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Student Career Toolkit

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.


Career Exploration


Practice Area Resources

  • Top 25 Practice Areas and Sample Practice Settings
  • Vault CareerInsider Online Library: Provides in-depth eBook employer guides as well as career field guides.
  • Chambers Associate: See summaries of more than 20 major practice areas.
  •  International legal web site with an extensive list of legal specialties and sub-specialties with numerous links to related resources.
  • FindLaw Professional Development Center: Includes links for many practice areas, with articles about current developments.
  • In the OCP Library, we have:
    • The Official Guide to Legal Specialties:  An Insider's Guide to Every Major Practice Area, (Lisa L. Abrams, 2000), published by NALP.  Based on interviews with lawyers in thirty practice areas (most, but not all, in the private sector) who enjoy their work.  It contains attorney profiles and other information, including a great deal of data about career tracks. 

Self Assessment Tools for 1Ls

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.

  • If you are interested in taking the Right Profile assessment, click here to begin the test.

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


  • Guide to Networking for Law Students
  • Private Sector Employment Evaluations:  To search/review the evaluations in Symplicity, hover over the "Profile" tab on your Symplicity home screen.  This will activate a drop down menu, from which you should select "Evaluations."  Next, select the "Search" option.  This will allow you to search by employer, geographic area, or employment sector.  If you leave the search criteria blank, this will return all of the evaluations in the database. 

    Please help us grow this resource by contributing your feedback. To add feedback on Symplicity, click on Profile > Evaluations > My Surveys > Add New.

Networking Resources