Where to Start
Many students begin law school without the slightest idea what type of law they want to practice when they graduate. This is normal and isn’t in any way a barrier to effective career planning – provided that you are willing to put time and energy into researching legal practice areas and settings, and thinking carefully about what type of legal career will be a good fit for your personality type, life goals and practical needs.
To help with this understandably daunting process, we’ve gathered some key resources to help walk you through four essential steps in career planning for law students:
- Self Assessment
Begin with a thorough self-assessment that will help you identify your personal strengths, values and goals to keep in mind as you learn about career options.
- Information Gathering
Gather information about the vast array of legal practice areas and settings, to identify potential matches for your talents and interests.
- Developing a Career Plan
Break your career planning up into achievable steps both during and after law school to help you reach your career goals.
- Job Searching
Many students want to begin with job searching, but it is really the last step in the process - move on to job searching only after making a thorough self-assessment, gathering information about employers, and creating a career plan as a place to start. Once you've done all that, your job search will include networking, sending out resumes and cover letters and responding to job postings.
To assist with this career planning process, each first year student is assigned to one of the counselors in the Career Services Office. To make an appointment with your assigned counselor just call the front desk at (312) 915-7160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Counselor assignments are as follows:
- Maureen Kieffer: All students enrolled in a Child Law or Public Interest Legal Writing section
- Hollis Hanover: Students with last names beginning with A-G
- Sheila Simhan: Students with last names beginning with H-O
- Marianne Deagle: Students with last names beginning with P-Z
According to NALP Principles and Standards Part V, section D, we can’t assist first year students with job searches until October 15, and first year students can’t approach potential employers until December 1.