Broaden Job Search, Maybe Go Solo, Officials Tell Worried Law Students
Posted Mar 11, 2009 3:49 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
As a growing number of major law firms delay start dates for incoming associates and make record-breaking layoffs (some 2,700 have been announced since Feb. 27), it's obvious that worried law students have good reason to be concerned about finding work.
For the first time, there wasn't enough employer interest this year to permit Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock to host the usual spring off-campus recruiting sessions in Dallas, Houston and Austin, reports Texas Lawyer. "It was a shock," says Julie Coffman Doss, the 420-student law school's assistant dean for career services.
She and other law school career-placement officials are urging students to stay positive and broaden their search, concerning both summer jobs and career positions. At Texas Tech, for instance, the career services office has arranged a new series of seminars about setting up a solo practice after graduation, the legal publication writes in a lengthy article about the situation in Texas.
Looking for work at smaller firms, outside major cities and in positions related to prior work experience may also be productive, Doss and others advise.
"The key for us is to simply leave no stone unturned," says Reginald Green, assistant dean for career services at South Texas College of Law in Houston. "Law students now are looking at the law degree . . . much broader than simply the practice of law."
Students scrambling to find work right now, though, shouldn't lose sight of the future, says Karen Sargent. She is assistant dean and director of career services at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas.
While reassessing and repositioning themselves for a job search in the midst of an economic crisis, she advises, students should also think about how to keep progressing toward long-term goals.
ABAJournal.com.com: "Brave New World for Graduating 3Ls: Fewer Jobs, Less Pay"
ABAJournal.com: "Law Firm Layoffs Make Job Search Harder for Law Students"
ABAJournal.com: "As Laid-Off Lawyers Look for Work, How to Find It Isn’t Clear"
ABAJournal.com: "As Layoffs Surge, Long-Ago Grads Turn to Law Schools for Help"