May 28, 2009

CBA Record - May 2009

The May 2009 CBA Record arrived in our mail this week -- have you checked out yours? Here's some highlights:
  • A Day at the Courthouse - Women Everywhere - a Volunteer Opportunity for June 12, 2009
  • Upcoming CBA Annual Meeting: Thursday, June 18
  • YLS Annual Meeting: Thursday, June 4
  • Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth My Hero Awards Luncheon: Thursday, July 16
  • Various Substantive & Practice Updates, including: Training & Professional Development in Legal Aid, RICO on the Local Level, Restorative Justice, Death Penalty, Questioning Witnesses, Admissions of Facts Update, and Much More!
Also included is a comprehensive list of the CBA & YLS Committees -- as the page says, "Where Lawyers Meet" -- and you can meet them too!

Networking Your Legal Interests - and Planning Ahead

You're involved with student organizations and now is the time to help pre-plan for next school year while also doing some networking. For example, the American Constitutional Society and Federalist Society both have local lawyer chapters (ACS, FedSoc). Why not attend some of their events this summer so that you can meet more people and develop possible speakers for next school year at the same time? Some committees for the Chicago Bar Association do not meet during the summer months, but you can still reach out to the leadership of those committees for a cup of coffee to learn more about the work of the CBA, their practices, and how you can support their work during the upcoming year. These activities will give you a jumpstart on planning events for next school year as well as continue to build your network.

May 27, 2009

Details - the Lawyer's Lifeline

The American Bar Association routinely analyzes legal malpractice claims data. The Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims: 2004-2007 is the latest, and offers insight that affect your job search and material preparation. Just over 25% of claims arose from "preparation, filing, or transmittal of documents" and slightly more than 17% from "commencement of action/proceeding." Taken together, these two categories come down to nearly 50% of all claims and represent one thing: ATTENTION TO DETAIL. If this is where lawyers are being perceived to mess up and upset their clients (after all, these are just claims), your ability to follow instructions when applying for positions, register for events, and tap into resources, matters to employers. They notice, and in this market, set aside your materials or won't email you back. After all, if you can't handle these details, then why would they trust you to handle the clients' details?

May 26, 2009

LinkedIn Groups Lead to a Clerkship for Law Student

As this blogger points out, jobs aren't being handed out over the LinkedIn groups -- but it is another very useful tool in your networking arsenal. These words are golden for networking: "Show interest, initiative, and a willingness to learn." Behind that initiative, don't forget to find ways to offer value to your networking contacts -- writing an article with them, sending them business, or even just occasionally sending an article of interest that you found while perusing the internet.