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Career Advisor

Law Firm Socials: Make a Positive and Lasting Impression

Some law firms host receptions to introduce students to their organizations and to help identify promising future recruits. These events provide you with a chance to learn about professional opportunities and demonstrate that you are a qualified and interested candidate for future employment. You will benefit most from attending these receptions if you follow these suggestions:

  1. Show up on time. The firm is expecting you. The recruiting professionals and the lawyers will notice if you skip the event or arrive late, and they will remember when you apply to work with the firm.
  2. Dress professionally. A suit is best. If you don’t have a suit in which you feel comfortable, wear the most professional business attire you have.
  3. Learn how to pronounce the firm’s name.
  4. Be polite and professional with everyone you meet at a social, including, for example, the receptionist and the wait staff.
  5. Be positive. Don’t say anything negative about, for example, other law schools, your law school, or yourself.
  6. Don’t talk only to other students. Make an effort to have meaningful conversations with as many firm representatives as possible.
  7. Be ready to discuss your academic and professional interests, even if at this point all you can say is “I’m leaning this direction because . . .” or “I’m eager to pursue more coursework in X because . . . .” If someone asks you what you’d like to do when you graduate, avoid saying “I don’t know” even if that’s true. Instead, you can say “What drew me to law school was . . . . The class I’m enjoying most now is Y, which gets me excited to learn more about . . . .”
  8. Prepare to make small talk. Think of some interesting (and appropriate) stories you can tell about yourself, your interests, your experiences, etc.
  9. Spend time researching the firm. Take note of the Law Ducks in the office, as some of them are likely to attend the reception and to take a special interest in you.
  10. Write thank-you notes soon after the event to any individuals with whom you had an extended conversation. Make each note thoughtful and unique.

Let us know if you have questions, and enjoy.

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Oregon Law » » Career Center » February 21, 2012 » Law Firm Socials: Make a Positive and Lasting Impression