Top Ten Tips for Winter Break

Winter break is nearly here!  Here are PDO’s annual top ten tips for what to do over the break.

10. Rest. Relax and sleep.  Hug your family when you awake.

9.  Bask. Reflect quietly upon your huge accomplishment—you made it through the semester!

8.  Do something fun which does not involve flashcards or supplements. Do you have an “interests” or “volunteer” section on your resume?  Have you actually done anything listed in those sections during the past four months?

7. (For 1L’s) Share your legal knowledge. Use all you learned in your Torts class to inform family members or even random strangers each time their acts and/or omissions may have fallen below an applicable standard of care.  For example, if your mother serves you chicken soup which burns your mouth, remind her of the facts of the “McDonald’s coffee case.”   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebeck_v._McDonald’s_Restaurants

6. (For 1L’s) Apologize. For having done No. 7.  Hug family again.

5. Plan. For 1L’s and 2L’s: if you have not done so, consider what you will do this summer: a job, do research for a professor, take classes, or do a clinic?  If you are a 2L or 3L and have not gotten real world legal experience, seek out a pro bono project or a temporary research job. There are several great pro bono opportunities listed at: http://www.law.utah.edu/probono/current-opportunities/. For 2Ls interested in post-graduation Judicial Clerkships: it is not too early to start researching judges, application requirements, and considering who will prepare letters of recommendation.  There are great handouts in Symplicity’s Document Library on Judicial Clerkships, including Professor Wildermuth’s presentations.  For 3Ls: set aside time each week to work on the job search process. If you are job seeking out of state, check the Intercollegiate Job Bank (link and password is in the PDO Passwords document in Symplicity’s Document Library) and consider submitting a reciprocity request through PDO.

4.  Research. If you are looking for a job, research possible employers and positions.  Check the Symplicity job postings regularly, look that the employers who are coming to OCI (you can view them on Symplicity), and do your own research:

A. www.nalpdirectory.com: Search law firms by city, practice area and class years typically hired.  For a small fee, you can use NALP to create a mail merge directly from the website.  This is an option which may save you some time.

B.  www.martindale.com: Provides information on lawyers and employers including practice and geographic areas and law schools.

C.  Law Firm Lists: PDO maintains lists of law firms in Utah, Idaho, Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Canada in Document Library in Symplicity. Review the lists, and research and apply to employers in which you are interested.  It requires a lot of effort, but often, small and midsize firms do not post jobs, even when they are very busy. They may interview and hire those who apply and show that they are truly interested.

D. PDO Office:  We have books, (such as Vault books), lists of alumni contacts in various areas of the country, and counseling resources. The PDO website has numerous job search links.  Additional job search links may be found in the PDO folder on the network drive, in a subfolder entitled Job Search Sites.  There, PDO has sites by State and some International sites.

 3. Prepare. Brush up on your professional portfolio.  Get your legal resume, cover letters to potential employers, and references prepared.  Sign up for one of the Mock Interviews coming up the evenings of Jan. 18-20, 2011.

2.  Network. If you are traveling to a place where you want to work, take advantage of it.  Contact recruiting directors now to let them know that you will be in town, send them your resume, and ask for a meeting.  Exploit your personal and prior professional contacts there and contact PDO for alumni contacts in the area.  Let your contacts know of your situation, and ask for advice.  Attend parties, state bar, business and law firm events.  1L’s, for example, you may want to attend one of the Snell & Wilmer Open Houses. To attend a reception at Snell & Wilmer, be sure to RSVP to Ms. Kara Blakey (kblakey@swlaw.com) BY TOMORROW (December 15). Plan to attend the College of Law Career Fair on January 13th, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Confirmed employers attending currently include:  Christensen & Jensen, Kirton & McConkie, Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar, Intermountain Financial/MassMutual, Holland & Hart, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, Parsons Behle & Latimer, Ray Quinney & Nebeker, Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office (Criminal and Civil/Litigation), and the University of Utah Office of General Counsel.

1. Get help. If you are a 1L and have not signed up for an initial counseling meeting with Jaclyn or Anneliese, do so.  If you are a 2L or 3L who would like to discuss your job search, resume, or other issues, make an appointment. PDO is open over the break!  Keep in mind Anneliese will be out of the office (but available via email) December 22-23, and Jaclyn will be out December 22-27.  If you have been matched with an attorney mentor, but have not yet contacted your mentor, please reach out and schedule a meeting!