The end goal of law school is a satisfying legal career, which – unfortunately – not every lawyer finds right off the bat. To give yourself the best shot at legal career bliss, it’s important to focus on what’s going to make you happy and go after that. And you’ll need to develop some skills for handling setbacks along the way!
Read on for thoughts on finding happiness in your legal career, ways to build emotional intelligence, handle feedback, and act like a professional, and specific tips for dealing with office politics around gender and generational differences.
Best of luck!
Finding Happiness in a Legal Career
- Where To Get Your Start: Join a Growing Pond Where You'll Become the Biggest Fish There are lots of law firm jobs, and many students may be looking for the most "prestigious," but we're looking at why this isn't always the best option.
- Lawyers Can't Follow Their Bliss, Can They? It turns out, following your bliss is more pragmatic than it seems, and lawyers don't have to be excluded.
- What Does Your Personality Test Really Say About Your Career? Personality tests can be helpful when trying to figure out what you want to do with your life, but make sure you're honest with yourself when you take them in order to get accurate results.
- Podcast Episode 1: Mindset - The Key to Success in Law School? Everyone is going to encounter challenges in law school, and in life – what matters is how you react to the road bumps. Do you have a fixed mindset or do you see challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow? Hear our thoughts on mindset in this episode.
- Podcast Episode 5: Maintaining Authenticity in the Legal Profession Today, we’re talking about a very important topic – how to stay true to yourself and live with integrity as a law student and as a lawyer.
- Podcast Episode 10: Why are Lawyers so Unhappy? Today we are trying to answer an important question: Are lawyers actually more unhappy than other professionals, or do they just like to complain a lot?
- Podcast Episode 70: How to Decide What Type of Law to Practice Today, we’re talking about how to figure out what type of law to practice. There are more options than most people realize, so listen if you want some suggestions for finding something that uses your unique skills, interests, and background to set yourself apart from the pack.
- Podcast Episode 82: The Happy Lawyer Project (with Okeoma Moronu) Today we’re talking with Okeoma Moronu, a BigLaw mid-level associate and creator of The Happy Lawyer Project. Are you a law student wondering if you can be happy as a lawyer? Are you a lawyer looking for happiness? It’s really not impossible. Tune in for fresh ideas!
- Podcast Episode 150: A Conversation with Visla Rudiger, A Transgender Attorney Today, we’re talking with Visla Rudiger, a transgender attorney, about her experiences in the legal profession — at work, in court, and more.
- Podcast Episode 197: Career Advice From Lawyer & Author Rachel Gezerseh We’re talking with Rachel Gezerseh about how to find a legal job you’ll actually like, and how to break into BigLaw if that’s what you’re looking for.
Building Emotional Intelligence
- How to Actually Network If you need a quick cheat sheet or place to start when learning to network, we have found these specific action steps to be fruitful.
- 5 Qualities of Successful Law Students Students from all sorts of backgrounds with all sorts of different skills can excel in law school and go on to be brilliant lawyers. But despite the variety of experiences and the array of abilities students bring to law school, many of the best law students share a similar set of qualities. If you’re a future or current law student, you should consider if these qualities describe you. If you recognized these traits in yourself, great! You should foster them throughout law school and your legal career. If you don’t recognize these qualities in yourself, don’t worry! You can definitely acquire these traits with a little hard work.
- Video Quick Tip: Finding Mentors and Sponsors In this Video Quick Tip, Alison explains the difference between Mentors and Sponsors and explains how each can help you throughout law school. Remember, finding support will take some effort on your part as well!
- Professional Metallurgy: Converting Informational Interview Into Gold There is nothing worse than cold-calling an attorney and asking for an informational interview. It is one of the most difficult things a law student can do, but with a little strategic thinking, persistence, and tenacity it is possible to leverage that 15-minute coffee into so much more.
