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The Career Manual

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Class of 2014 First-Year Professional Development Timeline
Ongoing  Check email, the Career Center webpage and the Professional Development Resource Center (PDRC) for updates at least weekly.  Review and regularly re-assess your personal professional network.  Review legal & business media sources, including market-specific publications, both for subject matter content and possible points of connection.  Attend and participate in the Career Center’s required first-year curriculum.  Engage with the Law School and broader legal community to: o Master key laws and current challenges in your practice area of interest; o Strengthen core skills needed to demonstrate your commitment to qualification for a career in your desired field; and o Create advocates invested in your professional success by actively pursuing intentional relationships. October 2011  Prepare your best legal resume, utilizing the guidance and resources provided in this Manual.  Prepare your “baseline” cover letter for legal positions utilizing the guidance and resources provided in this Manual.  Attend Foundations of Professional Development presentation to which you are assigned by LARW section. o Receive and review your copy of the Class of 2014 Career Planning Manual. o Receive and review the eight-session, required curriculum for all firstyears. o Receive and review the list of summer opportunities accepted by members of the Class of 2013 as first-years. o Receive and review the abbreviated professional biographies of the Career Center’s dedicated advisors.  Attend Writing Successfully: Resume & Cover Letter workshop to which you are assigned by LARW section. o Receive the password to access the Career Center’s online PDRC. o Sign-up for your initial meeting with a member of the Career Center team.  Refine your resume and baseline cover letter as needed and provide copies to your career advisor via email twenty-four hours prior to your scheduled session.

November 2011  Explore practice areas and markets of interest, taking into account your current professional skills and geographic ties.  Attend initial meeting with your career advisor as scheduled.  Arrange and conduct informational interviews with recognized lawyer-leaders in your markets/practice areas of interest.  Create and maintain a spreadsheet of all contacts made and track your follow-up.  Join at least one state & local bar association, including a practice-specific section.  Prepare targeted, personalized cover letters for employers to which you plan to apply in December. December 2011  Prepare for exams.  Mail/send those applications already prepared. During Winter Break  Prepare targeted, personal cover letters for, and send applications to, all remaining employers of interest based upon your current research. o Call contact persons at employers to confirm receipt of materials & express continued enthusiasm. o Prepare and regularly update spreadsheet of applications submitted, principal contact, date and substance of last contact, referrals made to others, etc.  Identify additional employers in diverse sectors of the legal economy (e.g., large firm, small firm, government, public interest, judicial internships, in-house opportunities, faculty research assistants, etc.) and in at least three distinct legal markets.  Create a personalized application schedule to keep track of pertinent deadlines.  Prepare and send your next wave of applications.  Conduct additional informational interviews with local attorneys and/or attorneys with whom you have a “connection” (e.g., Duke Law alumni, attorneys affiliated with your undergraduate institution, former employers, etc.)  If possible, arrange to be in your primary markets of interest during the break and notify prospective employers of your upcoming trip.  Ask at least one Duke Law professor and other targeted individuals to serve as professional references throughout your 1L job search, and prepare a reference list following the format in the Manual’s appendices.  Revise your open research memorandum from LARW (or other work that best demonstrates your skilled analysis and effective communication of a timely legal topic) to serve as your writing sample in the first-year search.  Prepare your professional wardrobe for the upcoming interview season.

January 2012  Update resume with grades and other accomplishments.  Send a supplemental letter to all employers with which you have an application pending, expressing continued interest in the employer/opportunity and including a copy of your unofficial transcript.  Prepare your personal elevator pitch and practice its delivery.  Review the key elements to successfully interviewing for a legal position, think carefully about your proposed responses to the most commonly asked questions, and identify those core attributes you most want to convey as evidence of your future success.  Conduct a Mock Interview and practice incorporating feedback received.  Identify additional networking and mentoring contacts, and reach out using the method outlined in the Manual.  Arrange and conduct additional informational interviews. February – May 2012  Follow up with employers (ongoing)  Prepare and send additional waves of targeted, personalized application materials as needed.  Continue building relationships with professionals in your markets and practice areas of interest.  Send thank you notes and regular updates to all those with whom you have spoken to keep the connections alive.  Attend Career Center programming, workshops and other Law School events to prepare for success “on the job.”  Watch online seminars (see information about PLI in the Manual’s appendices for further information) on areas of substantive law and day-to-day practice, which will enhance your ability to add immediate value to the work of your summer employer.

CAREER MANUAL TABLE OF CONTENTS I. THE CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER .............................................. 1 A. Career & Professional Development Center Resources ...................................................... 1 B. Career & Professional Development Center Office Hours and Staff .................................... 2 C. Communication Requests from CPDC ................................................................................ 2 II. CAREER PLANNING ............................................................................................................. 3 A. Class 2014 Career Planning Calendar ................................................................................ 3 B. Determine Your Path ........................................................................................................... 4 C. Investigate Your Options – “What Can I Do With a Law Degree?”....................................... 5 D. Investigate Summer Job Opportunities ............................................................................... 5 1. Law Firms or In-House Counsel ..................................................................................... 6 2. Public Interest Organizations & Government Agencies................................................... 7 3. Judicial Internships/Externships ..................................................................................... 7 4. Research Assistantships for Professors ......................................................................... 7 5. Working Abroad...........................................................................................................7-8 6. Alternative Employers..................................................................................................... 8 E. How to Identify and Contact Potential Employers ................................................................ 8 1. Directly Contacting Employers ........................................................................................ 8 2. On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) ...................................................................................... 8 3. Job Postings on Symplicity ............................................................................................. 9 F. CPDC Communications ..................................................................................................... 10 G. Additional Career Search Resources ................................................................................ 10 1. Websites ...................................................................................................................... 10 2. Other Resources .......................................................................................................... 15 H. Presenting Your Best Self: What do Employers Look For?............................................... 14 1. Facebook, Twitter, and Voicemail ................................................................................. 15 2. Blogs .......................................................................................................................15-16 III. NETWORKING………………………………………………………………………………………17 1. Finding Contacts .......................................................................................................... 17 2. Rules for Networking .................................................................................................... 17 3. How to Prepare for a Social Networking Event ........................................................18-19 IV. RESUMES, COVER LETTERS AND OTHER CORRESPONDENCE ................................. 20 A. Drafting Your Resume ....................................................................................................... 20 1. Your Name ................................................................................................................... 21 2. Your Address................................................................................................................ 21 3. Education ..................................................................................................................... 21 4. Honors and Activities .................................................................................................... 22 5. Experience ................................................................................................................... 22 6. Additional Information ................................................................................................... 23 7. A Few Final Tips........................................................................................................... 24 8. Printing Your Resume .................................................................................................. 25 B. Cover Letters..................................................................................................................... 25 1. The Format................................................................................................................... 25 2. Text of the Letter .......................................................................................................... 25 3. Choosing the Recipient of Your Letter .....................................................................25-26 4. The Introduction ........................................................................................................... 26 5. Second Paragraph – Interest in the Employer .............................................................. 26

6. Third Paragraph – What You Bring to the Table ........................................................... 28 7. Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 29 C. Transcripts ........................................................................................................................ 29 D. Writing Samples ................................................................................................................ 29 1. Text of a Writing Sample .............................................................................................. 29 2. Length .......................................................................................................................... 30 3. Final Tips...................................................................................................................... 30 E. References and Reference Lists ....................................................................................... 30 F. Contacting Employers to Obtain a Job .............................................................................. 31 1. How Many Letters Should You Send? .......................................................................... 31 2. Email or Regular Mail ................................................................................................... 31 3. Your Follow-Up After Sending an Application or Networking Letter .............................. 32 G. Other Communications to Employers ................................................................................ 33 1. Thank You Letters ........................................................................................................ 33 2. Correspondence Regarding Offers, Acceptances, and Rejections................................ 34 V. INTERVIEW PREPARATION AND LOGISTICS .................................................................. 35 A. Interview Preparation ........................................................................................................ 35 1. Researching the Employer ........................................................................................... 35 2. Personal Preparation .................................................................................................... 36 3. Prepare to Look Your Best: Dressing for Success ...................................................36-37 B. On-Campus Interviews ...................................................................................................... 38 C. Meeting the Employer ....................................................................................................... 39 D. Following Up After Screening Interviews ........................................................................... 40 E. Call-Back Interviews .......................................................................................................... 41 1. Arranging the Call-Back Interview................................................................................. 42 2. Preparing for the Call-Back Interview ........................................................................... 43 3. When the Call-Back Interview Includes a Meal ............................................................. 43 4. The End of the Call-Back Interview............................................................................... 44 5. After the Call-Back Interview ........................................................................................ 44 F. Expenses and the Reimbursement Process ................................................................44-45 G. The Offer of Employment ................................................................................................. 45 1. How Do I Decline an Offer? .......................................................................................... 45 2. How Long May I Hold on to an Offer?........................................................................... 46 3. Reporting Your Offers to CPDC .................................................................................... 46 VI. APPENDICES A. Career Exploration & Employer Research Resources ..................................................... 47 B. Networking 101: Sample Informational Interviewing Questions ...................................... 52 C. Making Contacts I: Mine Your Existing Resources ......................................................... 59 D. Making Contacts II: Developing New Contacts in Your Field of Interest ......................... 61 E. Sample Resumes............................................................................................................ 63 F. Sample Language for Resumes ...................................................................................... 68 G. List of Action Verbs Commonly Used to Describe Professional Experience .................... 76 H. Effective Cover Letters: A Suggested Framework & Samples ......................................... 79 I. Sample Reference List ................................................................................................................. 86 J. Sample Transcript......................................................................................................................... 88 K. Thank You Letter .......................................................................................................................... 90 L. Sample Acceptance Letter .......................................................................................................... 92 M. Sample Letter Declining an Offer Received ............................................................................. 94 N. Sample Interview Questions ........................................................................................... 96


The Career & Professional Development Center

The Career & Professional Development Center (CPDC) staff invites you to explore the broad range of career opportunities available to you as a Duke Law School student and graduate. Our objective in creating this manual is to design a comprehensive resource that will empower you with the tools you will need to help you achieve your career objectives over the next three years and beyond. Each year, a current copy of this manual with relevant updates will be posted on the CPDC website ( It will be periodically supplemented with additional resources covering a wide variety of job search and career development topics, making the CPDC website the first stop in your career planning process. This manual is broken into four sections: • • • • Career Planning Networking Resumes, Cover Letters & Other Correspondence Interview Preparation and Logistics

The appendices to the manual contain sample documents and sample interview questions. A. Career & Professional Development Center Resources

Career Counselors are available for one-on-one counseling, including assistance with selfassessment, job searching and decision making related to career and professional decisions. For example, the Career Counselors can help you: • • • • • • • • Explore career opportunities by providing practical information about positions at international, boutique or regional law firms, public interest and non-profit organizations, governmental entities and corporations. Research diverse legal markets, including international markets and those with fewer or less-publicized legal employers. Create a job search strategy to optimize your chances of securing the best employment options for you. Identify and emphasize the experiences and personal qualities that make you uniquely attractive to legal employers. Make a good first impression and avoid missteps by reviewing your resumes, cover letters and other communications with prospective employers. Refine your interview and presentation skills through mock interviews and other core programming. Create an academic and extracurricular curriculum that will build your skills and employability in your field of interest. Manage the job search process and determine next steps.

Whether you are just beginning your search, overwhelmed by options or frustrated with your progress, the Career Center can help you decide where to go from here. Of course, the earlier you contact us and the more prepared you are for each meeting, the more valuable we can be to you. So don’t wait! Contact to schedule an appointment with one of our Career Counselors.



Career & Professional Development Center Office Hours and Staff Monday- Friday 8:00am -5:00 pm Room 2015 (919) 613-7031

Career Counselors: • Kimberly Ann Bart Assistant Dean for Public Interest & Pro Bono • Stella Boswell Senior Career Counselor & Public Interest Advisor • Cassandra Creekman Senior Career Counselor • Gail Cutter Director of Employer Relations and Student Recruiting • Alan Dickinson Director of J.D. Advising & Professional Development • Bruce Elvin Associate Dean for CPDC • Oleg Kobelev Director of International Career Development and Special Projects and Career Counselor focusing on international opportunities Staff: • Rob Barton Project & Clerkship Manager • Kelly Briggs Financial & Information Specialist • Emily Sharples Career Center Coordinator *complete bios of our staff may be found at C. Communication Requests from CPDC

During the next three years, we will periodically ask you for information about your professional plans. Requests will cover topics such as indicating your plans for your 1L and 2L summers, completing the Online Summer Survey and Offer Report, notifying us of your permanent employment following law school graduation, and others. One of the ways in which you help sustain and enhance the Law School community is by responding in a timely fashion to these requests, as much of the information is used by subsequent classes of students and by the CPDC to help you achieve your goals. Thus, it is imperative that you respond to requests for information from us. In fact, the Law School's Rules and Policies require that you respond to these requests, and failure to do so is considered a violation of the Law School’s Honor Code. The applicable rules and policies are posted on the Duke Law website.



Career Planning

In law school, the process of applying for jobs begins very early. Taking the time early on, and throughout your law school experience, to learn about the many available opportunities will make your career planning easier. Our mission, and that of the entire Law School, is to work with each of you to help you acquire the tools and skills to take ownership of your own professional development so that you will be able to find the right job for you, both during and after law school. To help you do this, we try to help you understand your own goals as well as where in the professional world they can be fulfilled. We encourage you to view your professional development as an integral part of your Duke Law School experience. Employers of all types highly value students who can point to specific experiences they have that demonstrate the ability to work as a lawyer and that show deep commitment to excelling as a professional. These experiences can be gained in many ways, such as through pro bono work; other volunteer opportunities; externships during the semester; part-time legal work; clinics; writing an article or note; research and writing with a faculty member; capstone projects; etc. In addition, it is helpful to concentrate over time in one or two areas so that you develop "pillars of strength" and focus. A. Class of 2014 Career Planning Calendar

ONGOING • Identify your personal and professional goals and priorities. Conduct self-assessment. Speak with others, attend events, and learn about the universe of options. Consider what you would sacrifice to achieve your goals. Engage in activities outside of the classroom, such as pro bono projects, student groups or start your own initiative. Network at every opportunity.

1L YEAR • October 2011. The Career Center begins its 1L Career Planning and Development Curriculum Programming. Attend your required session of the Foundations for your Professional Development during your LRAW section. Attend the required session the following week of the Resume and Cover Letter Skills Workshop. Sign up for a meeting with a member of the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) counseling staff whose professional background comports with your career interests. November 1, 2011. Start meeting individually with Career & Professional Development Center counselors to discuss your goals, summer interests and resumes. NALP rules require 1Ls to wait until this date. Attend educational sessions sponsored by the Law Alumni Association, “Timeless Tips for Professional Success: A Conversation with Duke Law Alumni,” and other CPDC programming to learn about your career options. December 1, 2011. NALP allows 1Ls to begin contacting employers. Focus on preparing for your final examinations. December 2011 – May 2012. Conduct 1L job search for Summer 2012 (write letters, call friends/family, and interview on-campus). March – April 2012. Introduction to Fall 2012 2L Job Search.

• • •


Summer 2012. 1L summer employment and/or study abroad.

(For additional detail, see the First-Year Professional Development Timeline) 2L YEAR This timeline applies to recent years. There is currently an industry-wide discussion concerning the nature and timing of 2L interviewing that may result in changes to the below. Of course, the CPDC will keep you apprised of the latest information as it becomes available. • • • • • June 2012 – May 2013. Conduct 2L job search for Summer 2013. August – September 2012. 2L On-Campus Interviewing for Summer 2013. October 2012. Equal Justice Public Interest Career Fair. Spring 2013. Judicial Clerkship Education Series. Summer 2013. 2L summer employment.

