You can take comfort in knowing that most students come to law school with little or no real legal experience. That’s totally okay—but it doesn’t mean your résumé should be a blank page.
– Visit your law school’s career services office. It is literally our job to help you get jobs—take advantage! Ask for lists of employers where students and graduates have gone to work. This will help you learn which law firms may be interested in hiring students from your school.
– Look up alumni from your law school on LinkedIn. Try using the “people” and “all filters” search options to find alumni from your law school in your desired city and state. This will also help you find names of employers who have hired graduates from your law school.
Try using a reputable legal search engine, such as Martindale, to search for law firms by practice area, size, and/or location. This is a great way to find law firms that practice the area of law you want to gain experience in.
Once you have a list of law firms you’d like to work for, find someone at the law firm who has “hiring power.” Send them a well-written, tailored, and to-the-point email offering your services and sharing your ambitions—particularly why you think the firm is the perfect
place for you (no typos, please). Attach your résumé and see what happens. If you don’t hear back, don’t be afraid to send a respectful follow-up email after a week or so.
When you have no real legal experience under your belt, it may be prudent to volunteer part-time for a short period of time during the summer, when classes are not in session, perhaps for eight to ten weeks. Think of this work as part of your practical legal training, similar to the
training you may receive as part of a legal clinic through your law school.