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A resource for students at The University of Texas School of Law regarding the on-campus and off-campus application and interview process, as well as news about upcoming career panels and professional development workshops.

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8 Questions That Will Help You Land A Job

Mary Crane (www.marycrane.com), who conducts our 1L Etiquette Dinners, recently posted this in her May 2015 enewsletter.

Too many summer associates and interns make the mistake of believing that they only need to produce quality work to land a job offer. Make note: In today’s competitive work environment, turning in a first-rate assignment earns little more than a “meets expectations” evaluation. To receive a coveted job offer, summer associates and interns must also establish relationships with professionals at every level in an organization.

If you’ve just begun work, don’t worry. Every employer I know has planned lots of opportunities for you to meet with a variety of people in your firm or corporation. When you do, request permission to set aside 10 to 15 minutes to ask a few questions of your own. Then use the following eight relationship-building inquiries to guide your conversation.

#1 How do you spend your time?

Make this inquiry for three different reasons:

First, this question helps you clarify and confirm the role the individual plays within the organization. If you’ve never stepped inside a law firm before, you may not know what a Chief Marketing Officer does and why the role is critically important.

Second, this question helps you develop a clear understanding of day-to-day work expectations. Learning that an entry-level financial analyst frequently spends 70 hours or more per week creating complex financial models may or may not be consistent with the work-life balance you hope to achieve.

Third, the answer contains important information that you can use to follow up and demonstrate your genuine interest in the professional and his or her work. Let’s say a partner tells you that she currently spends an inordinate amount of time assuring a particular client that proposed regulations are unlikely to move forward. After the meeting, you can create a Google Alert about the regulations. As soon as you receive notification of some development, you can share the information with the partner, thereby showing your interest.
#2 Is this what you thought you’d be doing every day?

You may think that most professionals follow a clear roadmap as they advance in their careers—they start at A, move to B, and eventually advance to R, S, and T. But today, nearly every successful professional engages in a nonstop game of chutes and ladders. They start in one position, often move sideways, and periodically slide on a diagonal. Sometimes they even go backward before they move forward again.

This question elicits the professional journey people have taken. Ask this question if for no other reason than most professionals love to share their stories. Many of the responses you receive will be filled with funny anecdotes about obstacles encountered and approaches tried. You will likely hear about career transitions currently unimaginable to you.

 

#3 What are you most proud of?

Everyone likes the opportunity to toot his or her own horn. Give the people with whom you meet this chance. Let them talk about a victory they snatched out of the jaws of defeat, or the biggest deal they closed, or the time they helped someone who was flailing at work become a proven performer.

 

#4 What weaknesses have you discovered?

This question helps you identify a respondent’s ability to self-reflect.

Professionals who actively think about their day-to-day work experiences—especially errors made in judgment or understanding—begin to comprehend the underlying causes of their success or failure. This knowledge allows them to consciously change behaviors instead of repeating mistakes.

When someone indicates that he has no weaknesses (or is unaware of them), do a quick check to confirm whether he’s joking. If he appears to be serious, you’ve likely found someone who is not good at self-reflection. Keep this in mind during future meetings.

As soon as someone cites a specific weakness, fine tune your ears and listen carefully. This professional is affording you the opportunity to learn from his experience.
#5 Are there organizations that I should join?

If you’re a member of the Millennial generation, you know more about social networking than I ever will. While social networks are great, never underestimate the importance of connecting face-to-face.

Virtually every industry and profession has organizations and conferences where like-minded people connect. Use this question to discern those groups and events that are most worthwhile. You may even learn how to get on the inside track and quickly become a rising star.
#6 Who else should I connect with?

Your summer work experience will move at the speed of light. Absent the insights of seasoned professionals, you risk missing out on some potentially transformative conversations. Use each conversation to help you strategically plan your next one.
Finally, whenever you encounter a specific obstacle or challenge, feel free to ask, # 7 What would you do if you were me?

And before any one of your conversations ends, don’t hesitate to ask #8, I appreciate the time you’ve given me. Is there anything I can do for you? This closing will help you end the meeting on an especially high note. It demonstrates your intent to build mutually beneficial relationships, an outlook valued by today’s employers.

Upcoming 2L Government Honors Deadlines

The following government programs have 2L deadlines coming up in the next few weeks.  Details of these programs are provided in the 2014-15 Government Honors & Internship Handbook.