3L YEAR • • • • B. Summer-Fall 2013. Apply for judicial clerkships. July/August 2013 – Ongoing. Conduct job search for post-graduation (if not returning to Summer 2013 employer). May – July 2014. Study for and take Bar Exam. September 2014. Begin full-time employment.

Determine Your Path

The first step in your planning is self-assessment. Why is self-assessment important? Unless you take ownership of your own career, you run the risk of drifting into someone else’s future. If you are not an active participant in the process of assessing what you want out of your Duke Law School education and subsequent career, then the path you follow may be based on the needs and criteria of others. Self-assessment will help you identify what skills, knowledge, passions, or drives you possess that you can channel into your law career. Self-assessment consists of determining three basic things: • • • Who am I? (What are my interests, skills and values?) What are my priorities? (What do I want out of my educational experience? What do I want out of my career? What do I want out of my life?) What am I willing to sacrifice to achieve these goals?

You should ask yourself other questions as well, both now and as you learn about the many opportunities that are available to you: • • • Why did I come to law school? What potential practice areas do I want to pursue? What geographical locations am I interested in?


What type of employer do I want to work for?

There are a variety of professional opportunities available to students during the two summers of law school. Law firms, public interest organizations, government agencies, judges, and professors in need of research assistants all hire law students. C. Investigate Your Options—“What Can I Do with a Law Degree?”

There are literally thousands of career possibilities for Duke Law School students and graduates. The first challenge you face in preparing for your job search is to understand yourself and to identify your interests and goals. Here are a few examples of some of the types of employers available to you: Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office State Attorney General Capitol Hill County Attorney’s Office District Attorney’s Office Public Defender’s Office City Attorney’s Office Non-Profit Advocacy Legal Services National think tanks and advocacy groups Regional and state advocacy groups Large law firms Small law firms Solo-practice law firms Public interest law firms Federal judges Juvenile court judges Judicial law clerks Drug court professionals Professional mediators/negotiators Trial consultants Plaintiff’s law firms Defense law firms Trade Associations Labor Unions School Board attorneys Foundations In-house counsel at businesses Officers and Directors of businesses Political Campaigns Aids to elected officials Legislative research commissions Professors at law schools Professors at public policy schools Undergraduate professors State judges Victim assistants Foreign Service FBI and CIA Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights Boutique law firms And many others ……

Do not forget to take advantage of resources connected to Duke Law School: talk with a career counselor; reach out to upper class students; talk with faculty; call alumni; and attend Law School programs. You can also talk to lawyers outside of the Duke Law School circle. D. Investigate Summer Job Opportunities • Your 1L Summer: The immediate goal for your 1L summer is simply to do something that either increases your legal knowledge or that improves upon the skills that you will use during your career. By the end of the summer, the aim is to be able to articulate what you have learned and how you are more prepared for a legal career. Your 1L summer is an ideal opportunity to pursue what interests you. Take the time to learn about the different experiences offered, and hopefully, find a match to your interests. Duke Law School and many legal employers adhere to the rules set out by NALP, the National Association of Legal Career Professionals, which require that first year students and employers not initiate contact with one another, interview or make offers, prior to December 1, in order to allow students more time to acclimate to law school. However,


to prevent your job search from interfering with your school work and exam preparation, you may wish to research employers and prepare your resume and cover letters well before December 1. If you do not do this well in advance of final exams, then it is best to wait until you have completed exams. Career counselors are available to review your cover letters as well as your resumes. In fact, we strongly recommend that you update your resume and make an appointment with one of our staff in November. If you are able to send letters in early December, you can potentially take advantage of the winter break to interview. • Your 2L Summer: The 2L summer should be used to strengthen your base of experience and build your skills in the direction you may wish to head following graduation. At the same time, learning during the summer that you do not wish to head in a certain direction is also valuable. The more clarity you can have about your postgraduation goals, however, the more direct your path might be to achieving them. Some legal employers expect to hire most of their full-time law graduates from those who work there over the 2L summer; thus, if this type of employer may be your postgraduation goal, it is important to try to secure a position at such an employer for your 2L summer. Keep in mind, however, that (i) not all students working at such employers receive offers of full-time employment so on-going skill development and academic success remain vital, and (ii) even if you do not get such a position as a 2L, there are many more opportunities to join these organizations - possibly as a 3L, depending on your intervening work and skill development - and certainly after a few years in practice. These types of employers are most often larger law firms and federal government agencies. Other employers view the 2L summer as a way for students to demonstrate an interest in or commitment to a particular kind of work. For example, many public interest and government employers look very favorably on graduates who have spent their summers doing public interest or government work. Similarly, smaller firms or plaintiffs' firms would like to see your experience as a 2L. The same would hold true for non-legal business positions, such as management consulting or non-profit management. In all cases, again, the goal is to identify and secure a meaningful 2L position that will continue to enhance your skills as a professional, and that will allow you maximum control over your choices as a 3L preparing to launch your career. Depending on your career interests, there are several types of employers that hire law students for the summer. 1. Law Firms or In-House Counsel Every year, law students obtain positions with law firms or in-house legal departments for the summer. The primary means of securing such positions is by writing letters to employers. These employers range in office size and practice groups and generally hire students much earlier in the year than public interest and government employers. Whatever you do, don’t resist contacting smaller firms as part of your overall search strategy. Thousands of lawyers begin and continue their career in smaller law firms working on highly sophisticated matters, and where they often learn “first chair” skills earlier than their colleagues at larger firms. What’s more, when the economy recovers as many lateral moves will be made from small to large firms as are made in the opposite direction.


2. Public Interest Organizations & Government Agencies Popular organizations for students include: public defender and legal aid offices, the Department of Justice and other federal government agencies, state attorneys’ general and district attorneys’ offices, and public interest advocacy organizations such as Natural Resources Defense Council, ACLU Capital Punishment Project, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. A summer internship with a government or public interest organization can provide opportunities for students to develop practical lawyering skills that are relevant to any type of law practice. It is important to know, however, that many of these types of organizations do not advertise summer internships and cannot afford to pay summer interns. Students interested in finding summer public interest or government internships should reach out to organizations directly, to inquire about summer internship opportunities. The Law School helps fund summer public interest work through Endowed Summer Public Interest Fellowships, Dean’s Summer Service Grants, and Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) fellowships. Endowed Fellowships are available to 1Ls and 2Ls, and are awarded on a competitive basis based on the strength of a student’s application and consideration of financial need. Dean’s Summer Service Grants provide a guaranteed level of funding to any 2L student who secures a public interest or government summer internship, and also completes 10 hours of pro bono work. PILF grants are awarded to any student who contributes a minimum number of volunteer hours to PILF’s fundraising efforts (contact PILF student leaders in order to volunteer). Finally, Duke Law students may apply to work with an environmental advocacy organization through the Stanback Fellowship program, administered through the Nicholas School. For additional information on summer public interest funding programs, contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono or the Career and Professional Development Center. 3. Judicial Internships/ Externships A judicial internship can be a great way to gain valuable legal experience, while working under the supervision of an established and respected jurist. Judicial interns perform tasks similar to those of law clerks and are given the unique perspective of seeing the legal process through the eyes of a judge. While unpaid, these positions are excellent jobs and can be especially useful to students intending to pursue a career in litigation or to make legal contacts in a community in which they wish to practice. The American Bar Association provides $1500 to minority and financially disadvantaged students for internships in ten states under their Judicial Intern Opportunity Program. Other states have programs where law students can be paid to work as a judicial intern. North Carolina has such a program for in-state residents. Many third-year students will apply to clerk for a judge following graduation. While that application process does not begin until the spring of your second year, an internship can not only help you decide if a clerkship would interest you, but may help to strengthen your clerkship application through the experience gained, and valuable contacts made within the judiciary. 4. Research Assistantships for Professors Several dozen students typically stay in Durham to assist Duke Law School professors with a variety of projects. Professors often need assistance in updating a casebook or


researching materials for a law review article. In addition to providing you with great training in legal research and writing, the professor will be able to serve as a reference for you in the future. This is especially important if you will be seeking a judicial clerkship after graduation. Watch for announcements about these positions in March and April, or contact a professor yourself. 5. Working Abroad For students who are not enrolled in the dual-degree program and who will not attend a Duke Law School summer institute, most overseas employment opportunities are obtained through proactive letter writing to organizations of interest, through business or personal contacts and other means as are typically used to secure domestic summer employment. The Career Center has resources to help you identify and research employers with international opportunities. If you are interested in international opportunities, a great tool to get you started is the database of 300+ international summer internships available at (Duke NetID required) A small number of international organizations expressed interest in specifically receiving Duke resumes. Please fill out the online survey below to be added to the listserv of students interested in exploring these opportunities Lastly, contact Oleg Kobelev, Director of International Career Development, at with any questions. Oleg is available for individual counseling and has a wealth of additional resources and opportunities that you may find valuable during your search. 6. Alternative Employers Each year more and more students have sought and secured exciting employment opportunities with employers such as hospitals, public relations agencies, investment banks, commercial banks, real estate firms, accounting firms, and management consulting firms. If you are interested in pursuing opportunities with organizations such as these, make an appointment to meet with a career counselor to discuss potential Duke Law connections in these areas, as well as your personal search strategy. Most importantly, no matter your interests, attack on a wide front and be both persistent and creative in your pursuit of opportunities. Do not wait too long to act, launch too narrow an effort, or let one string of your search play out entirely before applying to other employer types, as you never want to be one step behind a great opportunity. E. How to Identify and Contact Potential Employers 1. Directly Contacting Employers Most Duke students find positions for summer employment by pro-actively writing letters to organizations of interest, responding to job postings, contacting family and friends, and making a concerted and creative effort. First-year law students begin as early as December 1, sending or emailing letters to employers, whereas, second-year students may begin sending letters and contact employers during their 1L summer before they return to campus as a 2L. After working with the Career Center and using the resources described in this manual to identify potential employers, contact those employers by sending an email or letter to


the employer’s hiring partner or recruiting manager, including your cover letter, resume, reference list and, if available, a writing sample. In the case of smaller firms or other employers that do not identify a hiring partner or recruiting manager on their website or in other available materials, pick up the phone and inquire to whom your materials should be sent. If all else fails, write the senior partner or the most senior person within the organization who attended Duke Law. Remember to label your attached files with the recipient in mind. Instead of “myresume.doc” call is “Smith John Resume.doc.” Finally, be sure that all attachments and other electronic submissions are either in PDF or Word 2003. Most legal employers still use Word 2003 on XP and some won’t have the conversion patch. In those cases, a Word 2007 resume may not open at all, or may lose some important formatting details. If you have not heard from an employer, it is important to follow-up, especially if you can provide additional facts such as an updated transcript or resume or notify them that you will be in their area and available for an interview. See Section II (and Appendix B) of this manual and attend the Resume and Cover Letter Skills Workshop for additional guidance on directly contacting employers and drafting your resume, cover letter and other materials. 2. On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) Each year, employers participate in the On-Campus Interview (OCI) program hosted by CPDC. You should not rely on OCI, however, to secure your summer opportunity but rather utilize the myriad of resources available through the CPDC, the Office of Public Interest & Pro Bono and elsewhere in order to maximize your career opportunities. • 1L Spring OCI: A small number of employers interested in hiring first-years interview on campus in February. Typically, 15-20 legal employers come to campus. Others will send information soliciting resumes directly to CPDC. However, these organizations represent only a small subset of the legal employers nationwide that may be looking for first-year summer associates. 2L Fall OCI: This is a much larger program conducted in the fall for 2L and 3L students, most recently involving more than 250 schedules of interviews. Although extensive, we strongly encourage students not to rely solely on OCI as: (1) it can be very limiting - there are many legal employers who do not participate in OCI and (2) some students that participate in OCI do not receive offers through the OCI process.

3. Job Postings on Symplicity In addition to OCI, both public and private sector employers solicit resumes from law students for summer jobs through our office; these postings are generally on our Symplicity site which can be accessed through our website or through the Symplicity site at It is worth noting that there are many, many employers who do not post positions but who do hire law students. So, as with OCI, it is a mistake to rely solely on posted jobs through Symplicity or elsewhere. Positions with law professors will be listed on Symplicity in the spring as well, though you should also approach professors directly if you are interested in working with them Regardless of how you choose to contact prospective employers, your career search will inevitably consume a significant amount of your time and energy. Keep yourself organized and optimize your efforts by maintaining a spreadsheet or other record including:


• • • •

The name and location of the prospective employer; The name and contact information of the individual(s) to whom you sent your materials and/or made your initial contact; A brief note to yourself to help you distinguish that employer from others to which you are also applying; and Periodic updates describing every communication you send or receive from that employer (including follow-up calls or emails, rejections, callback invitations, etc.), including the date of the communication.

Bringing this record with you to each meeting with a Career Counselor will enable the Career Center to help you focus, prioritize or expand your search. F. CPDC Communications

The CPDC provides many resources to law students who are conducting job searches through its communications:

Read our "Monday Mail" email every week for important career information. Check our website ( which has career links, our CPDC Calendar of Events, and guides. Review our events calendar and attend job fairs and programs.

Talk to upper class students about their summer experiences and best research strategies. Talk to Duke Law School Faculty and alumni. If you know of a faculty member who teaches a class related to a practice area you are interested in, make an appointment to meet with him/her to get advice and discuss job opportunities. Many alumni are willing to discuss their practice area, city and organization. You can search the alumni directory to identify potential contacts. It is available through the Duke Law School website, under the Alumni section. The Duke Law user name to access this directory is “staff” and the password is “devils”.

• •

Come by the CPDC’s “One Quick Question” Table in Star Commons or outside the library throughout the year. Review the CPDC maintained list of the previous summer employers of upper class students.

G. Additional Career Search Resources 1. Websites The following is a list of websites that might be helpful to you. There are many others out there, a number of which are included in the following pages and appendices. Some are helpful to identify employers, some to seek networking opportunities, and others actually list either summer jobs, permanent jobs or both. Law Firm Directories • Martindale-Hubbell Directory. The Martindale-Hubbell Directory is one of the most comprehensive resources for information on law firms of all sizes and on individual lawyers. Available online at, this Directory provides


information about the educational backgrounds, professional affiliations, and sometimes practice specialties of individual lawyers at different legal employers. You can do an advanced search to identify law firms in a particular city by size, practice area and more. This is one of the more comprehensive listings of lawyers, law firms and legal employers. However, it does not contain job postings or information on whether a particular employer hires students in the summers. You can also link directly to a firm or legal employer's website from the Martindale-Hubbell Directory. NALP Directory. This large book and website profiles hundreds of law firms, large non-profit and governmental organizations. The online version allows for mail merging, searching, and offers other useful tools. This directory is a smaller subset of the employers listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Directory, so it should not be considered an inclusive listing of all employers in a particular region. Chambers USA and Chambers Global. These publications, available in book form in the Career Center and online at and, rank law firms and individual attorneys by state and practice area from a client’s perspective. As with any rankings, you should not give too much credence to the order in which the firms are listed and certainly should not dismiss a firm simply because it is not included. However, these resources can help you discover potential employers, including prominent boutique firms, with strengths in your practice area and region of interest. Chambers is also a good resource to research firms with which you are interviewing, including unearthing the strengths of a particular branch office and identifying the most prominent partners or firm leaders. Finally, use the “Practice Area Definitions” section to help you understand your practice options and to ensure that use industry terms correctly during interviews. US News. Like Chambers, US News and World Report provides a searchable ranking of select law firms by practice area and location (including by city) at While this website does not contain extensive firm profiles, and you should always be cautious with respect to rankings, this resource can serve as one starting point for finding firms in your city and practice area of interest.

