Remember that old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know?” While knowing your subject matter is obviously important — especially in professional disciplines like the law — the “Who” factor of getting to know people in the legal profession is extraordinarily important when it comes to finding or launching a career as an attorney.
WMU-Cooley law students at all levels, along with alumni, have an opportunity to get to know working professionals in the law on Thursday, Feb. 9, when the school hosts its third annual Job and Career Fair from 4-6 p.m. in the lobby of the school’s Lansing campus Cooley Center.
Why job AND career fair? Because, explained WMU-Cooley Career and Professional Development Coordinator Karen Poole, employers have a variety of reasons for participating in an employment event. Some are looking to hire entry level attorneys, others are collecting résumés for future jobs, and still others are looking to hire interns, externs, and law clerks.
With that variety of employment options, Poole said there is something for everyone at the event and encouraged students from first-termers to graduating seniors to attend. In addition to the networking possibilities, students gain confidence with helpful real-life interview experience with practicing professionals.
“Planning for your future begins your first term of law school,” Poole noted. “All students should start building their legal résumé right away.”
WMU-Cooley Professor Gary Bauer, who founded Solo By Design, agrees that students benefit from exploring options and creating plans well before they get to their final term. He will be attending to acquaint students with the tools they need before they graduate.
“Solo By Design is a plan of action with coaching that provides tools to help you create an environment which fosters your professional and financial success,” Bauer explained, adding that the tools are useful whether students choose to work for someone else or set up their own practice.
Including Bauer and Solo By Design, the fair will feature 34 employers and organizations, including eight local law firms, two county prosecutors’ offices, five state of Michigan departments, some metro Detroit-area law firms, the FBI, and several non-profit organizations. Employers specifically looking to hire attorneys are Elder Law of Michigan, the FBI, First National Bank of America in East Lansing, Legal Services of South Central Michigan-Lansing, and Shiners and Cooke PC of Saginaw.
Job hunting and networking just doesn’t get any easier than this. Put on your business attire, print 30 copies of your résumé, and show up ready to meet, greet, and listen!
What would YOU like to see in career and job fairs? Let us know!