Networking and Informational Interviews – Options - LAP BC

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					 Networking and
Presented by The Lawyers
   assistance Program
  Facilitated by Robert

• The main factor in your job search
  is how you go about it-not some
  external factor
• Ways that don’t work are often
  what your common sense says
  would work!
• Ineffective methods:
• 1.The internet-only useful for
  some postings like gov’t or
  academia otherwise it is grossly
• 2.Random mail outs of resumes

• 3.Answering ads in trade journals
• 4.Answering ads in newspapers
• 5.Employment agencies and
• Others are asking former teachers,
  gov’t employment agencies etc.
• The fact that these are ineffective
  does not mean don’t do them-it
  just means don’t make these your
  only or main strategy!


• “Warm Contact Rule” this means
  that the closer you are to actual
  face to face human contact the
  greater your prospects are
• Your chances increase
  exponentially with any personal
• Email is cold contact-meeting face
  to face is warm contact-even a
  phone call is warmer than an
  email or anonymous contact

Networking-Methods that
1.Asking for job leads from people
  you know-for lawyers this means
  anybody at any law firm
2.Knocking on doors- resume in
  hand-whether or not they have a
  vacancy-this is one of the oldest
  and most effective methods
  This is the best method for small
  and mid-sized firms
  In many cases it is the only
  method that works!
  Most firms never advertise
Networking-Methods that
• You can identify which firms do
  what simply by looking at the
  yellow pages
• The 2 main problems with this
  approach are that it is simple
  (lawyers want things complicated)
  and it involves cold calls (fear)
3. Job clubs or groups are highly
4. The most effective is a structured
  job hunt

Networking-Methods that
• This involves an examination of
  skills and interests-most lawyers
  have never done actual career
• This will result in a vague sense
  of what you want to do-a blinding
  flash of inspiration knowing
  exactly what you want is rare
• The next step is Informational
  Interviews-This takes you out of
  your head and into reality land
• The next step is marketing-selling
  yourself to the world

• How do employers find people?
1.They ask colleagues “do you
  know anybody looking for x”
2.Or “do you know anybody who
  might be willing to move?”
3.They look at Drop-ins who have
  left resumes
“Drag and Drop”-Means drag your
  butt to the door of the firm and
  drop off your resume!-especially
  if they aren’t looking!-if you wait
  for small firms to advertise you
  will wait forever

4.They ask people they know for a
  direct introduction
5.Only as a last resort: they use an
  agency, they place an ad, they sift
  through resumes-Why? All of
  these are either expensive or time
  consuming and yield poor results
6.The employer pays a lot of
  attention to the way you look for a
  job-are you proactive or do you
  wait to be asked?


• Best kept secret in looking for a job in a
  small or mid-sized firm: The act of
  applying often creates the job!
• Best way to get a job-Through a mutual
  friend or acquaintance
• Best way to look for a job-Drag (your butt
  to the door) and Drop (your resume)
• Best way to stay put-Rely on job ads,
  obsess and worry rather than act, wait for
  something to come up, avoid any personal
  contact, wait to be discovered, assume that
  if they are looking they would advertise

      Networking Fears

• Even armed with this information
  people still won’t do it-their fears
  will take various forms-all of
  them are reasons not to take
• Fighting your fears exercise-
  sentence stem completion-the
  reasons I don’t like networking
  are…….Replacing fear with facts
• False Evidence Appearing Real
• What are you willing (not able) to
  do? The smallest act is better than
  the greatest intention!       11
 Informational Interviews

• Replaces stories or mental
  constructs in your head with
  reality+ an easy low stress way to
  network, you are not looking for a
  job - you are looking for
• Useful for finding out about a new
  field of law i.e.. what is it really
  like to do X area of law
• Useful for checking out a firms
  culture-what is it really like to
  work here?
 Informational Interviews

• See II handout-feel free to copy
• Screens out bad jobs, firms with
  cultures that are incompatible with
  yours, can ask questions you can’t
  in a job interview
• You can talk without pressure to
  people actually doing the work
• Your story or imagination about
  what it will be like can be very
  inaccurate! Think about what you
  thought being a lawyer was going
  to be like!
 Informational Interviews

• These are for information only-
  they are not a job interview
• How to set them up?-very
  informal-ask for only 10-20
  minutes-coffee is good
• Most people are flattered to be
  interviewed -Talk to a person
  about themselves and they will
  listen for hours!
• Designed to be easy and casual-no
  pressure-basically they are what is
  your work life like? interviews

 Informational Interviews

• It is equivalent to trying on
  clothes at a store-what fits what
• With law firms it is essential-the
  image of the firm is not the same
  as reality-many firms are “legends
  in their own minds” in fact they
  may have a great image but be
  terrible places to work
• If you want to get out of law
  Informational Interviews are also
  critical-your dream job could
  actually be a nightmare
 Informational Interviews

• Fabulous places to do II or
• CLE courses, bar functions, any
  law gathering, job fairs, law
  school events etc.
• Who are your contacts? law
  school classmates, past or current
  coworkers, professional
  associations, generally anybody
  you know over 12 and breathing
• How to cope with fear-Feel the
  fear and do it anyway!

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