General Legal Search: • • The American Bar Association ( provides career advice and resources. The Job Board contains on-line job listings, although many of the posted jobs require experience. Building a Better Legal Profession ( is a national grassroots movement that seeks market-based workplace reforms in large private law firms. By publicizing firms’ self-reported data on billable hours, pro bono participation, and demographic diversity, this site draws attention to the differences between these employers. Careeronestop ( is sponsored by the United States Department of Labor and provides job search advice, career information and links to state and private job bank sites. Job openings are from all over the nation and represent all types of work. This is NOT a legal-specific site. Counsel.Net Attorney Job Center ( contains job postings by geographic area, including some international. You can sign up to have job postings emailed to you as they become available online. The site also has chat boards. EmplawyerNet ( provides, through its premiere membership, access to a job database with thousands of listings. Also, job


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information matching your search criteria is sent via email so you do not have to search the database every day. The fee for this service is $7.95 per month for law students. Hieros Gamos The Comprehensive Legal and Government Portal ( contains information for students and practicing lawyers on everything from the bar exam, to bar associations and legal resources to descriptions of over 70 practice areas. It also has a job search section and resume posting capabilities. Internships-USA ( lists more than 3000 organizations offering internships for college and law students, but requires a user name and password. One can be obtained from the Career Center. Law Forum Employment Opportunities ( is a directory of law-related websites, including an employment section. NationJob Network ( is a general job search site with a section for a legal job search. National Lawyers Guild ( a home for lawyers interested in social justice, this site has fellowship postings as well as information on Public Interest, Non-Governmental Organizations and Human Rights organizations. The NAWL Career Center ( offers employers targeted access to quality women professionals, along with quick and easy job posting and online job activity reports. United States Patent and Trademark Office ( has a section for job announcements at the PTO under the pull down menu. The site also provides general information about the PTO. This is NOT a legal-specific site. Vault/MCCA Law Firm Diversity Database ( has job postings, statistics and other information on diversity in law firms. Many State Bars or State Bar Associations have job listings and information for networking contacts. You can access many of these through the Career Services Website at Career Links. There are some websites that list legal jobs that require payment of a fee to use the site. Some of these sites may list summer jobs, but you are encouraged to confirm this before signing up. They include: and

Other websites with legal job postings include (many of these list permanent jobs but not summer jobs): (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin) (British site) (British site) (Federal jobs) (online job site for the Chronicle of Higher Education) (claims to be the "#1 entry level job site for college students and recent grads." It does have quite a few attorney postings, but only a few intern positions.)


Public Interest, Government, Non-Profit and Environmental: • • The Advancement Project ( lists legal and nonlegal public interest openings under the Community Justice Resource Center link. Alliance for Justice ( is a national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women's, children's and consumer advocacy organizations. The site has information, internship and job announcements for the Alliance and links to its members’ websites. American Civil Liberties Union ( is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization devoted exclusively to protecting the basic civil liberties of all Americans and extending them to groups that have traditionally been denied them. The site has information and job announcements as well as summer programs for the Union. Derechos Human Rights ( and its sister group, Equip Nizkor, are international organizations working for the respect and promotion of human rights all over the world. Under the Communications Links heading, there is a directory of web sites as well as names and information on international organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations. The Department of Justice ( lists openings including summer jobs and jobs under the Honors Program. Ecomall ( provides extensive directories of grassroots environmental organizations under the heading In House Resources Non Profit Groups. Environlink ( is a directory of environmental organizations and also lists job and internship postings. Federal law clerk information ( is an online database that allows prospective applicants to search a national database of federal law clerk vacancies. The Idealist ( has listings of domestic and international nonprofit organizations, including postings for internships and jobs. NALP 2011-2012 Federal Legal Employment Opportunities Guide is now available through the NALP website in PDF format at The Federal Legal Employment Opportunities Guide is a publication of NALP/PSLawNet with important contributions from the Partnership for Public Service. This guide is a comprehensive source of information on federal departments and agencies as well as the federal government hiring process. The guide includes profiles of government attorneys and additional tip for success in the federal government job search. National Center for Adoption Law & Policy ( has a one-stop job matching program that connects law and graduate social work students to adoption and child welfare employers across the country. This program is a free service. National Center For State Courts ( links to numerous state, federal and international court sites. There is a section on jobs in state court systems across the country. National Legal Aid and Defender Association ( provides legislative updates, information on civil legal and public defender related legislation and NLADA conferences. Job listings can be found by clicking on Job Opportunities and are organized by region. Jobs are posted by civil legal services, defender organizations, public interest organizations and academic institutions. PSLAWNET.ORG ( lists summer jobs, career fairs, places to apply for funding for a public interest job and more. It also contains links to many

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other resources for finding jobs with a more particular focus (Federal and State Government, Environmental, Civil Rights, Native American Issues, Women’s Issues, etc.). University of Arizona Law School’s Government Honors and Internship Handbook ( provides a comprehensive and up-to-the minute source for federal government hiring information. Use the username/password: snicker/doodle. Used in conjunction with the NALP Federal Legal Employment Guide, it provides students and graduates valuable and current information on federal government employment opportunities. This website should be used as a supplement to, and not a replacement for, checking individual agency websites for opportunities. USAJobs ( is the official job site of the U.S. federal government and includes both legal and non-legal openings. Look on-line, or call directly, State Attorney Generals’ Offices, local District Attorneys’ offices, and state or local Public Defenders’ Offices. Some list summer jobs on their websites, others can tell you if you call them directly. These jobs may or may not pay summer associates (in which case alternate funding may be available elsewhere).

International: • • Duke Law’s Searchable Database of International Opportunities ( The Hague Justice Portal (click on vacancies): ( ABA List of Internships with International Law Firms, Summer 2011 nternships.html Internship opportunities at the United Nations: Eurobrussels (a comprehensive website listing vacancies within EU institutions and international organizations, as well as some EU law firms) PSLawNet Guides to Finding International Public Service Opportunities

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Other: • • • Above The Law ( is a popular legal tabloid frequented by both lawyers and law students. Law Shucks ( is a popular legal blog which covers the business of law and has tracked recent layoffs and staffing changes at major legal employers. JDSnub Blog ( contains stories from people who graduated from law school but decided to pursue other careers.

2. Other Resources The CPDC print library has a number of books that are helpful in every part of your journey from self-assessment through relocation information. Check out the full list of our print titles in our office.


Leadership Directories (Yellow Books). The Yellow Books are a collection of legal directories, divided by type of organization, which list attorneys, firms, judges, and their contact information. The Federal and State books are an especially helpful resource, providing valuable current addresses and phone numbers. Corporations and International books may also prove helpful for locating in-house counsel and foreign law firms. Other directories identify employers in the Non-profit Sector. Finally, Judicial books will be helpful in learning about state and federal judges. These guides are available on-line ( You can search to find contact information or by undergraduate or law school affiliation. This resource does not have job postings but is extremely comprehensive. Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide. A joint publication between Harvard Law School and Yale Law School for students and lawyers seeking public service work, this guide contains in-depth public service job search advice, highlights diverse types of public interest advocacy and offers specific strategies for the job search, from developing a visually powerful resume, to writing sophisticated cover letters, to establishing networks within the public service community. Volume I focuses on opportunities within the United States. Volume II covers the public international job search. CPDC Computers. CPDC has multiple computer terminals on which you can perform career-related research or simply print a resume or cover letter. You will find your Lexis and Westlaw computer software training to be helpful for career research and thorough interview preparation.


Presenting Your Best Self: What Employers Look For

As you embark on your job search and prepare for interviews, now is a good time to do a search of your name on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and some of the other online communities that you may participate in. Take a look at what is posted and ask yourself, "Would I want an employer to see this?" With the increasing availability of technology, employers are using the aforementioned resources to aid them in their hiring decisions. Note that pictures and statements need not be of or made by you in order to impact a prospective employer’s hiring decision. Consider the professional impact of not only your own posts, but everything that is visible or can be linked to from your page. It is important that you protect your reputation as it is the most valuable asset you will have in your career. 1. Facebook, Twitter, and Voicemail Many employers subscribe to Facebook, Twitter and similar websites as a way to conduct background research on job candidates. In the same vein, we encourage you to be mindful of your voicemail greeting and any signature quotes that you may have on your email account. Be sure that these and other personal stamps present you in a polished and professional manner. 2. Blogs Many students incorrectly assume anonymity when participating in blogs on-line. However, an alias is often traceable and many employers check blogs or are “informed” by your peers about postings on various sites. Your postings may not only harm your chances of obtaining an opportunity but may also reflect poorly on your classmates and Duke Law.


If you have specific concerns about your background, please speak with a Career Counselor to learn how to present yourself in the best possible light. Being prepared to deal with an issue directly is the most successful path to a rewarding job search.




Networking a crucial part of any job search—and indeed, it will play an on-going and invaluable role in your career. Networking includes contacting people you already know, as well as finding new contacts who may be able to help you locate jobs that are part of the "hidden job market" jobs that are not advertised or openings that may be about to occur. In addition, contacts are invaluable as you seek to further define your long-term career interests and map out a plan to achieve those goals through informational interviews. Finally, if meaningful relationships are formed, contacts can become emotionally invested in your professional success and take it upon themselves to serve as your personal advocates. Appendix B includes a list of questions for conducting networking meetings or informational interviews to gather data on a potential career path; Appendices C and D include resources to help you brainstorm potential career contacts you already have, and proven methods to identify and connect with new leads. A. Finding Contacts Make a list of people you know who may have valuable information about careers or contacts to potential employers. Examples include family and friends of family, current and previous work contacts, acquaintances from social groups, churches, or activities, alumni you know from undergraduate or law school, Duke Law alumni, and current or former professors. Ask the people you contact for further referrals. B. Rules for Networking • Ask contacts for information, not a job. • Contacts are most helpful when you can ask them something to which they can say, "Yes." For example, ask for advice, resources about a particular field or practice area, information about career opportunities, or a critique of your resume. If contacts are impressed with you, they will inform you about potential jobs. When you meet contacts, focus on them, not yourself or your own needs. Ask them about their day-to-day work activities, what they like and dislike most about their job, what led them to choose the career path they have chosen, what they would do if they were in your position, etc. Although you are not asking the contact for a job, treat all interactions with the same professionalism and courtesy you would an interview. Make sure your contacts have all the relevant information about you. You may provide them with a resume and update it when necessary. Don’t expect the contact, however, to do the heavy lifting. You should follow up with the appropriate HR contact. It is your job search and should always remain in your control – unless your contact requests otherwise. You can ask contacts to refer you further, for example, by asking, "Given my interests and background, is there anyone else to whom you suggest I speak?" Give positive feedback. Thank contacts for their time in person and in writing. Let them know specifically how you’ve acted upon their advice.

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Keep good records of whom you spoke with and what you discussed. C. How to Prepare for a Social Networking Event Receptions, parties, conferences, etc. are great opportunities to gather information from people who may have knowledge and experience in a geographic area or practice area of interest to you. Before the Event: • Study any list you can get of people attending. Decide in advance whom you will try to meet. • Research those who will be in attendance and those you hope to meet. Knowing such information as where they attended college, law school, whether they clerked, and in what area of law they specialize may help you find some points of connection. Make sure you dress appropriately. When trying to impress someone, it helps to wear a suit and polished shoes and have a good haircut, etc. Resolve to be brave. It's very tempting to spend your time in a social setting with fellow students or people you know, but the potential benefit of meeting and mingling with prospective employers is invaluable. Be well-rested and well-fed before the event. To be able to meet and talk with new people at the event, you will need to be energetic, and you won't have much time to eat.

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At the Event: • To stay in top form, limit alcohol consumption and avoid messy foods. • Approach strangers and introduce yourself with a smile and a handshake. State your name clearly. Shake hands -- you should give a firm, but not-too-strong, squeeze. Try to use an opening line based on the current setting, and try to end your opener with a question. That way you immediately have something in common to talk about, and you give the other person the opportunity to talk. For example, "Isn't it great that Duke Law and Wachtell sponsored this reception?" Or, "What is your area of practice?” Maintain eye contact when talking. Eye contact communicates sincerity and interest. Be careful about telling jokes. Do not tell ethnic, religious, sexual, or gender jokes. (Also be careful of political jokes.) Avoid these areas as topics of conversation. Don't take it personally if you try to talk to someone, and he or she does not engage with you after you have given it a good try. Move on and talk to someone else.

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Remember that you are trying to achieve quality of contacts rather than quantity of contacts. Try to learn as much as you can about each person's firm, practice, and interests. Try to impart similar information about yourself. In the end, you should each be able to remember something distinctive about the other person. Wait for an appropriate opportunity or the end of the conversation to ask for a business card or to offer your own. Don't be offended if someone quickly puts your business card away or even writes on it. If appropriate, ask for an opportunity for further conversation and further advice. Do not ask directly for a job. Do ask for referrals to other contacts.

After the Event: • Review any business cards you receive and make notes about the people you spoke with and what you talked about. • Follow up by e-mail or letter to any person with whom you made a connection, if appropriate. Reference the setting at which you met and something you discussed. Think about how you can utilize these contacts for the future.


IV. Resumes, Cover Letters and Other Correspondence
When contacting employers to request an interview or informational meeting, you should create and gather the following materials which are typically requested by employers. These are the tools you will need to market yourself: 1. A current resume 2. A cover letter 3. An official or unofficial transcript 4. A writing sample 5. A list of professional and/or academic references (preferably 3) In this section, you will learn how to create a resume that highlights your skills and abilities that will bring value to employers, and a cover letter that will explain your reasons for contacting the employer. This section also provides guidelines for transcripts, writing samples and reference lists. A. Drafting Your Resume

Before you begin drafting your resume, consider how to best "sell" your experience and credentials. Achievements in school, research and writing, public service, work experience, the arts or sports, or languages are all of great interest to potential employers. Whether you have worked for many years or recently graduated from college, your presence at Duke Law School means you have great achievements to include on your resume. Ultimately, your resume will be impressive enough to motivate a complete stranger to want to meet you, and later to hire you. You should assume that a reader will spend no more than 30 seconds on the initial scan of your resume; thus, it should be neat, error-free and extremely easy to read. How Your Resume Works for You: • • Gives you the opportunity to paint a self-portrait highlighting your accomplishments and unique attributes. Gives you your first opportunity to make a favorable impression on a prospective employer.

Format of a Great Resume: • • • Your resume should fit on one page. If you have extensive pre-law school experience and/or are applying to public interest and government positions, discuss your resume length with a Career Counselor. Your resume should present materials succinctly. The formatting of your resume should be easy to read and consistently applied throughout. The Career Center strongly recommends using the format shown in the Form Resume attached as Appendix D.

(Sample resumes are in Appendix D to this manual. Additional examples of “Experience” descriptions can be found in Appendix E and a list of helpful action verbs and legal descriptions is in Appendix F.)


