Dear Students and Recent Graduates,
So much has changed in the last ten days. The Covid-19 health concerns and the extraordinary distancing measures that have been taken to contain it have disrupted our businesses, schools, communities, and homes. Jobs have been lost, lives have been turned upside down, and our sense of stability has been shaken. Perhaps the hardest part is the uncertainty around how long this will last.
Many of you have raised important concerns about how your opportunities to gain legal work experience this summer and long-term employment after graduation may be affected by this crisis. There are so many questions and no one knows what the legal employment market will look like in the coming weeks and months.
We are actively contacting law firms, businesses, government entities, and non-profits to identify opportunities for our students and new graduates to do legal work: paid employment, externships and residencies, work study, research assistant positions, and volunteer work. It is early days and many organizations are still finding their bearings. As soon as these opportunities are identified, they will be published on Symplicity.
We are encouraging alumni and employers to consider creative ways for law students and new graduates to work with them (including through remote means) and to seek candidates who are holistically strong with a broad range of skills, competencies, and characteristics that demonstrate substantive expertise, leadership, entrepreneurial mindset, and collegiality.
We are also proactively contacting alumni and employers to seek advice on how our students and new graduates can best prepare themselves in this unique and changing market. We will be sharing those ideas with you through professional development programming in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, here are some things you can do:
- Conduct an informational interview with an attorney or mentor by phone or Zoom. Many attorneys have more time for these conversations right now. Reach out to them, ask questions, tell them about your interests, ask them to identify other professionals you should speak with, let them know you are available to work.
- Work on refining your cover letters, resumes, writing samples and LinkedIn Profiles. Regardless of the decision that is made about this semester’s grades, there will be some impact for each of us. Cover letters, resumes, writing samples, and LinkedIn Profiles will be crucial in explaining how you navigated this challenging time and demonstrating your strengths, skills, and qualifications beyond your academic accomplishments. Visit our website for suggestions.
- Meet with your Career Advisor by phone or Zoom. We are here to support you. We can help connect you with attorneys for networking, refine your application materials to best highlight your accomplishments, and develop a plan for seeking work experience. If you need to be connected to your Career Advisor, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Keep watching Symplicity and other job posting sites. Things are evolving rapidly. As legal organizations decide how to conduct work in this new landscape, opportunities for law students and law graduates will become available.
- Attend an online continuing legal education course to learn more about an area of legal practice that interests you and then invite an attorney working in that area to discuss the topic with you. These courses are generally free to law students and you can find them through the Minnesota State Bar Association, your local bar association, the American Bar Association and others.
- Take care of yourself. These are not ordinary times. We should not attempt to go about our ordinary lives. Eat well. Exercise. Turn off the news. Read a book or watch Netflix. Rest. Connect with people you care about over the phone or Zoom. Be gentle with yourself and others.
We hear you. We see you. We miss you. And we are here to support you.
Please contact Dean Fuith (email@example.com) if you have questions, concerns, or ideas about how we can support you during this challenging time. Stay well.