The George Washington University Law School Career Development Office Foreign-Trained LL.M.

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The George Washington University Law School
Career Development Office
Foreign-Trained LL.M.
Student Career Development Manual
The George Washington University Law School
Career Development Office
Burns Room 310 - (202) 994-7340 - [email protected]
We at the Career Development Office are excited to welcome
you to The George Washington University Law School!
Congratulations on your decision to attend the LL.M. program at The George
Washington University Law School! You are beginning an exciting and
challenging time in your academic pursuits and in the coming year you will
make many decisions that will shape your future career. The Career
Development Office, or CDO, is here to help you figure out what you want to
do and how to develop a career plan that helps you accomplish your
professional goals!
As a student who began his or her legal studies outside the United States, we
recognize that you likely have many questions and concerns about navigating
your job search while you are here at GW Law School. To help you on your
career search journey, this Manual is designed to be a useful reference
throughout your LL.M. studies. It includes:
• Detailed information and resources regarding a variety of traditional and
alternative legal careers;
• A specific timeline for using the CDO to guide you step-by-step through
your job search process from the beginning of your LL.M. studies until
your graduation;
• A description of CDO services so you know what we can do for you; and
• Networking, resume, and cover letter tips and examples.
In addition, the CDO strongly encourages students to take advantage of our
one-on-one counseling services, skills workshops, networking opportunities,
diversity events, seminar programs, handouts and Resource Library.
Although we cannot “place” you in your perfect job, the CDO is here to do
everything we can to help you identify your career goals, provide tips for
drafting effective job search documents, and guide you through the process of
making and executing your own detailed career search action plan!
Good luck and we look forward to meeting you!
Table of Contents
Foreign-Trained LL.M. Students in the Legal Market ............................................................................. 1
What the CDO Can Do For You! ............................................................................................................. 3
CDO Services ....................................................................................................................................... 3
CDO Programs...................................................................................................................................... 3
CDO Resources .................................................................................................................................... 4
CDO Job Fairs and Interview Programs .............................................................................................. 5
When to Use the CDO: ............................................................................................................................. 8
Employment Options for Foreign-Trained LL.M. Students................................................................... 10
Overview of Legal Employer Types................................................................................................... 10
Resources for Researching Legal Employers by Type....................................................................... 11
How Do I Get A Legal Job After Completing My LL.M. Studies? ....................................................... 29
NETWORKING ................................................................................................................................. 29
INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWING............................................................................................. 32
Applying for Legal Jobs ......................................................................................................................... 41
Cover Letters ...................................................................................................................................... 41
Resumes.............................................................................................................................................. 44
Sample Curriculum Vitae (CV) .......................................................................................................... 45
Sample U.S.-Style Resume................................................................................................................. 49
Resume Checklist ............................................................................................................................... 56
Writing Samples ................................................................................................................................. 58
References........................................................................................................................................... 59
Interviews ........................................................................................................................................... 60
Bar Information for Foreign-Trained LL.M. Students ........................................................................... 61
Visa and Work Status Information for Foreign-Trained LL.M.s ........................................................... 63
Advice From GW Law School Foreign-Trained LL.M. Alums ............................................................. 64
APPENDICES ........................................................................................................................................... i
Appendix A: Online Resources ............................................................................................................ ii
Appendix B: Sample Invitations to Network.....................................................................................viii
Appendix C: Sample Networking Questions....................................................................................... ix
Appendix D: Sample Cover Letters..................................................................................................... xi
Appendix E: Sample Resumes........................................................................................................... xvi
Appendix F: Action Words for Resumes........................................................................................... xix
Appendix G: Sample Writing Sample Cover Sheet ........................................................................... xx
Appendix H: Sample Reference List ................................................................................................. xxi
Appendix I: Sample Interview Questions......................................................................................... xxii
Appendix J: Sample Questions to Ask During an Interview............................................................ xxv
Appendix K: Sample Thank-You Note Text ................................................................................... xxvi
Appendix L: NALP Law Firms That Will Consider Hiring Foreign-Trained LL.M.s 2009-2010:xxvii
Appendix M: The George Washington University Law School Academic Recognition and Grade
Representation Policy ..................................................................................................................... xxxii
Appendix N: CDO Policies and Procedures..................................................................................xxxiii
Foreign-Trained LL.M. Students in the Legal Market
Foreign-Trained LL.M. students are a unique asset to the legal job market. Although you
may find the job search more challenging than your U.S.-Trained peers, it is important to
keep in mind that being a Foreign-Trained attorney has provided you with unique skills and
experiences that will be highly valued by the right employer.
First Things First
As a Foreign-Trained LL.M. student, you may be wondering whether it will be best for you
to remain in the United States or return to your home country after completing your
studies here at GW Law School. Although all of the GW Law School LL.M. programs are
designed to teach you law from the perspective of a United States attorney and the
American legal system, the program is not necessarily intended to prepare you to practice
law in the United States. This is so for several reasons:
1. The LL.M. program is not intended to cover the core U.S. law subjects that are studied
by J.D. students at law schools across the country, which may put a Foreign-Trained
LL.M. at a disadvantage when attempting to practice in the real world.
2. Many Foreign-Trained LL.M. students do not have a background in common law and,
as such, are not a good fit for many legal positions in the United States.
3. Employers are sometimes wary about hiring an individual who requires sponsorship to
work in this country.
Challenging Legal Market
As many of you know, the downturn in the global economy has had a significant impact on
the current legal market in both the United States and abroad. A successful job search will
require diligence, persistence, and devotion of a significant amount of time to organization,
research, and networking. The most important element to keep in mind is complementing
your additional legal education with relevant professional experience. The legal market for
LL.M. students is derived from practical experience combined with academic credentials.
It is advised that you seek a part-time, full-time, or internship position in your chosen
practice area while enrolled in the LL.M. program. Some internships qualify for academic
credit—check with your program director.
What Employers Want
When applying for positions as an LL.M. candidate, employers will be interested in the law
school and country where you received your first law degree, your academic performance
both during your original legal studies and in your LL.M. program, research and writing
skills, law school activities, prior work experience, language skills, and contacts in your
home country or other foreign jurisdictions. Employers will also be very interested both in
your visa status and in your understanding of the visa regulations and how they affect you.
Employers also highly value any pre-existing relationship you have with individuals in their
organization: NETWORKING! is a must for any job search plan!
The hiring of Foreign-Trained LL.M. students occurs sporadically and on an as-needed
basis—when employers have a need for someone with knowledge of a particular
jurisdiction’s legal system, the needs of a client, or specific language skills. Students are not
hired en masse, nor is there any one specific time of the year when employers consider hiring
LL.M. students. Occasionally, law firms will have a “foreign lawyers program” to hire
LL.M. students for a 9-month to 1-year period following graduation; however, these
programs are not numerous, are highly competitive, and often only admit those LL.M.
students who have met and networked with members of the law firm.
A Word About Academics
Charting your legal career path is an exciting thing to do – but there is one thing that even
we at the CDO think you should prioritize first: your LL.M. studies! Your classes and
academic responsibilities—including your thesis—should be your highest priority while
studying here at GW Law School. Excelling in your LL.M. program is a critical element to
career success! Your drive and talent in an area of concentration will be evident to
employers based on your success in the LL.M. program.
What the CDO Can Do For You!
The CDO offers a variety of services, programs and resources to help you make the most
of your legal career - below is an overview of some of the most important ones!1
Career Counseling Sessions
The LL.M. and LL.M. Alumni Advisor—Stephanie Deckter—in the CDO is dedicated to
assisting Foreign-Trained LL.M. students with their career planning. The advisor will help
you determine what your skills and interests are, where you might want to work after
completing your LL.M. studies, when you should start applying for jobs, what a U.S.-style
legal resume and cover letter should look like, which internships you might consider
applying for while you are studying, and of course, what you want to do with your
forthcoming LL.M. degree.
We understand that the job search for a Foreign-Trained LL.M. student is unique: Some of
you have obligations to return to the employers who are funding your study with us, many
of you intend to return to your home countries following your studies here, and many of
you may wish to remain in the United States, but might be unable to do so due to visa or
other issues. We also know that you may be unfamiliar with U.S. customs that are
different from those you are used to, such as networking, and that you may need extra help
in this area. The LL.M. Advisor, and all of us at the CDO, are here to help you with your
career search based entirely on your individual situation.
Mock Interviews
Our counselors understand the U.S. legal market, and that it can be very different from that
in your home country. We can help you prepare for an upcoming interview—or just polish
your interview skills—by posing as your potential employer and giving you a “mock
interview.” To take advantage of this excellent service, call or stop by the CDO!
Throughout the year, the CDO hosts all sorts of programs to help you make the most of
your career search during your LL.M. studies. Programs geared toward the ForeignTrained LL.M.s are scheduled regularly—especially during the fall semester. However, you
are always welcome to attend ANY CDO program in which you are interested. Programs
and other events will be advertised by email from the CDO, in Noteworthy (the CDO’s biweekly e-newsletter) and flyers posted throughout the law school, so keep your eyes open!
The CDO is available to LL.M. students pursuant to CDO Policies and Procedures, which are available in Appendix N.
The CDO also sponsors, and co-sponsors with student groups, a variety of panel seminars
during the academic year. These programs often involve participation by outside speakers,
usually alumni. Seminar topics focus on issues including judicial clerkships, public interest,
government, international law, alternative legal careers, and opportunities in small/medium
firms. These programs are a great way to learn about various career options and to
network with people who may be working in an area that interests you. Make sure to
attend as many of these events as you can!
Job Postings
The CDO maintains an on-line job bank for GW Law students and alumni only. This job
bank is accessible via Symplicity. If you need help accessing Symplicity, please contact the
Online Resources
The CDO can help you access numerous useful websites that contain job postings, career
advice and general information about the legal market. For a full list, please see Appendix
We have prepared handouts on a range of topics relating to your career search. These
handouts are short and straightforward and provide an overview of various practice
settings and practice areas. The CDO also has a variety of handouts relating to the nuts
and bolts of a legal job search – how to network, how to write resumes and cover letters,
how to write a thank-you note, etc. You can pick up these handouts in the CDO and many
are also available on our website!
The CDO publishes Noteworthy, a bi-monthly e-newsletter with information about
programs, events, public interest news, fellowships, pro bono information, judicial
clerkship news, diversity outreach, and more! Noteworthy is also available on the Law School
Career Resource Library
The CDO includes a fully-staffed Career Resource Library, which is located in Burns 309.
The Library contains resources about everything from determining what you want to do
with your LL.M. degree to negotiating your first starting salary. Be sure to check out the
Bibliography on the CDO website or visit the Resource Library and our Resource Librarian
will be happy to give you a tour!
Office Services
LL.M. students may use the CDO facilities for career-related tasks including:
• Faxing;
• Light photocopying;
• Phone calls;
• Videoconferencing.
If you need help with any of these services, please contact the Resource Librarian.
The CDO hosts or sponsors a number of job fairs and interview programs throughout the
academic year and over the summer. The New York University International Student
Interview Program (ISIP) is a program that only Foreign-Trained LL.M. students may attend.
The rest of the CDO job fairs and interview programs are open to all J.D. and LL.M.
Please note that although all Foreign-Trained LL.M. students are eligible to
participate in every CDO job fair and interview program, the CDO cannot control
whether the participating employers will be interested in interviewing and/or hiring
Foreign-Trained LL.M. students. In many instances, only a small fraction of
employers in any given program will accept applications from Foreign-Trained
LL.M. students.
Although the job fairs and interview programs hosted or sponsored by the CDO are some
of the most visible career search opportunities, MOST STUDENTS DO NOT GET JOBS
FROM THESE PROGRAMS. Your individual job search strategy—which you will
develop by meeting with the LL.M. Advisor in the CDO—will take into account how
much effort, if any, you should spend participating in these programs.
Foreign-Trained LL.M. Interview Program
Every January, the New York University Law School hosts an International Student
Interview Program, or ISIP, for Foreign-Trained LL.M. students. Legal employers from
around the world participate in this program in New York City. Approximately 30 law
schools are invited to participate.
More information about the ISIP program and process for applying to participating
employers will be made available during a series of workshops in the Fall. You MUST
attend these workshops in order to be eligible to participate in ISIP. Additional
information will also be available in the Foreign-Trained LL.M. ISIP Manual.
Other CDO Job Fairs and Interview Programs
Pro Bono Fair
The Pro Bono Fair, held in early October, is an annual event organized by the CDO and
the Student/Faculty Public Interest Committee. The Fair brings together public interest
organizations and law students interested in pursuing pro bono opportunities. Students
who attend will network with employers and organizations to learn about public service,
and sign up to volunteer their legal services.
Government Internship Fair
The Government Internship Fair, held in late February each year, attracts federal, state, and
local government entities seeking summer or academic year interns. Occasionally, the
organizations seek entry-level attorneys for permanent positions. In most cases, the
federal government will only hire U.S. citizens; state and local governments usually
do not have the same restrictions.
Intellectual Property Networking Fair
Students participating in this annual spring fair network with attorneys from small,
medium, and large firms who practice intellectual property law, including patent, trademark,
and copyright.
Equal Justice Works
The annual Equal Justice Works Career Fair is held in mid-to-late October, and is
sponsored by most ABA-accredited law schools. Traditionally, over two hundred public
interest employers from around the country attend to interview and/or disseminate
information. For more information, visit the Equal Justice Works website at
GW/Georgetown Public Interest and Government Recruitment Program
This program is co-sponsored by GW Law School and the Georgetown University Law
Center and is held in early February. Students from both law schools are eligible to
participate. Typically, about one hundred employers participate, including public interest
organizations, government agencies, and legal services offices. Employers seek summer
interns/law clerks, and entry-level attorneys. The program is managed through Symplicity
and students are given a password specific to this program alone, and must upload their
resumes using that password.. Again please note that in most cases, the federal
government will not hire non-U.S. citizens.
Small/Medium Employer Interview Program
Each spring, the CDO invites small and medium legal employers from throughout the D.C.
metropolitan area to interview GW Law students for summer and permanent employment.
This program is managed through Symplicity.
Minority Student Recruitment Programs
The CDO encourages students to participate in the many minority student recruitment
programs offered each year. The CDO website lists these programs.
Resume Collections and Direct Writes
During the fall semester, employers will contact the CDO and request that we collect and
forward resumes from students who are interested in applying for positions with the
employer. Additionally, many employers ask that students make contact by sending a cover
letter and resume directly to them, which is known as a “direct write.” Resume Collections
and Direct Write opportunities are posted in Symplicity.
Fall Recruitment Program (FRP)
During the fall semester, a large number of legal employers—mostly large law firms that
have standard recruiting procedures, including summer associate programs—apply to
interview GW Law Students (on-campus or at one of the Regional Interview Programs).
This program is called the Fall Recruitment Process, or FRP.
FRP is geared toward rising second-year J.D. students who are seeking employment for the
summer between their second and third year studies. Students bid for the opportunity to
interview with employers and are selected by the employers for short screening interviews
and then—if all goes well—longer call-back interviews.
Most employers who participate in the on-campus interview portion of FRP do not
indicate a willingness to consider Foreign-Trained LL.M. students. However,
Foreign-Trained LL.M. students are encouraged to review the list of employers who
LL.M. STUDENTS and apply to any in which you have an interest.
For more information about FRP, and whether participating fits in with your individual
career search action plan, please make an appointment with the LL.M. Advisor.
When to Use the CDO:
Suggested Timeline for the Foreign-Trained LL.M. Job Search
• Attend the Foreign-Trained LL.M. CDO Orientation Session.
• Start thinking about your practice area and practice type preferences.
• Make a list of people you already know for networking. Include former employers, friends,
colleagues, classmates, family members, and professors.
• If you are interested in taking a bar exam, consult the relevant websites to determine what
steps you need to take.
• Attend the Foreign-Trained LL.M. Resume/Cover Letter Workshop.
• Attend the Foreign-Trained LL.M. Basic Job Search Workshop.
• Begin drafting your resume(s) and sample cover letter(s).
• Meet with the LL.M. Advisor to discuss your job search and review your documents.
• Attend the Foreign-Trained LL.M. Networking Workshop
• Attend the Foreign-Trained LL.M. NYU International Student Interview Program (ISIP):
What to Expect Program.
• “Direct Write” to employers who participated in the Fall Recruiting Program.
• Review the CDO’s Noteworthy for information about upcoming programs
• Use the CDO Resource Library and online resources to locate potential employers for both
full-time, post-graduation employment and an internship in the spring semester.
• Start NETWORKING with your list of contacts. Find out who your contacts know and add
those people to the list.
• Meet with the LL.M. Advisor to discuss your job search progress.
• If you plan to participate in ISIP, discuss your strategy with the LL.M. Advisor, prepare cover
letters for ISIP employers, submit a registration form and bid for participating employers with
whom you wish to interview.
o NOTE: ISIP Application Deadline: October 31, 2009.
• Attend the Foreign-Trained LL.M. Interviewing Skills Workshop.
• Continue NETWORKING with your list of contacts. Start requesting and attending
informational interviews.
• Review the CDO’s Noteworthy for information about upcoming programs.
• Meet with the LL.M. Advisor to review your job search progress.
• Attend the Foreign-Trained LL.M. Succeeding in Your Legal Job Search Panel.
• Follow-up with your list of contacts. Add more people to the list.
• Continue researching potential employers, networking and having informational interviews.
• Review the CDO’s Noteworthy for information about upcoming programs.
• If you are participating in ISIP in January, make your New York travel arrangements.
• Follow-up with your list of contacts. Add more people to the list.
• Attend bar association and other events to meet more people who practice the type of law that
you want to practice. Follow-up with those individuals.
• Continue researching potential employers, networking and having informational interviews.
• If you are participating in ISIP, confirm your travel arrangements.
• Meet with the LL.M. Advisor to review your job search progress.
• If you are participating in ISIP, review your schedule of interviews, make an appointment with
the CDO for a Mock Interview, and RESEARCH the employers and interviewers you will be
• Participate in ISIP in New York City at the end of the month.
• Review the CDO’s Noteworthy for information about upcoming programs.
• Follow-up with your list of contacts. Add more people to the list. Continue your
informational interviews.
• Meet with the LL.M. Advisor to review your job search progress.
• Review the CDO’s Noteworthy for information about upcoming programs.
• Follow-up with your list of contacts. Add more people to the list. Continue your
informational interviews.
