Beginning law students might think that they have the next few years of schooling before they need to start worrying about their future. However, the truth is that now is the time to begin planning for life after graduation. Because the three years of law school will fly by, it is crucial to start thinking about a long-term plan now. Here are three things that beginning law students should know to ensure that they make the most out of their burgeoning career:
DO NOT USE LAW SCHOOL AS A CRUTCH: Law school should not be used as a backup option because you do not know what you want to do with the rest of your life. If you are unsure if a career in law is right for you, it is better to take a year off from schooling and work in a law office or with a government organization in an attempt to ascertain if this is the path for you. It is better to lose a year now than to spend three years in expensive schooling only to decide that this is not the right career path.
THINK BEYOND THE CLASSROOM: While it is true that the primary focus of your first year of law school should be your classes and grades, it is also important to dedicate time each week to think about what lies ahead. Develop the habit of spending time networking, meeting with potential future employers, and working on your resume. You never know when somebody will ask for your resume or transcript and so it is recommended to have all of these essential documents ready to go at any time. You do not want to miss out on an opportunity because it took too long to apply.
REACH OUT TO PROFESSORS: Some of the most influential people you will encounter on your path to becoming a lawyer will be your law school professors. Not only will these people be an invaluable resource of information, but they also have the knowledge to steer you toward the right specialty. Most students will also eventually rely on their professors for letters of recommendation and references. Getting to know them personally early in your schooling will serve you better in the future
The cover letter that you include with your resume when applying for jobs is the first impression that you make on the recruiter. Many factors influence how much of an impact the cover letter makes on the reader and if it’ll cause you to stand out. When drafting the document, there are many common mistakes to avoid making to ensure that it improves your chances of landing an interview.
Using a Boring Opening
When writing your cover letter, keep in mind that the employer will be skimming the document due to the number of applications that they have to go through. Your opening paragraph is the most important part of the content and will determine if the individual continues to read the rest of the document. Start with a bang by discussing your most impressive qualifications instead of talking about how you found their job posting on a website.
Making it Generic
It’s important to remember that hiring managers constantly read cover letters when hiring for a specific position, which can make them all read the same. If you want to avoid getting lost in the shuffle, you’ll need to be creative with your approach to writing the document. Include relevant information and maintain your professionalism with subtle attention-grabbers that make you stand out.
Talking Too Much About Yourself
One of the most common mistakes that many people make with their cover letter is talking too much about themselves. If you’re overly self-focused, it can cause the employer to be turned off. Focus instead on how your skills and experience can be a benefit to the employer to show that you can be an asset to the company. Consider including a few ways that you believe you can make a difference, and share why you believe in the purpose or mission statement of the company to prove that you’re a good fit.
Telling Instead of Showing
Telling instead of showing can make it difficult to get your points across when trying to prove that you’re qualified for the job. Instead of saying that you’re motivated or driven, discuss some of your accomplishments or awards that you’ve received. Using concrete examples will speak volumes without having to brag about who you are as a professional.
About Henry Vinson
Henry Vinson is a 10,000 hour commercial pilot with Single-Engine and Multi-Engine Airplane; Rotorcraft-Helicopter; Instrument-Airplane; Flight Instructor Airplane & Flight Instructor Helicopter ratings. Henry Vinson holds a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Airplane Owner and Pilot Association, American Marketing Association, American Communications Association, and Experimental Aircraft Association.
Henry Vinson was born in 1960 in South Williamson, Kentucky. He graduated from Williamson High School in 1979, and, after attending South West Virginia Community College, he enrolled in the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. In 1982, he was appointed the Coroner for Mingo County, West Virginia.
Four years later, he became a funeral director for W. W. Chambers Funeral Homein Washington, DC. After his stint at W. W. Chambers Funeral Home, he owned and operated the largest gay escort service ever uncovered in Washington, DC at the age of 26.
In 2007, Mr. Vinson received a Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, and today he is a successful entrepreneur who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Following a successful career as a marketing and advertising consultant, Henry Vinson opted to return to school in 2014 to pursue a law degree. Vinson is currently enrolled in the Juris Doctor Program at William Howard Taft University, America’s oldest nationally accredited distance learning law school.