Your Third Year
Jump-start your search for a post-grad position by crafting a strategy with an OCS counselor and refining it as you move through the process. A few tips to get you started:
(Re)Consider a Judicial Clerkship
A judicial clerkship is a terrific way to begin your career. While continuing to improve your research and writing skills, you'll develop professional judgment as you assist your judge with the matters at bar. Departing law clerks are often sought-after by employers. Most state court judges hire during an applicant's third year; a small portion of federal judges do. Visit the Judicial Clerkships webpage to learn a bit about the application process and to register with the faculty Clerkship Committee.
One of your most important assets in a job search is a network of contacts.
- Use the networking resources collected in the SCORE Resource Library, or contact OCS for a specialized list of alumni
- Join the W&L Law and W&L University alumni groups on LinkedIn
- Investigate the state and local bar associations in the area you're targeting
- Join subject-matter specific bar associations in your areas of interest and take advantage of job and mentoring resources
- Contact attorneys you met during your summer positions and update them on your job search
- Keep faculty in the loop - they may be able to make an introduction, or place a call in support of an application
Seek Reciprocity with Another Law School
OCS can request that you be given access to the resources and services of a law school in your area. To request reciprocity, please email LawCareer@wlu.edu with your name and class year, the name of the school with which you wish to request reciprocity, and contact information for the head of the school's Career Office.
Find Support to Stay Engaged
A job search can be exhausting even in the best of circumstances. Devote some of your energy to maintaining your equilibrium over what may be an extended search. If you have an alumni mentor, law professor, or a summer supervisor with whom you haven't interacted recently, reconnect. Touch base with the people who wrote references for your law school applications. Consult with faculty, who can help you focus on your strengths as a candidate.
Polish your Documents
A resume or cover letter can never be reviewed too many times! Consult the SCORE Resources Library for advice on resumes and cover letters, and review your documents with a fresh eye.
- Make the case that you offer superior professional skills by including your 3L clinic/externship experience and discussing the demands of immersion and your practicum classes.
- Highlight your commitment to a particular state by listing your bar status.
When your documents are as perfect as you can make them, get them reviewed by OCS.
Fine-Tune your Interview Skills
Refer to the SCORE Resource Library for guidance, and then line up practice interviews with OCS counselors and W&L Law alumni.