March through May
• Meet with the LL.M. Advisor to review your job search progress.
• Review the CDO’s Noteworthy for information about upcoming programs.
• Follow-up with your list of contacts. Add more people to the list. Continue your
informational interviews.
Employment Options for Foreign-Trained LL.M. Students
Foreign-trained LL.M. students may be interested in a variety of legal employers for a
variety of reasons. Some of you may have practiced law before entering your LL.M.
program—either in the United States or abroad—and some of you may be considering
legal employment for the first time. In either case, it is helpful to learn about the different
types of legal practices that exist (both in the United States and throughout the world).
Keep in mind the differences between a type of legal practice and a practice area: the type of
practice refers to the employment setting (e.g., law firms, government, companies), while
the practice area refers to the substantive legal issues that you will be handling (e.g., tax law,
intellectual property law, criminal law, international trade law) within the particular setting.
Overview of Legal Employer Types
Law Firm/Private Practice
Law firms come in all shapes and sizes and do all sorts of work, but they all have one thing
in common – they represent clients (companies and individuals) and are for-profit
You can find lawyers at all levels of government, working on just about every issue that
governments deal with. From the White House to the local city counsel, lawyers are onhand to help all levels of federal, state and local government (including legislators) execute
their mission, which is usually something intended to benefit the public good. Another way
to work for the government is to be a lawyer for one of the branches of the armed forces,
which you may do in a civilian capacity. Many lawyers also work for government entities in
a non-legal capacity.
Note that in most cases, federal government positions are only open to U.S.
citizens; however, state and local governments will hire non-U.S. citizens.
Judicial Clerkships
Clerks work for all levels of federal and state judges throughout the country. Clerks
typically review all of the motions and pleadings in a pending case and then perform
research to help the judge decide how to dispose of the relevant issues.
Like the federal government, federal clerkships are only available to U.S.
citizens; state and local judges can hire non-U.S. citizens.
Almost all companies employ lawyers to perform a variety of work to help the company
achieve its business goals. Whether in the general counsel’s office or working directly with
the sales force, in-house attorneys have a direct impact on the conduct of the companies
they work for. Many lawyers also work for companies in a non-legal capacity.
Public Interest Organizations
Public interest organizations provide all types of legal advice to clients, including
individuals and entities, who could not otherwise afford legal representation. Public
interest lawyers work in a variety of capacities throughout the country.
Associations can be non-profit, voluntary or cooperative professional organizations and
include trade associations, professional societies, scientific technical and learned societies,
foundations, and political action committees (PACs). Association lawyers work to
advocate on behalf of the members’ interests by performing lobbying, legislative or
regulatory law work. Lawyers working in associations also may be called on to perform
some of the same functions as in-house attorneys, including employment and tax issues.
Law Schools offer a broad range of employment opportunities for individuals with law and
LL.M. degrees. Faculty positions generally require exceptional credentials—usually
including federal clerkship experience—but lawyers also work as part-time adjunct faculty
and legal research and writing instructors. Law graduates can teach law-related courses in
various undergraduate (e.g., pre-law majors) and graduate (e.g., business) programs. Law
Schools also hire lawyers to work in professional staff positions, such as career counselors,
admissions administrators, financial aid counselors, academic advising, continuing
education, and alumni affairs. Lawyers can also work at a law school as a legal librarian or
information specialist to assist students with legal research.
Resources for Researching Legal Employers by Type
A majority of lawyers begin their careers in private practice. A small percentage of this
group accepts positions at large firms of fifty-five or more attorneys; the majority seek and
locate positions in medium-sized and small firms.
Large Firms
Large firm recruiting and hiring is significantly focused on second-year J.D. students
seeking summer associate positions. Occasionally, large law firms will also be interested in
hiring LL.M.s. Large firms’ hiring interests are generally restricted to the top of the class.
Their recruiting programs are highly structured; it is important to pay attention to the
timeline for their hiring process.
Recruiting committees in large firms control the selection process. The competition for
these positions can be fierce. Minimum credentials include an excellent academic record
and demonstrated research and writing ability through law review or law journal experience,
or a published article. U.S.-Trained LL.M.s are viewed as lateral candidates and compete
with experienced attorneys for available positions, as well as with 3L students in terms of
the timing of some available positions. Foreign-trained LL.M.s also face tough competition
from their peers around the country. The Foreign-Trained LL.M.s who are successful
in finding employment in a large law firm typically do so through networking, often
begun in their home countries before ever arriving in the United States. A list of
large law firms that are open to recruiting Foreign-Trained LL.M.s can be found in
Appendix L.
Small and Medium-Sized Law Firms
Nationwide, small and medium-sized firms hire the greatest number of law school
graduates. Some small and medium D.C. firms participate in the Small/Medium Employer
Recruitment Program each spring; however, most do not participate in on-campus
interviewing programs. Their recruiting plans are based on actual, not perceived, need.
The majority often hire on a permanent basis from among students who have worked with
the firm part-time throughout the school year or during the summer. These firms typically
have regional, as opposed to national or international practices and client bases, and,
therefore, may be less likely to hire a Foreign-Trained LL.M. student.
These firms are also less likely to use academic and journal credentials as the primary hiring
criteria. Other credentials such as direct work experience, law school extra and cocurricular activities, and personal qualities, including language skills, weigh heavily in the
decision-making process.
Small firm practice may be specialized or varied. Associates can have a great deal of
responsibility at an early stage in their legal careers. Client contact may be immediate and
partnership can come relatively quickly (in three to four years for some firms). Whereas
large firms and their branch offices are found in and around major metropolitan areas,
small and medium-sized firms are found in urban as well as rural locations. This allows
candidates complete geographic flexibility.
Salaries vary significantly in these firms. Few firms offer salaries competitive with those of
large firms; others offer “creative financing” options that combine a guaranteed base salary
with a draw on profits.
Resources for Law Firm Research
• NALP Directory of large law firms (
• Chambers and Partners International Law Firm Guide, which is organized by world
regions (
• Martindale-Hubbell (, MARHUB on LEXIS
• Legal Times Directory of Metro D.C. Law Offices - Available in the CDO Resource
• Law Firms: Yellow Book - Available in hard copy in the CDO resource Library, or
online through the Leadership Directories
• Summer Employment Evaluation Forms - Available on Symplicity for current years
(2005-present) and in hard copy in the CDO Resource Library for past years (before
• The Mid Sized Firm Hiring Directory
• ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm sections
• Vault Career Library - Available via the CDO website using your email
As a Foreign-Trained LL.M., federal government employment will most likely not be
available if you are not a U.S. citizen. However, many Foreign-Trained lawyers gain
interesting and challenging legal experience working for the government at the local and
state level or in another capacity.
Government Careers for U.S. and Non-U.S. Citizens
State and Local (Will Hire Non-U.S. Citizens)
Unlike the federal government, foreign nationals are eligible for most employment
positions in state and local governments. However, applicants often overlook state and
local governments as potential legal employers, despite the many legal opportunities that
these employers present. Indeed, states, counties, and cities have governing bodies that
wrestle with issues surrounding housing, labor relations, taxes, public utilities, health care,
education and other issues that affect the public.
State and local governments generally hire lawyers on the basis of determined need. If
advertised at all, few position descriptions receive wide distribution. Therefore, an effective
job search involves considerable research and market definition (targeting), and the use of
local contacts for leads and introductions.
A career as a district attorney or public defender are avenues of employment in state and
local government. Few district attorney or public defender offices recruit and interview on
law school campuses; therefore, students must network and make direct contact to be
Resources for State and Local Government Employment Research
• State and Municipal Yellow Books - Available in the CDO Resource Library, or online
through the Leadership Directories
• State and Local Governments on the Net (
• The National Directory of State Agencies
• State and local bar associations
• The National Directory of Prosecuting Attorneys
• The Directory of Legal Aid and Defender Offices (state and local offices)
• National Legal Aid & Defender Association (
Congress (Will Hire Non-U.S. Citizens)
The glamour and excitement of working “on the Hill” continues to attract a number of law
graduates who soon discover that this employment market is difficult to penetrate.
Professional positions are seldom advertised through the traditional means; the majority are
filled through personal recommendations and contacts. In this job search, “who you
know” is extremely important.
Three lawyering entry points are (1) Legislative Aide or Legislative Director to a particular
congressional representative, (2) legal staff member of a congressional committee, and (3)
legislative counsel within the Senate or House of Representatives. Political caucuses also
hire staff attorneys. The Democratic Study Group and the Republican Study Group hire
lawyers as policy analysts. Those interested in policy analysis should also contact the
Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. A number of private
organizations that function in a lobbying or “watchdog” capacity also hire attorneys who, in
turn, gain a great deal of visibility in congressional and political circles. These groups
include organizations such as Common Cause and Public Citizen as well as organizations
that represent any number of particular interests.
The keys to congressional employment are contacts, commitment, and an aggressive job
search that leaves no stone unturned, that fully utilizes avenues of potential contacts, and
that is active rather than passive. Many law students have obtained volunteer internships
with various personal or committee Senate and House offices. Intern positions are
generally not advertised, and, typically, positions are obtained by students directly
contacting the offices in which they are interested.
Resources for Congressional Employment Research
• Congressional Yellow Book - Available in the CDO Resource Library, or online
through the Leadership Directories
• Opportunities in Public Affairs (
• Roll Call (;
• The Influence: The Business of Lobbying (
Government Careers for U.S. Citizens
Federal (Will Not Hire Non-U.S. Citizens)
The federal government is comprised of hundreds of departments, agencies, commissions,
and boards. Almost all agencies hire lawyers in some capacity and all have different hiring
criteria, standards, and application procedures. However, certain recognizable patterns lend
some insight into the application process and the work environment. Federal jobs are
generally only available for U.S. citizens, though there are some limited exceptions to this
Given the vastness of the federal government, legal opportunities exist in almost every
field—antitrust, litigation, communications, trade regulations, labor law, banking and
finance, tax, international law, immigration, natural resources and environmental law,
energy, civil rights, housing, patent law, etc. The agencies themselves dictate the type of
work in which a lawyer will engage—from regulatory matters, to legislative drafting, to
litigating cases before trial and appellate courts.
Entry-level attorneys are often provided with excellent training and are given a great deal of
responsibility early in their careers. Federal employment offers some degree of flexibility in
moving from agency to agency, and promotion is usually a routine matter of steady
progression. Typically, entry-level salaries are at the GS-9 or GS-11 levels, and the workday
is predictable. Employment with the larger more visible departments can provide impetus
to a budding law career. Frequently, private firms hire lateral applicants from the
government ranks to capitalize on their particular regulatory or legislative expertise.
The security of federal employment has eroded over the past several years with
professional staff layoffs and hiring freezes. Many lawyers continue to complain about the
lack of a dynamic work environment as well as the red-tape hardships that frequently cause
delays in the process of justice. Notwithstanding these difficulties, for many attorneys,
working for the federal government offers more stability and a better qualify of life than
working in the private sector.
Lawyers are exempt from applying through the civil service system. For a lawyer, this
translates into a tedious job search comprised of independent applications to each agency
or department. In the past, federal government entities required job seekers to submit the
Standard Form SF-171 (known as the Application for Federal Government Employment).
As of January 1, 1995, the federal government discontinued use of the SF-171 in the formal
application process and replaced the SF-171 with the Optional Form 612 (OF-612).
However, some agencies still require the SF-171 even though it is no longer being
reproduced. Beyond these standard forms, the application package may change
considerably from agency to agency. Some have their own forms; most require a resume;
some want transcripts; and still others require writing samples. Before applying, the
candidate must become familiar with and follow the application procedures as set forth by
the agencies.
Many larger agencies will recruit and hire new lawyers only through their “Honors
Program” process. Those with applicable full-time work experience must apply as a
practicing attorney. Honors Program deadlines occur early in the fall semester of the year
prior to law school graduation. Most programs are highly competitive, and academic
credentials and extra/co-curricular activities are important criteria upon which an
applicant’s candidacy is judged. Some agencies visit law school campuses to conduct
interviews; however, the majority prefer students to make individual, direct application.
The application package to a federal government agency may be the only source of
information considered in the decision to interview; therefore, this written information
must be comprehensive, clear and detailed, and targeted to the individual agency. The
traditional criteria upon which a law student’s appropriateness for employment is judged
(grades, law review, moot court, and legal experience) certainly plays an important role in
the screening process. However, federal government employers look beyond legal
background to other professional experience, undergraduate honors and achievement,
references, community involvement, and interests. This additional emphasis opens the
interviewing door not only to those who have achieved in the law school environment, but
also to those who have distinguished themselves in other ways.
Resources for Federal Government Employment Research
• NALP Federal Legal Opportunities Guide (
• Government Honors and Internship Handbook
( – contact CDO for the password)
• USAJobs (
• Federal, Federal Regional, and Government Affairs Yellow Books - Available in the
CDO Resource Library, or online through the Leadership Directories
• The KSA Workbook (a guide to presenting your knowledge, skills, and abilities) Available in the CDO Resource Library
• Public Service Law Network Worldwide (PSLawNet;
Military (Will Not Hire Non-U.S. Citizens)
Practicing law in the military can provide an opportunity for immediate responsibility in
areas ranging from criminal law to international law. The military lawyer’s practice may
take him/her to any of the fifty states or to almost any country in the world. Each of the
armed forces has a department called the Judge Advocate General’s Corps or “JAG
Corps.” Attorneys in the JAG Corps usually begin their careers in the general practice of
law. Initial legal training is fast-paced and demanding, and the opportunity to litigate comes
quickly after training. There are extensive opportunities for post-graduate education, and a
wide range of specialties is represented in the military lawyer community.
Military employers still enforce a policy of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Please be aware of this policy prior to submitting an application.
Non-Discrimination Policy
The military discriminates against gay, lesbian and bisexual persons under the authority of
10 U.S.C. section 654. The George Washington University policy on equal opportunity
prohibits unlawful discrimination. The Association of American Law Schools - of which
the George Washington University Law School is a founding member - and the National
Association for Law Placement each have policies forbidding discrimination against gay,
lesbian and bisexual persons. The presence of this employer at The George Washington
University should in no way be construed as an endorsement of this employer’s practice of
A judicial clerkship is a one-year or two-year position as a law clerk to a judge. Clerkships
are available annually at all levels of federal and state courts. Federal clerkships,
however, are only available to U.S. citizens, whereas state clerkships are open to all
applicants. The hiring criteria vary according to the level of jurisdiction and the judge’s
personal preferences. Judicial clerkships are popular because they provide: first-hand
exposure to the judicial process, time to further define one’s career interests and long-term
goals, prestige, contact with practicing members of the bar and influential judges, excellent
training and an opportunity to fine-tune one’s legal skills and increased marketability
without a permanent career commitment.
Types of Clerkships
Appellate and trial courts provide different work experiences. Appellate court clerks
(whether state or federal) concentrate on research and writing projects. Clerks in trial
courts (the federal district courts or their state counterparts) have varied experiences with
an opportunity to observe courtroom procedure and trial advocacy. In terms of career
advancement potential, the federal courts provide increased national marketability. It is
more important for state court clerks to be employed within those jurisdictions in which
they intend to practice; their marketability is generally limited to these regions and locales.
Clerkship Application Process
Judicial clerkships are perceived as “prestige” positions: the higher the court, the greater the
prestige. Competition for federal clerkships is fierce. Some state court clerkships are also
competitive; however, specific academic and law school credentials are less important in
the lower courts. The candidate’s background, experience, law school activities, residence,
contacts, personal style, and community commitment may far outweigh the significance of
academic performance and law review participation.
Typically, an application consists of a cover letter, resume, transcript, writing sample, and
two or three letters of recommendation. Strong faculty references are essential.
The GW Law School Clerkship Office—under Director of Clerkships, Sheila Driscoll—is
available to serve the needs of students seeking judicial internships and post-graduation
judicial clerkships. For more information and application guidelines, contact the CDO or
the Clerkship Office.
Resources for Clerkship Research
• Judicial Clerkship Handbook (GW Law School website)
• Summer Judicial Internship Binder - Available in the CDO Resource Library
• The American Bench: Judges of the Nation (Judges’ biographical information)
• Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures ( – contact
the CDO for the password)
• NALP State Judicial Clerkship Directory (
• Directory of Minority Judges in the United States – Available in the CDO Resource
• OSCAR: Online System for Clerkship Application and Review
Lawyers work for businesses and companies in a variety of capacities based on the needs of
the business. Company attorneys practice in specific areas of law (e.g., a technology
company may hire intellectual property counsel) or are legal generalists available to assist
the company and its leadership with any legal issues that arise.
In-House Law Departments
Entry-level positions with in-house law departments of corporations are almost nonexistent, as most corporations only hire experienced attorneys. Corporate legal staffs
practice “preventative medicine” and some larger departments are capable of managing the
greater portion, if not all, of the corporation’s legal needs. Others continue to hire outside
counsel for specialized needs, and rely upon in-house counsel for routine matters.
Corporations traditionally hire experienced lawyers from the ranks of law firm associates,
usually “laterals” with at least three to five years of law firm experience. This is especially
the case for small law departments where a more seasoned attorney is needed to handle a
great variety of legal questions. Some large corporations hire new law graduates into areas
such as labor relations, contract administration, real estate development, mergers and
acquisitions, consumer law, communications, and litigation. However, not all corporations
offer the potential to combine a law and management career. Candidates with this
aspiration should explore this possibility thoroughly prior to employment.
Most corporations offer good salaries, somewhat competitive with those of large law firms,
plus excellent benefits packages. Additionally, the corporate environment is generally not
as rigorous and life-consuming as that of private practice in a large law firm. Competition
among lawyers is reported to be less than that experienced in the private law firm setting.
Corporations offer several gradations in the legal staff hierarchy; lawyers often progress
steadily and naturally through the ranks. For those ultimately interested in pursuing careers
in business management, the general counsel slot may serve as an appropriate method of
A corporation may hire a student in an unpaid capacity. Although these opportunities are
also quite limited, the best way to do so is to network to meet individuals who are
practicing as in-house counsel.
Banks have in-house counsel for legal support in a broad range of matters. Within
commercial banks, these matters include corporate trusts, legal support to retail operations,
consumer credit, legislative and regulatory work, contracts, mergers and acquisitions,
coordinating litigation, personal pension, and probate. Investment banks, generally viewed
by job seekers as “prestige employers” within the banking industry, provide challenging
positions to those whose interests and credentials lie in securities and finance.
