Neat Networking Resources

Do you dread and/or avoid networking? Do you feel like it is impossible or overwhelming to prepare? Networking doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but it is an essential component to almost every job search (especially in today’s job market). The Career Center has three networking events coming up in September (check out the “Events” section of our newsletter), and a few more during the remainder of the fall. That is why, in this week’s blog post, we are recommending five key articles from The Muse, “your ultimate career finder and guidance destination,” for enhancing your networking skills!

Often networking can feel scary because you don’t feel unique, or that you have anything valuable to share with others. This article explores action steps to help you be more engaging.

Network more strategically with boosted confidence after reviewing these three tips!

Learn the importance of preparing to listen and ask questions.

Let’s face it, law school is expensive. Even though networking is essential to your job search, it doesn’t have to cost you a cent. In addition to the strategies in this article, we recommend taking advantage of the free student Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association membership and free American Bar Association student membership. There are other free, local or regional, association memberships you can explore based on practice area interests. Come chat with a Career Center advisor after Oct. 17th to further discuss this!

Ensure a return on your networking investment by exploring these tips for follow-up!

Post-Graduate Public Interest Opportunities for Rising 3Ls

If you are a 3L interested in pursuing a unique post-graduate position that will give you an edge in your public interest career path, the following opportunities might be right for you.  Anyone interested in applying for any of these opportunities should contact Shannon O’Bryan in the Career Center as soon as possible.      

The Attorney General’s Honors Program

The Attorney General’s Honors Program is the largest and most prestigious federal entry-level attorney hiring program of its kind.  Various components and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices hire entry-level attorneys through the Honors Program, and the number of entry-level attorney positions varies from year to year.  The Honors Program is centrally managed by the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management, but each participating component reviews the applications submitted and makes independent hiring decisions.  Selections are made based on many elements of a candidate’s background including a demonstrated commitment to government service, academic achievement, leadership, law review or moot court experience, legal aid and clinical experience, past employment, and extracurricular activities that relate to the work of Justice and the relevant component.

If you are interested in starting your career as an entry-level attorney with the Department of Justice, you must apply through the Attorney General’s Honors Program via an on-line application.  The application period for employment beginning in 2017 is open now and closes on September 6, 2016.  Interested applicants should review the application tips and checklist and assemble requested information before starting the online application [external link].  If you need an accommodation in order to complete the application, please contact Deana Willis at (202) 514-3397 for assistance.  For technical assistance in submitting your application, please contact the AVUE Help Desk via Live Chat at the top right of the screen within the Avue Platform (available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time).

Equal Justice Works Fellowships

Equal Justice Works (“EJW”) has helped launch the public interest careers of more than a thousand attorneys through its paid postgraduate public interest fellowship programs. These fellowship programs fund hundreds of public interest attorneys each year to close the justice gap on issues such as unemployment, foreclosure, community economic development, immigration, civil rights, homelessness, access to healthcare, and domestic violence.

EJW Fellowships provide the opportunity for lawyers to positively affect vulnerable communities around the country through new and innovative legal projects that can impact lives and serve communities in desperate need of legal assistance.  Together with a host organization, Fellows design a unique project which focuses on legal advocacy on behalf of disenfranchised individuals, groups or issues not adequately represented in our legal system.  The host organization must be willing to be the Fellow’s employer during the term of the two-year fellowship, meet salary requirements, and provide supervision, a work space, employee health and fringe benefits, and the materials (computer, internet access, phone, etc.) necessary to successfully complete the project.  EJW reviews the applications and selects projects that can be matched with potential sponsors.  Sponsors determine whom they would like to interview and ultimately choose the Fellow.

Depending on funding, EJW typically provides between 45-55 two-year fellowships annually supported by the sponsorships of major law firms and Fortune 500 companies. Fellows receive a competitive salary, generous loan repayment assistance, connections to their prominent sponsors, participation in trainings, and additional support during their two-year tenure.  Click here to learn more about current Fellows and their projects!

