Blogging Can Make the Difference in a Landing a Law Job
Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.
Jack Whittington posted his tips for law students on getting that dream job out of law school at the Solo Practice University Blog. Jack credited blogging and using Twitter and LinkedIn with helping him nab a rare opportunity at a sports law firm. He submitted his resume to the firm as a result of some networking. When he finally got a call to interview, Jack says “the attorney already knew a great deal about me just from reading my blogs and information I had broadcast through social media.” Read here to get Jack’s in-depth story.
Last year I did a little coaching with NYU law student John Strohmeyer as he searched for a job in a tough market. I encouraged John to network strategically and take advantage of social media. I explained to him that blogging about issues in his preferred practice area would give him a chance to demonstrate his capabilities.
Law students and recent grads may fear that they are too inexperienced to blog with credibility. They have fresh researching skills, however, and usually hear about cutting edge issues in some of their classes. They can turn to their professors for suggestions of timely topics, as well.
I told John not to try to write law review-style articles for his blog. Instead, I encouraged him to write in a more conversational way about subjects he found interesting and had passion for. That passion would show through and would inspire his writing. I encouraged him to even start a blog about non-legal matters, if he had other passions. That’s what would engage readers and build a following. He chose to write one blog about music, and another about estate planning law.
John did land a job in an estate planning firm, and he believes that blogging helped. He went to work for a firm that values writing and encourages him to write articles on topics clients care about. Blogging gave John a forum to showcase his writing and analytical skills. It also demonstrated his interest in the practice area much more convincingly than any assertion in an interview would.
For more thoughts on using social media to land a job, listen to this podcast of Susan Cartier Liebel interviewing Amanda Ellis, founder of Amanda Ellis Legal Search and author of The 6Ps of the BIG 3™ for Job-Seeking JDs. Amanda talks about using social networking sites to build a referral network, to prepare for interviews, and more.