Typically, banks do not recruit for lawyer talent on law school campuses; therefore,
prospective applicants must make individual and direct contact, usually after gaining a few
years of experience.
Insurance Companies
Large insurance companies employ both new and experienced lawyers, and are particularly
interested in those candidates who have direct experience with claims and personal liability
issues. Most employers are located in the Northeast corridor: Connecticut, New York,
New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Occasionally, these companies recruit on law school campuses and encourage direct
applicant contact during the fall semester.
Management Consulting
Management consulting opportunities are open to those candidates with a particular, welldeveloped expertise (acquired prior to law school in another field). This is because
management consulting firms are commissioned to act as problem solvers for client
organizations. A certain level of expertise is necessary to function in this capacity.
Additionally, consulting firms do not act as training grounds for the inexperienced.
Consulting firms generally specialize in a set of areas. Depending upon their emphasis,
lawyers may function as arbitrators, in-house counsel, pension administrators, mergers and
acquisitions advisors, or systems consultants. In recent years, consulting firms have begun
to develop large legal departments competing with the large firm practice environment.
Public Accounting
Public accounting firms hire law graduates for positions in tax and, sometimes,
management services (consulting). The “Big 4” firms (Ernst & Young,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, and Deloitte & Touche) manage the accounts of most
major U.S. corporations and have offices throughout the world. Association with these
firms provides the opportunity for relocation, flexibility, tremendous security, and visibility
in the corporate world.
Some large firms do recruit at law schools during the fall semester. Others may be
contacted directly with a cover letter and resume. Application should be made to the firm’s
national recruiting office.
Publishing Houses
New lawyers with good research and writing skills may consider editorial employment with
legal publishing houses such as Matthew Bender, West Publishing Company, and the
Bureau of National Affairs. The general publishing industry has increasingly offered
employment opportunities to new and experienced lawyers, especially in recent years.
Authors, editors, and publishing houses now rely more heavily on early and constant legal
involvement throughout the publishing process. Fields of entry include libel and privacy
law, copyright, contracts, and editorial products liability. Interested students must apply
directly to each organization.
Resources for Company Law Department Employment Research
• Corporate Yellow Book - Available in hard copy in the CDO Resource Library, or
online through the Leadership Directories
• Directory of Corporate Counsel – Available online through Westlaw
• Vault Guide to Corporate Law Careers - Available via the CDO website using your email address
• Association of Corporate Counsel (
Public interest work encompasses a multitude of programs and employers: public policy
centers, public interest law firms, membership organizations, and government agencies
representing underserved populations including the poor, elderly, children, rights of the
unborn, prisoners’ rights, immigration, etc.
How To Get Involved with Public Interest Work
Entrance into public interest law is gained through demonstrated commitment to public
interest issue(s), persistence, and geographic flexibility. Competition for positions is often
high. Frequently, larger, well-known public interest organizations draw attorneys from the
ranks of the experienced; so, those wishing to enter the field should consider smaller,
lesser-known organizations in order to gain experience leading to access to a greater
number of job prospects. Post-graduate fellowships, sponsored by a variety of employers
and organizations, are another way for entry-level attorneys to get into organizations.
Visibility in the public interest employment market may be gained by volunteering one’s
services to develop essential credentials and establish contacts with experienced public
interest lawyers, or by writing articles with the intent of publishing. Interested candidates
should explore all possible employment avenues including participation in GW Law
School’s Pro Bono Program, legal clinics, internships (students may be able to earn credit
through the Outside Placement Program or Independent Study), fellowship programs,
federal and state governments, the Hill, teaching, and private firms.
Although public interest salaries vary depending on the organization, most attorneys agree
that the personal rewards are considerable. Public interest work is among the most
interesting, challenging, and exciting legal fields available to law graduates.
Performing Public Interest Work While at GW Law School
GW Law School is truly committed to encouraging students who wish to pursue public
interest careers. This commitment is reflected in the broad range of programs and
opportunities offered, including the Pro Bono Program, Legal Clinics, Outside Placement
Program, Project Re-Entry Legal Reform Project, Animal Welfare Legal Reform Project,
GW/Oxford Human Rights Program, and public interest courses and student
organizations. For more information about these programs, students should see the
descriptions below, visit the “Public Interest and Pro Bono” section of GW Law’s website,
and contact the CDO.
GW Law School Pro Bono Program
Through the Pro Bono Program, law students volunteer legal services to those who cannot
afford or do not have access to legal services. Participation in the Program not only gives
students the opportunity to help others, but also provides the practical legal experience
needed to compete in the job market after graduation. Also, by interning or volunteering
legal services, students gain visibility in the competitive public interest employment market,
develop essential credentials, and establish contacts with experienced public interest
By signing a Pro Bono Pledge, students enroll in the Program, which is administered by the
Law School’s Student/Faculty Public Interest Committee. Each student who completes
the LL.M. degree in one academic year will be recognized at graduation if he or she
provides 20 hours or more of Pro Bono Legal Services during that year. In addition
to being recognized at graduation, students who fulfill their Pro Bono Pledge are invited to
participate in an annual Pro Bono Breakfast and Reception at which they receive a
certificate from the Dean. The Reception kicks off graduation weekend and is attended by
students, their families, and faculty members.
For more information, students should review the Pro Bono Guide, visit the Public
Interest and Pro Bono section of the Law School’s website, or contact the CDO, at (202)
The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics
Founded in 1971, the Community Legal Clinics at GW Law School were dedicated in 1991
to acknowledge the generous support of Jacob Burns, LL.B. ‘24, LL.D. ‘70. The clinical
programs vary considerably in purpose, duration, requirements, and duties, and every year
special projects increase the scope of this rich offering. Despite their diversity, all the
Clinics share a common goal—to provide members of the community with critically
needed legal services, while giving motivated law students the opportunity to experience the
practical application of law and to develop skills as negotiators, advocates, and litigators
within an exciting and supportive educational environment. Services are made available to
Spanish-speaking residents of the area through the Clinics’ several bilingual attorneys and
students. The Community Legal Clinics operate under the direction of Associate Dean
Phyllis Goldfarb.
The Clinics include: Civil Litigation; Consumer Mediation; Federal, Criminal, and
Appellate; Health Law Rights; Immigration; International Human Rights; Public Justice
Advocacy; Small Business/Community Economic Development; Vaccine Injury; J.B. and
Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law; Project for Older Prisoners; and Law Students in
Although the Clinics are open to LL.M. students, you should keep in mind that spots are
limited and LL.M. students will be competing with a large number of J.D. students. For
more information, visit the Clinical Programs website
Outside Placement Academic Credit
Outside Placement provides LL.M. students with opportunities to earn academic credit for
work in public interest, government, and nonprofit organizations, including: Department of
Justice, Environmental Defense Fund, U.S. Attorneys Office, DC Public Defender Service,
Women’s Legal Defense Fund, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Legal Aid
Society, Consumers Union, and District Court and Superior Court Judges. Each student
who participates in an Outside Placement may be required to successfully complete
additional LL.M. Outside Placement co-curricular requirements. Professor Jessica
Tillipman is the Director of the Outside Placement Program. For more information,
contact Profesor Tillipman or Nikki Keeley, the Executive Coordinator of the program or
visist the Outside Placement website
Students can participate in the Domestic Violence Project, a placement consisting of trial
work with a local legal service provider on domestic violence cases, policy, or legislative
work with a national organization on domestic violence issues, or appellate work with
attorneys in law firms conducting pro bono domestic violence appeals. This project and its
co-requisite requirements are supervised by Professor Joan Meier.
GW Law School Pro Bono Legal Reform Projects
The Law School’s first Pro Bono Reform Project was the Animal Welfare Legal Reform
Project (AWLRP). With the hard work of students and faculty, the AWLRP succeeded in
releasing a report of recommendations for law reform to the DC City Council at a press
conference in Spring 2005, and in drafting legislative changes to present to the City
Council. Contact Professor Joan Schaffner or Professor Mary Cheh to volunteer for the
The Criminal Justice Reform Project began in Fall 2005 as Project Re-Entry. Like the
AWLRP, it is a joint effort by students and faculty; however, its focus is on researching and
analyzing laws that affect the ability of persons released from prison to re-integrate, or reenter the community. Contact Professor Donald Braman to volunteer for Project Re23
Public Interest Courses in the Elective Curriculum
A number of courses at GW Law School place special emphasis on addressing social and
legal justice concerns, including legal issues relevant to traditionally disadvantaged groups
or underserved populations. A listing of the Law School curriculum is available on the
GW Law School Student Organizations
The Law School’s commitment to public service is reflected in the activities of its student
organizations, many of which focus on serving the public interest. Every fall, the Student
Bar Association sponsors a student group fair at which law students can learn about
various student organizations, including the Amnesty International Legal Support Group,
Environmental Law Association, Equal Justice Foundation, National Lawyer’s Guild, and
Street Law. For a list and descriptions of student organizations, visit the website.
Funding for Public Interest Work
Post-Graduate Fellowships
Many fellowship applications require a sponsoring organization and a specific detailed
project. This project must be developed over time, and it is essential for students to begin
thinking about organizations they wish to work for and developing project ideas as early as
possible (even before the LL.M. program begins!). Interested students should read the
CDO’s guide to post-graduate fellowships. Students are also encouraged to contact the
CDO and make an appointment to discuss fellowship opportunities.
Resources for Public Interest Employment Research
• Harvard Law School Public Interest Job Search Guide
• Public Service Law Network Worldwide (
• Equal Justice Works (
• Directory of National Legal Aid and Defender Offices (state and local offices)
• National Legal Aid and Defender Association (
• Washington Council of Lawyers Public Service Directory
• Human Rights Organization and Periodicals Directory
• Public Service and International Law: A Guide to Professional Opportunities in the
United States and Abroad
• Development Directories (
Associations are non-profit, voluntary, and cooperative professional organizations.
Organizations included in this definition are: trade associations, professional societies,
scientific technical and learned societies, foundations affiliated with trade associations, and
political action committees (PACs). Trade and professional association legal staffs are
generally small, which means that lawyers must be generalists and quickly assume a great
deal of responsibility. Salaries are competitive but not extravagant and fall within the range
of salaries offered to lawyers in small and mid-sized firms.
Association lawyers often perform lobbying or legislative and regulatory law work. Because
lobbying is a primary function of associations, most are headquartered or have branch
offices in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Associations represent every conceivable
interest area from absorbent paper products to zinc. In the employee selection process,
associations will lean toward those individuals who have a record of commitment or
experience in their field of interest. People with legislative and/or Capitol Hill experience
are especially attractive; similarly, those with applicable federal government experience are
also prime candidates.
Resources for Association Employment Research
• Associations Yellow Book –Available via the portal through the Leadership Directories
• The National Trade and Professional Associations (NTPA) Directory – Available in the
CDO Resource Library
• Capital Source – Available in the CDO Resource Library
• Opportunities in Public Affairs (
• American Society of Association Executives (;
• The Federation of International Trade Associations (
A Think Tank (sometimes called a Policy Institute) is an organization, institute,
corporation, or group that conducts research and engages in advocacy in various legal and
societal areas, such as social policy, political strategy, economy, science or technology
issues, industrial or business policies, or military advice. Many think tanks are non-profit
organization. While many think tanks are funded by governments, interest groups, or
businesses, some think tanks also derive income from consulting or research work related
to their mandate.
Lawyers who work at think tanks often perform legislative, statutory and other legal
research, as well as preparing reports and white papers on a specific area of law or policy.
Foreign-Trained LL.M.s may work on issues related to the legal jurisdictions of their home
countries and/or those that require particular language skills. Some think tanks may be
charged with bringing litigation related to their mission and, as such, attorneys working at
the organization may perform traditional litigation tasks. Attorneys also may serve in an in25
house counsel role at a think tank handling employment law, issues related to non-profit
status and other day-to-day legal matters.
Resources for Think Tank Employment Research
• National Institute for Research Advancement’s World Directory of Think Tanks
• Foreign Policy Research Institute Think Tank Directory (
• Harvard Kennedy School of Government Think Tanks Directory
• Policy Jobs.Net World Think Tank Directory
• Wikipedia List of Think Tanks (
• Politixgroup ( & Links to full time employment and internship
opportunities with think tanks and partisan organizations.
Universities and Law Schools regularly hire law school and LL.M. graduates for a variety of
positions, including teaching, professional staff, administration, and librarian/information
Law School faculty positions generally require exceptional credentials in terms of depth of
experience, research and writing ability, and academic performance. In addition to the
traditional tenure track full-time teaching role, most law schools employ part-time adjunct
faculty as well as full-time short-term instructors.
Non-law school environments also provide law teaching opportunities. Four-year colleges
and universities and community colleges hire those with a J.D. to teach law-related courses
in business administration and international curricula programs. Institutes of paralegal
studies also employ lawyers to provide instruction in a variety of legal subject areas.
Resources for Teaching Research
• American Association of Law Schools; Directory of Law Teachers, Annual Recruitment
Conference, Placement Bulletin (AALS;
• Chronicle of Higher Education (
• Academic Job Search Handbook – Available in the CDO Resource Library
• Gonzaga University School of Law Institute for Law School Teaching
( Information on the teaching, as opposed to scholarship, aspect of
legal education.
Professional Staff
Among the many academic and profesional staff roles played by persons with professional
degrees are: general administration, career development, admissions, financial aid, academic
counseling, continuing education, alumni affairs, and affirmative action. Position titles
include: Dean, Director, University Counsel (or Co-counsel/Assistant Counsel), and
GW Law School and the University employ individuals in each of these capacities. If you
are interested in one of these careers, talk to the person at GWU who has that position!
To search for job openings in these fields, visit University websites.
Resources for Metro DC Area University Professional Staff Opportunities
• The George Washington University (
• Georgetown University (
• The Catholic University of America (
• George Mason University (
• American University (
• The University of Maryland (
Information and Law Library Management
The Law Librarian’s role has changed significantly due to the contemporary nature of
information processing and information specialists with library management, and,
frequently, systems training. Information resource management roles are available in law
schools, private firms, bar associations, government agencies, corporations, and courts (all
levels). These positions usually require a master’s degree in Library Science; a law degree
may be required or preferred.
Resources for Law Librarian Employment Research
• The American Association of Law Librarians, including placement assistance and job
newsletter (
Many students graduate from their legal studies—including LL.M. programs—and decide
that they do not want to practice law. These students work in a variety of fields and the
possibilities for non-legal employment with an LL.M. degree are endless. The best way to
learn about the types of non-legal careers that LL.M. students may explore is to talk to
those who have taken that path and the best way to do that is to network!
Resources for Researching Alternative Legal Careers
Careers-in-Business (
Bloomberg (
Wetfeet (
Harvard Business School Guide to Careers in Finance, Management Consulting –
Available in the CDO Resource Library
• Vault Guide to Finance Interviews, Investment Banking – Available in the CDO
Resource Library
• NALP brochure series regarding Alternative Careers Opportunities for Law Graduates:
Human Resources, Legal Publishing, Financial Services (
How Do I Get A Legal Job After Completing My LL.M. Studies?
The #1 Secret for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams
The absolute best way to find a legal job you will love is…NETWORKING!
Networking is building professional contacts. The purpose of networking is to build longterm relationships for professional development and personal growth. There is no time
limit, deadline, or geographic limitation for networking, nor does the need to network end
when you have secured employment; however, it is crucial to begin networking as soon as
you begin the LL.M. program. Some students begin building their network even before
arriving on campus. Even if you have not done this yet, it is not too late to form
professional relationships. As always, do not forget about maintaining your existing
network while forming new contacts.
Networking involves contacting people you know, or with whom you have some
connection, to request assistance with your job search. These individuals do not need to
have a job to offer you, and they need not be particularly high-ranking or influential
professionals. Any professional contact is helpful if she can provide you with advice and
information about a particular practice area, career path, or job market and introduce you
to additional contacts.
Networking offers you access to:
• Information
• Advice
• Direction
• Opportunities
• Referral
There are several reasons why building your network of professional contacts is vital to
your job search and your career. However, one reason stands above the rest – networking
is the most effective method of finding a job. Many students report that they secured their parttime, summer, and permanent post-graduate positions through their professional contacts.
The number of law students, and attorneys, who obtain their jobs through networking
makes sense when you consider that the majority of positions in the employment market
go unadvertised in the “Hidden Job Market.”
The simple fact is that most employment opportunities are not advertised through
traditional means. This requires finding creative ways to discover opportunities that are
available and are a good match for you. You may have heard that over 80% of all job
opportunities are not advertised and what you find on the Internet and in the newspaper
classified ads is only the tip of the iceberg. While the hidden job market may or may not be
as massive as many believe, the truth is that it does exist, it is large, and you must be aware
of it!
The existence of the hidden job market means that responding to job advertisements on
the Internet, in newspapers, job listing binders, recruitment programs, and sending out
targeted mailings is only part of a complete job search. The best way to learn about unadvertised
positions is to form a network of people who will get you connected to the job opportunities you want.
It is very important that you have realistic expectations before you begin developing
professional relationships. When networking, it is reasonable to expect:
• Advice
• Valuable information about career fields, the market, and hiring trends
• Feedback about a resume, cover letter, and interviewing skills
• Assistance in formulating an action plan for a specific field or organization
• Referrals to others who might assist you
• Professional mentoring (mentoring refers to a developmental relationship between a
more experienced mentor and a less experienced partner referred to as a mentee or
It is not reasonable to expect your contacts to find you a job. You are sure to turn
people off when the only question you pose is: “Do you know of any openings?” Not only
will you likely receive a negative response, but it is possible that you will lose an
opportunity to establish a lasting relationship or gain other valuable information.
Anyone can be a networking contact: the student sitting next to you in class, your parents'
neighbor, your doctor, professor, former supervisors, people in organizations that interest
you, bar associations (DC Bar Association, American Bar Association, etc.), or anyone with
whom you have something in common (i.e., the same college, gym, professional
Start by making a list of people you already know. Include classmates, former employers
and colleagues, family members, professors and other acquaintances. If the people on your
list are lawyers or work in the legal field, start asking them about their practice, employer
and career path. If there are individuals on your list who are not lawyers or in the legal
field, start by asking them if they know any attorneys who you can contact. Every time you
network with one person, be sure to ask if they can recommend someone else for you to
contact. This is how you will build up your own professional network.