Keeping these principles in mind, let's work our way from the top of your resume to the bottom: 1. Your Name Center your name at the top of the page. While the substance of your resume should be between 10 to 12 pt. fonts, you may make your name slightly larger, but no larger than size 14. If you go by your middle name, you should use an initial for your first name. For example, if your name is Eva Maria Gabrielsson and you go by Maria, you should consider using "E. Maria Gabrielsson." While you should not use a nickname such as Dave, if you go by a name that is very different from your full name, you may wish to include it on your resume. If you have a gender neutral name, or an unusual name from which it is difficult to ascertain gender, include your middle name if this makes it obvious or add "Mr." or "Ms." to your headings. Recruiters appreciate such an effort. 2. Your Address Your local address should be centered beneath your name. If you decide to include both a local address as well as a permanent address, position the local address flush with the left margin and your permanent address at the right margin. A permanent address is recommended if you are attempting to establish a geographic connection to an area. If you do not wish to return to your home state, and if you can readily be reached at your school address, you should not include your home address, as employers will assume that you still consider it a viable geographic location for employment. Be sure to include your primary telephone number and email address. Use your Duke email address; do not use an email address that is unprofessional (e.g. 3. Education The heading for this section, "Education", should be flush with the left margin and the schools should be in BOLD, followed by the city and state. This section, as with the rest of your resume, should be in reverse chronological order. Beginning with law school, list your law, graduate and undergraduate schools, city and state, expected or actual year and month of graduation, degree(s), honors and activities, and grade point average rounded to the nearest hundredth (e.g. 3.22). Please see Section 7 below for further discussion of grades. If you are a joint degree student, you may include this along with your law degree (e.g., “Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in English expected, May 2014”). Alternatively, you can list the school(s) separately. If you attended more than one graduate or undergraduate school, identify each as well as the years attended. You may also include fellowships, research projects, and study abroad programs here. If relevant, you may briefly describe your thesis or research projects. If you are a transfer student, you must include your original law school after your Duke University School of Law education section and include the dates you attended and your GPA, class rank and honors if applicable. See Appendix J for formatting guidance. What about your secondary (high school) education? While this is not usually included, you may arguably mention this only under one of the following scenarios: • • You were class valedictorian (make sure you also mention this fact on the resume); You attended a well-known or prestigious secondary school from which a member of an organization to which you are applying also graduated;


You want to establish roots in a community that are not otherwise apparent.

If you choose to include information about your secondary education, locate it under Additional Information at the bottom of your resume, not as stand-alone entry under the “Education” heading. For example: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Member, Phillips Exeter Alumni Association DO NOT include your LSAT or other standardized test score. The Law School Admission Council has issued a statement declaring this inappropriate. Also, do not include college scholarships awarded based on high school performance on a standardized test. 4. Honors and Activities "Honors and Activities" should be listed under the respective academic institutions at which you received them. If your honors and activities are extensive, you may choose to create a separate "Honors" and "Activities" category under the appropriate academic institution. Similarly, if you are applying for a specific type of job (public interest or international, for example), you may want to group your honors and activities accordingly. For example, you may list Honors under your respective educational headings, but also create a Public Service Activities category as well. No matter how you arrange them, be certain to include any honors that indicate a high level of academic performance, and explain their significance if necessary. Be sure to include any nationally recognized honors. Scholarships should also be included; if you received a scholarship or grant to pursue your law degree, be sure to include that under Duke University School of Law. Finally, don't forget to include any significant college or professional activities, such as sports teams or the arts, in which you participated, as employers view this as an indication of your ability to cooperate and achieve a common goal. Do not underestimate an accomplishment's value simply because it does not seem "legal" or business related. Likewise, if you held any positions of leadership in university or community organizations, these should also be listed. 5. Experience The next category is "Experience." If everything included in this section is a paid job, you can call the section "Work Experience," but if you have included internships and volunteer positions, you should simply call it "Experience." If this section on your resume is not particularly lengthy, you may be creative and expand upon relevant unpaid experience here, including teaching and research assistant positions, school-year internships, or significant community service endeavors. Begin with the most current or recent position you have held and work backwards chronologically from there. Do not leave large gaps of time unaccounted for, as you will waste precious interview time explaining these gaps. Much as your academic entries were listed, typically the name of the employer and location should be on the first line, with the positions held and the relevant dates on the second. As shown below, this style will also allow you to list multiple positions at the same place of employment if necessary:


Andrews & Kurth LLP, New York, NY Paralegal, May 2007 - July 2008 File Clerk, January - May 2007 Following these two lines, you should include a brief job description. When writing a job description, be succinct and use action words. (A list of frequently used action verbs can be found in Appendix G to this manual.) Complete sentences are not necessary, though phrases or bulleted points that function as a sentence, rather than as a listing of items, should always end with a period. Job descriptions end with a period, but listings in the academic section and listings of personal interests do not, unless they function as a sentence. Independent phrases should be separated by semicolons or periods, or, if space permits, on their own lines with or without a bullet. The text should be in telegraphic style, which means that you should not include unnecessary articles such as: "the," "a," or "an." This will make your description read more crisply. You should also avoid the use of personal pronouns, like "my" or "I." Avoid using phrases such as, "My responsibilities included writing...reading... researching..." Instead, try to use "drafted ... read ... researched..." and other action words. Use the present tense only if you are currently doing the job. Otherwise, all verbs should be in the past tense. Your descriptions of previous experiences can make your resume stand apart from the hundreds of other resumes reviewed by your prospective employer. They should be specific and interesting, detailing projects you completed and how your work added value to your employer. To the extent you can quantify your successes, do so. Remember that the more specific information you include, the more interesting questions employers can ask you in an interview! Your goal is to describe what you did, that you did it well, and how it qualifies you for the position to which you are applying – all in a few lines. As such, drafting a compelling resume it is an art that requires time, practice and feedback. Make an appointment with a Career Counselor to revise your resume well in advance of submitting applications. (Sample language for the Experience portion of your resume can be found in Appendix F to this manual.) 6. Additional Information Following the Experience category, you may wish to include an Additional Information sectional. If you have a particular language ability, you should include a "Languages" category. Indicate the level of competence, either “native,” “fluent,” "proficient," or “knowledge of.” Be prepared to be interviewed in that language if you state that you are fluent. If you have any particular skills that you think are interesting and might provoke a conversation in an interview, include these under Additional Information, e.g. “Interests include…” In this section you might list SCUBA certification, a Black Belt in Karate, or other certified activities. Basic word processing and Microsoft Office proficiency and/or experience with Lexis and Westlaw should not be included, nor should a passive hobby such as reading or watching movies. You want to demonstrate your discipline, confidence, dedication, attention to detail or leadership ability – characteristics relevant to successful lawyers.


7. A Few Final Tips Sensitive Issues: Keep those activities that might portray you as a "party animal" or non-academic type, to a minimum. That does not mean that you should always leave off things like membership in a fraternity or sorority. Rather, you should consider carefully what value including your membership might add. If you had a leadership position within your fraternity, this might demonstrate leadership skills, commitment etc. Likewise, take care not to overstate your political allegiances or membership in politically sensitive organizations unless you have extraordinary experience or interest in these groups. Remember, you have no idea of the personal likes and dislikes of the readers of your resume. Anything on your resume that may rub someone even a little bit the wrong way is probably enough reason to reject your application. A resume is not the vehicle for espousing your personal causes unless you are sure your views will be welcomed by your audience, or unless you would not be interested in working for the employer if he or she does not agree with your views. Grades: A very good question is whether to include college and law school grades on resumes. There is no absolute answer to this question. It is clear, however, that employers are almost always interested in your academic record, and if you do not include your GPA on your resume, most will ask for a copy of your transcript before extending an offer. Some employers express frustration when students submit resumes without grades, and may assume that you are unhappy with your performance. On the other hand, your resume is the opportunity for you to sell yourself. If your grades do not positively reflect your abilities, you may want to omit them. In this situation, you would hope to make a positive impression on the employer before he or she asks for your grades; students do have success with this method. As a general rule, if your GPA starts with a "3", include it. You might want to include it in other cases as well. If you do include your GPA, remember to round it to the hundredths (e.g., 3.22), not to the tenths. When in doubt, discuss this important issue with your CPDC counselor. 8. Printing Your Resume You should produce a professional resume. Variable font sizes and styles can be used to help you include more information (ideally, your font should be at 11 or 12 point for ease of reading), and the use of bold and italicized fonts will help you emphasize certain items. See Appendix A for formatting guidance. Paper Quality: If submitting a hard copy, your resume should be printed on white or a neutral color (ecru, very light beige) bond paper (24 lb. is very good). Be sure to purchase sufficient quantities of matching plain paper and matching envelopes for your cover letters, resumes and references. If you produce an original resume on regular copy paper and take it to print shops such as Kinko's, they can darken it a bit and print it directly onto your quality paper. Kinko’s-quality resume paper is perfectly adequate. You need not invest a small fortune in more expensive alternatives. PDF: If submitting your resume electronically, attach it to your email in .pdf form to ensure that the recipient’s word processing settings don’t modify your carefully constructed format or inadvertently show edits. Edit: Perhaps most importantly of all, your resume must be error-free and consistent. Read and re-read it. Have someone else read it for you. One misspelled word can spoil your chances of landing an interview.



Cover Letters

Law students must avail themselves of every possible opportunity to distinguish their credentials, attributes and experience. In today's highly competitive job market, a creative, thoughtfully composed, well-written cover letter can make a significant impact on a hiring manager to move your resume from the tottering stack of many to the well-balanced stack of a few. The cover letter is, in fact, your first writing sample read by a potential employer. Therefore, as with any writing sample, your cover letter should be all of the following:
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concise well-structured persuasive well-reasoned, and grammatically perfect

The desired effects of your cover letter are two-fold: first, to provide the reader with information regarding your career-related intentions; and secondly, to identify and attract attention to something about you which is unique, interesting, and desirable in the context of potential employment as an attorney. 1. The Format Most importantly, your cover letter should be absolutely perfect, with no typographical errors or misspellings. Your cover letter should be written in the style of a business letter. It is now preferable in most cases to email a cover letter and resume. If you do mail, each letter should be a signed original, printed on bond paper by a letter quality printer. The color of your cover letter (e.g., white, ivory, and bone...never a color of the rainbow) should match the color of your resume and envelope. At this stage of your career, your cover letter should not exceed one page. 2. Text of the Letter We encourage every student to write to potential employers until he or she secures a position of interest. This can be a time-consuming and laborious endeavor, but is wellworth it if it leads to securing the optimal position for you. You should develop one or several standard but flexible letters, which can be adjusted to suit the particular employer and the particular city or geographic region. You may also need to stress certain skills or qualifications that you feel will benefit a specific employer. It is likely that you will need to develop multiple cover letters. Generally speaking, an effective cover letter needs to establish the following five basic points in three or four paragraphs: The reason you are contacting a particular employer; The interest you have in the geographical location of the employer; The reasons for your interest in the legal practice of the particular employer; The strengths, attributes, and skills you will contribute to the position for which you are applying; and 5. Your availability for a personal interview. 3. Choosing the Recipient of Your Letter You should never write a letter addressed to "To Whom It May Concern," but rather should direct your letter to a specific person. The salutation should read: "Dear Mr. or Ms. Jones:". For a judge, the address should read, The Honorable William K. Smith, and 1. 2. 3. 4.


the salutation should read, “Dear Judge Smith:.” Unless given a specific contact person to whom correspondence is directed, you should send your letters to the recruiting coordinator at a particular employer. However, depending on the situation, you might instead address your letter to a Duke alumnus, the head of a particular department, a hiring partner or manager, or even the former tennis partner of an attorney who is a family friend. While it is best to consult with CPDC to determine to whom you should apply, regardless of the primary recipient, it is also wise to "cc" or send a copy of your letter to the employer's recruiting coordinator. This person will ensure that your application receives prompt attention. The NALP Directory will identify the hiring partner or recruitment professional for a particular firm, but only for NALP member employers. For non-NALP employers, you may need to check the employer's website or pick up the telephone and inquire. Don't forget to verify the spelling of the individual's name, and the gender, if necessary. 4. The Introduction Your first paragraph serves as your introduction. Do not start the letter with "My name is Mary Powaga," but rather, give a solid indication of your educational status ("I am a firstyear student at Duke University School of Law...") and explain briefly why you are writing (....and am interested in being considered for a summer associate position for the summer of 2012.") If you have a particular contact with the employer, this should be noted here, saying, "Stephanie Wormser, an attorney in your Charlotte office, suggested that I write to you." The last sentence of this paragraph should serve as your thesis sentence for the remainder of the letter, possibly identifying 2-3 traits or interests you will discuss in the body of the letter. There is not a lot of room for creativity here (especially for 1L's and 2L's). However, the first paragraph should be a real attention getter since many who will read your letter and who may view the cover letter as a "mere formality" may not get past the first paragraph. Thus, if you have a way of creating an immediate and positive first impression (e.g., "having decided to attend Duke Law School following my receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, I am..."), you might consider this approach. 5. Second Paragraph - Interest in the Employer Why are you interested in this employer? The following two points must be conveyed: (1) The employer is in a city or geographic area that appeals to you, and (2) The employer offers an employment opportunity that is compatible with your career interests. Let's look at each of these factors: Geography/Regional Ties: If you have a tie to a particular market, no matter how tenuous, emphasize it to enhance your credibility. Identify your connection to an area or a city through your own roots, family ties, college, previous work experience or previous travel to the city. Some locations are melting pots and employers are not as concerned with your prior ties to the community (e.g. New York City, D.C., Los Angeles) while employers in other cities may favor law students with a demonstrable link to the city or region (e.g. Raleigh, Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston, Texas). If you have no ties to a city, you will need to establish somewhat convincingly your commitment to living and working in that city - however this can be readily accomplished. Please speak with one of us in CPDC if you have questions in this regard.


One way to show your interest in a particular geographic area is by making an effort to travel to that city. The reason employers may focus on geography is that it typically takes several years for them to earn back their investment in a new lawyer, so they want to ensure that you are both committed to starting your career in their city, and that you will in fact enjoy living in their city. The following are examples of language helpful in establishing your ties or your interest in a particular city or region. "Having been raised in Seattle, I intend to return to the Northwest to practice law following my graduation from Duke." "I spent four years as an undergraduate at Georgetown and I intend to practice law in Washington, DC following my graduation from Duke." "I have enjoyed my many visits to Atlanta and am attracted to both the professional and personal opportunities that your city offers. I intend to relocate to Atlanta following my graduation from Duke." Note: Be careful of using the passive voice in your cover letter. The language of your cover letter should be engaging, and demonstrate action and intent. Practice of the Employer: This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you are an informed consumer. In no more than two sentences, explain what it is about the employer that generated your interest (practice areas, reputation, its commitment to a specific cause, a recent matter handled by the organization, acquaintance with members of the organization). Ambivalence, indecision, or a willingness to “do anything” sends the negative message that you lack focus and just want a job, any job. The challenge is picking a practice area (a) that fits your interests/skills and (b) in which ample opportunity may exist. While the selections should be employer-specific, that may mean dispensing with practice areas which are too small, too “cold” in the current legal economy, or too selective to be a realistic target. Express your interest with some enthusiasm. An employer must feel that you devoted some thought to your selection process. CPDC counselors are more than happy to meet with you regarding your personal interests and to help you discover the practice area(s) that may be right for you. Expressing your interest in and passion for the work of the employer is especially important if you are applying for public interest and government jobs. For public interest and government jobs, the cover letter is often a much more critical part of your full application. Here are a few examples of how others have expressed their interest in a particular employer: "My immediate goal is to obtain a summer associate position in a firm with an outstanding reputation for its litigation practice, and I am particularly drawn to your firm for its prominent role in cases such as Smith v. Johnson." "I have decided to pursue a legal career in an organization which will offer me an opportunity to work in the areas of employment discrimination and civil rights."


"Given my background in accounting and finance, including three years in auditing with a Big Four accounting firm, I believe I could make a contribution to your firm’s premier transactional or tax practice." But not: "My goal is to work in a firm which has a reputation for good work-life balance. My involvement with various charitable events require a significant time commitment." "I am interested in your firm because of the training it can provide me in the area of entertainment law. I expect to become a Hollywood agent in a couple of years." “I am seeking an organization that will serve as an effective feeder to government practice.” Moreover, while it is important to highlight particular attributes of the employer that attract you ("I am particularly interested in your newly established intellectual property group"), do not waste time with puffery about the employer’s overall strength, prestige, or size. Attorneys know their organizations are attractive to law students for these reasons, and these overt compliments are unimpressive. 6. Third Paragraph - What You Bring to the Table Your goal here should not be to reiterate facts obvious from your resume but rather to: (1) establish those traits which an employer expects from an employable law student, such as excellent legal writing and research skills; and set forth something about you which, in the eyes of the reader, separates you from the masses in a very positive way.


