This toolkit contains a collection of information regarding legal careers, best practices for job hunting and application preparation, and links to job postings and other helpful websites to assist you with your career planning.
Practice Area Resources
In addition to reviewing practice group guides and networking with practitioners, self-assessment tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) may provide some insights into your work styles, communication preferences, and career interests. In recent years, various companies have created self-assessment tools tailored for law students and attorneys. These tools can provide recommendations regarding practice groups you might want to explore, insights into your own strengths and weaknesses, and suggestions for communication styles.
We are currently piloting a legal self-assessment tool provided by The Right Profile. Various law firms, including several that interview during Early Interview Week, are already using or exploring this tool. After completing a 40 minute assessment (which needs to be taken in a single sitting), you will receive an in-depth, multi-page assessment report detailing key traits of attorney success and happiness, and how your traits compare with those 3000+ attorneys that have taken the same assessment nationwide. The assessment report includes sections on cognitive traits, MBTI indicators, practice area fit analysis, communication assessments, and bluntly worded coaching tips. OCP counselors will also be able to access your results.
As with any assessment tool, you should keep the results in perspective. This provides just another data point for you to consider in your career exploration process, but is not dispositive. Because it is a comparative assessment tool (i.e., it compares your results to a known set), it is inherently limited by its database, and some students may find some sections of the assessment more accurate than others.
Some additional considerations we have identified that you should keep in mind:
First, the tool does not purport to predict aptitude; only what practice areas you may find satisfying or interesting given your traits. Second, the traits measured are not immutable. If you were to take this test each year of law school, the results could vary somewhat. Third, the tool requires you to select a gender and compares your responses to attorneys in the database who select that same gender (i.e., simply toggling gender can change results). Finally, with respect to the "practice area fit analysis," the array of practice groups identified in the assessment reports does not seem to be as robust with respect to public interest practice groups, as compared to those generally considered private sector practices. For example, the tool distinguishes between banking & finance, mergers & acquisitions, and corporate, but does not distinguish between public defenders and prosecutors, instead simply using the category of criminal law.
Overall, we think the tool will be useful, particularly for first-year students to identify practice areas they might want to consider learning more about and to inform them about new practice areas they may have not considered. We do not recommend that you rely on these results for course mapping purposes.
Job Search Checklists
Job Postings and Employer Research
Michigan Law Job Postings and Employer Directories
External Job Posting Sites and Employer Directories
These are some of our favorite resources for finding employers and job postings, but visit our Government, Judicial Clerkship, Law Firms & OCI, and Public Interest pages for more!
Preparing Your Application Materials
Preparing For Interviews
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