Throughout the year, a number of GW Law School programs offer networking
opportunities. Remember, the individuals who volunteer to speak at GW Law School
events and programs, usually alumni, do so because they are interested and available to
meet with our students following the programs (and sometimes beyond). The CDO can
also assist you in getting in touch with alumni willing to help LL.M. students with their job
Take every opportunity to build your professional contacts. You can network while waiting
in a grocery store line, riding the bus or metro, attending a professional seminar or schoolsponsored program, or meeting with a professor. Professional organizations and bar
associations are great places to meet people. Be alert to opportunities and always conduct
yourself professionally – especially in Washington, D.C., you just never know who you will
meet, or where. Students have been known to successfully network by simply striking up a
conversation with someone on an escalator, or in line at a pharmacy. Remember, potential
networking contacts and employers also must do grocery shopping and run errands.
Once you have identified contacts, you can communicate with them through a letter (or email) of introduction. If you are contacting someone you know, or an alumnus of your
school, you can initiate contact by phone rather than a letter. Be prepared, however, to
provide the same information you would have sent in a letter of introduction. If you
initiate contact via e-mail, remember that this is a professional document and it must be
error free and as formal as any other business letter. In using any of these approaches, the
initial contact must concisely and precisely inform the reader:
• Who you are (if you have previously briefly met the contact, politely remind them of
who you are and perhaps how you met in order to jog their memory)
• How you identified the contact
• Why you are writing (you are currently searching for employment; you would appreciate
any advice and/or information they would be willing to share with you; request a brief
meeting (informational interview), indicating when you will call to arrange it)
If the contact is local, you should always request an in-person meeting. If you have an outof-town contact, however, you can request a phone appointment, unless you are able to
travel for a face-to-face meeting. You should always follow your e-mail with a phone call.
When making the call, know your availability in order to arrange a mutually convenient
time and date to meet with your contact.
Talk to people about your career interests and goals and ask about their career path. Most
people are more than willing to share information with someone; in fact, most people are
flattered by the attention and truly want to help.
Follow-up on all referrals and keep your professional contacts apprised of your career
Be organized. Now is the time to start keeping a list, spreadsheet, or some other method
of keeping track of your contacts so that you can easily maintain contact with them.
Remember – networking does not stop at an initial meeting, networking is a means to
creating long lasting professional relationships.
Informational interviewing is one way to build your network of professional contacts, and
is the process through which career planners and job seekers learn about different areas
and types of legal practice, as well as career opportunities. Informational interviewing can
• Insights into a career field of interest including skills needed, entry-level positions,
employment trends, job opportunities, etc.
• A realistic view of the work world and career field you are investigating
• Assistance with academic planning
• Ideas for volunteer, summer, part-time, and internship opportunities related to specific
• Professional contacts and increased confidence in interacting with professionals
• A better chance to “be in the right place at the right time”
• A foot in the door
• Information about special concerns (i.e., salaries, part-time or flexible hours, minority
issues) that may not be appropriate to raise during a formal employment interview
• Those seeking information about particular career fields and professional settings
• People seeking geographic information
• Applicants seeking information about opportunities for individuals from a certain
country or region, or those with particular language skills, within an organization
Often, one is able to gather information through informational interviewing that cannot or
should not be discussed in a formal job interview. For example, during an informational
interview with a judge, it is appropriate to ask exactly what interning in his/her chambers
may involve; however, if you are at a formal interview with a judge, you are expected to
know the duties required of a law clerk.
• DO conduct a self-assessment exercise
prior to informational interviewing to
explore your interests, values, and skills so
you will be better prepared to discuss them
with others.
• DO be honest with yourself and your
contacts regarding your reasons for wanting
to talk to them. An informational interview
is not a job interview.
• DO make appropriate contact. To
introduce yourself, either call or write to the
prospective contact. Ask for 20-30 minutes
of their time. It is often more appropriate
to write an e-mail or letter in situations
where you do not know the person well.
• DO be prepared. Do your homework
before meeting with the interviewee:
research the individual (by “googling” her),
as well as her current and former employers
so that you know something about her
background, practice area, and career path.
Create a list of questions that highlights
what you have in common and what you are
hoping to learn from her.
• DO dress as if it were a job interview.
• DO follow-up. Always write a thank-you
letter. Keep the person up-to-date on your
job search. Remember to let them know
when you do find what you are looking for.
• DO keep good records. Record details
about your conversation so you can keep
track of your contacts.
• DO NOT ask for a job. Information is
what you are seeking and is the only thing
you should ask for.
• DO NOT be late or skip the
• DO NOT forget to send a thank-you
note after the meeting, and remember to
• DO NOT stay longer than 30 minutes
unless your contact indicates that it is okay.
Ask about the individual’s employer, practice area, background and how she got where she
is now, for advice for someone at your career stage, what she sees for the future in her
particular career field, and for names of additional people with whom you can meet.
Sample questions are:
• How did you get your job at (organization name)?
• Were you an intern at (organization name) before you were hired fulltime/permanently?
• Did you work or intern at other organizations before landing your current job? If so,
where? How did you get those positions? Where was your first job?
• Did you have particular skills/background in the area in which you are working?
• How have you advanced within the organization? Does your organization promote
from within? How long did it take you to make partner? How do you envision your future
career path?
• What exactly does a (area of specialty) attorney do? What are the different aspects of
the job? What does your typical day look like?
• As a judicial clerk, how do you spend your day? Do you get to spend time with the
judge, perform research, or attend court?
• What is the philosophy of your organization? Does your organization have employee
training and support?
• What does your organization look for when hiring new attorneys or interns? What
traits does a successful applicant possess?
• How is the job market for (career field) in (geographic location)? Are there areas of the
law in (geographic location) that are considered “hot” or “up and coming” these days?
• What advice do you have for a recent LL.M. graduate seeking to enter this field?
• Are there any professional associations I should join that would put me in contact with
other women attorneys/minority attorneys/career changers/international attorneys?
• What is the typical salary range for a (position) with a (small/medium/large
organization) in (geographic location)?
• Do you know of any other people to contact who might be able to assist me with
• Would you review my resume and provide feedback? Don’t forget to follow-up by
updating your resume, incorporating the suggestions, and sending her a copy.
Always send a simple thank-you letter.
“Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me
yesterday. I appreciate the information and advice you provided about the market for
_______ attorneys in New York. I will follow-up with Mr. Smith as you suggested and
I have already called for information about the Women’s Bar Association. Again, thank
you for your time.”
Do not forget to let them know what happens to you.
“I am writing to thank you for your generous assistance during my recent job search. I
met with Mr. Smith and he knew of several job possibilities. I interviewed with Larry
Green at Blue, Clark & Jones and I was offered a position in their ________ division.
Thank you again for your help. I look forward to seeing you at the next Women’s Bar
Association meeting.”
Do not forget to continue to keep in touch, even after you get a job; you never know when
you will need to tap into your network next, so maintaining your networking contacts is
To ensure that you are getting the most out of the effort you have put into networking and
informational interviewing, you should be sure to keep detailed notes on each and every
one of your contacts. To do so, you must be organized and meticulous. The following
Networking Log is one way to make sure that you don’t forget a contact.
John &
Doe P.C.
in Patent
John & Doe P.C.
1000 J St. NW
Washington, DC
[email protected]
(202) 123-4567
How You Met
Follow-Up 1
Follow-Up 2
03/03/2009 at
AIPLA Spring
Meeting workshop
on patent law policy
Sent thank
you note on
and invited
her to coffee
2500 J St. NW,
Washington, DC
[email protected]
(202) 987-6543
03/31/2009 at DC
Bar CLE titled
Patent Law”
lunch for
04/01/2009 Coffee at
Discussed practicing
patent law in law firm;
her former job
practicing law in
Sent thank you note
You should update your Networking Log every time you make a new contact or interact
with one of your existing contacts. Be sure to note each time you correspond (e.g., by
email, phone or letter) and meet (e.g., for a scheduled lunch or coffee, by coincidence at an
event) with each of your contacts and write down what you discussed.
You should review your Networking Log every week to see which contacts you have not
been in touch with lately and re-connect with them. You can always tell them something
about yourself (e.g., you earned an A on a paper, you had a job interview, you graduated
from your LL.M. program), something about them (e.g., you saw they were quoted in the
ABA Journal), or something about their practice area (e.g., you saw that Congress just
passed a new law in their field).
As in any country, there are specific cultural cues and norms that should be observed in any
social setting, and especially during a professional networking event or opportunity. Here
are some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the topic:
Q: Why do Americans insist on discussing the weather?
A: Here is the easy answer: Americans tend to avoid controversial or overtly personal
topics with professional colleagues. Now for the tricky part: What do Americans consider
controversial or overtly personal? Americans, as a rule, do not discuss politics, religion, or
money. You may see Americans discussing such topics, but be wary. Such discussions are
usually couched in terms of what the news is (i.e., an objective view of the topic at hand)
and are rarely heated discussions or debates. In many cultures, having a political debate is
an intellectual exercise that all participants enjoy. This is not the case in the United States.
Be careful to avoid offending people, and follow the lead of the Americans in the group
until you are comfortable with the bounds of the social norms for conversation topics.
This is why Americans often begin conversations with discussion of the weather. It is a
neutral, impersonal, non-controversial topic that everyone can contribute to.
Q. What is the appropriate way to greet someone?
A. Americans greet each other with a firm handshake of the right hand. This is true
regardless of the gender of the people involved. Only within social circles do people hug
or kiss each other. This type of greeting should not be used in a professional setting.
Americans also do not bow as a sign of respect.
Q. What does “business attire” mean?
A. Business attire means a suit. For men, this should be a neatly pressed suit – darker
colors are considered more conservative and formal. Black, dark blue, or charcoal gray
suits are “safe” for networking and/or interviewing. Suits should be paired with a solid
colored blue or white shirt, and a conservative tie. Men certainly can and do wear shirts
and ties with more “style” in business settings, but not for interviews or networking events
where first impressions are so important. Neatly polished shoes, and dark colored socks
are also worn. Men should be neatly groomed – facial hair is acceptable if neatly trimmed,
fingernails should also be clean and neat. For women many of the same rules apply. While
in many larger cities it is acceptable for women to wear pants suits, in some smaller towns,
and more conservative cities, women are still expected to wear a skirt suit. Skirts should
not be shorter than one or two inches above her knee. Jewelry and makeup should be
conservative. Generally, open-toed shoes are considered more informal than close-toed
Q. What does “business casual” mean?
A. Business casual is not the same as casual. For men, business casual means nice slacks or
khaki pants, and a neatly-pressed collared button down shirt. In colder months, men
sometimes wear a nice sweater over such a shirt. For women, nice slacks, khakis or a skirt
should be worn with a neatly-pressed collared shirt or sweater. Sleeveless shirts, sandals, tshirts, and denim jeans are rarely acceptable in a business setting. If in doubt, tend towards
the formal.
Q. How do Americans present their business cards?
A. The presentation of business cards in American business settings is less formal than in
many other regions of the world. Typically, at the end of a conversation, someone will
simply ask another person for his or her card. Americans do not typically offer their card
unless it is requested. Examples of how such exchanges occur include:
• “I’ve really enjoyed speaking with you. Could I get your business card so that we
can keep in touch?”
• “I’d like to contact you later this week regarding what we discussed. May I give you
my business card so that you will remember who I am when I do so?”
• “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me this afternoon. May I have your
business card in case I think of any follow-up questions?”
Q. How do Americans receive business cards?
A. Unlike other cultures, and notably, Asian cultures, there are no hard social norms about
receiving business cards. Americans do not have “rules” about whether to hold the card by
two corners or four when presenting or receiving business cards. However, cards should
be placed in a suit jacket pocket, or outside pocket of a purse upon receipt. This places the
card in a place where it will not become bent or lost, and is not so intricate as to distract
from the conversation. This is often done while the people involved continue to talk.
Q. Is it okay to drink at cocktail party?
A. Yes and no. Americans often offer beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, at
networking events and cocktail parties. Be careful to recognize the difference between a
social and business setting. In business settings, more than one alcoholic drink should not
be consumed. If you decide to have an alcoholic drink, drink it slowly throughout the
event. If you wish to have another drink, water or a carbonated beverage is a good option.
Often, you can request such drinks with a slice of lemon or lime. By doing so, you will not
draw attention to the fact that you are abstaining from alcohol (there can occasionally be
social pressure to have an alcoholic drink – regardless of the pressure you may be feeling,
more than one alcoholic drink is not appropriate in a business setting). In any case, drinks
should be held, with a napkin, in the left hand so that the right hand is available (and not
cold or wet) for greeting other people with a handshake.
Q. Is it okay to eat at a cocktail party?
A. Yes, in moderation. Americans will often snack on such offerings, but you should not
convert the snacks into a meal. Remember that the goal of such an event is to maintain
existing professional relationships while creating new networking opportunities and
professional relationships. This is very difficult to do if your mouth is full of food!
(Material Courtesy of Mary Crane & Associates)
Rule #1: Introducing Yourself
Provide your name and a descriptor. View the descriptor as a 30-second commercial.
Make sure it’s interesting to the person you’re about to meet. When in a business-social
setting, especially when you’re meeting potential clients, introduce yourself in a way that
will help you become memorable.
Rule #2: Introducing Others
Ask yourself, “Who is the most important person in this business context,” then present
the less important person to the more important person. As an example in the law firm
context, a senior partner is viewed as more important than a new associate. A client is
viewed as more important than a senior partner. Therefore you would say, “Ms. Senior
Partner, may I present New Associate” or “Ms. Client, may I present Ms. Senior Partner.”
Rule #3: Arriving at the Event
Arrive on time – this is an extension of your work. If you are arriving alone, thank the host
or hostess, go to the bar, get a beverage, wrap the beverage in a napkin and carry that
beverage in your left hand.
Rule #4: Use the Buddy System
Whenever possible, attend cocktail parties with another person. The two of you can
“divide and conquer” – doubling the number of contacts you make in half the time.
Prearrange a rescue signal.
Rule #5: Approachables
If you are attending an event alone and you do not immediately recognize any of the other
guests as an acquaintance, introduce yourself to an “approachable.” These are the people
who are more typically known as “wall flowers.” Never forget that these people can be
important and valuable contacts.
Rule #6: Nametags
Wear your nametag on your right lapel.
Rule #7: Remembering Names
LISTENING is the real key to remembering names. During introductions, many of us
make the critical error of thinking about what we are going to say next rather than listening
to what the other person is saying. Listen as the other person provides their name and
descriptor. You will increase your chances of remembering that name if you begin to use it
right away or associate it with another person you know well.
Rule #8: Breaking and Entering
Should you wish to enter into a conversation that is taking place among a group of people,
approach the group, listen to what is being said, and make eye contact with other
participants. After another member of the group asks a question, feel free to introduce
yourself and ask a follow-up question.
Rule #9: Exiting a Conversation
When you are ready to leave one conversation and move onto another, let the other
participants know how pleased you were to have met them and then move on. This is the
appropriate time to ask other participants if they would like to exchange business cards.
Rule #10: Send a Thank-You Note
A key rainmaking skill is the art of becoming memorable. Because writing thank you notes
has become a lost art, every time you send one, you enhance your chances of being
remembered. An effective thank you note requires you to write three simple sentences:
1. Describe the event.
Example: Thank you for inviting me to the XXX reception.
2. Describe something about the event that made it unique.
Example: I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the numerous conversations I had with
colleagues regarding issues affecting the (area of practice).
3. State your next action step.
Example: I hope we can get together soon for lunch. I will call you early next week. W
Four Easy Steps to Networking Success
Now that you know what networking is and how to do it, here are four easy steps you can
use to start networking right away or to brush up on your networking skills before
attending a networking event, an informational interview or any other business situation.
1. Identify “Networkee.” Select someone that does something you are truly interested in.
2. Approach. If at a reception or other in-person event, approach the person and wait for
a break in the conversation. If you are trying to set up a future conversation, just call, email
or write the person and ask if they have a few minutes to talk to you about their career.
For a sample invitation to network, please see Appendix B.
3. Converse. Be yourself and let your personality shine through, but you need to have three
things prepared in advance:
First, a pitch about who you are. For example: “I am an LL.M. student who is really
interested in practicing corporate law in the United States. I would love to hear more
about how you started your career.”
Second, questions to keep the conversation going. This includes questions about the
person’s career path, education, work, organization and any advice they have for you.
For a list of suggested networking questions, please see Appendix C.
Third, when the conversation is wrapping up, ask your networkee if they know anyone
else that you might be able to learn more about _______ (fill in the blank with whatever
you are interested in!) from.
4. Follow Up. Following up is crucial and it entails more than a simple thank-you after
your chat (although that is essential!).
Send a thank-you note or email to your networkee. This serves two purposes: (1) they’ll
understand how much you appreciate their time and therefore, they may be more
inclined to put you in touch with some of their contacts; and (2) it will ensure they have
your contact information so that they can easily get in touch with you when an awesome
opportunity comes up! For sample thank-you note language, please see Appendix K.
Keep them apprised of your job search efforts, particularly if they suggested you meet
with other people or apply for certain positions. Definitely let them know when you
accept a job – you may be able to help them in the future!
If you come across something that relates to your conversation, forward it on to your
networkee – it will not only remind them of you (possibly prompting them to follow up
with the contact name they promised you), but it will underscore your interest in a
particular legal topic.
Down to Work – Applying for Legal Jobs
Now that you have mastered networking, it is time to actually start applying for jobs. The
LL.M. Advisor can help you convey your experiences and skills in the best, most relevant
way – but below are the basics about legal cover letters, resumes, writing samples,
references and job interviews that you need to get started.
Cover Letters
Cover letters are extremely important to your job search. They are the first (and possibly only)
opportunity you will get to speak directly to an employer! The cover letter is your chance to tell your
dream employer why you are so interested in working for them and what you would bring
to their organization – all the while demonstrating your ability to write clearly and
Four Steps to a Perfect Cover Letter
Step 1: Tell them who you are. You should open the letter by telling the employer that
you are an LL.M. student at The George Washington University Law School and what job
you are applying for. If someone in your network suggested you apply or has some
connection with the employer, indicate that in the very first sentence.
Also – if you are applying for jobs outside Washington, DC, be sure to include a reason
you want to work in that city. Good reasons: you have lived there, you have family there,
you studied there, you are interested in X industry, which is based there. Bad reasons:
you’ve heard the salaries are higher, you want to “try the city out,” you’ve never been there,
but you’ve heard it’s nice.