The application is available now on the EJW website and must be submitted online by 4 p.m. CST on September 16, 2016.  Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to review the application guide, create a profile, and draft an application well in advance of the September deadline to get a sense for how the online application form works.  Online drafts can be saved and updated on an ongoing basis until the deadline.  You should also watch the EJW’s free webinar titled “How to Create a Successful Application for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship.”

Becoming an EJW Fellow is highly competitive, and decisions are made on a rolling basis, so it is best to submit applications as soon as possible.  Note that bar passage is not required at the time the application is due; however, bar passage within the first fellowship year is required if determined necessary by the host organization and by the nature of the project.

Presidential Management Fellows

The Presidential Management Fellows Program (“PMF”) is a flagship leadership development program administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management designed to attract outstanding candidates to Federal service.  PMF is a rigorous two-year paid program which includes 160 hours of interactive training each year, a mandatory 4-6 month developmental assignment, optional rotations of 1-6 months, challenging work assignments, potential for accelerated promotions, and opportunities to network with other future leaders.  More than 80 Federal agencies hire Fellows and provide exposure to domestic and international issues.  During a panel regarding post-graduate job opportunities within the Federal government, PMFs were described as “total rock stars” and that they “seem to be on a golden path”.

The application is an arduous, multi-phase process that takes patience and endurance, but it also gives you a chance to demonstrate your leadership ability and potential.  The first step in successfully becoming a PMF is paying attention to the details of the annual application and assessment process.  For detailed eligibility requirements, check out the Eligibility webpage.  Once the application period opens, it will appear on USAJOBSThe application is typically open for two weeks in the fall (September or October) and closes at 11:59 PM (Eastern Standard Time) on the last day. Review the Application Process to learn about all the steps to apply.  The application takes 2-3 hours to complete, so do not wait until the last minute!

Funding Available for Public Interest Summer Internships

Are you looking for funding to help support an unpaid internship this summer?  If so, the Equal Justice Works (“EJW”) AmeriCorps JD Program might be right for you.  This is a funding source that is going underutilized, and the priority deadline to apply is next Friday, April 15!

The EJW AmeriCorps JD Program provides law students with the opportunity to provide much needed legal assistance in low-income and underserved communities all over the country.  Supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps JD program provides all types of civil legal assistance. Members mainly focus their service on Equal Justice Works’ priority areas, which include removing barriers to employment and housing, serving the legal needs of veterans, and providing disaster relief.

To be eligible to participate, you must secure your own placement at a nonprofit organization or government agency, then fill out a brief application, perform at least 300 service hours at that organization or agency, and submit a short report on your activities.  In return, you will receive an education award of $1,222 that can be applied to your tuition or student loans.  It is important to note that internships for which you will receive class credit or NOT eligible, but you may receive outside funding up to $4,300 and still be eligible for the education award.

Qualifying organizations include those that host Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellows or privately-funded Equal Justice Works Fellows (click here for a list of current Fellows and host organizations), those that are funded by the Legal Services Corporation, State Offices of Veterans Affairs, and Veterans Treatment Courts.  For an example of an AmeriCorps JD Member in action, please review one of the AmeriCorps JD Success Stories.

Interested students can fill out the brief application here.  If you need helping finding an internship, you can go here.  For more information about serving as an AmeriCorps JD Member, including education award benefits, please visit I want to apply to Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps JD.  If you have questions about AmeriCorps JD, please send an email to or contact Shannon O’Bryan ( in the Career Center.

Bloomberg Career Resources

By now, many of you have temporarily exhausted the resources we have available on Symplicity. While you might not initially think of Bloomberg Law as your go-to for career advice, they have a ton of resources to assist you in finding a potential employer, acing your interview, and excelling on the job. As a law student, this is a great (free!) resource to utilize. Even as a new graduate, you have free access for six months after graduation.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the tips:




If you remember your Bloomberg Law login information, you can access the Career Services page at

If you don’t remember your Bloomberg Law login information, you can still log in using the above link. Contact the 24/7 help desk at +1-888-560-2529 for password retrieval assistance.

If you have never logged in to Bloomberg Law, you can go to to register.

