The Career Center offers a series of interactive workshops for students throughout the year. The workshops are designed to show students resources and provide time for students to develop individualized documents and job search plans. In Fall 2015, workshop topics will include resumes, cover letters, job search resources, and informational interviews. The complete workshop schedule is located below.
These are interactive workshops and students must be prepared to work. All workshops are one hour.
|Wed. 9/9||8-9pm (Evening students only)|
|Wed. 11/11||Noon – 1pm|
|Thurs. 9/24||8-9 pm (Evening students only)|
|Fri. 9/25||Noon – 1pm|
|Fri. 11/13||Noon – 1pm|
|Thurs. 10/29||8-9 pm (Evening students only)|
|Thurs. 10/8||8-9pm (Evening students only)|
2) Go to the “events” tab.
3) Click on the workshop date of your choice under the workshops tab.
4) Click the “RSVP” button at the bottom of the page. If the workshop is full, you may request to be placed on the waitlist.
5) You will then see a green check next to this specific workshop signifying that you successfully registered for the workshop. You will also receive an auto-generated confirmation email from the Career Center.
Thank you and please call the Career Center if you have any questions at 202-994-7340.
Screening interviews are in full swing and you might be thinking to yourself, what next? When should I hear back from these employers? What then?
Most employers that participate in GW’s OCI program will follow the NALP Guidelines. The following summarizes the key points and most frequently asked questions we get from students. You may also refer to NALP’s quick guide, on Student Professionalism During the Interview Season for additional information.
Callback interviews. We covered *what* a callback interview is in our recent post on interviews. In short, it is the next step after the initial screening interview, and usually consists of a series of 3-5 short interviews at the employers office.
- Timing: Employers tend to make their invitations for callback interviews quickly, usually within two weeks after the screening interview. This is a generalization and many employers will make invitations sooner, some later. Wait two weeks before panicking and remember that government/district attorneys’ offices frequently take longer than two weeks to contact candidates; read more on “Follow-Up” below. The NALP Guidelines instruct students to respond to callback interview invitations “promptly,” meaning no more than ONE business day, and preferably before the end of the SAME business day, if possible.
- Expenses: Law firm employers will typically reimburse candidates for reasonable costs of travel. For callback interview outside of the DC area, law firm employers will generally reimburse or pre-arrange your air, taxi, or train fares. Because callback interviews often include a lunch, the law firm will also pay for the lunch as well. If your interview reasonably requires an overnight stay, firms may also pay for hotel. If you have several callback interviews in the same city, firms may arrange to share your expenses. This is normal. It’s okay to disclose that you have other interviews with employers. NALP also has a shared expense reimbursement form for students. When in doubt, call our office. We’re here to answer your questions on what is “reasonable” and how to have these conversations. What’s not reasonable? Asking for a taxi reimbursement within DC. Dry cleaning costs of your suit.
Offers. First, take time to appreciate your accomplishment! Congrats!
- Offer Letter: Most employers will make an oral offer by phone, then follow-up with an offer letter, by email or regular mail. The offer letter will include details of the offer, such as pay and timing. It may mention that the offer is for “at-will” employment, which can be terminated by either party. This is normal. Acknowledge your receipt of the offer with a return call or a reply email.
- Reaffirmation: If the employer requests reaffirmation in the offer letter, you must indicate your interest in the the employer within 14 days of the letter, following their instructions for reaffirmation. The reaffirmation period gives you time to consider the offer carefully, and to release the offer if appropriate. Firms expect you to carefully consider their offer in the reaffirmation period, so immediately reaffirming within 24 hours is generally not the protocol. Instead, take time to consider the offer for at least a few days, a week, or even the full reaffirmation period before making the decision to reaffirm or release the offer. If you are interested in the firm, but need more than the reaffirmation period to decide whether to accept, you must reaffirm within the time period and in the manner requested in the letter or the employer may retract the offer.
- Holding Offers: Multiple offers? The NALP guidelines provide that students may hold up to 5 offers open at any time. You must release offers in excess of 5, but there are limited exceptions for offers in different geographic markets. Contact our office for guidance on evaluating offers and releasing them.
- Accepting an offer: Firms with more than 40 attorneys should allow you 28 days or until December 30 to accept an offer, whichever comes first. Offers made after December 15 should remain open for at least two weeks. Day 1 of the 28-day period begins on the day after the date on the offer letter and you must respond by close of business on Day 28. Any offers made before the start of OCI, should expire at least 28 days after OCI, which is September 8, 2015. For firms with less than 40 attorneys, contact the Career Center or consult the full guidelines.
