Balancing Job Search and Bar Study

Students often want to stop searching for jobs while studying for exams or prepping for the bar. Clearing the decks of everything extraneous to studying seems like a great strategy.

Think again. Time management is a critical element in any professional practice. Make it work for you during exams as you are balancing job search and bar study.

Employers and Job Postings: Law School Exams

Ignore job postings at your peril. Employers in small organizations without a separate human resources staff do a lot of hiring in a purely reactive mode. When a lawyer interrupts the managing partner’s lunch crying out “I need a law clerk NOW!” if the resources are at hand, a job will be posted. This often happens in April and May, with resume due-dates and interviews scheduled during law school exams.

Employers and Job Postings: Bar Exams

When lawyers in small organizations need lawyers or law clerks, the first consideration is meeting clients’ needs. Because clients do not organize their business or personal lives around the bar exam, hiring happens during the summer.

Networking Opportunities: Summer

Many bar associations have annual meetings during prime bar exam study time. Pay attention to the dates and carve out time to attend one or more of these events. Your willingness to give up a few hours to connect to future professional contacts will be noticed.

Many alumni and career services offices schedule lunches with alumni, law students, and admitted students during the summer. If you are in a city where one is scheduled, you must go. These are invaluable opportunities to network with alumni, who will be as helpful as they can should they learned that you are looking for work.

ARRRRGH. I can’t waste a minute.

Malarky (maybe). Realistically review your study patterns. If you studied 18 hours a day, day after day after day, never taking a workout break, more than 10 minutes to eat, and six hours to sleep, you are exempt from job search during study time.

Everyone else can easily carve out two hour blocks for reviewing new job postings, conducting interviews, reconnecting with networking contacts, and attending bar activities.

Good luck!

Susan Gainen will present “Alternative Careers for Counselors Without a Secret Job Drawer” on April 25, 2013 at the NALP Educational Conference; “Watercolor for Travelers: No experience necessary” on May 8, 2013 at the Oakdale Library in Oakdale, MN, and demonstrate “Cave Painting: Whimsical Fun” at the Northstar Watermedia Society’s  2013 Art-on-a-Line at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on May 19, 2013.

About susangainen

Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian. Abstract Painter. Writer. Teacher. Explorer.
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