Take Someone Who Likes You Out to Lunch

The beginning of spring semester is when most law students begin to think about getting a job for the upcoming summer or for after graduation. Many students stay glued to Simplicity or other online job posting sites. Another way to find a job is to position yourself for an interview or job referral before anyone else gets that opportunity; seek jobs that do not exist yet.

This is best accomplished by networking with people that both think highly of you and know that you are seeking a job.

Target people who think highly of you

If you have a professor that you love, but the professor is difficult to meet with, or the professor does not know you, they are unlikely to help your job search. If you hate property law, but your professor thinks you are great, that should be your target. Professors know people in more than one area of law. Many professors get calls from professionals, asking for recommendations. Your goal is to be at least on the list, if not at the top of it.

If you already have a law clerk position, let your employer know you want to work there

Maybe the employer assumes you are not really interested in their practice. Maybe none of the ten clerks have stepped up and said “I really want to work here after graduation.” Maybe you are the only one who is willing to work for XX dollars. Showing some initiative will separate you from the pack, and might create an opportunity for you.

Going to lunch is important because you want their undivided attention. Emails get lost in the shuffle, and five minute office visits do not make as much of an impression. Putting yourself out there will encourage others to think of you.

(photo: yatta)


  1. Avatar Timothy R. Hughes says:

    This is a great post and very good advice.

  2. Avatar Steve M. says:

    This is really helpful advice. I would add a couple of points:
    (1) You may want to also make the offer to people who you admire or would like to get to know, but might not know you well enough or see frequently enough. You want to be in their consciousness and have them start to build a relationship with you.
    (2) Substitute “coffee” for “lunch” and it works just as well. Sometimes coffee is a good first step for someone with a very busy schedule or who isn’t that close to you. The main point is to create an occasion to foster or strengthen a connection. The food and drink are not the focus, the conversation is.

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