Career Services Departments often get a bad rap. I’ve had conversations with many law students and graduates from various law schools around the country and their sentiments are generally the same. Law students and alumni often complain that Career Services either don’t do anything or didn’t get them a job.
Here’s the thing, the role of Career Services is not to get you a job.
Their role is to help you navigate through your job search and help you put your best foot forward. Therefore, you need take advantage of the resources they provide such as resume writing or conducting mock interviews. They want to make sure that you have all the tools you need to be successful in getting a job.
It’s impossible for Career Services to know every student or alum, that’s why it’s important for you to be proactive. You need to make yourself known to them. Make sure they know your name and can vouch for your work ethic. Although their job isn’t to necessarily find you a job, a lot of times employers will call Career Services asking if they can recommend candidates for their open positions. Those that are visible and utilize the resources of the department are the ones that are top of mind when those opportunities arise.
I’ve been on both sides of this, both as a law student and as a recruiter looking to hire. In law school during OCI, a particular firm came to do interviews, but didn’t see anyone they wanted to hire, so they reached back out to Career Services asking if there were any other candidates they could recommend for the position. Since I was constantly in the Career Services office getting advice and had a generally good rapport with them, they thought of me and reached out to me to gauge my interest. Long story short, I ended up getting the summer associate position with the firm which led to me having a job lined up when I graduated.
As a recruiter, I work with law firms that want graduates from certain law schools, so I often reach out to Career Services departments for recommendations on alum that would be a good fit. Those candidates that have a great relationship with Career Services are the ones that get sent my way. So it literally pays to utilize Career Services to your advantage.