- Feeling Indifferent Towards Law School? See How Law School Actually Prepares You For Practicing Law When you’re trying to survive the day to day grind of law school it can be easy to lose sight of the purpose behind pursuing a law degree: to be a lawyer! The disparity between what you anticipate doing as a lawyer and what you’re required to do in law school can sometimes make all the effort you put into studying feel pointless and irrelevant to your future career.
- How to Network at a Winter Reception Networking events can be scary and intimidating, but don’t fear! We're looking at how to navigate them this winter.
- What Law School Did and Didn't Teach Me: A Personal Injury Lawyer Reflects on the Law School Experience An experienced lawyer reflects on what he learned - and wished he had learned - in law school.
- Introverted Litigators: How to Go from Good to Great Introverted lawyers face particular challenges, but these tips will help you go from good to great at your job.
- Why Adding Budgeting Skills to Your Toolbox is Important A legal education is a big investment. Not only will it take up precious time and energy, but it costs a lot of money. That is why it’s crucial — as a law student — to be mindful of your budget and financially responsible. Here are some tips on how to stay in budget.
- Using Course Electives to Enhance Your Future Legal Career Are you unsure about which courses to choose during your second and third years of law school? Here are some suggestions for choosing your electives based on the type of law that you want to practice.
- Why You Should Maintain Your Law School Connections Here are three reasons why maintaining those law school classmate connections can be hugely advantageous for your career.
- The Benefits of Doing Both a Federal District Court and a Circuit Court Clerkship Clerkships can be one of the biggest highlights of a legal career. You get to work alongside judges in their chambers and learn what goes on behind the scenes. In this post, we explore five reasons why you should consider doing both a federal district court and a federal circuit court clerkship.
- Why Would You Want to Get an LLM? Are you wondering about getting an LLM degree and whether it would be worthwhile for you? Here are some of the top reasons some people choose to go for this degree.
- Video Quick Tip: Getting Involved In this Video Quick Tip Video, Alison will share how getting involved can help you prepare for class and still enjoy the campus experience. Studying is a huge part of law school, but it isn’t the only thing you should do in law school!
- The Value of Building a Relationship With Career Services The career services office at your law school exists to help you achieve your professional goals and building a relationship with that office can have huge benefits
- Podcast Episode 64: Developing Grit in Law School This podcast will discuss grit - that quality that lets you get back up and carry on after you've been knocked down. And, every law student is probably going to get knocked down a time or two!
- Podcast Episode 71: Soft Skills You Need to Develop to be a Successful Attorney It shouldn’t be shocking to learn that law school doesn’t totally prepare you to be a successful lawyer. Sure, you learn useful skills like legal writing and legal analysis, but building a practice (and a book of business) requires other skills. Some law schools are getting better at offering opportunities for students to gain these skills, but ultimately it’s up to you to make sure you’re fully ready to practice. Tune in to find out which soft skills are important and how to develop them.
- Podcast Episode 81: Building Emotional Intelligence Today we’re talking about something that’s not discussed all that often in law school, which is emotional intelligence. This is an important piece of the puzzle for happiness and success in your law career and in life.
- Podcast Episode 99: What Law Schools Should Be Teaching, and Aren't (With Mark Cohen) Are you wondering what you should be demanding from your legal education? Mark Cohen has a unique perspective on the legal profession that could help you figure it out!
- Podcast Episode 162: Professional Development Strategies For Young Lawyers We’re talking about professional development for new lawyers with former BigLaw recruiter, Sadie Jones. Find out how to take control of your career development, from the earliest days of your career.
- Podcast Episode 173: Frequently Asked Questions About Resumes and Cover Letters (w/Sadie Jones) Today we’re excited to have ex-recruiter Sadie Jones with us to talk about the most common questions we’ve been getting about resumes and cover letters.
- Podcast Episode 175: Top Interview Questions With Ex-BigLaw Recruiter Sadie Jones We’re excited to have ex-BigLaw recruiter Sadie Jones with us to discuss the most common questions we get about job interviewing as a law student.