“Dean Paddock suggested I contact you about a summer internship. I am currently
studying for my LL.M. in Environmental Law at The George Washington University Law
School and am extremely interested in working for the New York office of the
Environmental Defense Fund this summer. Having family on Long Island, I look forward
to starting my legal career in New York this summer.”
Step 2: Tell them why you want to work for them. To generate a good reason why you
want to work for a particular employer: (1) think about what you want to do and why; and
(2) research the employer, including the employer’s website, and review recent cases or
matters the employer has been involved in to see if their work matches with your interests
Note – for government agencies and public interest organizations, it is extremely important
that you indicate your interest in the mission of the organization! You can usually find this
information on the organization’s website.
Ideally, you will write a unique cover letter for each employer. If you can’t do that, it is
okay to categorize employers and have similar language that you use for each category of
employers. For example, you may have one letter that you use for litigation, another for
corporate, another for environmental and so on.
“I would like to work for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) because I am interested
in creating lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems. I was excited to
read about the EDF’s recent efforts to pass national legislation that caps global warming
pollution and creates a flexible emissions trading market because that is exactly the type of
legal work I am passionate about.”
Step 3: Tell them why they should hire you. This is the heart of your cover letter – it is
your chance to set yourself apart from all of the other candidates who want to work for a
legal employer. What makes you different?
The best way to approach this is to think about what skills and practical experiences (non-legal
counts!) you have and how those skills and experiences might be useful to the employer.
You need to do the work for the employer – it is not effective to just rattle off a few things without
explaining why they would be useful to the employer. Similarly, you don’t want to just
recite your resume. Your cover letter should provide just enough detail about your skills
and experiences to entice the employer to read your resume.
The best way to identify the skills and experiences you have that will be useful to an
employer is to create a Job Match Matrix. The Job Match Matrix should include (1) a list of
the employer’s needs—which can easily be gleaned from a particular job announcement
posted by the employer, the employer’s website, or information provided to you by a
contact—and (2) a list of your skills and experiences that match up with those traits. Here
is a sample Job Search Matrix.
Employer Needs
Legal research and writing skills
Knowledge of/interest in environmental law
Advocacy experience and skills
Science degree, background, or experience
My Skills and Experiences
Received award for “Best Legal Research
Memorandum” during LL.B. studies
Wrote legal memos during internship at Brown
& Brown Law Firm during first semester of
LL.M. studies
LL.M. in Environmental Law
Thesis on global warming impact
Volunteer work with Save The Whales
Founding first national Kiss-A-Palm Tree
Advocated on behalf of Palm Trees by founding
first national Kiss-A-Palm Tree
Pro bono work to help inmates file appeals
Successfully petitioned local governor to
provide free lunches to homeless people
No degree, but researched marine life for
environmental law coursework
Use your Job Match Matrix to develop a clear thesis to start off this section:
“I would be an asset to the EDF because of my strong research and writing skills and my
demonstrated commitment to the environment.”
From there, support your thesis by explaining each aspect of it in turn, using one or two
brief, to-the-point sentences to get the point across.
“I developed my research and writing skills during my undergraduate law studies – where I
received an award for Best Legal Research Memorandum – and during my LL.M. studies,
where I completed a thesis analyzing the impact of global warming on international
celebrity gossip.
I believe my past experience defending the environment would also make me an asset to
the EDF. For example, I founded the first national Kiss-A-Palm Tree day while at the
Kings College London School of Law. Although there are no palm trees in England, I am
sure the palm-tree-supporting community appreciated my efforts to persuade people that
the palm tree is one of the most important flora. I built the organization from the ground
up, ultimately recruiting over 75 volunteers and securing funding through the University
for an annual conference named in honor of the state of California, the Palm Tree Capitol
of the World.”
Step 4: Tell them what you are going to do next. Let the employer know that you look
forward to hearing from them, appreciate their time and plan to follow up within two or
more weeks. If you are applying to jobs in a different city and plan to be in that city in the
near future, let the employer know that as well.
“For all of these reasons, I believe I would be a useful addition to the EDF and I look
forward to discussing my candidacy with you in person soon. I plan to be in the New York
City area from December 12 through January 4 and will follow up with you to see if it
might be possible to arrange to meet during that time. Thank you for your consideration,
and please let me know if you need additional information.”
For ideas, please look at the sample cover letters in Appendix D.
How to Create a U.S.-Style Resume from Your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Curriculum vitae is Latin meaning “course of life” and résumé is French meaning
“summary”. In the business world, the word résumé, also spelled resumé and resume, is
used in the United States and in English Canada, while curriculum vitae and CV are used in
the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand.
Many Foreign-Trained LL.M. students will already have a polished CV when they arrive to
study at GW Law School. American employers are not used to seeing CVs, but rather have
a very specific idea of how a summary of your education and former work experience
should look. This is what we refer to as a U.S.-style resume.
U.S. employers typically spend thirty seconds reviewing a resume. If you have sent the
employer a CV (which is most likely much longer than a U.S.-style resume), the employer
will stop reading before he even gets to your best qualifications. When converting your
CV into a U.S.-style resume, your main goal is to describe your education and
experience as briefly as possible, while still highlighting the skills and know-how
that will spark an employers’ interest enough to ask you to interview.
The next few pages show a sample CV and then how that CV looks after being
transformed into a U.S.-style resume. Other sample resumes can be found in Appendix E.
Sample Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Julie Smith
123 Foggy Bottom Way
Washington, DC 20052
Tel: 202-123-4567
Mob: 202-765-4321
E-Mail: [email protected]
Keen to source a challenging role in a dynamic law firm which will offer early
responsibilities, a progressive career path and the opportunity to maximise my potential.
2008 – 2009
United States
Subjects taken:
Intellectual Property
Law in Cyberspace
Computer Crime
Entertainment Law
ƒ Copyright Paper: Wrote paper for copyright law course on social networking
sites and digital rights management.
2004 – 2005
Subjects include:
Medical Law
Family Law
Commercial Law
Public International Law
2001 – 2004
Bachelor of Civil Law - Result: 2H1
Law of the European Union
Constitutional Law
Law of Contract
Law of Property
Law of Torts
Criminal Law
Law of Evidence
ƒ Moot Court: Two teams of four presented opposing arguments on behalf of the
respondent and the applicant. Arguments were researched and presented orally
in a cohesive manner. Each student was questioned by the judge to assess their
understanding of the issues. Result: 2H1.
Legal Skills and Analysis: Prepared a fictional client interview and followed
up the client’s query in writing. Result: 1H.
1995 – 2001
Leaving Certificate: 490 points, including an A1 in English.
Relevant Experience: 2005-2008
McCann O’Reilly
ƒ Acted for clients in prosecuting and defending intellectual property infringement
cases, misleading and comparative advertising proceedings and in defending
consumer law prosecutions.
ƒ Acted for a number of domestic and international retail clients as well as FMCG
companies advising on issues relating to intellectual property, advertising,
marketing and promotions.
ƒ Acting for an international FMCG company in trade mark infringement and
revocation proceedings
ƒ Advising the Irish Music Rights Organisation in relation to copyright licensing
issues and acting in a number of copyright infringement actions
ƒ Obtaining an interim injunction to restrain passing off and trade mark infringement
ƒ Advising on and drafting intellectual property licensing agreements
ƒ Advising clients in relation to brand protection, trade mark, passing off and anticounterfeiting issues
ƒ Represented clients in proceedings with a competitor arising under the Misleading
Advertising Regulations
ƒ Reviewing materials for advertising and promotional campaigns
ƒ Advising on the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and the Unfair
Commercial Practices Directive
Summer 2004
Courts Service, Four Courts, Dublin
ƒ Attended daily meetings with the advocates.
ƒ Accompanied advocates to the Court Library.
ƒ Assisted administration staff with research.
ƒ Attended a number of cases held over the course of the summer.
Summer 2003
Smith, Jones & Taylor Solicitors, Main Street, Fermoy, Co. Cork
ƒ Observed interviews with clients and typed up reports.
ƒ Attended court with solicitors as part of observation.
ƒ Assisted apprentice solicitors with research and discussed points of law and
appropriate legal solutions.
Other Experience:
Summer 2002 & 2001
Silver Pail Dairy (Ireland), Fermoy, Co. Cork
ƒ Worked as administrative assistant.
ƒ Gained knowledge and experience of office administration including filing,
faxing, photocopying, typing and telephone.
ƒ Covered reception during lunch and holidays.
Summer 2000
SuperValu, Fermoy, Co. Cork
ƒ Served customers and used cash register.
ƒ Stocked shelves and assisted in stocktakes.
ƒ Handled cash and balanced till daily.
Computer: Good working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, E-Mail
and Internet. Typing speed: 70 wpm.
Language: Spanish, excellent written and oral level.
Organisational: Time management skills gained through projects and course work and
prioritising tasks to meet deadlines.
Communication and Interpersonal: Excellent team working skills gained through
coursework, employment and extracurricular activities.
Member of the UCC Law Society.
Awarded ‘2003 Debater of the Year’
Represented UCC at a number of intervarsity debating competitions.
Trained and mentored new members on debating skills.
Completed a Youth Leadership course presented by Toastmasters International
in 2000.
Mr. Tom Kelly, Lecturer, Department of Law, University College Cork. Tel: 021 493
2222. E-Mail: [email protected]
Mr. Michael Smith, Solicitor, Smith, Jones & Taylor Solicitors, Main Street, Fermoy,
Co. Cork. Tel: 025 369854. E-Mail: [email protected]
Sample U.S.-Style Resume
123 Foggy Bottom Way * Washington, DC 20052 * 202-765-4321 * [email protected]
Master of Laws in Intellectual Property
Washington, D.C.
Expected May 2009
Relevant Coursework: Copyright and Trademark Law, Computer Crime, and Law in Cyberspace
Face[book]ing the Interaction Between Social Networking and Copyright Law
Bachelor of Laws
Cork, Ireland
Relevant Coursework: Intellectual Property Seminar, Privacy Rights, and Computer Laws
President, Intellectual Property Rights Societie
Member, UCC Law Societie
Chairman, UCC Debate Club
• Represented UCC at inter-varsity debating competitions.
• Trained and mentored new members on debating skills.
Named 2003 Debater of the Year
Bachelor of Civil Law
Cork, Ireland
Student Associate, Client Counseling Clinic
Member, Moot Court Team
Awarded highest marks on oral argument during regional moot court competition
McCann O’Reilly
Dublin, Ireland
Intellectual Property Attorney
• Litigated infringement, licensing, and anti-counterfeiting matters related to copyright and trademark law for
domestic and international clients.
• Participated in all stages of litigation, including drafting briefs and memoranda and arguing before the
• Drafted intellectual property licensing agreements related to copyright and trademark issues.
• Advised domestic and international clients on issues of intellectual property, advertising and marketing.
Courts Service, Four Courts
Dublin, Ireland
Summer 2004
• Performed legal research and drafted memoranda on issues related to litigant rights.
• Attended a number of cases held over the course of the summer, including intellectual property matters.
Smith, Jones & Taylor Solicitors
Summer Intern
• Observed interviews with clients and drafted reports summarizing same.
• Performed legal research on civil procedure and advised on appropriate legal solutions.
English (Native), Spanish (Proficient).
Admitted to practice law in Ireland as a Solicitor (Member, Law Society of Ireland).
Registered for July 2009 New York State Bar Exam.
Cork, Ireland
Summer 2003
Resume Drafting
Now that you know the difference between a CV and a Resume, here’s how to draft the
best resume you can to most effectively explain your education and work experience to
employers when you are applying for jobs. The goal of your resume is to convey specific
information to the employer that will help them realize you are the best candidate for the
Items to Keep in Mind
• In most cases, resumes should be one page only.
• Resumes should be printed on white or cream resume paper that matches the
paper for your cover letter.
• The header on your resume should match the header on your cover letter, cover
sheet to your writing sample and references list (more on those in a minute).
• You should present your education and experience in reverse chronological order.2
• Be specific and use action words in describing everything on your resume.
• Use bulleted paragraphs. This makes your resume more readable.
• Keep formatting consistent throughout the resume (i.e., don’t put some job titles in
bold and others in italics).
• Margins – at least .8”; font – at least 11 point. Choose a conservative, professional
font. Recommended font styles: Times New Roman, Arial and Garamond.
• No typos or spelling errors.
• Do not use the first person or personal pronouns – phrase your resume language in
the objective, impersonal point of view.
• Be honest!
The exception to this is: if you have experience that is relevant to a particular employer (i.e., you are applying to the General
Counsel’s office of Ford Motor Company and you worked on the production line in one of their factories), you should present
that first, even if it means your resume will not be in “straight” chronological order.
Three Steps to a Perfect Resume
Step 1: Decide what to include. Keep in mind that each job you apply for has its own
perfect resume! That means that you should view your resume not as a static document,
but rather one that you adjust based on the employer. Let’s say you were a real go-getter in
your undergraduate studies and spent a lot of time involved in the mock-trial team, but you
also served as Chief Student Officer of your University bank. On the resume you send to
litigation employers, you should spend more time highlighting your mock trial work. For
banking or corporate employers, you should highlight your experience at the bank (and
consider listing it under the “Experience” section, but more on that below).
As discussed above, a U.S.-style resume is different from a CV. Here is a quick list of
information that you should INCLUDE in your U.S.-style resume and information that
you should EXCLUDE.
ƒ Contact information: name,
address, phone number and email
ƒ Education in reverse chronological
ƒ Additional training only if it’s
relevant to practicing law or a
particular employer’s industry.
ƒ Publications, but only if they are
relevant to the job you are seeking.
ƒ Legal employment with brief job
ƒ Languages spoken.
ƒ Bar admissions, including any from
your home country.
ƒ Marital status, date of birth,
information about children, religious
or political information.
ƒ Statement of objective.
ƒ Any education before your
undergraduate studies (e.g., secondary
school education).
ƒ Long sections outlining
publications, speeches or other
ƒ Employment with lengthy job
ƒ Employment from more than 15
years ago.
ƒ Employment from before you
completed your first law degree.
ƒ Skills, achievements or
qualifications that are not related to
the employment post
ƒ Volunteer work unless it is directly
related to your career goal (e.g., pro
bono legal work).
Particularly as a Foreign-Trained LL.M. student who may have little or no legal work
experience, it is important to include any non-legal work experience and other activities or
community service because they are usually extremely relevant! Instead, include those
experiences, but be sure to highlight one of the…
Five Non-legal Skills Legal Employers Look For
Why It’s Important
Where You May Have
Gained It
working as a research or lab
writing your thesis or other
significant paper.
Research and Although legal research and writing •
is different from your past
experience in this area, if it’s
something you excelled at or
enjoyed previously, include it.
Organization; No matter what type of law you
These are skills that people develop
attention to
practice the ability to be organized by helping people manage
and stay on top of massive amounts information:
managing files, documents,
of often-confusing detail is an
accounts payable/receivable,
essential skill.
working in your University
organizing a volunteer drive,
serving as a teaching assistant.
Management Employers want to hire individuals • Student group leader,
that have the capability to advance • Manager/assistant manager of
within an organization. Prior
Camp counselor,
management experience is an
Residential/dorm assistant.
excellent indicator of that.
Membership coordinator for
Legal employers want people who
development; will not only be effective advocates,
student group,
but who also will be able to bring in • Retail sales,
Customer service,
clients in the future. Any prior
sales or outreach experience is
helpful in this regard.
Step 2: Decide how to include it. Every single item on your resume should be designed
to have an impact – do not waste any space with vague words, boring descriptions or
excessively long entries. For suggested action words, please see Appendix F.
Experience. Let’s say you worked for a judge and helped her with two cases: a breach of
contract case and a medical malpractice case with a pending motion to dismiss. Here’s how
you could explain your experience at the Court, and then the way you should describe it.
Waste of space:
Assisted Judge’s clerks in researching and writing about legal issues.
Researched legal issues and drafted memoranda to assist Judge in deciding a breach
of contract case and a motion to dismiss.
Researched Maryland breach of contract standards, including whether the doctrine
of promissory estoppel applies in the absence of reliance; drafted a memorandum
summarizing legal analysis for Judge; discussed legal conclusions and possible
outcome with Judge and Judge’s clerks.
Analyzed whether the Judge should permit defendant to take discovery in order to
support a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6); drafted a memorandum
analyzing legal standards for the Judge.
Education. Include schools attended, degrees received, graduation dates (or expected
date), majors and other concentrations of study. Include GPA and class rank information
where helpful. Note, for GW Law School, be sure to represent your current GPA
consistent with the Law School’s Academic Recognition and Grade Representation Policy,
available in Appendix M. Include academic honors and awards (summa/magna/cum laude,
membership in national honor societies, nationally-recognized scholarships) under the
school where they were earned. Include other honors as well – just be sure to provide a
description, as some employers may not be familiar with them. Also include relevant
activities. Do not include secondary school information.
Personal. Highlight language skills, community activities, interesting travel, public
speaking, unique hobbies, and military experience.
Bar Memberships. List any states and countries to which you are admitted to practice
law. Also include any bar exams that you are committed to take (i.e., you have paid the fee
and registered).
Admitted to practice law in India (all provinces) and California.
Registered for the July 2010 New York State Bar Exam.
Publications. This information demonstrates your writing ability and many legal
employers will appreciate it. However, you should never list more than one or two papers,
one of which should be your LL.M. thesis, if you are writing one. Only include those that
are (1) legal, (2) relevant to the job to which you are applying or your LL.M. specialization,
and (3) recent.
References. Include references separately (see next section).
Step 3: Review your resume! Make sure it has no errors and conveys exactly what you
want it to convey!
For ideas, please see the sample resumes in Appendix E.
Resume Checklist
After you have completed your resume, use this checklist to ensure that you have included
(and excluded) information so that it can be as effective as possible.
Overall Appearance
____ Is your resume one page?
____ Is your formatting consistent? Have you used proper punctuation?
____ Is your resume on standard U.S. 8 1/2 x 11 size paper (NOT A4)?
____ Have you carefully proofread? Have you double-checked that there are no typos?
____ Is your formatting consistent with one of the sample resumes in Appendix E?
____ Does your resume look good without reading it?
____ Have you used a professional font, such as Times New Roman, Garamond, or Arial?
Is your font no smaller than 11 pts?
____ Have you used different type faces (bold, italics, underline) consistently? Have you
used them sparingly so that important items really stand out?
