Every year law students from across the country register for our Minnesota Minority Recruitment Conference. And every year we have over 20 legal employers who are interested, and I mean truly interested, in hiring Diverse Law Students from across the country. Then the bidding process begins; each student has the option to bid on employers they are interested in or think they are interested in and this is where law students often limit themselves!!
“Big” Law is not your only option. There are small and medium sized legal employers who may not come up on your radar screen but they want you too! Here some things to keep in mind while bidding on Employers for the MMRC:
1) There are benefits to clerking…period –so pick one or two large law firms but do not rule out the others there are huge benefits to clerking over the summer with any employer!
2) Be realistic about your chances – If you see an employers that wants you to be in the top 10% of your class and you do not meet those standards, do not opt out, opt in with the an employers that will value you where you are at!
3) Do your research. If you want to be a litigator then focus on employers where they specialize in litigation or look for a law firm that has a sizable litigation practice. Do not go into a litigation firm interview and tell them you want to do transactional work! And vice versa, if they do not seem to focus on litigation but transactional please focus on those firms where that is strong.
4) What is transactional work??? Transactional work means you work with two entities that are negotiating an agreement and need lawyers to sort it all out for them and ensure that the agreement(s) are in their best interest. You work on things like Merger & Acquisitions or Healthcare Law or Intellectual Property.
5) Remember that at this point you may think you love one area of law but be open to some of the areas of practice you really have no idea about. Don’t close the door before you have even stepped through the entry way.
While all of these things seem self-evident every year we get employers who rarely get a look because everyone is focused on only the largest employers. If you want to be here, in Minneapolis or St. Paul then you need to be open to all opportunities because you never know what just might surprise you.