Staying Motivated while Looking for Work Experience in a Bad Job Market
At a time when so many law students are struggling to find any kind of legal experience, it is hard not to become disheartened… or to fall into a pit of despair and yell, “no one is ever going to want me!”
Even if you obtained one of the rare work experience positions on offer, knowing that some of your very talented friends and classmates missed out really does make it taste a little sour. With so many students with so many amazing skills, hobbies and interests, I honestly don’t know how firms choose, and it really is a shame that the current employment market means that many of these students are not obtaining positions.
If you are one of the students that didn’t get a clerkship or graduate job, don’t give up. If you know where you want to work or what area of law you want to practice in, you’ve already won half the battle.
It’s hard, but don’t take the rejections personally. Ask for feedback, improve your resume, cover letters and interview skills and get ready to jump on that horse ASAP. When firms say they have been inundated with brilliant applications they aren’t just saying this; it’s true. So many law students are doing an enormous amount of activities and put so much hard work into applications. When I was applying for clerkships, I had a conversation with a partner who said, “I wouldn’t get a job if I applied now! You all do so much!”
If you missed out on a clerkship, internship or graduate job, and are struggling to find any kind of law-related work experience, look outside the box. The skills and experience that you can gain from working or interning at government departments, banks, NGOs, and corporations, even if it’s not in a legal capacity, can often be applied to lawyer or paralegal roles. Once you open your mind you will be surprised at how many internship blogs, Facebook groups and websites are advertising such positions!
Missing out on a job is never easy, but rejection can have the positives of putting life into perspective and leaving us free to pursue other opportunities that we’d never even considered before. Just remember that you are an amazing student, full of energy, intellect and talent. Don’t give up!
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