- Podcast Episode 181: Negotiating a Job Offer (w/Ex-BigLaw Recruiter Sadie Jones) We’re excited to be talking with ex-BigLaw recruiter Sadie Jones about negotiating job offers.
- Podcast Episode 222: Using Winter Break to Advance Your Career We’re welcoming back ex-BigLaw recruiter Sadie Jones to talk about how to use winter break productively to move your career forward, make new connections, take care of personal chores, and of course, get some rest.
Becoming a Professional
- To Ask Or Not To Ask: Summer Job Accommodations If you're a student with a disability or needing accommodations for any reason in a job, we're looking at how you can handle this and when is the best time to discuss it with a future employer.
- How to Act Like a Professional in Law School At any given point in law school, you have probably heard someone tell you this or have read it somewhere already. But what does it mean? Why do you need to “act professional” if you are not working in a law firm yet? Well, professionalism is about much more than job interviews and office etiquette- it is a philosophy that applies to you at every stage of your legal career. If approached from this angle, between interacting with your peers and faculty, you will be well trained in how to be professional as an attorney.
- A Law Student's Guide to Emails Law school demands that you “up your game” by learn new skills and adopting new habits. Some of these new skills take a lot of time, such as learning how to Bluebook or analyze cases, while others take money, such as getting an appropriate interview suit so you look the part. Today, however, I want to talk to you about a simple, quick, and inexpensive step that you can take to “up your game” by writing emails that look and sound professional.
- Law School Style Report: The Best Carryalls for the Professional Law Student One question that many law students ask is what should they use to transport all their essentials to class. Is a briefcase appropriate? What about a backpack? Kathryn Conway from House of Marbury is here to to recommend a few carryalls for law students.
- Fashionably Lawyered: How to Dress as a Law Student While Not Breaking the Bank Once you become a law student, you should start to dress more professionally in your daily life. Here are some budget-friendly suggestions for giving your wardrobe a more professional look.
- Professionalism in the Legal Workplace How do you become your professional self? Law School Toolbox’s own Lee and Alison did an awesome podcast episode about professionalism in the workplace, and here were some of their best suggestions.
- What to Wear to Professional Legal Events Wondering what to wear to professional legal events? House of Marbury has you covered!
- Simple Strategies for Passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) Almost all state jurisdictions require that you pass the MPRE before admitting you to the bar. Use these three strategies to maximize your chances of passing the MPRE exam -- and lay a good foundation for test-taking skills you will need to pass the bar.
- How to Prepare for Virtual Court Hearings If you expect to participate in a virtual court hearing, here are a few tips to help you prepare.
- The Olympic Lawyer: Preparation is Everything If you’re starting law school, or continuing law school, you might want to take some time to reflect on what it means to be a lawyer, and what it means to be excellent. If you have been following the Summer Olympics in Rio, you may have been dismayed to see that there is no “lawyering” event. But you might try to develop yourself into an Olympic-quality lawyer, by doing what the athletes do: learn the best ways to play your game, innovate to find even better ways, and practice. Preparation is everything.
- Fashionably Lawyered: How to Dress for a Law Interview or Internship on a Budget Dressing appropriately can play a major part in whether you land (or keep!) the job you want. Read here for tips on dressing for interviews and internships on a law student's budget.
- Fashionably Lawyered: How to Dress the Part as a New Attorney When you begin your job as a new attorney, you have to dress to impress your employer, and your clients too! Here are some things to consider as you update your wardrobe for your new job.
- Dressing Like a Lawyer on a Student's Budget Do you need to present yourself professional, but don't have the budget for designer suits? These tips will help you dress to impress.
- A Law Student’s 3-Tiered Guide To Dressing The Part One question that is often on the mind of law students is what should they wear to school. While it may seem odd to talk about law school and fashion in the same sentence, it is something to consider, especially as you move beyond the 1L year. The ladies from House of Marbury share their advice.
- Got a Job Offer? Not Sure If You Should Take It? Here are Four Tips to Help You Decide If you get a job offer at the end of your internship, everyone expects you to be over the moon. But what if this job just isn't quite the right fit? Here are four things you should do before you accept.