Such a unique qualification may be derived from a practical work experience, an academic experience as an undergraduate or in another graduate school or from an extracurricular activity. Whatever the experience has been, it should portray a personal attribute that is highly desirable in a young lawyer. You may demonstrate your dedication, diligence, creativity, energy, perseverance, commitment, attention to detail, ability to assume responsibility, or work ethic through a very personal experience. If possible, be compelling, show some passion, and put a part of yourself on the page. Compose something that the reader will remember one hour later.

Do not be discouraged if you feel you do not have a particular experience that jumps off the page. Although you may not have played at Carnegie Hall, been a military officer, run a marathon or written a play, you attend Duke Law School because you are a talented individual. Here is another chance to show it. So invest some time in this process. It is worth it. Make sure to apply your skills or accomplishments to the practice of law. For example, if you have worked in retail, you might say that your "customer service experience has prepared you for the challenge of dealing with attorneys and clients with diverse backgrounds and goals." After you have completed this paragraph, test it out on a friend or bring it to the CPDC.


7. Conclusion State your interest in a personal interview. If you plan on being in the employer's city on a certain date, you should indicate this fact. Offer to provide any additional information and express your thanks for his or her consideration. (Sample cover letters are located in Appendix H to this manual.) C. Transcripts

If the employer requests a copy of your transcript, you should ask whether they would prefer an official transcript or if an unofficial transcript is sufficient. Official transcripts are available only from the Duke University registrar on the main campus (the law school Registrar cannot provide you with an official transcript). You may create an unofficial transcript by cutting and pasting from ACES into a Word document and clearly indicating that it in an unofficial transcript on the final document. (A sample transcript is located in Appendix J to this manual.) D. Writing Samples

While your cover letters and resumes are obvious writing samples, you should be prepared to submit a formal legal writing sample as well. While a writing sample alone will not get you a job, it clearly can be your undoing if you submit something inappropriate. 1. Text of a Writing Sample • A writing sample must be entirely your own work. Do not plagiarize. Your writing sample should be substantially unedited by anyone else. If significant parts of the sample were not edited, you may indicate those parts on the document. If you have an unedited sample that might appear to have been edited, it is acceptable to attach a cover sheet with a brief explanation saying, "The following is an unedited memorandum I wrote as a paralegal at Arnold & Porter. I have been given express permission to use it as a writing sample." • A writing sample should demonstrate your ability to analyze a legal issue. Consequently, the sample should contain a set of facts, a discussion of the relevant case or statutory law, and a conclusion drawn from the application of the law to the facts. Many first year students use the memorandum they prepared for their legal writing course in the fall. Feel free to make additional edits – your own edits – so it is the best work product it can be. Additional writing samples could include: a book review, a portion of a university thesis, or paper for a law school seminar based on a more jurisprudential topic. If you have written something that has been published, you might offer this as a secondary sample if asked.

If you select a document originally prepared for an employer, you must also be careful not to breach any confidences or attorney-client privileges. You must obtain permission from your employer before using such a sample and, as addressed above, you should indicate that permission has been granted on an attached cover sheet. If you need to redact confidential information such as a client name, it is preferable to rename the client generically and to inform the reader of this change on a cover sheet or in a footnote (e.g., ABC Corporation).


2. Length As a general rule, a 5-10 page document is ideal. You may use a section of a larger work, but if you do, be sure to preface the sample with an explanatory note that (1) explains the larger task and the selected issue(s), and (2) offers any facts necessary to a full understanding of the excerpted analysis. If you redact internal sections of a document in order to shorten it, make this clear to the reader so that if it is a legal area they are familiar with they do not assume that you left out an important argument. For example, if you are using a memorandum or brief that has separate sections, you could redact one section but leave its title. 3. Final Tips • Proofread. Your goal is to submit a document that is free from errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation, as it will be checked for errors, even in citation form. Candidates routinely lose potential jobs due to sloppy writing samples. • • Your writing sample may be submitted on regular, photocopy quality paper. It should be stapled in the upper left-hand corner. Make sure each copy is clean and neat. You do not need to submit a writing sample to an employer until it has been requested. However, you should bring copies of your writing sample to all interviews.


References and Reference Lists

References should not be listed directly on your resume. They should be on a separate sheet of paper. A good sign that a potential employer is seriously considering you for a position is a request for your references. Usually the employer will want the names of two or three people who can recommend you for employment based on their personal experience with you either as a law student or as an employee (preferably as a law clerk, research assistant or from a prior work setting). When providing references: • Before you give the name of any reference to a potential employer, you should obtain permission from your reference to pass along his or her name. Further, you should give a copy of your resume to your reference so he or she can become familiar with your background before the reference check. Use a sheet of stationary matching your resume to list each reference's name, address, professional affiliation, position, telephone number and email address. If it is not otherwise clear from your resume, you should identify each reference as to his or her connection to you, i.e., "Former Employer" or "Torts Professor." Put your name, address and telephone number at the top of the page in a manner that is identical to the heading on your resume. If one of your references has a connection to the prospective employer, you may wish to mention this fact in your cover letter.

• • • •


DO NOT include on your resume, "References available upon request." because that is assumed. (A sample reference list is in Appendix I to this manual.) F. Contacting Employers to Obtain a Job

After meeting with a career counselor and taking advantage of other available resources including faculty, alumni, internet and print materials, you will hopefully have a sense of the type of position that you would like to pursue. Now that you are ready to send those resumes out the door, here are some tips to help you organize your outreach efforts. 1. How Many Letters Should You Send? While no one knows this magic number, we do know that you should not send so many that they cannot be personalized. Employers are disinclined to interview those who have clearly sent generic letters as a result of a mass mailing. It is better to write personal letters to employers you have researched thoroughly than to send a less thoughtful mass mailing. Remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression – if you submit a generic application to an employer, you will not have the opportunity to reapply with a better application after you discover that the employer is a perfect match for you. Therefore, you should apply to as many employers as you reasonably can, while still crafting the applications to the needs and strengths of each particular employer. Some employers will lend themselves to more personalization than others, but you should always add at least one or two individualized points for each employer. 2. Email or Regular Mail Regular mail is the traditional method of sending your cover letter, resume and other correspondence to a potential employer. However, emailing correspondence is now common and preferred by most employers. Note that when using email, it is imperative that cover letters, resumes, and all other "formal letters" be sent as individual attachments written and appearing as if you were mailing it. Do not write your full letter in the body of the email; instead attach each document as a PDF. This format is important because your materials will likely be printed out at some point and they should appear as formal documents. Remember that using PDF format provides you with more control over the way prospective employers will view your final documents than does attaching documents in Word or equivalent formats. The subject line of your email should indicate the purpose of your contact, such as "Duke Law School Student Seeking Summer Internship". In the body of your email, you may want to insert a modified version of the first paragraph of your cover letter so the recipient has an idea why you are contacting him or her. You do not need to include your mailing address and the date in the body of your email. You can begin with "Dear Ms. Smith:." Since it is easy to make mistakes when sending emails, here are a few suggestions to ensure that you send what you intend:


• • • •

Do not put in the address of the recipient until you are ready to send. Open attached files to confirm that you are sending the correct version of your cover letter and resume. Send a blind copy to yourself to confirm what was sent and make it easy to resend it if necessary. It is critical that resumes and cover letters be sent in a format where the recipient cannot see various edits you have made to the document. If you cannot send your document in PDF, view it "showing markups" to confirm that they will only get a clean copy. Sample Email

TO: CC: FROM: BC: DATE: December 1, 2011 SUBJECT: Duke Law Student Seeking Summer Employment Dear Ms. Smith: I am a first-year student at Duke University School of Law and am interested in obtaining a position with your firm for the Summer of 2012. I have attached a copy of my cover letter and resume. I will be in the Bay Area over the winter break visiting family and friends (December 19 – 30), and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with representatives of your firm at that time. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you. Very truly yours, Heather Hutchinson Attachments:



3. Your Follow-Up After Sending an Application or Networking Letter The most important step in writing letters is not the writing - but the follow-up. Calling and/or emailing to confirm receipt of your materials and then to remind the employer that you will be in his or her town on a given future date is an excellent way to have your information pulled from the file and acted upon. It doesn't always lead to immediate results, but this additional contact can increase your chances significantly. Such a call is appropriate 7-10 days after sending.


G. Other Communications to Employers In addition to your resume, cover letter, and writing sample, there is other correspondence for which you will be responsible during your job quest. Thank you letters, reimbursement requests, and acceptance/rejection letters provide you with opportunities to further interact with an employer, as well as to provide them with important information. 1. Thank You Letters Screening Interviews. While not all employers expect thank you letters after an initial on-campus or screening interview, others incorporate thank you notes into their selection process. Since sending a brief “thank you” email to your interviewer(s) never hurts, we recommend doing so within 24 hours of a screening interview. Remember to keep it brief and to the point and try to mention something specific that you discussed during your interview. While a typed or handwritten letter is more traditional, the speed of email is especially advantageous with respect to screening interviews since decisions to make callbacks are often made within hours or days of the initial contact. If you choose to use email, the subject line should simply be "Thank You.” Callbacks. Send a thank you letter (or letters) immediately following your return from an interview at the employer's office. In this context, you can either e-mail or mail your letter. E-mail is quicker and a mailed letter is more traditional, so obviously there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. The general purpose of such a letter is to: • • • Express your appreciation to the interviewers for their interest in you as well as their hospitality during your visit. Remind the interviewer who you are by highlighting something that occurred during the interview which you believe the interviewer should recall. Indicate that you remain extremely interested in the employer.

A Form Thank You Letter is a Waste of Time: Each thank you letter must be customized to the individual receiving the letter. The best way to personalize the letter is to mention a particular detail that made a favorable impression on you during the interview. To do this, take notes on your interviews as soon as possible after leaving the employer. To Whom Should You Write? Unless you can write a very distinct note to each person with whom you met, write one letter to either the recruiting coordinator or the hiring partner and ask the coordinator to pass along your appreciation to the others with whom you met. You will need to include the names of everyone with whom you interviewed, so be sure to note each interviewer’s name. If there is an additional person with whom you really connected, you could write that person as well. Note that if you interviewed with a small employer and only met two or three people, you should try to write personalized letters to each. However, one really good letter is better than a number of not-so-good letters or letters that are repetitive. Proofread! While a carefully written thank you letter is unlikely to independently secure a position, a thank you letter with one misspelling, grammatical error, too-casual tone or lack of personalization can (and has) derail students’ otherwise strong prospects of


receiving callbacks or offers. The thank you letter is really just another writing sample that you are providing to the employer; be sure to treat it as such. (A sample thank you letter is in Appendix K to this manual.) 2. Correspondence Regarding Offers, Acceptances and Rejections Receiving and Accepting an Offer You should acknowledge an offer of employment within 24 hours of receiving it. You should be prepared to either accept, decline or request more time to decide. Do not accept an offer unless you are fully prepared to work for that employer. When accepting an offer, it is important that you proceed in a professional manner. As soon as you have decided to accept an offer, you should telephone either the individual who extended the offer or the recruitment department of the employer and inform them of your decision. Upon completing your telephone call, you should write the employer as soon as possible confirming your decision. Again in a very professional manner, you will express your gratitude at receiving the offer and state that you enjoyed both your visit to the employer and the opportunity to meet with several of the employer’s lawyers. Under the NALP rules, employers should hold offers for first year students open for at least two weeks. Offers for second and third year law students that are made during the fall recruiting season have separate deadlines set by NALP. The CPDC or NALP websites will have the time lines for subsequent years. (A sample acceptance letter is in Appendix L to this manual.) Declining an Offer It is perhaps even more critical to decline offers in a timely and professional manner, as these may be the first employers you contact should you seek other opportunities as a 2L, 3L, or after graduation. As soon as you have decided to reject an offer, you should telephone either the individual who made you the offer or the recruitment office and inform them of your decision. Your decision will usually free up an offer, which may then be extended to another law student. If you are only able to reach an employer's voicemail during their regular business hours, leave a message declining the offer. Your promptness will be most appreciated and will contribute to the overall efficiency of the recruiting season. Upon completing your telephone call, you should write the employer as soon as possible confirming your decision. In a professional manner, express gratitude at receiving the offer and state that you enjoyed both your visit and the opportunity to meet with several of the employer's lawyers. You should also express your regrets in reaching the decision to decline the offer. Be sure to copy the contact in the recruiting department, if applicable. This letter will be placed in your file. If you contact the employer for a position in the future, there is a good chance it will still have this file and will refer to its contents in deciding whether to consider you for a position. A courteous letter may inure to your benefit. (A sample decline letter is in Appendix M to this manual.)



Interview Preparation and Logistics

Screening interviews may take place on campus (OCI), via telephone, at a job fair and in various other formal and informal settings. The typical screening interview is a 20 to 30 minute meeting with 1 or 2 interviewers. Public sector employers sometimes conduct only one round of interviews; therefore, be aware that your initial interview may be your only meeting before the employer makes a decision. Almost all legal employers will require one or more rounds of interviews, either in person or over the phone, before offering you a position for the summer. As a result, the interviewing stage is critical in the hiring process. While some students may feel more self-conscious than others about the prospect of talking with prospective employers, all students can master the art of the interview with proper preparation A. Interview Preparation There are two distinct levels to the process of preparing for an interview: (1) conducting research on the prospective employer and (2) conducting research on you. It is only after you have researched the employer and its practice, hiring requirements and environment, AND identified your own goals, interests, and abilities, and connected the two, so that you can articulate (a) your specific interest in that employer and (b) your specific “value add” for that particular employer based upon your unique background, skills, and interests—you are fully prepared for the interview. Part of your preparation should include learning to be an "active" interviewee. While a passive interviewee may provide sound responses to interviewers' questions, he or she is foregoing a valuable opportunity to make important points. Taking charge of an interview means being responsive to the interviewer, while also making your most important three or four points in every interview, irrespective of the interviewer and the questions asked of you. Think of these three or four points as “headlines” about yourself – the attributes of your experience or personality that make you unique – and endeavor to work them into the conversation by use of anecdotes which illustrate these positive traits (i.e. leadership ability, grace under pressure, business savvy, discipline, etc.). 1. Researching the Employer You should conduct extensive research into the employer, its attorneys, and its clients. In particular, if you have the names of the lawyers with whom you will be interviewing, you should determine what their practice areas are and whether they have been involved in anything significant recently. Reading the employer's website is an obvious first step, though it should be only one of several sources of information. News about the employer's growth, major transactions or legal victories, and other noteworthy events provides substantive issues to discuss during your interview. Google, Lexis and Westlaw research is critical to obtain this type of information. In addition to printed resources, family members, friends, fellow students, alumni, and members of the law school administration and faculty who have worked at the employer or elsewhere in the same city are excellent resources for learning about employers. By mentioning conversations you have had with any of these individuals during your interview, you demonstrate to interviewers that you are both invested in learning about their organization and that you are a person who takes initiative. Some students also read material on employers on websites like while others review publicly available financial information.


