1L/2L/3L Timelines – January to March

Now that a new semester is upon us, it’s time to think about how you can start building a foundation for success in the job search. We’ve mentioned before that it’s important to think of the job search as a marathon, not a sprint. In a world where we’ve become accustomed to instant gratification, it’s hard to become motivated to plan ahead. The Career Center has put together a timeline for each class that outlines our recommendations for what you can focus on now to make the future that much easier:

1Ls – January to March

  • Update your resume once you have received first semester grades and class rank
  • Reach out to your lawyer contacts and schedule some informational interviews
  • Bid for Spring OCI (beginning on Jan. 14)
  • Participate in the KCMBA Mock Interview Program (Week of February 8)
  • Attend the Career Center’s professional development panels and workshops
  • Schedule an appointment to meet with a Career Center advisor to discuss your career goals and questions
  • Review the Job Board on Symplicity for summer employment opportunities
  • Use Spring Break to interview with out-of-state employers

2Ls – January to March

  • Get ready to interview during January for spring interviews, which begin in February through OCI
  • Update other application materials by requesting an updated transcript as soon as your fall grades are reported; perfect writing samples; identify and arrange recommenders. If you have not already done so, make sure you have a copy of your final transcripts for any other higher education institutions that you have attended
  • Continue to apply for summer positions; check the Career Center announcements and Symplicity weekly
  • Participate in Spring OCI, if applicable
  • Talk to professors in the substantive areas you enjoy about your job search and ask about any contacts or advice they may have
  • Follow up with those to whom you have sent applications, prospecting or networking letters, to schedule job or informational interviews during spring break. Reconnect with the connections you made over fall semester and winter break

3Ls – January to March

  • Check the Career Center announcements and favorite on-line job search sites weekly.
  • Federal Clerkships: Monitor the judicial clerkship lists for updated announcements, including of newly-appointed judges (who may need to hire quickly)
  • Participate in Spring OCI, if applicable
  • Talk to professors in the substantive areas you enjoy about your job search and ask about any contacts or advice they may have
  • Follow up with those to whom you have sent applications, prospecting or networking letters, to schedule job or informational interviews for spring break. Reconnect with the connections you made over fall semester and winter break. Utilize the blog and exercises available at coffeelunchcoffee.com and contact the Career Center if you need help getting your contact list started (or restarted)

Bidding Tips, Tricks, & Reminders – Part II

The Career Center has received many questions about the bidding process. To answer those questions, and in anticipation of more, this week’s blog post will provide even more tips, tricks, and reminders.

  • If you attend a networking event or workshop hosted by an employer, put that in your cover letter! It can only help you for the organization or firm to know you took the time to mingle with their employees and to learn more about what they are looking for during the application process
  • If you have a connection with someone who works for, or is connected to, the firm or organization for which you are applying, put that in your cover letter! We know it feels weird to name-drop. They know too. However, who you know is important and can help you get your foot in the door. Firms and organizations don’t want to be embarrassed if they’ve let your materials sit in the pile when your cousin is a managing partner, for example
  • “Bidding” simply refers to submitting your application materials. A “bid” is a collection of application materials (ex. a resume and a writing sample; a resume and an unofficial transcript”). You do not have to bid for every employer during a session; you can pick and choose. Not all employers request the same materials for their bid, so make sure you know what they are looking for before you start putting your materials together
  • The dates in the session titles (ex. Spring 2016 – Week 4: Mar 7-10) refer to when the interviews are taking place. To the right of the box with the session drop-down, there is another box with important dates. The important dates include the bidding/application timeline and the pre-select sign-up
  • Pre-selection means you have been chosen to interview with an organization or firm. Once you have been pre-selected, you will need to sign up for an interview time
  • Bidding is always open for one week: from 12pm (noon) on a Thursday to 12pm (noon) on the following Thursday. The Career Center cannot make exceptions to these deadlines
  • OCI is not the end-all be-all for summer associate or summer internship opportunities. Firms and organizations are also advertising positions through the job board on Symplicity and sometimes aren’t even advertising the opportunities at all

For questions and/or requests for assistance with the OCI process, please contact a member of the Career Center at umkclawcareer@umkc.edu or 816-235-1668.

Bidding Tips, Tricks, & Reminders

Spring 2016 OCI opens this Thursday, January 14! Here are some tips, tricks, and reminders to ensure the bidding process goes smoothly:

  • Request your unofficial transcript from UMKC Law School registrar, Tina Melville for in-person pick-up
    • If you are NOT on campus, you can request electronic delivery of your transcript by emailing Tina at melvillet@umkc.edu. You must acknowledge that your privacy is not guaranteed, given the nature of electronic delivery
      • DO NOT upload a transcript from Pathways!!!
  • Make sure your transcript (if scanned) is clear and easy to read
    • Use Law Library scanners because you need the document to be 200mb
    • http://com/compress-pdf is a great PDF compressor website
  • Add your GPA and class rank to your resume as they become available (put on the left side of your resume if your GPA is above a 3.0; put on the right side of your resume if your GPA is below a 3.0)
    • If you have any questions about this, please contact Meredith, Molly, or Shannon
  • Review each employer’s position description, locations they are interviewing for, additional requests, and hiring criteria
    • Then, ensure that the documents you upload for that employer match their specific requests
  • If you do not meet the stated hiring criteria, do not be afraid to apply anyway!
  • Tailor your cover letter!
    • At the very least, personalize the employer contact information and firm/organization name throughout
    • Be sure to spell recruiter and firm/organization names CORRECTLY
  • Check your uploaded documents to ensure your formatting stayed consistent during the Word to PDF conversation that automatically happens when you upload your documents to Symplicity
  • Review the Career Center’s “Writing Sample – Guidelines” document for advice on what to submit. This document is located in your “Resources” tab on Symplicity
  • Submit your bids a few days before the deadline to ensure a representative from the Career Center can review your bids and alert you to any recommended changes

Spring 2016 OCI Participating Employers

Keep checking Symplicity and Roo Law for updates! Mock bids for OCI Week #1 bidding are due on Wednesday, January 13th. Check out last week’s blog post on resume approval and OCI certification for a step-by-step guide.

Week 1 – Bidding: Jan 14 – Jan 21; Interviews: Feb 15 – Feb 18

  • Lathrop & Gage LLP – 1Ls
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P – 1Ls
  • Gilmore & Bell – 2Ls, 3Ls

Week 2 – Bidding: Jan 21 – Jan 28; Interviews: Feb 22 – Feb 25

  • U.S. Attorney’s Office (USDOJ) – District of Kansas (Wichita, KS) – 1Ls, 2Ls

Week 3 – Bidding: Jan 28 – Feb 4; Interviews: Feb 29 – Mar 3

  • Missouri Attorney General’s Office – 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls

Week 4 – Bidding: Feb 4 – Feb 11; Interviews: Mar 7 – Mar 10

  • 17th Judicial Circuit – Johnson County (Warrensburg, MO) – 1Ls, 2Ls
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Kansas City, KS) – 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls
  • Missouri Commission on Human Rights (Kansas City, MO; Jefferson City, MO; St. Louis, MO) – 1Ls, 2Ls
  • Shook, Hardy, & Bacon (Kansas City, MO) – 1Ls (Diversity Writing Program)
  • City of Kansas City, Missouri (Kansas City, MO) – 1Ls, 2Ls
  • Iowa Insurance Division (Des Moines, IA) – 2Ls, 3Ls

Resume Approval and OCI Certification

Help us help you!  There are many benefits to completing the resume approval process and engaging with the Career Center.  An approved resume allows you to submit your materials to jobs and opportunities that are specifically targeted to UMKC students and graduates.  Additionally, you can submit your resume to various resume books, and we can conduct resume text searches.  These two features allow us to help connect you with employers who are looking for specific experiences or backgrounds.

If you have not already attended an in-person 1L orientation session or watched the orientation video, you must first watch the video (http://mediasite.law.umkc.edu/Mediasite/Play/df56f3c7a2144f8893d2b4ff71f4c7c61d) and email umkclawcareer@umkc.edu to request access to your Symplicity account.  To ensure that your resume is in the best possible shape, simply follow these three easy steps to complete the resume approval process: 

Step 1: Watch the resume workshop video (http://mediasite.law.umkc.edu/Mediasite/Play/843b51bb884945d09c667a2ba40f43531d) and revise your resume based on the workshop guidelines.  If you are a 2L or 3L and attended an in-person workshop in previous years, you do not need to view this workshop.

Step 2: Schedule an appointment with Meredith, Molly, or Shannon via Symplicity (Request a counseling appointment link the in QuickLinks section of your Symplicity homepage).  Please note that the Career Center is closed on Christmas and New Year’s, but is otherwise open over winter break.

Step 3: Revise your resume based on the suggestions from your resume review appointment, and upload your revised resume to your “Documents” tab on Symplicity.

Bidding (the process of submitting your application materials) for Spring 2016 OCI opens on Thursday, January 14th. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to be considered by firms and public interest/government organizations.  Once you have an approved resume on Symplicity, becoming OCI-Certified is a 2-step process:

Step 1: Watch the OCI orientation video (http://mediasite.law.umkc.edu/Mediasite/Play/dba1a00fa9da4b6490b3199e2f3a63421d).  If you are a 2L or 3L and attended an in-person orientation in previous years, you do not need to view this orientation.

Step 2: Submit a mock bid (instructions on how to do so are included in the OCI orientation video) by Wednesday, January 13th to participate in Week #1 of OCI.

OPTIONAL STEPS – watch the cover letter workshop video and make revisions based on our suggestions: http://mediasite.law.umkc.edu/Mediasite/Play/5b9398ec17d3443baba40ff210a4609c1d and review the “Writing Sample – Guidelines” (in your “Resources” tab on Symplicity) for guidance regarding what type of sample to submit and how to make an effective cover page for the sample.

*Make sure to submit your documents to Symplicity as PDFs to ensure your formatting remains the same during the upload process. Any documents required for bidding must be uploaded to Symplicity.