____ Have you turned off hyperlinks on your email address?
____ Have you avoided symbols and hyperlinks to prevent scanning errors?
____ Have you included your name, current address, e-mail address and phone number?
____ Have you excluded any personal details, including marital status, children, physical
specifications, etc.?
____ Have you removed any “objective” statements?
Key Qualifications
Bar Admissions
____ Have you indicated your bar admissions?
____ Have you indicated an intention to take a bar exam?
____ Is EDUCATION your first section?
____ Have you listed your education in reverse chronological order?
____ Have you included graduation dates (not dates attended) for each degree?
____ Have you been consistent in writing out or abbreviating your degrees?
____ Have you included honors, papers and activities associated with each degree?
____ Have you listed coursework for each degree that is relevant to the position you are
applying for?
____ Have you listed your experience in reverse chronological order?
____ Have you included employer name, employer location, dates of employment, and job
title for each experience?
____ Have you listed your responsibilities using ACTION WORDS?
____ Have you focused on legal experience (e.g., litigation skills, legal research and writing
skills, contract drafting skills, etc.)?
____ Have you identified experience in substantive areas of law that are relevant to the
position you are applying for?
____ Have you deleted experiences before you obtained your first law degree?
____ Have you accounted for all time from the date you obtained your first law degree (i.e.,
there should not be any gaps on your resume)?
____ Have you included any community service, pro bono, or volunteer work that is
relevant to the position you are applying for?
Other Skills
____ Have you included any language skills and your level of proficiency?
____ Have you excluded all computer skills and knowledge of document review software?
____ Is your resume an honest representation of your education, experiences, and skills?
____ Have you totally complied with The George Washington University Law School
Academic Recognition and Grade Representation Policy in Appendix M and the CDO
Policies and Procedures in Appendix N?
Writing Samples
Some employers will request writing samples as part of the application process.
The number one thing you should consider in selecting a writing sample is this: it
should be the best example of your ability to write a clear, accurate legal analysis! If
you can use a piece that is relevant to the job you’re seeking or something you created at a
job or internship, all the better. But focus on the writing first!
Writing samples should be five to ten pages long. If the sample that best demonstrates
your ability is longer, consider saving some space by cutting down the fact section or
selecting only one aspect of the legal argument. If you do modify your writing sample in
this manner, be sure to indicate that in the cover sheet and also provide a contextual
paragraph to help the reader understand the excerpt. Note that some employers will not
read your cover sheet, so be sure that however you edit your writing sample, it still makes
sense to the reader.
Writing samples should be your own work. Do not use work that has been heavily
edited by other people.
If using a writing sample that you created for an employer/internship, be sure to:
seek the employer’s permission before you use it;
redact any confidential or client information.
Don’t send a writing sample unless requested.
Include a cover sheet. For each writing sample, include a cover sheet (with the same
header as your resume and cover letter) that provides the reader context for your writing
sample. For an example, please see Appendix G.
Many employers will also want a list of your references, which are professional or academic
contacts that will speak highly of your skills and capabilities. References can include LL.M.,
law school or other professors, former job supervisors, or other professionals with whom
you have personal relationships or whom you know through participation in volunteer and
other activities.
Line up your references early! Because you need to seek permission from all of your
references before you can list them, you should start thinking about who you want to ask as
soon as possible. When reaching out to potential references, be sure to include a copy of
your resume and a note to remind them of all the wonderful things you did!
More recent and local references are preferable to earlier ones. For example, LL.M.
professors are better references than your law school professors. It may also be easier for a
potential employer to contact references who are in the United States as opposed to those
who are in your home country.
Pick people who know you well and can speak about you personally. It may be
tempting to ask the most senior person at your organization to be a reference, but if they
won’t even recognize your name when an employer calls, then what’s the point? Often, it
is better to use an adjunct professor for whom you did great work and whom you got to
know personally, versus the more well-known professor in your big constitutional law class
who does not know you personally.
Let your references know when you have submitted their names to an employer.
That way they will be “on alert” and ready to say wonderful things about you when the
employer contacts them. It is also helpful to send them a copy of the application you sent
so they can tailor their comments to the specific employer (and hopefully reiterate your
cover letter).
Some employers have a policy against giving references and will only verify dates of
If a past employer has given you a glowing written recommendation, it is fine to
include the letter when sending references, even if not specifically requested.
References should not be included on your resume; nor is it necessary to write
“References provided upon request” on your resume. (Employers know if they request
references, you will provide them!).
For a sample reference list, please see Appendix H.
Interviews are our favorite part of the application process – it’s where you can finally let
your personality shine through and be yourself! Now, when we say “be yourself,” we mean
be your most professional, intelligent, detail-oriented and hardworking self!
There are two kinds of job interviews: screening interviews and call-back interviews.
Screening Interviews. Many employers conduct brief screening interviews to get a better
sense about your skills, experiences and interest in the employer. These usually last 20-30
minutes and may be held near campus, at an employer’s office or over the phone.
Callback Interviews: These are the “main event!” Callback interviews are longer
interviews where candidates usually meet with multiple attorneys and other professionals in
a series of back-to-back interviews. In addition to learning more about your skills,
experiences and interest in the employer, the interviews are designed to assess how well
your personality and demeanor “fit” with the employer. Sometimes these interviews
include lunch or some other type of social interaction. Most call-back interviews take
place at the employer’s office, which gives you a great opportunity to get a better sense of
the employer’s culture and values.
Three Steps to a Successful Interview:
Step 1: Be enthusiastic! Employers report that interviewees who display genuine
enthusiasm for the position are far more persuasive than “flat” interviewees with stronger
credentials or qualifications. The best way to generate this essential enthusiasm is to
prepare for the interview:
Research the organization, interviewer(s) and any recent developments in the practice
area or industry.
Prepare your “pitch” – decide which skills and experiences you are going to highlight in
the interview. Here’s a hint – choose the most relevant and impressive ones and be
Rehearse answers to predictable questions – a good list is available in Appendix I.
Step 2: Be conversational. Interviewers’ number one complaint is that they get stuck
doing all the work! Students have a tendency to sit passively and wait for the interviewer to
ask all the questions. Avoid this trap by being conversational and following up with
questions to the interviewer throughout the interview (not just at the end!). An excellent
list of suggested questions is available in Appendix J.
Step 3: Follow-up! After the interview, write down your immediate impressions about the
interviewers and the employer (the back of the interviewer’s business card is a good spot!).
Using this information, be sure to send a thank-you note within 24 hours of the interview.
Thank-you notes should be hand-written on nice correspondence paper. A sample thankyou note is attached in Appendix K.
Bar Information for Foreign-Trained LL.M. Students
Practicing Law in the United States
In the U.S., lawyers who graduate from law school are not permitted to practice law in any
jurisdiction until they have passed a certification examination, known as a bar exam, in that
jurisdiction. The jurisdictions are defined by the various states and territories of the U.S.
There is no national bar exam, so if you are interested in practicing law in New York, you
need to take the New York bar exam. If you later move to California, you would have to
take and pass the California bar exam. The bar exam is a difficult examination; not every
test taker passes it the first time.
Foreign attorneys can be admitted to practice law in some jurisdictions in the United States.
Most states require a J.D. law degree from an accredited law school in the United States to
sit for the exam. However, some jurisdictions, including New York, California, and the
District of Columbia, do permit foreign law graduates to sit for the bar, but only under
certain circumstances. For the most up-to-date information about bar examination
requirements, eligibility, and test dates, please see the National Conference of Bar
Examiners’ website at:
Taking the Bar Exam
The bar examination consists of two, or in some jurisdictions three, days of testing. One
day consists of multiple choice questions in a format similar to the TOEFL. This part of
the bar exam tests knowledge of general principles of U.S. law, and is known as the MultiState Examination. The other day or days include essay questions and sometimes
additional multiple choice questions that test applicants on various aspects of law that apply
to the particular jurisdiction in which the applicant seeks admission, e.g. the District of
Columbia or New York State. In some jurisdictions, such as California, a third day of
testing requires applicants to answer essay questions regarding certain practice procedures
in that particular jurisdiction.
The examination is held twice a year, once in late July (which is when most U.S. J.D.
graduates take the exam) and once in February. Additionally, most states require an
applicant to pass another, shorter examination known as the Multi-State Professional
Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in order to be admitted to practice in the jurisdiction.
The MPRE is given in November, March and August, and is a two-hour multiple choice
exam. For details, see:
Almost all students (including J.D.s) take an intensive review course in preparation for the
bar exam. This review course is offered by several competing private organizations and
begins several months before the exam is offered. Students usually begin the review
program very shortly after graduating from the LL.M. program.
For foreign attorneys, the review courses taken by U.S. lawyers may not offer adequate
preparation for the bar exam (consider whether an eight-week review can provide the depth
of familiarity with U.S. law that J.D. graduates gain over a three-year training). In general,
students from countries with a common-law heritage tend to fare better on the exam. In
addition, some foreign students are not experienced with the multiple-choice format of the
exam, which leads to additional difficulty. Bar review courses are expensive, sometimes
costing in excess of $2,000; the exam fees themselves run $200 and up.
Five Steps to Being Licensed to Practice Law in the United States
Become eligible to sit for the bar exam;
Apply for the bar exam application and pay any fees;
Study—usually in connection with a Bar Review Course—take and pass the bar exam;
Pass the Character and Fitness Test (sometimes occurs before step 3); and
Get sworn in before the court.
Visa and Work Status Information for Foreign-Trained LL.M.s
International students must address visa issues if they are looking to work in the United
States after graduating from GW Law School. Students on F-1 visas are generally eligible
to participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT) for approximately one year during or
after the completion of their studies. OPT generally may only be satisfied by full-time legal
work since the F-1 visa requires that the OPT be directly related to the student’s field of
Some students may find their visa status makes them ineligible for permanent employment
in the United States. Some U.S. employers will sponsor employees who are currently in the
U.S. on F-1 visas for H-1B visas (specialty occupation), which would enable them to work
for up to six years in the U.S. Students should be aware that this type of sponsorship is
It is imperative that students be well-informed and educated about their individual
visa status, and visa-related issues; employers often are not. Questions about your
visa status and eligibility for employment should be directed to the International Services
Office (ISO), or at (202) 994-4477.
Advice From GW Law School Foreign-Trained LL.M. Alums
In the summer of 2009, the CDO surveyed over 1,200 LL.M. alumni (both U.S.-Trained
and Foreign-Trained) and asked them to provide anonymous advice to current and future
LL.M. students. Here is what they had to say (minor edits have been made to spelling,
punctuation; no content has been altered).
Never give up... even after 100 refusals.
Start thinking about where you would like to be [i.e., job location, practice area, etc.]
very early in the process.
Visit the CDO as soon as you get into the program and work out your resume with
them quickly. Get the book they give you and follow up on it.
Forget the class requirement beyond the basic few classes. Focus on writing papers.
Start the [job] search the day you begin the program.
Make a log for sending out resumes. What, where and when are questions that need
to be answered.
One approach: It is an individual-to-a-job fit. Know your skills. Search for firms that
require people with your skills. Apply there and interview. I sent out my resume to
about 20 firms, got interviews at 6 of them and am working with one of those.
Second Approach: Send out resumes to all firms-big and small-only one needs to
click i.e., you need to convince only one partner of [your] skills.
My friend (foreign LL.M.) sent out his resume to about 200 firms. Got accepted in
one and is working there.
The point is that it is an experiment which has to be performed repeatedly to get to
the right result.
I did not get the job on my first interview; but I got it on the fourth. I still have all
rejection letters with me and each rejection made me modify my resume and cover
Start looking for jobs before you enter the LL.M. program.
The market is really tough right now, so the things that normally go into a successful
job search are even more important, such as the following: tailoring your resume to
the job; doing a little research to draft a good cover letter; and of course networking.
Most importantly, students need to stay positive and persistent.
Immediately, upon admission, start talking with firms. Try and do an internship with
or without credit in the Spring term.
Unless you are well-connected or a known superstar, expect more rejections than
offers by a ratio of 10:1
Do more internships than studying in the library.
Strong GPA. especially for foreigners.
Landing a good government or firm internship is more important than grades and
Start networking as soon as you can, procure informational interviews, and never
hesitate to send out an application.
Search for help outside the CDO office [because] people outside prove to be willing
to help and are open to hearing your concerns.
Start looking for a job as soon as possible.
Search actively for a job and do not accept the first opportunity; wait until you have
multiple offers before accepting.
Start your career with a government internship.
Try internships with the government.
Don't wait around for the CDO to get back to you.
Appendix A: Online Resources
Law-Oriented Job Search Sites
Symplicity: Job listings for GW Law School Students
and Alumni only.
Association of Corporate Counsel. Searchable database of inhouse counsel opportunities.
Chicago Law Bulletin: The web page of the Chicago Law
Bulletin and sister publications with classifieds. Many of the ads are blind, i.e. the employer
is not identified.
Emplawyernet This is an excellent search tool featuring
classified ads from many sources. To subscribe, go to [email protected] or
1(800) 270-2688.
Fastsearch Fastsearch’s Legal Engine is a well-organized search
engine for finding internet legal resources.
Hieros Gamos, the Comprehensive Legal Site A great place to
start because this site contains links to almost all other web pages of interest to lawyers.
Internships USA. http:// Listing of non-traditional
legal internship opportunities.
Law Info: Another good legal site with employment
opportunities for lawyers from all over the world.
Law Journal: This is the web page of the Law Journal publications.
Classified employment ads from each of the papers are found under
Legal Intelligencer The web page of the Legal Intelligencer, the
Philadelphia legal tabloid, with classifieds.
Legal Employ: This site has an extensive list of links to other
legal job resources on the Web.
Legal Times The web site of the Legal Times publications in DC,
NJ, FL, TX, CA, GA and CT.
American Bar Association:
Association of Corporate Counsel: Searchable database of inhouse counsel opportunities
Attorney Jobs: Has jobs
nationwide and abroad, covering legal and law-related job opportunities.
BCG Attorney Search:
Law Guru:
Law Jobs: Jobs are updated daily from a national network of
legal newspapers and weekly by legal recruiters.
National Bar Association: Employment
opportunities with universities, government, private industry, etc.
Union Jobs Clearing House: Lists opportunities in labor
law and alternative dispute resolution.
Vault: Online
Career Library; students and alumni may access it through the Portal.
General Job Search Sites with Attorney Listings
Career Builder: One of the largest and most complete
general career web sites.
Career Path: Classified ads from many of the leading
newspapers in the major U.S. cities, searchable by categories.
Indeed: A large search engine resource for employment listings by
entering profession and geographic area.
Job Hunt: A meta-list of many on-line job search resources and
services, including on-line job listings that may be searched by geography and job
Monster: The famous Monster Board job matching web site.
MonsterTrak: Partners with over 600 college and university
career centers nationwide.
Yahoo: The
job site of the Yahoo Internet search engine.
Capitol Hill
The Brad Traverse Group: A listing of
government related jobs on the hill, campaigns, and in government affairs.
Opportunities in Public Affairs: For login
information please contact the CDO.
Roll Call: This site includes news and events on Capitol Hill as
well as a job search engine.
U.S. House of Representatives Placement Office: This
website has listings of available positions in the House of Representatives.
U.S. Senate Placement Office: The Senate
placement office posts a weekly listing of employment opportunities in the Senate. The
office also compiles a resume bank that offices use to fill vacant positions.
Careers in government - - Free listings on the
"largest online job board" devoted to public-sector employment.
Govt job - - Site for state and local government positions.
My DC Net -- --Nonpartisan site with a healthy list of political, policy and advocacy-oriented jobs.
National Center for State Courts Job Board -
NDAA - - Website of the National District Attorneys Association.
Palidan, government listings - - Government
job sites and links to agencies through - - Sponsored by Eaton County, Michigan,
this website provides links to hundreds of district attorney web sites across the country.
Provides links to other prosecutor offices as well.
State Court Locator -
State Web Locator -
US House of Representatives - - Internships
available with the federal government. Very comprehensive, but includes some non-legal.
Law Firms
ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firms:
Martindale-Hubbell: Database of over one million lawyers
and law firms in more than 160 countries; the "Advanced Search" option allows you to
search for lawyers who are alumni of GW Law School.
NALP Directory: Annual directory of legal employers
containing information on more than 1,700 employers nationwide and on all types of legal
employers; for free access to the mail merge feature, students may log in through the link
on the Portal.
FindLaw Lawyer Directory:
Leadership Directories. Select “Leadership Directories” on the left side of the GW Law
Portal homepage. On-line database of contact information for the leaders of major
government, business, and nonprofit organizations (accessible through the Portal).
Hieros Gamos. Worldwide legal directories of international law firms
and lawyers.
Chambers and Partners. Directories of law firms
organized by world regions.
Vault Anecdotal information about many U.S. law firms (accessible
through the Portal).
Legal Indexes, News, and Blogs
The ABA Journal Blawg 100:
Above the Law:
American Lawyer: The nation's leading monthly
magazine for lawyers covers legal news and has signature issues, including the Am Law 100
every May.
Hieros Gamos: Worldwide legal directories. Resource for national and regional news and
information, including Washington, DC metro area information in the Legal Times.
Legal 500:
l5country_code=us&l5directory=us500&Itemid=592 International Centre for Commercial
Law, the definitive guide to the legal market in over 60 countries.
The Volokh Conspiracy: A collaborative weblog providing analysis
of developments in the US legal system and courts and news and events.
National Bar Associations
American Bar Association:
Young Lawyer Division:
National Conference of Bar Examiners: Links to bar admission
requirements and statistics for all jurisdictions.
Gaylaw: Website for Gay and Lesbian attorneys of Washington,
Findlaw: Legal Associations & Organizations:
FedLaw: Professional Associations and Organizations
ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity:
Practice Areas
ACQ Web’s Directory of Publishers: Information
on legal writing, editing, and publishing.
Virtual Law Library: The "Browse" menu offers
links to topics from Administrative Law to Torts.
Legal Information Institute. Cornell University website
that offers brief summaries of various practice areas.
Public Interest
Equal Justice Works: Supports public interest law
school programming and is the nation's leading provider of postgraduate public service law. Provides updates on civil rights news,
information, and employment opportunities.
Idealist: Directory of nonprofit and volunteering resources on
the Web, with information provided by 20,000 organizations in 150 countries.
National Legal Aid & Defender Association: Includes national
job listings and resource links.