This research will allow you to prepare thoughtful questions that will make you stand out. Unique questions not only demonstrate your ability to interview, but also your positive commitment to and interest in the firm. Make sure you prepare questions before you have the interview. A list of suggested questions to ask employers, as well as those that you should expect to be asked of you, can be found in the Appendix N to this manual. 2. Personal Preparation Interviewers will assess your questions and responses, not only in terms of their informational content, but also in the manner in which they are asked and answered. Your energy, sincerity, enthusiasm, candor, humor, precision, and style are among the many aspects that will affect the impression you make. Employers look for people with both sound academic and interpersonal skills. As such, you should be courteous, make good eye contact and remain calm. Likewise, watch your interviewers' body language, as it could reveal important things about their beliefs about their employer and their reaction to you. Whatever your academic qualifications, before your interview even begins you need to assess your positive qualities. It may be your experience, writing ability, or personality. If you cannot convince yourself that you have something to offer, it will be impossible to convince an interviewer. Please arrange a meeting with one of us in CPDC to help review and highlight your personal strengths. Use tact to answer questions directly and honestly; your self-confidence says more about you than almost everything else. Never apologize for shortcomings; instead, anticipate confident responses to potentially uncomfortable questions. This point is critical. In addition, you may consider raising your weaknesses and addressing them with confident responses. This technique allows you to resolve concerns that the interviewer may well have but may not be asking. Otherwise, the interviewer will draw his or her own conclusions after the interview. You will find a list of questions you can expect to be asked, as well as those you might want to ask, in Appendix N to this manual. Read these questions carefully and verbally answer them (do it with a friend if it will make you more comfortable) in preparation for your interviews. You may want to start by writing out answers. The best way to assess your interviewing skills and determine what aspects you need to improve is to participate in a mock interview. CPDC counselors are happy to conduct mock interviews for you at any time during the year. CPDC will host a formal mock interview program for first-year students early in the spring semester. 3. Prepare to Look Your Best: Dressing for Success Before you go into an interview, remember that how you dress is important. Your attire should reflect your professionalism and contribute to your confidence level. You want to be remembered for the content of the interview, not for what you were wearing. In all respects, your attire should be crisp, clean, professional and “memorably unmemorable.” It should fit well and be comfortable, so that you can concentrate on substance. IF YOU SMOKE, DO NOT SMOKE IN YOUR INTERVIEW SUIT.


WOMEN • Pant suits are more acceptable nationwide, but choose the most comfortable option for you. A suit with a skirt is more conservative, and some legal employers are more "traditional" places. Appropriate attire may vary by region. Discuss this with your Career Counselor if you are unsure. • Skirts should not be tight and should be NO shorter than two inches above your knee. Your suit jacket and skirt should fit comfortably so that you can raise your arms above your head, sit, stand, move around—be comfortable and professional from all angles, seated and standing. Suits should be a dark, neutral color (black, navy, brown or tan); blouses are a good way to bring color into your outfit. Keep makeup understated; keep nails trimmed and if polished, the polish should be in a clear or pale shade. Like makeup, jewelry should be simple. Forego multiple earrings, rings or necklaces. Choose simple (studs, not dangling) earrings. Hair should be neat; if it is long, keep it controlled. Shoes should be appropriately professional, closed-toe pumps; stilettos, boots, mules, and sandals are not suggested. If you wear a skirt, wear sheer hose in the same color as your suit or in a neutral tone. You may carry a professional brief bag, or portfolio. Do not carry a backpack Forgo strong cologne or perfume for the day.

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MEN • Your suit should be a dark, neutral color, with or without a faint pinstripe. • • • • • • Your tie should be conservative; for example, silk in a simple stripe. Men should wear black, cordovan, or brown leather shoes, polished and with unworn heels; wing tip and plain lace up shoes are best. Socks should be over-the-calf and should match your pants - no white gym socks. White shirts are your best bet, although you may choose other appropriately conservative colors. Your complete ensemble should be clean and pressed - especially your shirt. We recommend that your hair, beard, or mustache be appropriately short and neatly trimmed. Make sure your nails are clean and trimmed. If you wear an earring, stud or other jewelry, do not wear it during interviews. You may carry a briefcase or portfolio, but do not carry a backpack. Forego cologne for the day.

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B. On-Campus Interviews The following are frequently asked questions about on-campus interview schedules: • When is my interview? Your interview date or time may change based on adjustments to the employer’s schedule. Remember to confirm the date and time for each interview by checking Symplicity on a regular basis throughout the interview season—including checking that morning for any changes to your interview schedule or location that may be occasioned by an interviewer’s schedule or weather emergency. Each year a few students inadvertently write down a wrong date or time and miss an important interview. How long are on-campus interviews? On-campus interviews are typically twenty minutes. Some employers choose to conduct thirty minute interviews. What do I take to an interview? (1) Updated resume. This should be printed on bond paper. Bring plenty of copies. There is no need to provide them in a folder or expensive portfolio. Plan to bring one clean, pristine copy of your resume on cream or ecru bond paper for each on campus interview, plus a handful of extras (you may have multiple interviewers). (2) Writing sample. You may use your memo from your legal writing class. Feel free to update or edit the document as you see fit. We suggest no more than 5-10 pages. Your writing sample can be printed on regular paper. (3) Law School Transcripts (Official or Unofficial). You may use an official or unofficial (downloaded from ACES) version of your transcript. You may obtain a transcript via the University Registrar’s website at or via ACES under Academics/Transcript Requests. (Be sure to make several copies of your transcript to bring with you to each interview.) See the Appendices to this manual for a sample transcript. (4) List of references. Provide contact information for two to three people who can recommend you for employment based on their personal experience with you as a student or employee. • What should I do at the time of my interview? Plan to arrive at the interview room at least five minutes early. Knock once on the door at the scheduled time to announce your arrival, and every two minutes thereafter – this is very important as it helps the interviewers stay on schedule. Wait until your interviewer comes out to greet you before entering the room, unless you are invited to enter. Can I miss class for an on-campus interview? Students should not miss class for on-campus interviews. As a condition of participating in the on-campus interview program, each student must enter his or her entire class schedule as "unavailable times" when “bidding” for interviews and must keep the “unavailable times” schedule current as the student’s class schedule changes during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester.

• •

The Career Center is authorized to suspend bidding and interviewing privileges for students who do not properly enter their class schedule as 38 “unavailable times” until such schedule is properly entered. Missing a class for an on-campus interview will be treated under Rule 3.8 in the same manner as missing class for any other reason.

What happens if my class schedule changes and I suddenly have an interview conflict? If a last-minute change in your class schedule results in a conflict, update your unavailable times in Symplicity and contact Gail Cutter in the CPDC at as soon as possible. Given enough notice, we will try to change the time of your interview. Can I drop an interview once schedules are final? Once schedules are final, there are only three qualifying “Excused Absences.” These are:
 

Extreme illness or death in the family Acceptance of an offer of employment and notification to the Career Center prior to the time of the interview. Accepting an offer of employment will result in cancellation of all remaining interviews. Notification to the Career Center in accordance with its “Advance Cancellation Policy” (which will be distributed in a future addendum to this manual). In all case, please notify Gail Cutter, Director of Employer Relations, at at soon as practical, of your specific situation and the specific date, time and employer interview at issue.

C. Meeting the Employer The first few minutes of the interview are very important. Some interviewers talk about the "halo effect" of the first four minutes, which sets the tone of the interview and has a major impact on how the recruiter views the applicant. When you go into the interview room, shake your interviewer's hand firmly, make good eye contact, and smile. It creates a strong impression to remember the interviewer's name and to say, as you shake hands, "It is nice to meet you, Ms. So-and-so." Do not use the interviewer's first name unless he or she instructs you to do so. Wait until the interviewer indicates that you should sit down, and when you do, sit up attentively; slouching and sprawling are indicative of sloppiness. Place your hand on the arms of the chair or in your lap. Do not engage in nervous habits, including playing with your hands, your watch or jewelry. If you have a transcript or a writing sample, put them in a portfolio and bring them out when necessary. If you take a portfolio with you, set it on the floor next to your chair. As a rule, you should not take notes during the interview. With only 20 minutes to make a positive impression, this time is better spent concentrating on the interviewer and his or her questions. However, after your interview (when you’ve left the room), take a few moments to make some notes about the interview, your reaction to it, what was said, and your impression of the interviewer(s) and the firm. These notes will help prepare you if you are invited for a second visit or to write a thank you note. Try to remember to ask for every interviewer's business card so that you will have the correct spelling of his or her name. For all interviews, you are wise to have some specific questions prepared. (A list of suggested questions to ask employers, as well as those that you should expect to be asked of you, can be found in the Appendix N to this manual.) Although not typical, some interviewers may choose not to ask any questions about you, preferring to spend the entire interview asking you what questions you have about the employer.


D. Following Up After Screening Interviews The following are frequently asked questions about the next steps after your screening interview: • Do I need to write a thank you note after a screening interview? While it is not necessary to write a thank you letter after an initial on-campus or screening interview (as the employer will usually have made a decision about you before your letter arrives), sending a brief “thank you” email to your interviewer(s) never hurts, and may help you secure further interviews if you are “on the bubble.” We do recommend that you write a thank you note after a callback interview (A sample thank you letter is in the Appendix K to this manual). • When will I hear from the employer? While employer response times vary, if you have not heard from an employer of interest within two to three weeks, we encourage you to follow up on the status of your application. Follow up with the interviewer with whom you spoke, and also reach out to Duke classmates who have spent the summer at the firm, alumni at the firm, or other contacts. Speak to your CPDC Career Counselor about how to conduct appropriate, professional outreach to reiterate your interest in an employer. If you would, in fact, accept the offer of a particular employer if it were extended to you, it is appropriate to express your (genuine and specific) enthusiasm to one employer. Again, seek CPDC assistance on the most strategy way to go about this. What happens if an interviewer behaves inappropriately during my interview? While most interviewers strive to maintain a professional and sensitive attitude during interviews, occasionally a student may have a complaint about offensive or discriminatory behavior on the part of an interviewer.

If you have a complaint about inappropriate behavior during an on-campus, screening or call-back interview, please view our Anti-Discrimination Policy on CPDC website ( and come to CPDC to file a complaint.

What happens after the first round of interviews? Public interest and government employers vary in the next phase of the interview process. Some of them will make hiring decisions after the first interview, others will conduct a second interview over the telephone, and still others will require that the student meet with them on-site for a “callback” interview. Please be mindful that you may be responsible for travel expenses when visiting a public interest or government employer for an interview. However, private sector employers typically invite students to visit the employer for a callback interview. Private sector employers will usually pay for your travel expenses. The process for a typical callback interview is described in detail below. You will receive additional information regarding the callback process in the Fall On Campus Recruiting Manual, provided to you in June of 2012, and available at that time on the CPDC website at our password-protected link. Much of what follows is equally applicable to public interest, government and private sector employers.


E. Callback Interviews The callback interview is an opportunity for both you and the employer to further explore whether there is a mutual interest in an employment relationship. The callback interview ordinarily lasts three to five hours, and is the equivalent of about four to six on-campus interviews in a row. During a law firm callback interview, you will typically interview with a series of lawyers in the firm, partners as well as associates. The interview may also include a meal. Since the employer has invited you for a callback interview, the interviewers will probably assume that you are able to do the work. Your evaluation by each interviewer will be primarily subjective – how you will fit into the employer’s culture, your energy level, and your enthusiasm for the employer. The most important thing is for the people with whom you meet to like you as an individual. The callback interview is a big expense for employers and should not be taken lightly. You should only accept a callback interview with employers in which you have a genuine interest. Do not accept a callback in a city so that you can visit friends or have a “free” trip home. Do not accept a callback interview with an employer just to see if you will get an offer if you are no longer interested in the employer. Carefully consider how many callback interviews you should accept and remember that: • • Callback interviews may require missing one or more days of class. Employers offer a limited number of callback interviews – each time you accept a callback interview, you might be taking an opportunity away from another Duke student who wants to work for the employer.

Please see Duke University School of Law Policies 6-2 and 6-3 online (, for additional information on this topic. • How do I respond to an employer who has contacted me for a callback interview? During the on-campus interview season, you should check your voicemail and email regularly. It is critical that you respond to employers within 24 hours of receiving a message. You are not expected to accept or reject a callback interview within 24 hours, but you must respond immediately and professionally. It is perfectly acceptable to call the employer, express your enthusiasm about the opportunity, and say that you will get back to them in a few days. Then be sure that you do follow up in a timely way as promised. How likely is it that a callback invitation will result in an offer? In prior years, according to NALP, about 60% of callback interviews nationwide resulted in an offer being extended. Statistics for this year, however, have yet to be released and are expected to be significantly lower. Please keep in mind that many factors impact offer decisions, such as the student’s interviewing skills, personality, work experience, grades, extracurricular activities, ties to a particular geographic region, perceived “fit” with the employer, etc.


1. Arranging the Callback Interview • When should I schedule my callback interview? Am I allowed to miss class? Missing class for callback interviews is discouraged. Some 2Ls have tried to leave a day in the week during the Fall semester without classes so they can visit employers. You should endeavor to schedule your callback interviews on one of the first dates offered by the employer, taking your classes and other commitments into account. While scheduling is not always within your control, employers report that it is often advantageous to schedule callback interviews as early as possible as offer decisions are made on a rolling basis. Under some circumstances, missing class for a callback interview may be unavoidable. If you must miss a class, speak with your professor first and ask his or her permission. You may wish to consult a CPDC counselor if you need assistance making a decision. • How do I arrange for my travel and accommodations? Some employers will make all the arrangements for you and send your tickets and itinerary to you. Others will ask you to make the travel and hotel arrangements yourself and they will reimburse you following your interview. If appropriate, ask the recruiting coordinator if the employer has a travel service or a preferred hotel with a student rate. Also, be certain to ask if the employer participates, or would like to participate, in the PILF CAPITAL Program where money is donated to PILF if you choose to stay with a friend or relative and forego the hotel. Information about employers participating in the CAPITAL Program is available at It is always wise to arrive in the city the day before a morning callback interview to account for potential flight delays. If you arrange for multiple callback interviews to the same city at the same time, the interviewing employers will share the expense of your trip. Typically, one employer will receive your receipts, reimburse you and bill the other. • Is it acceptable to meet other employers for a screening interview while I am in a city on a callback interview? Yes, it is fine to have a first round interview with another employer, including public interest and government employers, in the city as long as you inform the employer that is paying for your travel of your plans. How long does the interview last? Will it involve lunch or dinner? Many employers have two callback interview times, and you may be able to choose your time depending on your preferences and employer availability. Some employers begin around 9:30 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m., with lunch included. Others will have you arrive in the mid-afternoon and stay until around 6:00 p.m. “Call back days” which include social activities and meals, are a growing trend in some regions. If necessary, you can do two half-day callback interviews in one day, but it is not recommended, as callback interviews can be very tiring and traffic or scheduling delays at the first employer could prevent you from reaching your second interview on time. If you do interview with two employers in one day, schedule the interview with your preferred employer in the morning when you are likely to be the most alert.


2. Preparing for the Callback Interview The following are some tips to enhance your callback interviewing experience: • Contact the recruiting coordinator ahead of time to find out the names of the attorneys with whom you will interview. Take a look at the attorneys’ profiles on the employer’s website and find out if you have something in common with your interviewers – this may help you to develop questions to ask or talking points to raise during the interview. It is common not to receive your interview schedule until 24 hours prior to your interview. Conduct research on the firm as a whole, and save the specific research on your interviewing attorneys for the last day. (After all, last-minute substitutes are inevitable in the hectic schedules of busy attorneys, and you should be gracious and flexible if a change in your schedule occurs.) • Plan to arrive at the employer’s office fifteen minutes early; you will inevitably run into transportation problems. If you are early, you can always wait in the reception area, review your notes, read the Wall Street Journal or National Law Journal to review the day’s events. It can be interesting to observe clients, attorneys and staff interact in the reception area. Make sure you are unfailingly polite to everyone you meet, from the receptionist to the senior partner (and especially the receptionist and recruiting staff). Rudeness or discourtesy expressed to any employee (or for that matter, your fellow interviewees) will certainly be brought to the attention of the hiring committee. The interview begins the moment you step into the employer’s building, if not before. Bring extra resumes, transcripts and writing samples to the interview in a portfolio. Do not produce them except on request, unless you have made changes to your resume. Do not carry a knapsack or book bag Be attentive to your surroundings. You can often break the ice by commenting positively or with interest on some decoration in the interviewer’s office. Thank them for making the time to meet with you; if there is a specific reason you have been looking forward to meeting this person or visiting this organization, say it. It is your responsibility in an interview to do the heavy lifting. You must win over the interviewer and turn him or her into your ambassador—the person who will make your case to join the organization Research the employer thoroughly before you arrive. This is absolutely critical if you wish to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack. A well-prepared interviewee who expresses real interest in working for the employer can increase his or her likelihood of receiving an offer. But resist the temptation to appear obsessive about the employer. Review your answers to the questions you are likely to be asked. Be sure to ask each interviewer for a business card before you leave his or her office. Be confident, yet humble.