- Five Tips For Excelling in a Professional Workplace as a Summer Law Clerk If you're gearing up to start your summer job, we're offering some advice to help ensure that you start off and continue on the right foot.
- Ahead of the Curve: Setting Up Your Social Media - Getting a Fresh, Professional Start to Law School Did you know that your social media accounts can make a difference to you professionally? Here are some ways for you to get your social media into shape - and why you should do it!
- What to Wear to Your Law School Internship or Externship If you're going to be starting a legal internship or externship and unsure about how to dress (and how to afford it), we have advice!
- Three Things To Clean Up About Social Media When Job Hunting Not sure if your social media presence is professional enough? Here are a few tips on how to clean up your social media platforms to put the most professional face forward that you can.
- Podcast Episode 25: How to Behave Like a Professional in the Legal Workplace Although it seems like it should be common sense, you'd be surprised by how many law students struggle with professionalism when they arrive at their first law job. Now is the time to make a good first impression at your legal job and we have some advice to help you out!
- Podcast Episode 124: Don't Be a Jerk at Work We’re talking about how not to be a jerk in your legal office environment. True or not, lawyers have a terrible reputation when it comes to being nice and considerate in the office. Lawyers are often thought to be jerks to other lawyers, as well as staff. Why is that? How true is it? How do you avoid being “that” person?
- Podcast Episode 137: How to Handle Difficult Workplace Situations Today, we are talking about how to handle difficult situations at work.
- Podcast Episode 168: How to Handle Rejection Professionally (w/Sadie Jones) We're talking with ex-BigLaw recruiter, Sadie Jones, about ways to handle rejection in a professional manner.
Handling the Generation Gap
- A Look at the Multi-Generational Legal Workforce The current legal workplace has a broad range of different generational personalities. Here's how to handle each group.
- How to Resolve Conflict in the Multi-Generational Workforce Each generation of lawyers was taught to communicate differently. Here are some tips on how to resolve conflicts within the generations.
- Getting an Offer: Being a Professional in a Generation-Gap Workplace What does “professional” look like? Find out more about the definition of professionalism and what it should look like in a generation-gap workforce.
Women in the Legal Profession
- What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? Even before you head off to law school, you should be thinking about what kind of job you want to have after you graduate. Here are some factors you should consider when trying to make that decision.
- How Should a Young, Female Attorney Navigate a Male-Dominated Firm? Navigating the waters of a male-dominated firm can be tough for a young female lawyer, but these tips will help you feel more confident.
- Three Books to Read During 3L Year If you're feeling overwhelmed or lost in law school, we're looking at some books to read which may help.
- Law School Networking: It's What You Learn, Not (Just) Who You Meet Networking in law school involves talking about yourself to strangers, asking strangers for favors, and competing with other law students for attention. This can be an intimidating activity. If the prospect of networking in law school makes you uneasy, here are four tips to help you conquer fear and reframe the experience.
- Podcast Episode 31: Why is it So Horrible to be a Woman Lawyer? This week we are talking about something very near and dear to our hearts - being a woman in the legal profession. Are we really still having this same tired conversation about women in the workplace? Yes, yes we are.
Dealing with Feedback in a Legal Job
- Help! The Partner Thinks I'm an Idiot Tips for dealing with a partner who doesn't see your full potential.
- How to Handle Difficult Feedback If you are working this summer, it is entirely possible that you are going to get feedback at your job, whether from a supervising attorney, in a formal evaluation, or just casually from colleagues. While some may be positive, how do you handle difficult feedback?
- How Should an Attorney Deal With a Partner Who Belittles Them in Front of Clients and Co-Counsel? Advice on how to cope with a partner who may be tearing you down at work.
- How Should You Handle Negative Feedback in a Performance Review? At some point in your career, negative feedback on a performance review is inevitable. Here is how you handle those uncomfortable situations.