Law Career Advice Roundup: Practical Skills And Finding A Job

by Megan on July 12, 2013

This week we launched a guest blog, with our first post from Chelsea Callanan, who shows us what to do with a law degree in addition to practice law. She balances a part-time law practice with being an entrepreneur.

Speaking of entrepreneurs, Marc Luber launched JD Careers Out There just 6 months ago. Wouldn’t it be cool if it were nominated to the ABA Blawg 100 in our first year? Nominations/Amici can be submitted here (hint, hint).

Law students here in LA will soon be submitting real amicus briefs for court cases, the LA Times reported this week. UCLA and Southwestern Law are taking this step to offer more real world experience to students.

Such programs aren’t enough for the Clinical Legal Education Association, though. It thinks law students should have 15 credits of practical training. How much would you want?

Now let’s go deep.

Eric Barker has a great post on the five most common career mistakes. Do you struggle with any of these?

• Doing inadequate research
• Being swayed excessively by money
• Moving “from” rather than “to”
• Overestimating oneself
• Thinking short term

These are all issues that a career coach can help you with. Forbes has an in-depth interview with a coach that will help you understand how coaching can help you. If you have career questions, Marc would be happy to talk you through them.

It might not be just your lack of practical experience that’s keeping young law grads unemployed. This is an excellent slideshow on “11 reasons I will never hire you,” most of which are relevant to law grads as well as college grads.

A lot of the points in this presentation deal with a job candidate leaving a bad impression at an interview. If this is something you struggle with, check ou this week’s professional development video on JD Careers Out There. Employee-side employment lawyer Donna Ballman goes in-depth into interviewing tips, including questions to ask in an interview and how to answer inappropriate personal questions.

Finally to wrap up with a laugh (and a few groans), you should feel better about your interviewing skills after reading about the 10 weirdest things aid and done in a job interview.

What do you think you need to work on the most: practical legal skills, interviewing skills, knowing what to do with a law degree?


JD Careers Out There web producer Megan SweasMegan Sweas is a web producer with JD Careers Out There. During a graduate journalism program at University of Southern California, she took a law class for fun. While many of her fellow journalists have made the transition to law, she’ll stick to writing about law careers.