4 Things You Can Do, Job-Wise, While Awaiting Bar Results
Limbo: the miserable time period between when you take the bar exam, and when the results are finally released.
Will you pass? Will you fail? Will it even matter if there aren't any jobs to apply for? Now that you've taken the exam, and drank Brass Monkeys to
suppress the pain unwind after a stressful summer, guess what? The fun is just beginning.
As a delusional bar taker, I was convinced that, if I passed the exam, that jobs would come. After all, I went to a good school, I'm not a sociopath, and the state's low bar passage rate would decrease the supply in the already depressed market. Things worked out (eventually), and they will for you too, but there are a few things, over the next month (or three, for Californians), that you can do while waiting:
1. Update the Resume (Duh).
This should go without saying, but your resume needs to be up to date, and faux pas-free, at all times, even if you find a "job." A job is not a career, and should an opportunity arise to move laterally to another firm or industry, you'll want to have your resume ready to send immediately.
2. Update LinkedIn.
It's your online resume, and professional social network. As a student, I didn't see the purpose of LinkedIn, other than as a place to list my lack of work experience. To be honest, it still serves only a limited purpose for me (when I get occasional messages from readers), but the site's jobs database has come a long way in just the last few years.
Update your profile. Find a proper headshot. And check their jobs database, just in case.
3. Get Fit.
Sorry, but it's true: looks matter, even in the professional world. We're not saying to do anything drastic, like get plastic surgery or go on a crash diet, but as long as you have the time (once you start working, you probably won't), why not try to get in shape?
Dropping the "law school 50" (maybe that was just me) is good for your health, your social life, and might even make a difference in the courtroom -- if not for you, then for your client.
4. Start Networking.
True story: At a firm where I once worked (unpaid), they listed additional unpaid positions on Craigslist. (We called this "intern farming." It's an effective, yet ethically questionable tactic.) Within 24 hours, there were dozens of applicants -- for an unpaid gig.
What does that mean for you? Every job ad is going to receive dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants. Your best bet for a paid position is to network as much as possible. Local bar associations, young lawyer groups, or alumni mixers -- it doesn't matter. If there are lawyers there, go forth and mingle effectively. Just don't act too desperate.
Any other ideas? We're listening on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bad Cover Letters - Lazy Eyes and Laborious Prose (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Avoiding Crappy Law Jobs: Three Tips (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Fake It 'Til You Make It: Networking for Introverts (FindLaw's Strategist)
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