- Releasing an offer: Students should release an offer as soon as they are confident they no longer have an interest in the employer and no later than the applicable deadline. It is not professional to simply let the offer expire. Professional conduct demands that students affirmatively contact the employer to release the offer and should decline any offers that are not seriously being considered as soon as possible.
- Asking for an extension: Students may request extensions beyond the 28 day offer period, but employers are not obligated to agree to an extension. Students actively pursuing public sector employment, or awaiting decisions affecting a spouse or family member may request further extensions. Contact the Career Center for more guidance before requesting any extensions.
Follow-up. Often, employers will give you a timeline for hiring at the interview. Listen carefully. If they mention that it may be three-weeks before they contact you, don’t panic after 10 days. In general, wait a full two weeks before following-up on your application if you don’t receive information to the contrary. A simple telephone call or email to reiterate your interest will suffice. The Career Center is available to help you evaluate the timing and language of your follow-up.
Finally, resist the temptation to get swept-up in classmate frenzy. You may hear that a classmate has received a callback or an offer from a firm with whom you interviewed, but you didn’t. So what? If you didn’t receive a rejection letter, be patient. Employers interview many candidates, and it takes time to schedule interviews and contact candidates. Be patient. Focus on the factors you can control. Take time for yourself, de-stress, and remember that there is life and success outside of OCI.
What if an employer doesn’t comply with the NALP Guidelines? Contact the Career Center.
There are numerous opportunities available for internships and employment with the U.S. Department of Justice. Please note the upcoming deadlines below. Also, refer to DOJ’s website for more detailed information about these programs.
DOJ’s Honors Program
The Honors Program is DOJ’s recruitment program for entry-level attorneys. Graduating law students, judicial law clerks, full-time graduate law program (LLM) students, and law school graduates in qualifying full-time legal fellowships are eligible to apply. The application is now open and closes on September 8, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Click here for a complete list of the participating components and how to apply.
DOJ’s Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP)
SLIP is DOJ’s competitive recruitment program for compensated summer internships. Each year, approximately 70-90 paid summer legal interns are hired through this program. Students who have completed at least one full semester of law school and recent graduates between graduation and the start of a judicial clerkship or full-time qualifying legal fellowship are eligible to apply. The application is now open and closes on September 8, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. Click here for a complete list of the participating components and how to apply.
Volunteer Legal Interns
Law students can also apply to serve as volunteer legal interns with DOJ. Approximately 1,000 volunteer positions are available during the summer and approximately 800 are available during the academic year. Interested students should apply at least 4-5 months before their desired start date.
GW Law Students – SAVE THE DATE!
Wednesday, August 26th at 12p.m. (GW Law: Room TBA)
A DOJ Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (OARM) representative will be on campus to talk to students about DOJ employment. Learn about the Department’s Honors Program and Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) and get some practical advice on how to apply.
INTERNSHIP & EXTERNSHIP PROGRAMS
U.S. Army JAG Corps
- INTERNS: Paid 2L Summer Internships assigned around the U.S., and in Europe and Korea.
- APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 1st, 2015
- Apply on-line at https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/JARO
- Info available: http://www.goarmy.com/jag/summer-intern-program.html, or 1-866-ARMY-JAG
- EXTERNS: There are opportunities to extern for academic credit (no pay). Contact JARO for details.
U.S. Air Force JAG Corps
- INTERNS: Paid 1L and 2L Summer Internships at Air Force Bases around the country
- APPLICATION DEADLINE: POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN JANUARY 27th, 2015
- Information available at: http://www.airforce.com/jag/, and on USAJOBS
- Contact info: email@example.com, or 1-800-JAG-USAF
- EXTERNS: USAF initiated a year-round 2L and 3L part-time or full-time externship program for academic credit (no pay) for law students in the Washington, DC area. Contact 1-800-JAG-USAF.
U.S. Navy JAG Corps
- INTERNS & EXTERNS: Unpaid full-time Summer Internships, and externships, in the U.S. and overseas.
- APPLICATION DEADLINE (Internship): January 22, 2016 for Summer 2016 internship
- APPLICATION DEADLINE (Externship): Sept. 25, 2015 for Spring semester (2016) externship
- Information and on-line application for both programs available at: http://www.jag.navy.mil/careers/careers/opportunities_internship.html , or (202) 685-8527.
U.S. Marine Corps
- The Marine Corps only offers JAG internship opportunities to law students who have already been commissioned. For questions, contact Marine Corps JAG Recruiting Command at 703-432-9262.
U.S. Coast Guard
- The USCG offers unpaid internships and externships (for academic credit) during the summer and academic semesters.