• •

3. When the Callback Interview Includes a Meal The interview lunch or dinner is part of the interview. Avoid being too chummy, too casual, or otherwise developing a false sense of security with the attorneys hosting the


lunch or dinner. Remember that the entire meal is part of the interview even if it feels more casual. These attorneys will also complete evaluation forms about your candidacy. Do not drink alcohol, even if encouraged by your hosts who are often first or secondyear associates. Don’t order the most elaborate or expensive thing on the menu, or try something you’ve never eaten before. The emphasis should be on the substance of the conversation—not showing off your knowledge of wine or exotic fare. Keep it light; that will allow you to focus on conversation; you should be doing most of the talking. It is fine to move beyond “talking shop;” the interviewers want to see if you’d fit in at a client event, a closing dinner, a partner’s home—think of these events as your professional goal, not a casual outing. 4. The End of the Callback Interview The end of the interview is usually spent with a member of the recruiting staff. Thank the person who shows you to the door for their hospitality and inquire when you may expect to hear from them. Immediately after the interview, jot down some notes about each of your interviews that day that will help jog your memory once you return home. 5. After the Callback Interview • Should I write a thank you letter after a callback interview; if so, to whom should I send it? Yes, but unless you can write a very personalized note to each person with whom you met, you should write one letter to the recruiting coordinator or the hiring partner and ask them to pass along your appreciation to the attorneys who interviewed you. If there is a particular person with whom you really connected, you could write an individual note to that person as well. Remember, however, that one good letter is better than several not-so-good letters or letters that are generic. You can e-mail, handwrite, or type your letter. It is critical that you proofread your thank you letters carefully as a misspelled word or grammatical error can influence the reader’s opinion of you. One mistake in a thank you letter – in a profession characterized by its attention to detail – can cost you a job offer. When will the employer notify me of their decision? The answer to this question varies. Some employers will get back to you within one week. Others will take more than one month. It may depend on how the employer’s hiring committee is organized. A telephone call to the employer inquiring about your status is appropriate two weeks after your callback interview, not before (unless an emergency arises). Repeated calls to the recruiting department can make a negative impression, reflecting desperation rather than enthusiasm. Speak to your CPDC counselor to develop an effective follow-up strategy.

F. Expenses and the Reimbursement Process • What are reasonable interview expenses? There is not a comprehensive list of acceptable expenses. The following is a list of items that typically qualify for reimbursement by the employer, and items that you should not expect the employer to pay for: Typical Expenses:  Airfare  Hotel Room  Taxis  Airport Parking Fees


Meals (within reason)

Do not expect the employer to pay for the following expenses:  Hotel internet access fees  Hotel dry-cleaning bill  In-room movies  Mini bar purchases  Cocktails at a bar  Pet-sitting service  Flowers sent to a spouse back home  Long distance phone calls  Weekly health club fee  Weekend hotel stay in connection with a Friday/Monday interview  Limousine to and from the hotel  Forgotten toiletries If you have a question about what constitutes an acceptable expense, please check with the recruiting department of the employer or with your CPDC counselor. • How does the reimbursement process work if I visit more than one employer on a callback trip? You should select one employer to be your “host” and communicate this to all of the employers with which you are interviewing on the trip. You will send all of your receipts to the “host” employer and they will bill the other employers for their portion of your expenses. It does not matter which employer you select to be your “host” and you should not worry about asking employers to do this. Splitting costs is a common practice and employers appreciate it because it saves them money. How do I get reimbursed for my expenses? After your trip, complete a NALP Travel Expense Reimbursement Form. The form is available on NALP’s website at and in the CPDC. Send the completed form and your receipts to the recruiting coordinator of your host employer. Remember to keep a copy of the form and the receipts for your records.

The Offer of Employment You should acknowledge an offer of employment within 24 hours of receiving it. In your initial response to the employer, be prepared to either accept the offer, decline the offer, or to tell the employer that you need more time to decide. Do not be intimidated into accepting an offer. You should only accept if you are fully prepared to work for that employer. If you are undecided, the best response is to thank the employer for their offer, express how pleased you are, let them know you need a little more time to think about it, and verify how long this offer will remain open (review the offer timing rules below). Do not be afraid to stand your ground here. No employer has ever revoked an offer because of a student’s failure to accept on the spot. (For sample acceptance and decline employment letters, see Appendices L and M to this manual.) 1. How do I decline an offer? You should decline an offer as soon as you know that you are not going to work for a particular employer. The employer might then offer the position to another candidate, hopefully to another Duke student, so the sooner you can let them know, the better. You should call the person who extended the offer or the recruiting coordinator to decline the


offer and follow up in writing. Do not be worried about declining an offer. While they may be disappointed, recruiting coordinators are generally friendly and understanding when you decline an offer. Try not to burn any bridges or create hard feelings, as you may want to work for the employer at some point in the future. The legal profession is a surprisingly small world! Upon completing your telephone call, you should write a professional letter to the employer to confirm your decision, and to express your gratitude for receiving the offer. You may want to let the employer know that you enjoyed your on-site visit and the opportunity to meet with several of the employer’s lawyers. It may also be appropriate to express your difficulty in reaching the decision to decline the employer’s offer. Remember that your letter may be placed in a permanent file, and you want to leave a good impression in case you should decide to apply for another position with the employer in the future. 2. How Long May I Hold on to an Offer? Duke adheres to the NALP timing guidelines for managing job offers for all public and private sector employers. The guidelines include benchmarks for how many offers you may hold open, and for how long. Use our Offer Calculator at to track your deadlines. If you have an open offer, you must reconfirm your interest every 30 days with the employer. • The Law School strongly urges all students to make decisions regarding offers as soon as possible. While permitted by NALP, there is no reason to have more than three (3) offers outstanding at any one time. The sooner you accept or decline your offers, the better—for you, the employer, and your classmates. This point cannot be over-emphasized.

3. Reporting Your Offers to CPDC The Law School Rules and Policies require that you report your job offers to CPDC promptly throughout the interviewing season. This information is important whether the offer arose as a result of OCI, writing letters, personal contacts or other means. Students must report offers on Symplicity as they are received so that our information is always current. Real-time reporting also makes it easier for you to enter your data when it is fresh in your mind. As always, the data you provide will be kept confidential. To report offers, log onto Symplicity and select “profile” then the “employment” tab. Click on the “add new” button at the bottom of the page and enter each offer received and accepted individually. CPDC will ultimately incorporate this information into the Offer Report for use by next year’s students. The report for this year will not be created until Spring 2013, after the on-campus interview process and the majority of other hiring has been completed. By reporting your callback interviews and offers in the system, you will help insure complete and accurate data for next year’s students. Rest assured that all information is handled with the utmost confidentiality.



Appendix A

Career Exploration & Employer Research Resources


Discovering Your Path & Building Knowledge to Support Your Stated Interested: Recommended Reading List
When asked what distinguishes their preferred candidates, employers inevitably often passion, interest and knowledge. Whether expressed about a type of law, a community, current legal developments or the firm itself, awareness of the important issues facing your future colleagues is a key networking and interviewing skill. Visit some or all of the websites below regularly to show employers that you can talk the talk! Legal Media Several well-respected websites provide summaries and articles about current legal events, from hiring practices and firm mergers to recent legal developments and well-publicized deals or cases, including:;; (UK-based). Newspapers You should read one or more newspapers daily, with an eye toward your intended field of practice. Consider,, and/or a local paper in your chosen jurisdiction(s). Blogs Wall Street Journal Blogs.  The Law Blog covers a wide range of topics, including appellate decisions, high-profile cases and legal politics.  The Wall Street Journal has many other blogs of interest to attorneys, including Corruption Currents (prosecution of money laundering, terrorism finance), Deal Journal (transactional work, including M&A), Developments (real estate), Private Equity Beat, Real Time China, Real Time Brussels (European Union news) Venture Capital Dispatch and Washington Wire (politics). Above the Law.  In addition to coverage of big law and law school gossip, this website contains blogs with advice for students and associates, divided into Big Law, Small Law Firm and In-House Counsel.  The Career Center page links to firm profiles provided by LateralLink. Ms. JD.  This website contains advice on law school, passing the bar exam, career advancement, professional development and work-life issues. Many of the posts are equally applicable to men and women.  Frank Kimball’s blog on the site contains advice on how to succeed in the workplace. Caroline Dowd Higgins at the Huffington Post.  Written by the Director of Career and Professional Development at Indiana University School of Law, this blog provides career advice applicable to lawyers and other professionals. My Shingle.  This blog provides information for attorneys interested in solo practice and provides valuable insights if you plan to ―hang a shingle‖ or apply to small law firms. Many other blogs and websites are directed at a specific audience or a particular type of practice, including, and See the Career Manual or talk to your Career Counselor if you would like additional references.


Researching Prospective Employers - Websites & Other Resources
Helpful Websites
         NALP Directory Vault Career Insider ( Chambers & Partners USA and Chambers Associate The Government Honors & Internship Handbook (user: ―snicker‖ password: ―doodle‖) The Public Policy Handbook (user: ―world‖ password: ―peace‖) Charity Navigator ( (Use the ―Advanced Search‖ and ―Keyword‖ functions for additional organizations to explore) Martindale-Hubbell (

Employers < 50 Lawyers
 Researching smaller organizations often requires students to consider:  Speeches and Conferences (for both participation and sponsorship)  Articles and Texts (for both authors and contributors)  The ―trades‖  New York Times, Wall Street Journal (including WSJ Legal Blog), American Lawyer,, National Law Journal, Lawyers Weekly, Trial Lawyer, Business Journal, Local Newspapers and Local Legal Publications (e.g., Legal Times (DC), The Recorder (CA), Legal Intelligencer (PHL))  State/Local Bar Associations, including section chairs and members (e.g., The Association of the Bar of the City of New York (  Clients/Businesses who can ―light the way‖


Guides Available on “Vault Career Insider”
Vault Guide to the Case Interview Vault Guide to Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews Vault Guide to Law Resumes Vault Guide to Finance Interviews View from the Top: Technology and New Media Gurus Vault Guide to Management and Leadership Development Programs View from the Top: Advice from Finance Professionals View from the Top: Advice from Top Minority Executives View from the Top: Q&A with Legal Women Leaders View from the Top: Q & A with Law Firm Leaders Vault Guide to Starting Your Own Business Vault Guide to Conquering Corporate America for Women and Minorities Vault Guide to Schmoozing Vault Career Guide to Venture Capital, 4th Edition Vault Guide to Tax Law Careers Vault Guide to Corporate Law Careers Vault Guide to Bankruptcy Law Careers Vault Guide to Careers in Labor and Employment Law Vault Career Guide to Private Equity Vault Guide to Litigation Law Careers Vault Career Guide to Investment Banking Vault Career Guide to Consulting Vault/INROADS Guide to Corporate Diversity Programs Vault Guide to the Top Mid‐Atlantic Law Firms Vault Guide to the Top Northwest & Great Plains Law Firms The Vault Guide to Engineering Diversity Programs Vault Guide to Law Firm Pro Bono Programs Vault Guide to the Top New York Law Firms Vault/SEO Guide to Financial Services Diversity Programs Vault Guide to the Top Northern California Law Firms Vault Guide to the Top Southern California Law Firms Vault Guide to the Top Washington, DC Law Firms Vault Guide to the Top Financial Services Employers Vault Guide to the Top Government and Non‐Profit Legal Employers Vault Guide to the Top Boston & Northeast Law Firms Vault Guide to the Top Southeastern Law Firms Vault Guide to the Top Texas & Southwest Law Firms Vault Guide to the Top Chicago & Midwest Law Firms Vault/MCCA Guide to Law Firm Diversity Programs Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms View From The Top: Advice from Leaders in Law, UK Edition Vault Guide to the Top Asia Pacific Employers Vault Guide to the Top 50 UK Law Firms


PLI Law Student Scholarship Application Practising Law Institute
PLI awards scholarships covering the full or partial tuition cost for attending its educational seminars. Law students generally receive full scholarships to most programs, except for a $25 application fee (below). Faculty usually receive 75% scholarships to most programs. Scholarships are also available to legal aid and government attorneys, judges, judicial clerks, and employees of nonprofit organizations. 1. Scholarships apply only to tuition for the seminar. (Individuals receiving scholarships are responsible for the other costs of attending a seminar – e.g., travel and accommodations, if necessary.) 2. A completed Scholarship Application generally must be received by PLI no later than four (4) weeks prior to the start of the seminar. Scholarships will not be granted retroactively or at the time of the program. 3. Law students must complete the application below and attach a legible copy of their student ID for the current term (or similar proof of current enrollment). (Law faculty must forward a request for a scholarship, naming the particular program, on school letterhead.) 4. All scholarship applications must be accompanied by payment of a $25 application fee. You will not be charged this fee unless you are granted a scholarship. Full scholarships are not available for telephone briefings or our patent bar review courses, and are restricted for a few other courses. Please mail applications to: Mark Dighton; PLI; 810 7th Ave.; NY, NY 10019 or fax to: 888-560-4852 Questions? Contact Mark Dighton, Director of Law School Relations, at (212)824-5841 or NAME: _______________________________________________________________________ SCHOOL, YEAR OF GRADUATION__________________________________________________ Full-time  Part-time / JD Candidate LLM Candidate (Bar ID #____) HOME ADDRESS _______________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ PHONE: ___________________________ E-MAIL: _________________________________ FIRM AFFILIATION (if any)___________________________________________________ SEMINAR TITLE: ____________________________________________________________

DATES (or ‘archive’): ____________________ CITY (or ‘web’): _________________ $25 PROCESSING FEE: Check attached Credit Card (circle one) Mastercard Visa AmEx Diner’s Club Number:__________________________ Expiration:__________________

FOR OFFICE USE ONLY SEMINAR #: ___________________ REP INITIAL: _________________ PRICE CODE: _____________


Appendix B
Networking 101


Networking 101: Six Steps to Connecting with Prospective Employers
1. Have a Clear Goal  Be able to articulate what you hope to learn from this particular individual in one or two sentences. Think about these things when attempting to connect:  Acquiring new information  Building new relationships  Use those goals as the basis of your initial contact, and focus of the interview itself. 2. Perfect Your Focus  Know who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer.  Practice explaining it with precision. 3. Send An Introductory Note  Brief, clear and easy-to-read.  Lays the foundation for a future call.  Your note/email should tell the person:  Who you are (including any ―common ground‖)  Where you got their name  Knowledge or information you seek  The note should also:  Ask for 15 minutes of their time  Explain how best they can reach you, or when you will call  3-7 days later  Express your thanks for their time 4. Call & Discuss  Use a landline whenever possible.  Make sure you are prepared to deal with additional issues like:  The person who answers the phone  Explaining your request  Leaving a message  What to say to someone who is busy or brusque  Prepare scenarios/talking points in advance.  Be concise, both introducing yourself and stating your request. 5. Purposefully Execute  Do your homework on the person & industry.  Keep the conversation focused on the interviewees’ professional experiences and career field.  Be respectful of their time.  Ask ―The Closer‖: ―Is there anyone else with whom I should to be speaking?‖ 6. Follow Up & Follow Through  Send thank you notes.  Track and analyze.  Figure out how to stay in touch.


