Help Me Hillary: Should I Use a Legal Recruiter?
I am a third year law student at Duke. I am considering employing some legal recruiters to assist me in my job search. I am attempting to return to New York City to work for a small firm. Do you recommend I solicit their help? Do you know of any reputable firms? Or firms that deal with students without substantial legal work experience?
Legal recruiters can be tremendously helpful with job searches, but unfortunately they do not usually work with law students. You usually need at least one year of legal work experience before they will help you. However, there is no cost to you, so feel free to call a few. They may deal with you if you have some sort of exceptional or unusual experience that most law students do not have.
Assuming that recruiters are probably not going to be of much use to you at this stage in your career, you should try to contact all Duke grads that are working in New York. I have known other students to have great success simply by setting up a week of "networking" interviews with alums in their target city. Your career planning center may have a list of alums working in New York, or you can locate alums on martindale.com, or in your alumni directory. Ask for career advice, information about the New York job market, and referrals to others that you can talk to. I would plan to come up to New York during your spring break, if not before. That way, you can start setting up meetings now.
Also, through the web, you can look for commercial job listings in New York. A lot of small firms do not even start interviewing third-year law students until late winter/early spring, so there are still plenty of opportunities out there.
A general word of advice about using legal recruiters: I have found most legal recruiters to be very helpful if you have the credentials they are looking for. If you are at a midsize or large firm and want to make a move, or if you are in a "hot" practice area, they may be most likely to be able to help you.
Best of luck!
If you have your own question for Hillary send her an email to Help me Hillary.
Hillary Mantis, Esq.,is a career counselor and author of career books. She is the author of Alternative Careers for Lawyers and Jobs for Lawyers: Effective Techniques for Getting Hired in Today's Legal Marketplace.
Ms. Mantis consults with individuals and corporations on issues including: career transition, career advancement and direction, interviewing skills, leadership development, women in the workplace, and professional growth. She has been affiliated with Fordham University School of Law Career Planning Center for the past six years, and has been a career counselor for over ten years. She is a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School. For more information about private career counseling, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.mynewcareer.net.