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By Lori AthertonJuly 19, 2013
When rising 2Ls and 3Ls participate in Early Interview Week (EIW) in August, they'll have an opportunity to meet with potential employers representing more than 500 top law firms and government agencies from around the country. Though the experience can be stressful, Robin Kaplan, attorney-counselor in the Office of Career Planning, said it can be less so if students prepare beforehand. She offers the following tips to help students get the most out of EIW.
Do a self-assessment. Students should ask themselves key questions: What kind of law am I interested in? What are my interests and goals? What geographical region do I want to work in? What kind of academic and work experience do I have, and how will that be viewed by potential employers? Knowing yourself and your skills and desires will help determine the employers with whom you may be interested in interviewing.
Research the law firms. Of the law firms participating in EIW, students have an opportunity to "bid" on up to 30 employers, so they are advised to make educated choices based on research. "It's important to know as much about the firms as possible," Kaplan said. Students should be prepared to answer why they want to work for a particular firm and why the firm should hire them. Employer directories, websites, and databases are great sources of information, Kaplan noted, but even better is talking to 2L students and alumni. She suggests contacting them to find out what the culture is like at their particular firms, whether or not the students and alums like working there, and the types of cases they handle.
Utilize the Office of Career Planning. Career Planning staff provide one-on-one counseling, review resumes and cover letters (for employers not attending EIW), and help strategize with students on their bids. Staff can also conduct mock interviews for those unable to take advantage of Career Planning's mock interview program in the field, in which alumni in various cities around the country provide coaching to students. There is also a mock interview session in the Office of Career Planning the week prior to EIW. "Our goal is to get everyone prepared for it," Kaplan said.
Early Interview Week is scheduled for Aug. 15-16 and Aug. 19-20, 2013, at the Ann Arbor Holiday Inn on Plymouth Road near US-23. For more information, visit the Office of Career Planning website.
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