Fall 2015

  • Health & Human Services – Departmental Appeals Board Volunteer Internship/Externship Program (Unpaid, Deadline 05/29/15)
  • Health & Human Services – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Public Health Law Internships & Externships (Unpaid, Deadline 05/31/15)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Chicago District Office Volunteer Legal Intern Program (Chicago Unit) (Unpaid, Deadline 06/01/15)
  • Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office – Volunteer Law Internship Program (Unpaid, Deadline 06/01/15)
  • Environmental Protection Agency – R3 Law Clerk Program (Unpaid, Deadline 06/15/15)
  • House of Representatives – Committee on the Judiciary Majority Office Intern Program (Unpaid, Deadline 06/15/15)
  • Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office – Volunteer and Certified Law Student Internship (Unpaid, Deadline 06/15/15)

Spring 2016

  • Department of the Interior – Office of the Solicitor Legal Internship/Externship Program (Unpaid, Deadline 06/01/15)

Programs with “Rolling Deadlines” review applications and fill positions on an ongoing basis, so apply early for these programs.

If you have any questions about government honors programs, please contact Denyse Demel, Government Career Counselor, at ddemel@law.utexas.edu.

ABA Law Student Reporters Program – Apply by Friday, June 5, 2015

The ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law subcommittee in the Law Student Action Group and would like to invite Texas Law students to apply to their Law Student Reporters Program.
Participants selected for the Program are given complimentary registration to the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law’s #IPCentral at the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. During the Conference, students attend the Section’s premier CLE programs and network with Intellectual Property Law attorneys from across the nation while reporting on the content of the CLE programming via social media. This is a great opportunity for your students to distinguish themselves in the area of Intellectual Property Law.
Early bird applications for the program are due by 4 p.m. (Central Time) on Friday, June 5, 2015 and the final deadline is Tuesday, June 30, 2015. More opportunities are available for law students who join the Law Student Action Group.

 

Segal AmeriCorps Education Award – Apply by June 1, 2015

Texas Law students are eligible for a $1,212 Segal Education Award for dedicating 300 hours of service to a qualifying legal project with a nonprofit or government office. The award is through Equal Justice Works’ AmeriCorps JD program. You can use those funds to reduce the amount you have to borrow for law school or to repay your loans after you graduate.

The application takes about 30 minutes using the online Student Application Manager. If you need have questions or need help, you can:

Equal Justice Works also has a quick video on what it means to be an AmeriCorps JD member.

The application deadline is 4 p.m. (CT) on June 1, 2015.

Anyone who applies to AmeriCorps JD is automatically entered to win one of 20 iPad Air or Surface 3 tablets!

Southeastern Intellectual Property Job Fair (July 28) – Register by May 20, 2015

The Southeastern Intellectual Property Job Fair connects rising 2Ls and 3Ls with employers offering 2016 summer positions. The Fair encompasses all areas of intellectual property from litigation, transactional work, prosecution, and spans across all industries and types of organizations. See the student instructions and list of participating employers.

Online student registration is due May 20, 2015 and includes a nonrefundable $30 fee.

If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Aitken in the CSO at naitken@law.utexas.edu.

Scott Ozmun Fellowship – Applications due by May 11, 2015

The Scott Ozmun Fellowship provides financial support to a student who works with local law firms on pro bono cases through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. The fellowship recipient works under the supervision of a VLS attorney for a minimum of 300 hours during the academic year, assisting lawyers at local law firms who have agreed to handle pro bono family matters through the VLS Family Law Clinic Program. The Fellow also assists with client intake at the VLS evening legal advice and intake clinics.A strong preference will be given to candidates who are fluent in Spanish.

Interested students are welcome to contact past fellow, Abby Anna Batko-Taylor, at abatko-taylor@vlsoct.org.

Applications are due to the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law by noon on Monday, May 11, 2015.

Blask Fellowship for students interning within the Southern District of Texas – Applications due May 8, 2015

Grants up to $3,000 are available for a limited number of law students who serve as legal interns for a minimum of six weeks during the summer of 2015 in the offices of a federal court or agency located within the Southern District of Texas, including but not limited to the following:

  • U.S. District Court
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court
  • U.S. Magistrate Court
  • U.S. Attorney
  • U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
  • U.S. Trustee
  • EEOC
  • FBI
  • Federal Public Defender
  • N.A.S.A.
  • Office of Homeland Security

Students are not able to receive both academic credit and scholarships – only one or the other. 

