Monday, November 12, 2012

Career Opportunities

Last week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited Sesame Street to explain the concept of a "career" to Abby Cadabby. Justice Sotomayor is no stranger to the educational program's young viewers, having previously appeared earlier in 2012 to decide the case of Baby Bear v. Goldilocks. But her latest appearance coincided perfectly with the beginning of interview season for first-year law students, who can undoubtedly relate to Abby's excitement – and confusion – about the many possible career paths that she might choose.

While our 1Ls probably don't have a SCOTUS justice on speed-dial, they do have a lot of resources at their disposal to help make their job searches easier. First and foremost is the Duke Law Career Center, whose Career Paths website outlines and describes common professional areas like private practice, public interest, academia, and even international opportunities. The 1L Career Toolkit provides invaluable guidance for each of these types of jobs, as well as general advice on networking, preparing resumes, and handling interviews (once the December 1 employer-contact deadline has passed, of course).

The Goodson Law Library also offers many resources to assist student job-seekers. To research law firms and their employees, check out the mix of print and electronic resources in our guide to Directories of Lawyers. Networking and interview preparation will be much easier with the assistance of sources like Martindale-Hubbell and the Yellow Books. (If a clerkship is in your future, there's a companion guide for Directories of Courts & Judges.)

The Duke Libraries catalog can point to additional resources in the library collection. A subject heading search for "Law—Vocational guidance – United States" will locate titles like From Lemons to Lemonade in the New Legal Job Market: Winning Job Search Strategies for Entry-Level Attorneys (2012) or The Legal Career Guide: From Law Student to Lawyer (2008). There are even titles available for those thinking about less-common legal careers, including Fifty Unique Legal Paths: How to Find the Right Job (2008) or the bluntly-named How to be a Law Professor Guide (2008). International career materials, like A Guide to International Law Careers (2009) or Careers in International Law (2009-2010), can be found with a subject search for "International law – Vocational guidance."

LexisNexis, Westlaw and Bloomberg Law also offer options for researching people and companies which can be useful to legal job-seekers. This week, campus representatives for LexisNexis and Westlaw will offer employment-related training to demonstrate resources (view the calendars via their links on the Goodson Law Library home page). On Bloomberg Law, enter a firm or attorney/judge name into the main search box to generate Company and/or People profile results; the Law School resources section also provides career guidance from its Bloomberg Law Reports series.

For help with accessing or using any of the resources listed here, be sure to Ask a Librarian.