If you require additional assistance, please contact Larry Maclachlan in the Law Library at Take some time to explore these resources and let us know what you find helpful!

Handling an Offer

Last week we talked about handling rejection…this week we’ll discuss how to handle an offer! Brad adapted tips and tricks from our favorite book, Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, for your review.

So, you have received an offer – Huzzah! Now the question becomes: what now?  Well, first of all, this is a great problem to have, so congratulations.  You deserve to be excited; however, the work is not yet over.  Just like you put time into researching employers, preparing your application, materials, interviewing, etc…it is also important to take the time before accepting or rejecting an offer to do it right.  Here are a few tips on how to proceed after you have received an offer.

1) NEVER ACCEPT IMMEDIATELY OVER THE PHONE! Almost all employers expect you to take some time to make a considered decision.  Even if you think this is your dream job, take a step back, breathe, and reflect on the offer.

2) Don’t wait too long. If this is your dream job/internship and you are clear on all aspects of the offer (expectations, hours, pay), do not keep the employer waiting longer than necessary. Go ahead and respond and accept ASAP and rejoice.

3) What if you still have questions? Now is the time to get them answered.  Depending on whether this is a post-grad job offer or a summer position, you may have questions regarding:

  1. Beginning/End Date;
  2. Pay;
  3. Benefits;
  4. Billable hours requirements;
  5. Expectations regarding work hours;

The list goes on and on.  If you have remaining questions, you need to ask and get the information.  It is best to meet in person (lunch or coffee?) but over the phone is acceptable as well. At your meeting, express your enthusiasm for the job and ask the questions you have.  Be delicate about it and avoid sounding confrontational.  If your employer is large, you may be able to get your questions answered by junior attorneys or a recruiter. The point is that you must get your questions answered before accepting; the last thing anyone wants is for you to be blindsided and unhappy.

4) I want it in writing, baby. When you accept the offer, make sure you get it in writing. Do not be adversarial about it, but it is fair to ask when you accept whether you can have something in writing.  Or, when you accept, you can write down the terms yourself and send it as part of a note confirming your verbal acceptance.  This is just to make sure that everyone is on the same page and there is something solid on paper should issues arise down the road.

5) Second-best offer? What should you do if you receive an offer from an employer who is not your first choice? This is a tricky situation and the way to address it depends on number of factors.  This is the most common scenario: you receive an offer from an employer who is not your top choice and you are waiting to hear back from another employer who would be your top choice…what do you do?

  1. First, come talk to a Career Center representative!We are here to help you through these tricky situations.
  1. Second, the waiting game.Generally, I would advise that you thank the Offering Employer (over the phone), express how appreciative and excited that you are for the offer and ask when they would like a response. Can they give you the week – or the weekend? There is no bright line rule regarding how long firms will give you to respond to the offer (unless the employer is a NALP employer – generally the larger firms who participate in Week 1 of OCI – go here for a list of NALP employers and here for a list regarding the rules they have agreed to abide by).  Once you have established how long you have to respond, call your Top Employer and let them know you have an offer and a looming deadline.  This gives them the chance to speed up their decision if they wish to do so.  What do you do next if you can’t get an answer from Top Employer in time?  It is all up to you –are you willing to take the risk or will you settle?  Again, come talk to the Career Center.  We are here to help.

6) You’ve got a ring on it. Once you have accepted an offer, don’t shop around!  You do not want to put yourself in a position where you renege on an offer.  It reflects poorly on you and can come back to hurt you later in your career.  Once you have accepted an offer, relax, stop shopping, and do the best work you can for that employer.

7) Be gracious…always. Whether you are accepting or rejected an offer, always be gracious and express your gratitude for their consideration.  First, it is just good manners.  They have spent time and effort finding you, so the least you can do is thank them.  Second, you always want to keep doors open.  You never know where your career may lead, so always try to keep relationships alive and strong.

This post is adapted from Guerilla Tactics For Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams by Kimm Alayne Walton. This book is an EXCELLENT resource for all stages of the law career search. If you liked this post and are interested in the book, email to discuss.