Eligibility:  Full-time students at any accredited U.S. law school who: have completed at least 30 hours of course work by June 1, 2015; at the time of application, have a GPA which ranks in the top half of the applicant’s law school class; and have secured or will secure an internship with a federal court or agency within the district.

Application:  Send a resume with your GPA and class rank together with a letter: identifying your federal employer(s), date(s) of employment, and other stipends or awards received; describing your interest in federal public service; and discussing any special circumstances you would like considered to fba.southtx@gmail.com.

Deadline: Friday, May 8, 2015. All applicants will receive a response by May 15, 2015.

For more information, contact Jay Huffman at jhuffman@blankrome.com.

The receipt of this Grant is dependent upon the completion of the terms and conditions of the summer internship for a minimum of six weeks. By May 31, the applicant must provide a letter to the Federal Bar Association from one of the participating agencies or courts stating that the recipient has been accepted for a summer internship. The recipient will also be required to write a short letter to the Federal Bar Association at the end of the internship reviewing the internship experience. Applicants should confirm with their intern employer their ability to accept Fellowship proceeds. Additionally, acceptance of this scholarship may impact the recipient’s entitlement to concurrent course credit. Applicants should therefore check with their law school for clarification.

Virtual Student Foreign Service for 2015-16 Academic Year

Many students would love to have the chance to do internships with the U.S. Department of State but do not have the financial or time resources needed for them to be able to travel to an internship duty site in Washington, D.C. or at one of the diplomatic posts overseas.

An excellent option for interested students is a virtual internship with the Virtual Student Foreign Service (VSFS). Virtual interns apply to work on one of 300+ projects that have been requested by Foreign Service Officers who are posted overseas or are working in Washington.

The application window for the 2015-16 VSFS eInternship Program will be July 2-22, 2015. You can get ready now to become an eIntern!

eInterns play an important role in advancing the federal government’s reach in diplomacy, development, journalism, trade, environment, health, and agriculture initiatives. There’s something for everyone. Last year, 11 agencies participated including the State Department, USAID, the Smithsonian, NASA, EPA and Education.

eInterns scan expect to work approximately ten hours a week on most projects from September through May. Although this is unpaid, volunteer work, VSFS eInternships provide the opportunity to make a difference, connect with U.S. diplomats, and gain valuable experience. Depending on the nature of the internship project, and the student’s own college or university, an eInternship may qualify for course credit.

All applicants must be U.S. citizens, and enrolled in at least one university-level, on-site course being taught in the U.S. or abroad.

San Francisco IP Law Association Job Fair (Aug. 8, 2015) – Student Registration/Bidding now open thru May 24, 2015

18th Annual SFIPLA Bay Area Job Fair
Saturday, August 8, 2015
University of California Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, CA

Texas Law students may register and submit bids for the SFIPLA Bay Area Job Fair beginning Thursday, April 23, 2015. All registration information (including submitted bids) must be completed by 3 p.m. (CT) on Sunday, May 24, 2015. Rising 2Ls and 3Ls (Class of 2016 and 2017) may participate. Registration and bidding takes place on the SFIPLA Symplicity module.

Please note that only student members of SFIPLA are permitted to participate in the job fair. For complete student information, including how to become a member, please read the 2015 Student Job Fair Letter.

If you have any questions about this fair, please contact Alisha Camacho, Job Fair Coordinator, at acamacho@law.utexas.edu.

New Website Features Judicial Internship Postings in Texas

Still looking for a judicial internship for the upcoming summer?  Check out the new Interns Across Texas website, which is a database of available judicial internships in Texas created and maintained by the Texas Young Lawyers Association.

Although unpaid, any judicial internship is a valuable experience—you can improve your research and writing skills, observe court proceedings, and become familiar with the legal community in a specific city.

Internships with federal courts and state appellate courts may qualify for academic credit, but students must obtain instructor approval to register and attend an orientation before beginning the internship (see Judicial Internship Program).  The deadlines for whole-session summer courses apply.

For additional judicial internship postings, visit the CSO Job Bank on Symplicity.

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