road regardless of what type of job you seek. It promises no magic formula, but Guerrilla Tactics provides advice and ideas that will be relevant throughout your career.
Dhenu Savla is a 2007 graduate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.