- DEADLINE: Interviews conducted in DC during Equal Justice Works career fair on Oct 23-24th.
- Contact: CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil ,(202) 372-3822 or 1-866-664-6245 with questions.
ACTIVE DUTY JAG CORPS
U.S. Army JAG Corps
- One Annual Active Duty Selection Board; One Army Reserve Selection Board
- DEADLINE (BOTH ACTIVE DUTY AND RESERVE): November 1st, 2015
- Information available at: http://www.goarmy.com/jag.html
- On-line application portal available at: https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/JARO
- Contact info: 1-866-ARMY-JAG
U.S. Air Force JAG Corps
- Three annual active duty selection boards
- DEADLINES: March 10th, September 10th, and November 10th 2015
- Information and on-line application portal available at: http://www.airforce.com/jag/
- Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1-800-JAG-USAF
U.S. Navy JAG Corps
- Two annual active duty selection boards
- DEADLINES: October 9th, 2015 (Law School Student Program ONLY) and February 12th, 2016 (Law School Student Program AND Licensed Attorneys)
- Information available at: http://www.jag.navy.mil/
- On-line application portal available at https://onlineapplication.jag.navy.mil/recruit/
U.S. Marine Corps
- Information available at: http://www.marines.com/being-a-marine/roles-in-the-corps/command-element/judge-advocate , or Marine Corps JAG Recruiting Command at 703-432-9262.
U.S. Coast Guard
- Two annual active duty selection boards
- DEADLINES: August 17th, and November 16th, 2015
- Information and on-line application available at http://www.gocoastguard.com/active-duty-careers/officer-opportunities/programs/direct-commission-lawyer-dcl
- Contact: CoastGuardDCL@uscg.mil or (202) 372-3822 or 1-866-664-6245
You were selected for an interview! Congrats! Now what?
Schedule a mock interview with the Career Center. This is the single best thing you can do to prepare for your interview. You may think to yourself, “I’ve interviewed well in the past so I don’t need a mock interview.” While it might be true that you’ve interviewed well in the past, interviewing is a skill that can continually be refined and improved. You don’t want the feedback from the employer to come in the form of “no offer.” Get honest feedback and tips for improving your interview skills BEFORE the interview. It is imperative that you practice articulating your responses in real time, rather than simply thinking through what you will say.
Research. Try to learn as much as possible about the organization, its attorneys, and its clients. You will want to be current on high-profile cases, major transactions, or other noteworthy events. If you have the names of the interviewers, find out about their backgrounds, the nature of their practices and any recent matters. That said, don’t over-stress if you don’t have the names of the attorneys. Remember that attorneys are busy and that schedules change so it is important to be prepared and flexible. For resources on researching firms, see the Resources for Research page on the Career Center blog.
Have a plan and focus on the positive. Go to your interview with an agenda; don’t simply let the interviewer steer the interview in any direction they’d like. Carefully consider the main points you would like to convey, and have concrete examples of your work experience as evidence of your skills. Focus on your strengths, be confident and enthusiastic, regardless of your GPA or lack of legal experience. Here’s a worksheet to help you plan out responses to the most common interview questions (portal log-in required).
Prepare your questions. Remember that the interview is also your chance to find out about the employer. Ask questions that are meaningful to you. While you may ask about the interviewer’s own experience, their answer may not give much insight into whether the employer is a good fit for you. Instead, you might consider asking what is the most challenging or rewarding aspect of working at the specific organization. Students who have multiple interviews may find it useful to ask some of the same questions to all firms. You can also use Pillsbury LLP’s 15 Questions Interview Tool. Of course, avoid questions about salary, benefits, or work hours; those questions will have to wait until after an offer is made.
Take careful notes. After your interview, jot down notes about the people you met, and your impressions of the employer. This is especially helpful right after the interview because it may be weeks before you have contact with the employer again. For students with multiple interviews, this also helps you organize your notes and impressions of each employer while the information is still fresh in your mind.
Follow up. Thank-you notes for screening interviews are not necessary, but they are required after any call-back interviews. Send thank you notes by email or regular mail within 24 hours of your interview to each interviewer. Personalize your note by reminding them of your relevant work experience or a particular point of conversation you had with them. Follow up again 2-3 weeks after the interview with the recruiter or an attorney with whom you spoke to reiterate your interest in the employer if you have not heard from them.
What is the difference between a screening interview and a callback interview?
- Screening Interviews – Screening interviews are the initial on campus interviews you have through the summer recruitment programs lasting 20-30 minutes. For resume collection employers, the screening interviews usually take place at employer offices. Employers conduct brief screening interviews to get a better sense of the candidate’s skills, experiences and level of interest in the position.
