Last week’s panelists for the Other 80% panel had some great advice that we are passing on to you as this week’s career tips. Alumni Stevan Baxter, Aaron Tarin, and Tasha Williams graduated in 2008, and they were willing to share the following insights:
1. What are some ways to distinguish yourself when your grades do not place you at the top of your class? The unanimous answer was to distinguish yourself with through legal experience and extracurricular activities. All three panelists spoke highly of the clinical and pro bono programs and the valuable experience they gained through their participation. (Don’t be afraid to work for free!) Tasha also emphasized that students should be “nice to their classmates” because they will be your future referring attorneys.
2. How did you find a job? One of the most important ways to find a job was through networking. Let people know you are looking, including the PDO staff. Also, do good work when you are getting legal experience. The people who know your work will be able to recommend you for future employment, and sometimes volunteer experiences turn into paid employment. Don’t be passive when volunteering, but instead seek out more opportunities to learn and improve your lawyering skills.
3. In hindsight, what classes were especially helpful? Moot court, trial advocacy, pretrial practice, and mediation were mentioned.