The journey to becoming a lawyer is a long and difficult one. When you finally jump through all of the hoops of undergrad, law school and the bar you will be left with one last obstacle – getting your first job. With all of the competition out there, this is easier said than done.
Using the Internet to Your Advantage
When you are networking your way to your first job as a lawyer, it makes sense to use the internet to its full potential. This means not only searching online job boards, but also making the most of social media to make connections with the right people.
There are also plenty of great websites for internet-savvy law students such as Lexis Nexis, offering a selection of law books and resources. This website even offers a book about LinkedIn for Lawyers that offers plenty of helpful tips for using this social media platform. You might also be able to make use of Foolkit, which is an Australian lawyer’s tool kit with state specific legal information on regulations, rulings and legislation. The Australian Parliament has also compiled a list of links to law related resources on the web.
Linking In Lawyers to Their Dream Jobs
One of the best ways for lawyers and law students to network is to use LinkedIn. This social network thrives on word of mouth marketing and referrals, which makes it a great way for a beginner attorney to get started using social media. There are nearly 250 million members on the website, so the chances are good that you will meet someone who will be a great connection to help you further your career.
Making a Connection
So how can you use LinkedIn to get you an interview at your desired law firm? Here are some tips:
- Fill in a complete profile, including name, job title, qualifications, where you studied, a summary of your experience and a photo – so that people will have a good understanding of who you are.
- Start building connections by beginning with your existing contact list, including school colleagues, professors, associates and other members of professional groups that you belong to.
- Join LinkedIn Groups in order to build trust and credibility. There are over one million to choose from, so find something that fits your specialty and your location.
- Post questions within the group and engage in discussion with others, offering information of value in a professional way.
- Make your presence known with regular and consistent updates that are related to your specific area of knowledge.
- Conduct yourself in a respectful, friendly, professional and approachable manner.
When you are At the Interview
Once you have snagged your interview, LinkedIn can also help you ace it and get the position. One of the things that your interviewer will be looking for is whether or not you are knowledgeable about the law firm and understand their focus and mission statement. All of this information will be outlined on their LinkedIn profile, so studying this before you attend the interview will give you an advantage.
You can also look at the profile of the person who will be interviewing you and see if you have any mutual connections or if you have a firm in common that you have both worked for in the past. You might have even gone to the same school or come from the same town. This will serve as a conversation point that you can bring up in the interview.
You can also look closely at the profile of your interviewer to see what kind of skills they focus on. For example, if others review them as being very “detail oriented” or “strategic” then you will give you an insight into what they value so that you know to highlight these skills in yourself as well.
Effectively using LinkedIn can lead you to rekindle old working relationships, strengthen the ones you have and build new ones. Why not try using this social network to land and ace your dream law firm interview?