Legal Services Corporation: Includes links to over 138 legal aid
programs nationwide that provide civil legal assistance to the poor.
Oneworld: Dedicated to promoting human rights and sustainable
development by harnessing the democratic potential of the Internet; contains US and
International job listings.
PIRG: Job site for public interest advocates, attorneys, and policy
PSLawNet: For public interest law students and lawyers
offering a comprehensive job search database, funding sources, and information on postgraduate fellowships.
University of Michigan Office of Public Service: JobNet search engine and information
on public interest employment and funding; NOTE: Some of the opportunities listed are
solely for University of Michigan students.
State Court Clerkships
GW Law School Judicial Clerkship Homepage:
ternships/ Includes the Judicial Clerkship Handbook, registration form, and more.
Vermont Law School's Guide to State Judicial Clerkship Procedures: Information on state hiring
procedures; contact the CDO for a password.
State and Local Government on the Net:
Links to most state judicial systems.
Professionalism Resources
Neels & Company: Provides
strategic business consultants; various resources about best practices for professionals.
Career and Professional Development Blog: Includes various law school career services
offices and law professors present articles and tips on career and professional development
VocARE: The blog of the University of
Minnesota Law School Career and Professional Development Center.
Advice for the Lawlorn by Ann Israel, the “Dear Abby” for lawyers (updated every
Monday); and Crossroads by Linda E. Laufer, Director of Career Development at
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (updated every Tuesday) – both available at
Appendix B: Sample Invitations to Network
Dear Ms. Piggy:
I am currently an LL.M. student at The George Washington University Law School. The
emphasis of my studies has been on intellectual property law. I am particularly interested in
pursuing a career in which I can use my legal skills to provide clients with an unparalleled level of
service and insight into the most challenging of IP transactions.
This spring, I will be interning with the U.S. Copyright Office at the Library of Congress. This
position will provide me with an opportunity to research and study a complete spectrum of
copyright issues.
I am writing to ask if I may schedule a half-hour meeting with you to discuss practicing copyright
law in Washington, DC, generally, and your personal practice and career path. I am very
interested in gaining your recommendations for steps I should take to pursue a career like yours. I
will call your office next week to see if this would be possible, and if so, to find a convenient time
to meet. I hope I have the opportunity to meet you soon.
LL.M. Student
The George Washington University Law School
[email protected]
202-222-2222 (home)
202-444-4444 (cell)
Ms. Manners:
This spring, I completed my LL.M. degree at The George Washington University Law School and
I am spending the summer studying for the New York bar exam. I am intent on working in
international law come fall and would like to learn more about Amnesty International.
Mr. Grammar suggested that I contact you to see if you would be willing to meet with me to
discuss any advice or guidance you have regarding my career aspirations. I would welcome the
opportunity to get together for lunch or coffee if you are available. I am available at your earliest
convenience and look forward to hearing from you.
With much appreciation,
Recent LL.M. Grad
The George Washington University Law School
[email protected]
202-222-2222 (home)
202-444-4444 (cell)
Appendix C: Sample Networking Questions
General Questions
How did you get your job at (organization name)?
Were you an intern at (organization name) before being hired for a full-time position?
Where did you begin your legal career?
Did you have particular skills/background in the area in which you are working?
What led you to choose your particular career path?
What do you wish you had known about your field or practice area prior to starting?
How have you advanced within the organization? Does your organization promote from
within? How long did it take you to make partner?
How do you envision your future career path?
What exactly does a (practice area) attorney do? What are the different aspects of the job?
As a judicial clerk, how do you spend your day? Do you get to spend time with the judge,
perform research, or attend court?
What is the philosophy of your organization? Does your organization have employee training
and support?
What does your organization look for when hiring new attorneys and interns? What traits does
a successful applicant possess?
How is the job market for (career field) in (geographic location)? Are there areas of the law in
(geographic location) that are considered “hot” or “up and coming” these days?
What advice do you have for a recent graduate seeking to enter this field?
Are there any professional associations I should join that would put me in contact with other
women attorneys/minority attorneys/career changers/international attorneys?
Do you know of any other people to contact that might be able to assist me with information?
What is the typical salary range for a (position) with a (small/medium/large organization) in
(geographic location)?
Would you review my resume and provide feedback? (Follow up by updating your resume,
incorporating the suggestions and sending him/her a copy).
Interviewing Skills
What qualities and skills are lawyers looking for when considering LL.M. students for positions
at your firm or in other organizations where you have worked?
What do you believe are the hardest interview questions to answer?
What are the most important things I should remember in preparing for an interview?
How did you prepare for your job interviews that were most successful?
Professional Development
What professional associations have you found most valuable?
What kind of professional enrichment activities (i.e. CLEs, conferences, subsequent education)
have you found to be most beneficial?
What publications or newspapers do you read?
Are there particular government agencies with which it would be useful for a future
practitioner in your field to pursue an internship?
Getting the Most Out of Your Time at GW Law School
What are things I could be doing during my LL.M. studies to acquaint myself with your area of
What are some experiences or activities that you pursued as a J.D. or LL.M. student to prepare
for legal practice and/or a particular legal field?
If I’m not exactly sure what type of law I want to practice, , what are some ways you might
suggest I investigate the available options?
What should I be gathering or learning during internships to help me make informed career
How would you recommend finding attorneys who might be interested in mentoring?
If you have been in a mentoring relationship, either as a mentor or mentee, what is the most
important thing you learned and what advice would you pass along?
What are some things you wish you knew about the practice of law before graduation?
What do you find most rewarding and/or challenging about the practice of law?
What do you find least rewarding or challenging?
Quality of Life
Do you have any suggestions on how to balance work and other commitments, both personal
and professional?
Please tell me a little about how you deal with client demands, how much control you
have/had over your schedule, or how predictable your hours are.
Do you feel that hours or time at work depends on practice area, size of employer or being
in the public vs. private sector?
Appendix D: Sample Cover Letters
Susan Jones
123 Center Street, NW ● Washington, DC 12345 ● (202) 123-4567 ● [email protected]
July 16, 2008
Ms. Paris Hilton
New York City Law Department
Legal Recruiting Coordinator
25 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10022
Dear Ms. Hilton:
I am currently studying for a Master of Laws degree in Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
at The George Washington University Law School and I am seeking a career in state or local
government service. I am seeking an entry-level position with the New York City Law Department
and believe that my dedication to the government coupled with my legal skills will be an asset to the
I am particularly interested in a career at the New York City Law Department because of its dual role
as both litigator and legal advisor for the city. Both my academic and professional work experience
make me an ideal candidate. While working for a trial Judge in my home country of Great Britain, I
conducted legal research and wrote memoranda on various issues including criminal procedure,
evidence and sentencing guidelines. I attended all hearings and observed, participated and supported
the Judge during motions and criminal trials. During my Bachelor of Laws education, I studied both
Evidence and Criminal Law. I also participated in the Mock Trial Board Competition, and won third
place for my oral advocacy.
I have a strong desire to pursue a career as a government lawyer and I am dedicated to developing my
skills in this area. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you personally to discuss my
qualifications in greater detail. Thank you for your consideration.
Student Signature
Student Name
Susan Jones
123 Center Street, NW ● Washington, DC 12345 ● (202) 123-4567 ● [email protected]
July 16, 2008
Ms. Brittney Spears
Case, Brief & Memo LLP
Legal Recruiting Coordinator
1 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20006
Dear Ms. Spears:
I am writing to apply for an entry-level attorney position in the International Law practice at Case,
Brief & Memo LLP. I recently completed my Bachelor of Laws degree in India and am currently
studying for my Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law at The George Washington
University Law School. I believe my unique background and understanding of Indian and U.S. law
will make me an asset to your large Indian client base.
Prior to attending the LL.M. program, I gained extensive experience working as an intern for several
employers. While working at an Indian law firm, I had the opportunity to assist lawyers in drafting
documents related to international contracts between Indian and U.S. companies. I also performed
legal research and drafted memoranda on the intersection of Indian and U.S. trade and intellectual
property laws. I also completed an internship for an Indian trial judge during which I attended motions
hearings, trial, and sentencing proceedings.
I am intent on taking the skills and knowledge that I have gained through these experiences and
applying them to the work of Case, Brief & Memo LLP. I have enclosed my resume for your
consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you. If there is any further information you require,
please do not hesitate to contact me.
Student Signature
Student Name
No Relevant Experience
Susan Jones
123 Center Street, NW ● Washington, DC 12345 ● (202) 123-4567 ● [email protected]
July 16, 2008
Ms. Martha Washington
Coordinator, Philippines Participatory Irrigation Development Project
The World Bank
1900 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20006
Dear Ms. Washington:
I am an LL.M. student at The George Washington University Law School and am very interested in
working for The World Bank as part of the Philippines Participatory Irrigation Development Project. I
hope to one day practice international environment law and I believe that working on this project
would be an invaluable step toward that goal.
After completing my LL.B. in the Philippines, I served as the catering manager at the Dusit Thani
Manila luxury hotel. My position required that I oversee a staff of 150 waiters and busboys and liaise
with the management and chefs of the kitchen staff. As manager, I was responsible for interacting
closely with my team and clients. This experience allowed me to develop my leadership and
interpersonal skills. I believe that these experiences have given me skills that are essential for working
on an international project. During my LL.M. studies, I have taken Environmental Law and
Introduction to International Law and received As in both courses. I have also attended a number of
events sponsored by The Washington Foreign Law Society, including a visit with the Filipino
I am eager to make a contribution to The World Bank. I hope to meet with you in person to discuss my
qualifications in greater detail. I can be reached at (202) 123-4567 or [email protected] Thank you for
your consideration.
Student Signature
Student Name
Judicial Internship
Susan Jones
123 Center Street, NW ● Washington, DC 12345 ● (202) 123-4567 ● [email protected]
July 16, 2008
The Honorable Paul Abdul
New York Supreme Court
12 Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Judge Abdul:
I am currently studying for an LL.M. degree in Intellectual Property at The George Washington
University Law School and I am interested in obtaining an internship in your chambers for the spring
of 2010.
I am specifically interested in your chambers because of the opportunity to gain experience in a
courtroom setting and work with legal professionals on a daily basis. After completing my LL.B.
degree in Germany, I worked on transactional matters involving trademark and copyright law as an
intern at a large Munich law firm. During this internship, and others throughout my legal studies, I
honed my legal research and writing skills by preparing memoranda on various intellectual property
issues, a majority of which involved U.S. federal and state law. I also participated in the Mock Trial
Team at my University and won second place for my writing. I am hoping to enhance my hands-on
experience through working as a judicial intern, and I am excited about the prospect of working in your
I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss my qualifications in greater detail. I
have enclosed my resume for your review. If you require any further information, please do not
hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at (202) 123-4567 or [email protected] Thank you for your
consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
Student Signature
Student Name
Appendix E: Sample Resumes
125 House Road, NE
Washington D.C. 20037
Tel: 202-123-4567
[email protected]
The George Washington University Law School
Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International and Comparative Law
• Recipient, Thomas Buergenthal Fellowship (awarded based on academic merit)
Washington, DC
Expected May 2010
National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University of Law
Hyderabad, India
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) with Honors
• G.P.A. 6.54/8.00, second student in class of 41
• Thesis: Not So Sweet: The Problem with the New Sugar Cane Regulations
• Research Assistant to Prof. Nai Kamla, performed legal research on international criminal sentencing
Supreme Court of India
New Delhi, India
Law Clerk to Justice K.G. Balakrishnan
• Drafted sections of opinions for cases at trial level involving death penalty, narcotics, preventative
detention, corporate criminal liability and constitutional issues.
Indian Law Firm & Co.
Mumbai, India
Legal Associate
• Drafted articles of association for start-up business and participated in due diligence for same.
• Argued in three arbitration matters related to securities law violations before the Company Law Board.
Jones & Co.
Mumbai, India
Interning Associate
• Prepared Foreign Currency Loan agreements for corporate clients.
• Drafted opinion on the benefits of conversion of a privately-held corporation into a publicly traded one.
• Performed legal research and drafted memorandum on the establishment of private limited company by a
Non-Resident Indian.
• Crafted a letter to client providing a summary of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
Mumbai, India
Summer Intern
Summer 2004
• Performed legal research and drafted memoranda related to the Indian “Takeover Code” and general
investor protection guidelines.
• Investigated facts related to a potential violation of Securities Exchange Board regulations by investors.
Divya Disha
Hyderabad, India
Summer Intern
Summer 2003
• Conducted studies on “corporal punishment in schools” and awareness programs on children’s rights for
this organization dedicated to protecting children’s rights.
Native Hindi and Punjabi speaker; read and write Urdu at intermediate level.
Admitted to practice law in India.
Francesca Rinaldi
1234 Sauce Road
Pasta, MD 12345
Cell: 240.898.5057
Email: [email protected]
The George Washington University Law School
• LL.M. in International and Comparative Law
• Member, GW International Law Society
• Member, The American Society of International Law (ASIL)
Universita’ degli studi di Napoli Federico II
• Laurea in Giurisprudenza
• President, International Law Society
Washington DC
May 2010
Naples, Italy
Studio Legale Penne
Naples, Italy
o Conducted legal research, document review, client interviews, and drafted memoranda and
claims on issues related to civil matters, including contract, labour and family law.
o Litigation and trial experience in civil matters, including contract, labour and family law.
Studio Legale Ravioli
Naples, Italy
o Conducted legal research, document review, client interviews, and prepared documents for
discovery production in matters of labour and tort law.
o Assisted the European Law Commission of the Naples Bar Association in organizing
conferences and drafting reports related to toxic tort litigation.
ILSA (The Italian Law Students' Association)
Brussels, Belgium
Class A Delegate
Winter 2005
o Represented the association at the Annual Meeting of the Commission for Social Development
in New York, NY.
o Participated in meetings, prepared statements, conducted legal research and wrote reports on
sustainable development and eradication of poverty.
Class B Delegate
Summer 2004
o Represented the association at the Annual Meeting of the United Nations Sub-Commission on
Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.
o Participated in meetings, prepared statements, conducted legal research and wrote reports on
violations of human rights, especially crimes against humanity, war crimes and women’s rights.
Marjeta, Oldrich and Vaclav Law Firm
Brno, Czech Republic
Legal Intern
Summer 2003
o Performed legal research and prepared memoranda on international arbitration issues.
o Attended hearings in civil matters related to breach of contract and tort law.
Native Italian Speaker
Admitted to practice law in Italy.
Full work authorization (permanent resident)
Appendix F: Action Words for Resumes
Appendix G: Sample Writing Sample Cover Sheet
Susan Jones
123 Center Street, NW ● Washington, DC 12345 ● (202) 123-4567 ● [email protected]
The attached writing sample is a legal memorandum that I drafted for my Legal Research and Writing
Class. [Include a brief explanation of context, if necessary].
Appendix H: Sample Reference List
Susan Jones
123 Center Street, NW ● Washington, DC 12345 ● (202) 123-4567 ● [email protected]
Mary Smith
Staff Attorney
U.S. Department of Energy
Energy Information Administration
Washington, DC
(202) 555-5555
Professor John Doe
Constitutional Law
The George Washington University Law School
Washington, DC
(202) 555-5555
John Johnson
Vice President of Operations
The Fir Company
Boston, Massachusetts
(617) 555-5555
Appendix I: Sample Interview Questions
Why did you decide to come to the United States to pursue your LL.M. degree?
Why did you select the particular focus of your LL.M.? What are your interests in this area?
How would you describe your English communication skills? How is your writing?
Have you made a decision about the city where you ultimately wish to work? Why have you
selected this city?
Why did you accept an interview with us? What interests you most about our organization?
What do you know about our firm/agency/company?
How would you describe yourself? Tell me about yourself.
What qualities do you have that will make you a successful lawyer? Why would someone with
your personality traits and background be a good fit for our organization?
What would you consider to be your greatest strengths? Greatest weaknesses? Why should I
hire you?
If I called your most recent employer, what three things would they most likely say about you?
What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Are the most
significant? Why? What did you learn most from a particular experience (on resume)?
What is the greatest obstacle that you have overcome in your life/career? What is the most
difficult decision you have ever had to make?
With what other kinds of employers are you interviewing? Do you have any pending job
offers? If so, where?
Is there anything I should know about you that we have not covered? Is there anything about
yourself you want to add?
When are you available to begin working?
What is your visa status? Are you eligible to work in the United States after graduation? If
not, what would we have to do to help you become eligible?
What do you like to do outside of your studies?
Do you plan to continue doing volunteer work once you finish your LL.M. degree and are
working full-time?
How do you balance school work and your part-time job?
What persuaded you to become a lawyer? Why did you decide to go to your undergraduate
law school and the GW Law School?
What areas of the law particularly interest you?
What is your basic career objective?
Where do you plan to be and what will you be doing five years after graduation? Ten years?
In what kinds of permanent employment are you interested? What are you looking for in an
How much significance do you think we should attach to your GPA? Please explain the
grading system.
Under what conditions do you work most effectively? (Do you prefer to work independently
or with others? How do you respond to guidance and supervision?)
Are you eligible to take a state bar? Which states? Would you be willing to take additional
credits to be eligible for the DC bar?
How might you pursue continuing legal education after you have been admitted to the bar?
How do you think the legal profession is viewed by the public?
How do you feel about a lawyer's right to advertise and to solicit clients?
What have you learned from participation on a publication or clinical program?
Large/Medium Office
What in particular interests you about our firm/organization?
What part of our practice/mission is of special interest to you?
What relevant educational/employment experience do you possess?
Identify the personal qualities you possess that would make you successful with our firm.
How are you prepared to devote yourself to the work of the firm?
What practice specialties interest you? (Are you interested in doing pro bono work?)
What type of work are you unwilling to do? What would you do if assigned work in that area?
What can you tell us about your references?
If we made you an offer, how soon would you be prepared to give us an answer?
What are your salary expectations?
What do you want to gain from working for a law firm?
What are your expectations about the numbers of hours you'll be working at our
Small Office
What ties do you have in this community?
What is your understanding of how a small firm operates?
How committed are you to working with a small firm? How hard are you prepared to work?
How would our firm satisfy your interests? What specific aspect of our work would be
congenial to you?
If we hired you, at what salary do you expect to start?
How much court work do you expect to do? Is that experience essential to you?
Do you consider yourself an easy person with whom to get along? Explain.
In what environments do you work most effectively and efficiently? (Do you feel comfortable
with supervision or do you work best on your own?)