- Callback Interviews – Callback interviews tend to be longer and candidates may meet with multiple attorneys in a series of back-to-back 20-30 minute-interviews, usually in the employer’s office. In addition to letting the employer learn more about your skills, experiences and level of interest, callback interviews provide an opportunity to assess how well your personality and demeanor “fit” with the others in the office and with the organizational culture and values. Sometimes these interviews include lunch, coffee or some other type of social interaction.
Still looking for more information? Here is a checklist for legal interviewing and a primer for legal interviewing including many sample questions (requires logging into the GW Law Portal). More information can be found on the “Preparing for Interviews with Legal Employers” page on the portal.
Stop by the Career Center and get a free copy of the
2015-2016 edition of Chambers Associate!
Chambers Associate: The Student’s Guide to Law Firms offers students an inside look at the working lives of associates in the nation’s leading law firms. Based on interviews with junior associates, these guide sheds light on the topics that matter to juniors, such as work assignments, social life, pro bono, diversity, firm expectations, salary, personal development and more. This career guide also provides commentary from firm chairs, managing partners, and hiring partners to give students an understanding of how a firm recruits from law school.
We have a limited number of copies available at the Career Center on a first come, first served basis. You must appear in person to pick up your copy, as we will not ship them to students.
This offer is available to GW Law Students only. Students are limited to one copy. You may be asked for your GW ID.
The first OCI Resume collection deadline is Thursday, July 23. What does this mean and why should you apply?
The Career Center offers resume books and resume collections to help employers and students connect. Resume books and resume collections operate differently, so here’s a little primer to clear up any confusion.
“Resume” actually means “documents.” Don’t let the term “resume” mislead you. In both resume collections and you may be asked to submit cover letters and transcripts in addition to your resume.
OCI RESUME COLLECTION
Employers that participate in the OCI Resume Collections are seeking student application documents (remember that “resume collect” might actually require cover letters and transcripts), typically for Summer 2016 positions. Students will find these employers under the OCI tab in Symplicity. The resume collections can be seen from the “Session” drop down.
Resume collection employers aren’t participating in the traditional on campus interviews because for whatever reason, they prefer to interview candidates on their own timeline and in their own offices rather than at the times and locations designated for the GW Law OCI. Generally, the resume collect employers plan to review applications, conduct interviews, and make offers before winter break for Summer 2016 positions.
You must “apply” or submit your application documents to EACH individual employer in the resume collection. It is NOT done collectively and sent to all employers. There are currently collections for July (deadline is 7/23 at noon Eastern) and August (deadline is 8/13 at noon Eastern), and it is likely that a September collection will be added. The deadlines for submission are firm because after the deadlines, a packet of the applications for each employer is generated by our office and sent to each employer. From there, the employer contacts students individually for interviews.
Need help keeping track of all the recruiting deadlines? Subscribe to the Recruitment Program Calendar!
RESUME BOOKS BY GEOGRAPHIC REGION AND PRACTICE AREA
The Career Center creates resume books in the Fall and Spring of each academic year to collect resumes from students. The resume books appear under the job postings tab in Symplicity, but they are not tied to a specific employment opportunity. Instead, students seeking employment opportunities in the specific practice areas or geographic markets submit their resumes to indicate their interest and consent for their resumes to be shared with employers and alumni. When alumni and employers ask our office for resumes for internships, full-time positions, networking, mentoring or other professional opportunities, the Career Center relies on the resumes in the Resume Books as a primary resource for sharing student resumes. These resume books are created by semester, with Fall books open October through December and Spring books open January through May.
DIVERSITY RESUME BOOKS
From time to time, the Career Center also offers resumes books for students who self- identify as diverse. The diversity resume books have several different purposes and the best way to keep track of diversity resume book opportunities is to join the Diversity Newsletter by emailing the Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion, Jaya Saxena at email@example.com.
If you still have questions about resume books or resume collections, contact the Career Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 202-994-7340.
For more information about on campus interview and recruitment programs, visit the recruitment programs page.
Interested in applying for clerkships? The online application system OSCAR opens to rising 2Ls on August 1st!
Join us as we go over step-by-step registering on OSCAR, setting up your profile, uploading your materials, and searching and applying for available federal clerkships. We will also discuss the timing of applications as well as strategic issues.
Live webinars will be held on:
Wednesday, July 22 at 5 pm
Friday, July 24 at 12 pm
Tuesday, July 28 at 12 pm
Register through the workshops tab on Symplicity.