Suits, ties, heels, meticulous hair and makeup, resumes, cover letters, nervous anticipation . . . interview season has commenced.
We network, we research, we study, we attend information sessions, and we even take the time to bond with our fellow classmates. We’ve done our legwork for one big reason—to get a job. This year, the mantra for job search no longer seems to be “What type of law do you want to practice?” or “Where do you want to practice?” Instead, it’s “Give me a job, and I’ll learn.”
Realistically, opportunities are not what they once were. Firms are downsizing and/or deferring new hires. Even volunteer positions seem impossible to receive. We have a smaller job market, yet we are now competing with a larger group of individuals. The unemployment rate is high, but what’s even scarier is the underemployment rate.
As a 2L, what’s the job search like? Personally, it’s a beast. It’s no fun, it’s tiring, it’s draining, it’s stressful, and we should definitely receive academic credit for the time spent finding and worrying about jobs. Almost every day, I send out two or three new cover letters, and I only receive a response maybe 20% of the time. This job hunt season, I have approached my search differently than in the past. I have realized that I am willing to sacrifice for a decent job paying a living salary. I’ve been contacting out-of-state firms and agencies, I’ve pulled out all my contacts, and I’m trying to be creative with my legal job search.
I even started looking off the beaten path and re-navigating my career goals. I’ve looked at non-legal internships with the state department. I’ve looked at finance, business, journalism, and public relations opportunities. I’ve looked at work abroad programs, and have considered LLM programs such as Geneva MIDS or Stockholm’s International Commercial Arbitration program. I’ve even considered dropping everything, flying to Lyon, France, and trying my hand at wooing Yoann Gourcuff.
Law students generally have Type A personalities, and thus we’re focused, driven, and it’s hard for us to not have a set plan for the future. Job hunt season is usually the worst period because there is so much uncertainty and fear. However, opportunities, I hope, are out there. I feel that we just need to dig and be a little bit creative. There’s still a trust that, at the end of the day, even if things are rough, we’ll land on our feet.