How much responsibility are you prepared to assume right from the start? Explain.
Why are you interested in this government organization? Tell me what you know about us.
Why do you want a career in government?
What is the minimum time you are prepared to stay in the government's employ?
What employment experience(s) qualify you for this job?
What is your career plan?
What are your feelings about government employees generally and the effectiveness of the
In what other government agencies are you interested? In what ways do you prefer this one
over the others?
What training do you have in administrative law?
How much courtroom experience do you have?
Judicial Clerkships
Explain your interest in trying to secure a clerkship.
What are your particular interests in seeking a clerkship with me?
Do you think a one-year term is long enough to make the job worthwhile? Explain.
What are the particular aspects of a clerkship you would value?
How far do you feel you have progressed in developing your writing skills?
How valuable do you consider law review work in preparing you for a judicial clerkship?
Have you looked into, and, if so, what have you discovered about the reputation of the judges
to whom you are applying for a clerkship?
What judges have you particularly admired because of style, substance, or ideology?
How important to you are the political views of the judges?
What do you think of merit selection in the federal and state judiciary? Do you know how it is
supposed to work?
Do you approve efforts to provide machinery to remove federal judges who are guilty of
misbehavior? In your opinion, would it infringe upon the independence of the judiciary?
Do you have an opinion regarding Chief Justice Burger's charge that a large portion of trial
practitioners are incompetent?
How conversant are you with significant current decisions of the United States Supreme
Court? Do you read U.S. Law Week?
Under what obligation is a judge to help a law clerk find another job at the end of the term?
How can we improve the administration of justice?
Legal Services and Public Interest Groups
How committed are you to service for the poor?
What, if any interest do you have in service to the public generally?
What are your practice interests? (Are you interested in: domestic relations cases, rights of
consumers, landlord and tenant problems, claim collections, civil rights, anti-discrimination
actions, rights to municipal services, welfare problems, or housing?)
How much experience have you had in your field of interest?
How much experience have you had with environmental issues?
Would you be prepared to accept employment away from this city?
For how long a period would you be willing to commit yourself to work for this agency?
How important to you is the matter of compensation?
What do you see as the basic rewards for working for Legal Services or Public Interest law
Second Career
After working for a few years, why did you decide to return to school?
Tell me about your background/work experience. What did you gain from it? What does your
experience allow you to bring to our firm/organization?
Of which past experience are you most proud?
Why are you leaving the military/your business? How will you deal with a new boss?
Appendix J: Sample Questions to Ask During an Interview
What type of work does the interviewer do?
How long has the interviewer been with the firm/organization?
What made him/her decide to join the firm/organization?
Describe the firm and the people who work in it.
What distinguishes the organization from others?
Describe the organizational structure. How are policies determined?
Attorney Positions
How does the firm/organization determine what type of work an entry-level attorney is
assigned? How is the work supervised? How are the evaluations of that work communicated
to the new attorney?
How is the entry level attorney trained? Are there formal training programs?
Does the firm/organization require its attorneys to specialize? When and how does the
decision to specialize occur?
How soon does a beginning attorney have direct client contact?
What are the criteria for advancement? To what extent is the development of new clients a
prerequisite to advancement?
In what departments has the firm experienced the greatest growth in the past five (or ten)
years? What are the firm's expectations for future growth? How many new attorneys do they
anticipate hiring?
Internship Positions
What kind of work are interns engaged in? Is there a rotation among departments? How is
the choice of departments determined?
What kind of supervision can an intern expect to receive? Is there an evaluation process?
How is performance communicated to the clerk?
What percentage of the students who worked as interns have become associated with the
“How will I benefit?” questions, including work/billable hours, vacation time, maternity leave
policy, benefits, and pro bono programs. Ask these questions after you receive an offer.
Negative questions, including rumors about the firm, how the firm compares with others, or
what employees dislike about the firm.
Questions you could answer yourself through simple research.
Questions answered during the interview. Pay attention and listen!
Appendix K: Sample Thank-You Note Text
Networking Thank-You Notes:
“Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me yesterday.
I appreciate the information and advice you provided about the market for environmental
attorneys in Houston. I will follow-up with Mr. Smith as you suggested and I have already
called for information about the Women’s Bar Association. Again, thank you for your
“I am writing to thank you for your generous assistance during my recent job search. I met
with Mr. Smith and he knew of several job possibilities. I interviewed with Larry Green at
Blue, Clark & Jones and I was offered a position in their Natural Resources division.
Thank you again for your help. I look forward to seeing you at the next Women’s Bar
Association meeting.”
Following an Interview:
“Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me for a summer internship position
with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I learned so much more about the
ACLU and the challenges to preserve civil liberties. After hearing of your recent oral
argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, I am more convinced
than ever that the ACLU is exactly where I want to work.
I really appreciate your time and look forward to talking with you again soon.”
Appendix L:
NALP Law Firms That Will Consider Hiring Foreign-Trained LL.M.s
Office Locations
Baton Rouge
New Orleans
New York
The Woodlands
New York
San Francisco
New York
New York
Fort Lauderdale
Las Vegas
New York
New York
New York
New York
New York
New York
Des Moines
Menlo Park
New York
New York
Organization Name
Adams and Reese
Adams and Reese
Adams and Reese LLP
Adams and Reese LLP
Adams and Reese LLP
Adams and Reese LLP
Adams and Reese LLP
Adams and Reese LLP
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Andrews Kurth LLP - The Woodlands
Arnold & Porter LLP
Arnold & Porter LLP
Arnold & Porter LLP
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP
Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman LLP
Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman LLP
Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Carmody & Torrance LLP
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, Staff Attorneys' Office
Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP
Cozen O’Connor
Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP
Davis Brown Law Firm
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Davis Polk & Wardwell
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Organization Name
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Duane Morris LLP
Duane Morris LLP
Duane Morris LLP
Elliott Greenleaf & Siedzikowski, P.C.
Eviction Defense Collaborative
Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan
Fenwick & West LLP
Fenwick & West LLP
Fitch Even Tabin & Flannery
Folger Levin & Kahn LLP
Folger Levin & Kahn LLP
Fowler White Boggs P.A.
Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP
Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP
Gardere Wynn Sewell LLP
Gibbs & Bruns L.L.P.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
Hodgson Russ LLP
Hodgson Russ LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, PC
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Hutchinson Black and Cook, LLC
Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish
Kenyon & Kenyon LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Office Locations
Mountain View
New York
Newport Beach
San Francisco
Blue Bell
San Francisco
Mountain View
Los Angeles
San Francisco
New York
New York
New York
New York
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
New York
Palo Alto
San Francisco
New York
Ft. Lauderdale
New York
San Francisco
Las Vegas
New York
Palo Alto
San Francisco
Office Locations
San Francisco
Palo Alto
San Francisco
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
New York
New York
New York
Los Angeles
Menlo Park
Hong Kong
New York
New York
Baton Rouge
New York
Los Angeles
Palo Alto
New York
San Francisco
Los Angeles
New York
San Francisco
New York
New York
Menlo Park
San Francisco
Organization Name
Kupelian Ormond & Magy, P.C.
Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center
Lerner David Littenberg Krumholz & Mentlik, LLP
Levine Bagade Han LLP
Lewis Wagner, LLP
Littler Mendelson
Littler Mendelson
Littler Mendelson
Littler Mendelson
Littler Mendelson
Littler Mendelson
Littler Mendelson
Loeb & Loeb LLP
Mayer Brown LLP
Mayer Brown LLP
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.
Morris James LLP
Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass
New York City Law Department
Nossaman LLP
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
O’Melveny & Myers LLP ASIA
O’Melveny & Myers LLP ASIA
O’Melveny & Myers LLP ASIA
O’Melveny & Myers LLP ASIA
O’Melveny & Myers LLP ASIA
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Phelps Dunbar LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster
Reed Smith
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Richards, Watson & Gershon
Roberts & Holland LLP
Schiff Hardin LLP
Schiff Hardin LLP
Schiff Hardin LLP
Schiff Hardin LLP
Schiff Hardin LLP
Schiff Hardin LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Organization Name
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP (Formerly Leatherwood
Walker Todd & Mann)
Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP
Squire Sanders Gaikokuho Kyodo Jigyo Horitsu Jimusho
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P.
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P.
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.
Stevens & Lee, P.C.
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Texas Civil Rights Project
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson & Knight LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Troutman Sanders LLP
Troutman Sanders LLP
Office Locations
New York
New York
Palo Alto
New York
Kansas City
Palo Alto
Los Angeles
New York
Jefferson City
Kansas City
St. Louis
Overland Park
Los Angeles
El Paso
San Antonio
Fort Worth
New York
New York
Office Locations
New York
New York
New York
New York
Palo Alto
New Haven
Organization Name
Troutman Sanders LLP
Troutman Sanders LLP
Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.
Verrill Dana, LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
White & Case LLP
White & Case LLP
White & Case LLP
Withers Bergman LLP
Appendix M: The George Washington University Law School
Academic Recognition and Grade Representation Policy
Academic Recognition
Please note that LL.M. students are not ranked within the class. Those LL.M. students who would like to
display grade information on resumes may indicate grade averages and/or letter grades as described below.
Grade Representation Policy
1. There is no requirement that grades be included on student resumes. Students who wish to represent
grades on their resumes, however, must do so in one or more of the following two ways. These
formats are the only acceptable means of grade representation on a resume.
By letter grade, for example: “Maintaining a B+ Average”; or
Numerically by G.P.A., for example: “G.P.A.: 3.006" or “G.P.A.: 3.006/4.333.”
For the purposes of stating a letter grade average, the following conversion table should be used:
4.167 or greater
less than 4.167 and greater than or equal to 3.833
Aless than 3.833 and greater than or equal to 3.500
less than 3.500 and greater than or equal to 3.167
less than 3.167 and greater than or equal to 2.833
Bless than 2.833 and greater than or equal to 2.500
less than 2.500 and greater than or equal to 2.167
less than 2.167 and greater than or equal to 1.833
Cless than 1.833 and greater than or equal to 1.500
less than 1.500
2. The Dean’s Office will verify the accuracy of grade representation on the resumes of all students
participating in interviewing programs. Students found to have misrepresented their grades will be
asked to meet with the Dean.
3. If a student chooses to represent his/her actual G.P.A. on the resume, the G.P.A. must be represented
to the third decimal point.
4. G.P.A.s must be stated exactly; rounding off is not permitted under any circumstances.
5. Any student who violates these rules in reporting grades may be guilty of academic dishonesty
and subject to sanctions under The George Washington University Law School Code of
Academic Integrity.
If you would like to discuss how to represent your academic recognition or grades on your resume, please
feel free to speak with a Counselor in the Career Development Office at (202) 994-7340.
Appendix N: CDO Policies and Procedures
The following standards maintained by the Career Development Office apply to students participating in
all GW Law School interviewing programs. Failure to adhere to these policies and guidelines may result in
one or more of the following:
• loss of access to the CDO and its resources
• a letter of reprimand from the Dean; and/or
• sanctions under the Law School’s Policy on Academic Integrity in appropriate cases.
Students subjected to any of the above sanctions may be obliged to report the matter to the appropriate
officials when seeking bar membership.
National Association for Law Placement: Principles and Standards for Law Placement and
Recruitment Activities
The GW Law School actively participates in the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), an
employer/law school membership organization. In support of NALP’s mission of research and education,
the association has developed a strong statement of ethical standards which projects the membership’s
interests as they relate to the legal recruitment and placement process.
The GW Law School fully subscribes to the principles set forth in the organization’s Principles and
Standards, which address candidates seeking employment. The Career Development Office expects all
students to be familiar with and abide by these principles. A complete copy of the NALP Principles and
Standards is provided at the end of this section.
Please be aware that employers who are not members of the NALP organization may not abide by nor
subscribe to these procedures. With few exceptions, those employers conducting campus interviews at the
GW Law School will be NALP members and will implement these procedures. If in doubt, ask at the time
an employment offer is made.
Students will be held responsible for fully understanding and adhering to the provisions as set forth by
NALP’s Principles and Standards do not condone rescinding offers. However, in recognition that
rescission does occasionally occur, NALP provides guidelines for the employers, career offices, and
students for ameliorating the situation.
The Career Development Office has established policies which provide for further implementation of the
NALP Principles and Standards. These additional policies were developed to promote the best interests of
the individual student, the general student body, and GW Law School. Non-compliance with either the
NALP Principles and Standards or the Career Development Office Policies may result in the loss of the
use of Career Development Office services.
Principles for Candidates
Candidates should prepare thoroughly for the employment search process.
Candidates should comply with the placement policies and procedures of law schools whose services they
Before beginning an employment search, candidates should engage in thorough self-assessment. Work
skills, vocational aptitudes and interests, lifestyles and geographic preferences, academic performance,
career expectations, and life experience should be carefully evaluated so that informed choices can be
made. General instruction should be obtained on employment search skills, particularly those relating to
the interview process.
Prior to making employment inquiries, candidates should learn as much as possible about target
employers. Candidates should interview only with employers in which they have a genuine interest.
Throughout the employment search process candidates should represent their qualifications and interests
fully and accurately.
Candidates should be prepared to provide, at employers’ request, copies of all academic transcripts.
Under no circumstances should academic or biographical data be falsified, misrepresented, or distorted
either in writing or orally. Candidates who engage in such contact may be subject to elimination from
consideration for employment by the employer, suspension or other academic discipline by the law school,
and disqualification from admission to practice by bar admission authorities.
Candidates should be prepared to advise prospective employers of the nature and extent of their training
in legal writing. Writing samples submitted as evidence of a candidate’s legal skills should be wholly
original work. Where the writing was done with others, the candidate’s contribution should be clearly
identified. Writing samples from law-related employment must be masked adequately to preserve client
confidentiality and used only with the permission of the supervising attorney.
Throughout the employment search process, students should conduct themselves in a professional
Candidates who participate in the on-campus interview process should adhere to all scheduling
commitments. Cancellations should occur only for good cause and should be promptly communicated to
the Career Development Office and the employer.
Invitations for in-office interviews should be acknowledged promptly and accepted only if the candidate
has a genuine interest in the employer.
Candidates invited to interview at employer offices should request reimbursement only for ordinary and
necessary expenses which are directly related to the interview and incurred in good faith. Failure to
observe this policy, or falsification or misrepresentation of travel expenses, may result in elimination from
consideration for employment or the revocation of offers by employers. Candidates expecting
reimbursement for travel expenses should reach an understanding with the employer prior to the trip.
Expenses for trips during which candidates interview with more than one employer should be prorated in
accordance with those employers’ policies.
First semester first-year students shall not initiate contact with prospective employers before December 1.
Candidates should notify employers and the Career Development Office of their acceptance or rejection
of employment offers by the earliest possible time, and no later than the time established by rule, custom
or agreement.
Candidates should expect and request offers to be confirmed in writing. Candidates should abide by the
standards for student responses set out in Part V (of the principles) and should always respond in writing
to offers as soon as their decision is made, even if that decision is made in advance of the prevailing
deadline date.
In fairness to both employers and peers, students should act in good faith to decline promptly offers for
interviews and employment which are no longer being seriously considered. In order for law schools to
comply with federal and institutional reporting requirements, students should notify the Career
Development Office of acceptance of an employment offer, whether or not the employment was obtained
through the office.
Candidates seeking or preparing to accept fellowships, judicial clerkships, or other limited term
professional employment should appraise prospective employers of their intentions and obtain a clear
understanding of the employer’s offer deferral policies.
Candidates should consider the acceptance of an offer a binding obligation.
Candidates should, upon acceptance of an offer of employment, immediately withdraw from consideration
with all other employers. If, because of unforeseen circumstances, it becomes necessary for a candidate to
request release from or modification of his or her acceptance, both the employer and the Career
Development Office should be notified promptly.
Students who engage in law-related employment should adhere to the same standards of conduct as
In matters arising out of law-related employment, students should be guided by the standards of
professional conduct which are applicable in the employer’s state. When acting on behalf of employers in a
recruitment capacity, students should be guided by the employer principles in Part IV of the principles.
Students should exercise care to provide full and fair information when advising peers about their former
Candidates should promptly report to the CDO any misrepresentation, discrimination or other abuse by
employers in the employment process.
The following policies govern student participation in Career Development Office services and programs.
They are designed to maintain a standard of equality and professionalism.
CDO Appointment Policy
If a student signs up for an appointment with a Career Development Office staff member or registers to
attend a workshop or any other CDO-sponsored event, s/he is expected to give the CDO appropriate
notice if s/he is unable to keep the appointment or attend the event. Failure to give appropriate notice
(especially if repeated) may result in suspension from further use of the Career Development Office.
Interview Appointment Policy
Through CDO-organized interview programs, students are given the opportunity to select employers with
whom they would like to interview. In turn, employers devote a significant amount of time and resources
to reviewing student resumes and arranging interviews. It is expected and required that students will
interview with all employers that select them for interviews. Students who fail to honor their commitments
compromise themselves, fellow classmates and the Law School.
The Career Development Office will excuse students from scheduling and attending an interview under
the following circumstances: 1) the student has accepted a job offer; or 2) there is a conflict of interest
with the interviewer or firm (deemed legitimate by CDO).
Students attempting to cancel an interview must contact the CDO prior to contacting the employer.
Students must notify the Career Development Office, via email or letter, at least three days prior to the
actual interview if one of the above criteria applies to them. It is also recommended that students who
cancel a scheduled interview with an employer write a letter of regret as soon as possible. If a student fails
to contact the CDO at least three days prior to the actual interview, he/she will not be excused from the
interview under any circumstances except for a serious illness.
Under advisement from the Dean, the Career Development Office reserves the right to suspend services
and programs to a student who disregards this policy.
Call-Back Interview Policy
Invitations for in-office interviews should be acknowledged as soon as possible, but no later than one
week from receipt of the invitation and accepted only if the candidate has a genuine interest in the
After a student has accepted an offer of employment, s/he may not accept call-back interviews from
another organization (except in the case of the intent to split summer employment between more than a
single employer).
Employment Offer Response Policy
Students must respond to all offers in writing within the time frames set forth in the National Association
for Law Placement Principles and Standards (Part V).
Offer Acceptance Policy
At no time should a student accept conflicting or mutually exclusive offers of employment. Students
should consider the acceptance of an employment offer a binding obligation. Students who renege on an
offer potentially will lose access to the CDO and its resources and be reported to the Dean’s Office.

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