In Brief

Vol. 42 No. 3

Do you pursue opportunities just because they ‘look great on a résumé’?

If so, you’re not alone—but you might want to stop doing that, says law firm partner and blogger Adam Gropper.

Why? What legal employers are really looking for is commitment to a particular practice area, he wrote at LegalJob.com, rather than a smattering of plum internships and summer associate positions that don’t show much focus.

As soon as you can, Gropper advises in a post called “Law students—looks good on a résumé is not a reason alone to pursue an opportunity,” choose an area of practice and consider it to be your major. Don’t worry, he says—you can change your mind if you need to. Then, as much as you can, focus your coursework, law-related jobs, and other such opportunities in that specific area.

Over time, Gropper says, you’ll build a solid track record in that area of practice, which he says will “make you less of a risk than others without similar backgrounds and experiences.”

Get to know Google

Want to improve your legal research skills? Learn how to use Google better—even if you think you already know it backward and forward.

That’s according to Sam Glover at lawyerist.com. In a post called “Internet research tips and resources for lawyers,” Glover shares some strategies from a recent solo and small firm conference he attended. For example:

You can specify what types of files you want to find. For example, if you wanted PDFs from the National Security Agency, you would type nsa.gov filetype:pdf in the search window.

Don’t forget to use Ctrl+F (or Cmd+F for Macs) to search within a page.

You can search based on the proximity between two words by using AROUND followed by a specific number. For example, sam AROUND(2) glover yields results for “Sam Glover,” “Glover, Sam,” and “Sam J. Glover.”

Do you look like a lawyer? Style tips for law students

Many law students wonder what they should wear to school, according to the blog Law School Toolbox (lawschooltoolbox.com)—and, if anything, this concern becomes more important as you move beyond your 1L year.

In a post called “A law student’s 3-tiered guide to dressing the part,” guest bloggers from House of Marbury: Fashion and Style for Women Lawyers (houseofmarbury.com) share style tips for three typical law school scenarios:

Everyday. Law school “is designed to prepare you to be a professional,” wrote lawyers and bloggers Kate and Desiree, and your peers, professors, and administrators are all potentially important connections. Casual clothes are fine for class, but “a nice pair of jeans” and a fitted T-shirt or buttoned shirt are better than completely sloppy gear. And sharpen up a bit when visiting career services.

Events and competitions. For extracurricular events such as moot court competitions or oral arguments at the courthouse, “strictly adhere to the stated dress code,” Kate and Desiree advise. If it’s not stated, assume the dress code is business attire and wear a professional suit. For less formal events, such as a boat cruise or a faculty reception, go with business casual, which can include slacks, a nice buttoned shirt, a knee-length skirt, a sweater, or a blazer. But even for this type of event, Kate and Desiree note, if you’re in doubt, a suit is always appropriate.

Job and networking events. For job fairs, interviews, or even informal career-related meetings, wear a suit. Prepare yourself now by buying two suits in navy, gray, or pinstripe (avoid black, Kate and Desiree advise). Many off-price retailers carry nice suits at bargain prices, they add, or you can watch for biannual department store sales.

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