The legal world has experienced its ups and downs since the recession hit and those currently in law school continue to debate whether or not their decision to attend was worth it. Recent law grads and those who are scheduled to graduate within the coming months, should consider scheduling and attending informational interviews to help in their search for a job.
An informational interview has a much different feel compared to a job interview because for the most part, you should be asking most of the questions. If you are considering going on informational interviews with attorneys, make sure you are well prepared before sitting down and taking up anyone’s time.
The first thing you need to do is find people working in the legal practice area you are interested in by talking with faculty members, friends, classmates and maybe even family members. After you put together your list you can begin contacting via phone, email or mail those who you wish to meet. In your correspondence make sure that you let the contact know that you are not asking about a job or asking for a job. Instead, you want to learn more about the practice and what that specific attorney does on a daily basis.
Once you have been able to schedule a meeting, make sure that you are prepared even though this is not a job interview. Do some research on the attorney and the firm where he or she works. Find out their background by reading their bio on the firm’s website so that you can impress with all that you know. Letting your personality shine through during an information interview could help you in the future if the attorney knows of a job opening in the area or at his or her firm.
During the interview, make sure you discuss some of the following items with the attorney:
- How the attorney made his or her decision to enter into their specific practice.
- How long the attorney has been working in their area of law.
- What the attorney likes most about the practice and what the biggest dislikes are.
- What the attorney does daily in terms of job responsibilities.
- The qualifications needed by law grads who wish to enter the specific legal practice.
If you feel that you have created a good report with the attorney, you might want to even ask if he or she could look over your resume and give it a critique so you can improve upon what you already have. Ask the attorney for any referrals he or she can offer for you to speak with further about scheduling any more informational interviews about the practice or other practices.