Networking 101: The Keys to a Successful Informational Interview
       Networking contacts, particularly Duke Alumni, are generally happy to help, but you must be unfailingly prepared, professional and polite. You won’t earn a networking contact for the future—or potential ambassador for a future job opportunity—if you don’t impress from the very first encounter. Provide your resume and a brief ―elevator pitch‖ email describing your background and interests—who has referred you and why you are reaching out to this individual—and be sure your email and resume are flawless—no grammatical or typographical errors. When conducting an Informational Interview, it is your responsibility to be prepared with questions. Research the attorney’s background and ask questions appropriate to the attorney’s level (associate, counsel, partner), demonstrating your preparation. Familiarize yourself with the attorney’s practice area so that your questions about exploring the field (through coursework, PLI and other outside CLE research) are informed and intelligent. Follow up every informational interview with a prompt, professional thank-you note, indicating that you have taken the attorney’s specific advice on learning more about the field.

General questions about the interviewee’s practice area:  In what ways is this practice area evolving? Is the practice growing? Do you see it continuing to change in the years ahead?          Are there certain parts of the country which offer the best opportunities in this practice? What do you find unique about your practice? What are the most rewarding aspects of a career in this practice area? What skills or characteristics do you feel contribute most to a lawyer’s success in this practice area? What sacrifices have you had to make to succeed in this practice, and, do you feel the sacrifices were worth it? What kinds of 1l/2L summer opportunities lay a solid foundation for a career in this practice area? Are there current or expected trends in this practice area of which I ought to be aware as I begin to develop an intentional plan to launch my practice in this field upon graduation? Are there certain kinds of people that tend to experience the greatest success as lawyers in this area? What core qualities do they possess? What is the most important thing that someone planning to enter practice should know?

Questions about the interviewee’s position:


          

What precisely do you do? What are the duties/functions/responsibilities of your job? Is your day-to-day practice as you expected it would be when you first started? What kinds of problems do you deal with? What kinds of decisions do you make? Are there busy and slow times of the year, or is the work activity fairly constant? Is your work primarily individual or predominately in teams? If teams, how are they organized? Will you tell me about a recent project on which you have worked? What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job? How did you learn these skills? If you could change anything about your professional work, what would it be? What creates the most stress?

Preparing for a career in this practice area:  What courses have proven to be the most valuable to you in your work?    How did you prepare for this work? If you were entering this career today, would you change your preparation in any way? How can I network in this area—what professional organizations, bar association committees or other groups would enable me to meet more practitioners and position myself for a career in this practice area? What professional publications or resources do you turn to regularly in your field? Are there articles, blogs or other resources you think might be helpful in learning more about this area?

About the interviewee’s career path:  How did you get started?     What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position? Which aspects of your background have been most helpful? What were the keys to your career advancement? If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? Why?

About the culture of the interviewee’s firm or organization:  Why did you decide to work for this firm/employer?  What do you like most about working at this firm/employer?


  

What does the firm/employer do to contribute to its employees’ professional development? Are there people within or outside the organization that the firm/employer holds up as heroes? During your tenure at __________, in what ways has the firm/employer fostered innovation and creativity in this practice area?

Seeking advice if you are a “career changer”:  My former career is ________________________. How easy or difficult do you think it might be to make a transition from that career to a career in your practice area?  The skills I use the most in my former career are ________________. To what extent, and in what ways, do you believe those skills are transferable to work as a lawyer in this practice area?

Seeking general advice and referrals from your interviewee:  What are the skills that are most important to your practice?        What courses should I be taking to prepare for a career in this practice area? How can I assess whether or not I have the skills needed for a position such as yours? What is your best advice for a student seeking to enter this practice? What kinds of professional experiences, paid or unpaid, would you encourage for those pursuing a career in this practice area? Do you have any special word of warning for students like me as a result of your experience? What would be the best way to learn of job opportunities in this city? If you were conducting a job search today, how would you go about it? As I continue to learn more about _________ and prepare for a career in this area of law, might you be willing to speak with me further so that I might seek your insight and expertise on a few other matters?


Networking 101: Introductory Letter Examples
An introductory letter or email to a networking contact should be relatively brief. In it, you will concisely introduce yourself, describe why you are contacting the person and ask politely for a few moments of the person’s time. Your contact should understand from a glance what you are asking of him or her, as well as why you believe he or she can provide it. If writing a letter, use correct business letter formatting as shown in the Career Manual. If writing an email, maintain a formal style and be sure to include your contact information in the signature. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dear Mr. Jones, I am a rising second year law student at Duke University with a developing interest in commercial real estate law. In reading the July 1, 2011 edition of the Triangle Business Journal, I noticed that your firm represents Triangle Developers Inc. in its plans to build a luxury condominium and retail complex in northern Durham County. I would be interested to learn more about this transaction, as well as your other experiences in the field. Would you be available to meet, in person or by telephone, to discuss your practice and any advice you might have on how to break into and succeed in commercial real estate? Thank you very much for your time and I hope to speak with you soon. Best regards, Sam Smith -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dear Ms. Kim, I am a rising second year law student at Duke University hoping to practice appellate law after I graduate. Professor James, my civil procedure professor, suggested that I contact you to learn more about the field, and specifically your Washington D.C. practice. Would you be willing to speak with me by telephone for no more than 20 minutes at a mutually convenient time? Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to speaking with you. Best regards, Joe Jackson -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dear Mr. Rodriguez, I am a rising second year law student at Duke University with a background in environmental activism. I intend to focus my post-graduation practice on the protection of wetlands and would be very interested to learn more about your work at the Everglades Project. I will be visiting southern Florida the first week of August and would love to meet you for coffee near your office if you are available. If that is not convenient for you, would you be able to speak by telephone sometime this summer? Thank you very much for your time and I hope to meet you soon. Best regards, Carrie Crawford


Imagine yourself at a networking reception in the lobby of a fancy hotel. While waiting in line for a shrimp cocktail, you spot a key decision-maker at your dream employer. What would you do? You have 90 seconds to get her attention… Core Questions Who are you? Core Elements Brief introduction including relevant autobiographical details which explain why you are approaching this person. Make sure to include one or two core attributes or achievements that would make you an attractive candidate for this position. Your Answers       _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________

What do you want?

What is your immediate goal in approaching this person? Why did you pick this particular employer, i.e. what is it about the work that they do, their mission and/or their style that makes them uniquely attractive to you as a candidate?

    

_______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________

Why should she give it to you?

What makes you stand out?  Experiences had?  Expertise developed?  Qualities possessed?  Passion and commitment?  Indicators of success on the job (grades, externships, extracurricular activities, mentorship of professors, external validators, etc.)? Are you a good fit? What value will you add?

        

_______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________ _______________________


Appendix C
Making Contacts I


Making Contact I: Mine Your Existing Resources
Where do you have existing professional good will? Former Employers: College/Graduate School Faculty: College/Graduate School Classmates: References for your Law School Applications: Duke Law School Classmates (JD & LLM): Relatives (Lawyers): Relatives (Clients of Lawyers): Neighbors (Lawyers): Neighbors (Clients of Lawyers): Duke Law School Faculty: Duke Law School Alumni: Other Duke University Acquaintances: Clergy/Members of your Spiritual/Religious Community: Contacts from Civic/Volunteer/Political Organizations: Leaders of Organizations to Which You Contribute Time/Resources Regularly:

Other Lawyer Acquaintances: Other Non-Lawyer Acquaintances:


Appendix D
Making Contacts II


Making Contacts II: Develop New Contacts in Your Field of Interest
Job Goal #1: Practice Area:________________ Location: ____________________________ Leading Employers in this Field: Top Professional Associations in this Field (Bar Associations, Affinity Groups, Networking Groups, Think Tanks etc.):

Top Resources, Blogs, Treatises, etc. Every Practitioner in this Field must Have:

Most Recent Developments in this Field Every Practitioner Must Know About:

Duke Law School Faculty in Your Area of Interest:

Duke U Faculty in Your Area of Interest:

Duke Law Alumni in Your Area of Interest:

Duke U Alumni In Your Area of Interest:

College/Graduate School Classmates: Your ―Wish List‖ of the Practitioners in this Field (If you could Interview Anyone) and who in the Duke Law School Community might have a connection to Them:


Appendix E
Sample Resumes


Required Duke Resume Format FULL NAME
Street Address Durham, North Carolina 27707 (919) 999-9999

You are studying for a ―Juris Doctor‖ not a ―Juris Doctorate.‖

Note you are at Duke University School of Law, not ―College of Law‖ or ―Duke Law School.‖

Use your primary telephone number and Duke email address. If you are applying to a job in your home town or region, put your local address on the left margin and your permanent address on the right margin. If applying to jobs in multiple areas, have two resumes – one with your permanent address for local jobs and one without for everywhere else.


Be consistent; if you use NC here, use state abbreviations throughout.

Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina Juris Doctor expected, May 2014 As a general rule, if your GPA starts with a ―3,‖ include it. Round to the hundredth, not GPA: 0.00 If you are applying for before you a public interest job or Honors: Scholarships (description of criteria if not well-known) to the tenth. If you are applyinggrades, you receive your 1L fall semester your job experience is Awards (description of criteria if not well-known) will not include a GPA section here. limited, consider Activities: Student Groups, position or office moving key activities to ―Experience‖ Athletic, Artistic or Other Organizations, position or office category and include a Pro Bono or Community Activities, position or office detailed description. Undergraduate Institution, City, State Full Name of Degree in Major, latin honors, Month and Year of Graduation GPA: 0.00 Thesis: Title of Thesis Study Abroad: Name of Program, City and Country, Date Honors: Scholarships — description of criteria if not well-known Awards — description of criteria if not well-known Activities: Student Groups, position or office Athletic, Artistic or Other Organizations, position or office Pro Bono or Community Activities, position or office EXPERIENCE
Note: Bullet format with a period at the end of each clause. If you need more space, use fewer bullets or left justify instead of using bullets (see Sample 2L Resume). If you have already received 1L fall semester grades and choose not to include your Duke GPA, discuss with your CPDC counselor whether to include your undergraduate GPA. Include activities that make you appealing to employers by demonstrating (for example) leadership, engagement with legal or other relevant subject matter or communities, experience working with diverse individuals, a strong work ethic or unusual skills.

Include if publication -quality research or if the topic is relevant to the organizatio n to which you are applying.

An ―Additional Information‖ category can provide a good starting point for an interview, but is optional. Employment that does not rise to the level of professional experience can be included here.

Employer, City, State Note that public Title, Month Year – Month Year interest-oriented resumes can exceed 1  Describe job functions using strong action verbs. Use past tense (unless you are currently page if your employed in the position) and active voice. experience is  If an organization is unfamiliar, incorporate a description to give it context. extensive.  Be succinct, but use enough detail to distinguish your experiences and achievements.  Describe large or important projects and focus on any industry sectors, client/customer groups, or skills that are relevant to your prospective employer. Focus on results – how did you add value? Employer, City, State Title, Month Year – Month Year  Use your descriptions to show that you have the skills employers value, including communication (written and oral), problem solving, organization, perseverance, judgment, research ability, negotiation, client management, efficiency, team work, commitment, and an ability to work under pressure.  Make your experience sound interesting so the employer wants to meet you and learn more.  Demonstrate how you added value to a project, company or organization. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Do NOT include ―References available upon request,‖ because that is assumed.

Native/Fluent/Proficient/Knowledge of Foreign Language. Describe special skills or interests.
Be prepared to be interviewed in the language you list if you state that you are fluent or conversant. Include unusual skills, relevant certifications, hobbies and/or a brief description of jobs or unique experiences not found elsewhere on your resume. Avoid potentially controversial activities, including any related to alcohol or gambling. Focus on interests or activities which demonstrate discipline, teamwork, leadership, initiative, confidence or dedication—traits of successful lawyers. Avoid very general activities that are unlikely to spark conversation.


Duke Class of 2014 Resume Format HENRY S. JAMES
224 Brandywine Boulevard Durham, NC 27707 (919) 765-4321 13 Main Street San Diego, CA 23232 (512) 492-2500

Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC Juris Doctor expected, May 2014 Activities: Environmental Law Society Health Law Society Duke University Stanford Institute of Public Policy, Durham, NC Master of Public Policy expected, May 2014 Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, May 2011 GPA: 3.43 Thesis The Role of Technology in Late Twentieth Century American Espionage Honors: Senior Thesis Award — awarded by Political Science Department for best thesis Working Student Scholarship Activities: Stanford Debate Society, Member Club Ice Hockey, Team Capitan

Habitat for Humanity East Bay, Oakland, CA Volunteer/Team Captain, May 2008 – May 2009  Coordinated teams of volunteers and worked with residents to construct affordable homes for disadvantaged families.  Developed and implemented strategy for semi-annual fundraising drives. Led volunteer committee and collaborated with permanent staff to identify and market budgetary priorities.  Maintained prospective donor database and planned events, including sponsorship breakfast.  Managed projects at demolition and rehabilitation sites to salvage building materials for use in Habitat projects and for resale in the Habitat ReStore, raising funds and diverting refuse from landfills. Camp Foxwood, Portland, ME Counselor, Summers 2005 & 2006  Supervised groups of boys between the ages of nine and twelve at this nature-themed overnight camp for four two-week sessions each summer.  Encouraged the development of campers’ leadership, teamwork and communication skills thorough sports, arts and other activities. Created and taught classes on first aid and wildlife appreciation.  Selected by campers as ―Foxwood’s Favorite Counselor‖ on more occasions than any other member of the counseling staff.

Proficient in Spanish and French. Completed three-month camping and mountain climbing trip in Alaska, including successful summit of Denali. Worked over 30 hours per week at one of Palo Alto’s busiest night spots to help finance undergraduate education (Smitty’s Downtown Pub, September 2006 – May 2009).


Duke Class of 2013 Resume Format NILA L. ADAMS 111 River Bend Way Durham, North Carolina 27705 (919) 383-2222 EDUCATION Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC Juris Doctor expected, May 2013 GPA: 3.33 Honors: Moot Court, Board Member and Hardt Cup Finalist Activities: Duke Bar Association, Alumni and Development Committee 2L Representative Black Law Students Association, Programming Chair Business Law Society, Member Duke-Geneva Institute in Transnational Law, Geneva, Switzerland Summer 2010 Coursework: International Business Transactions, International Intellectual Property and Recourse to Force University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Literature, May 2009 GPA: 3.64 Study Abroad: Oxford University, England, Fall 2007 Activities: Community and Peer Health Educator Berkeley Daily News, Staff Editor EXPERIENCE Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Missoula, MT Summer Associate, July – August 2011 Conducted due diligence review and identified business and legal risks regarding the acquisition of a software company. Drafted Stock Purchase Agreement, closing certificates and board and stockholder resolutions for venture financing transactions. Researched various securities law and corporate law topics and wrote memorandum, which was referenced by client’s board of directors in making governance decisions. Attended meetings with city government planning commission regarding water use and financing. The Honorable Ronald R. Debb, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, Newark, NJ Judicial Intern, May – June 2009 Analyzed issues and prepared opinions and bench memoranda on substantive and procedural motions, such as summary judgment. Conducted extensive research and drafted complex habeus corpus opinion. Participated in daily conferences with Judge Debb to consider legal topics in a variety of criminal and civil cases, including federal sentencing guidelines and jury selection. ASA Communications, Inc., New York, NY Summer Associate, May – August 2008 Researched and evaluated corporate communications strategies, including print, television and new media marketing plans. Prepared and presented advertising campaign proposals for industry competitions. Team won award for best telecom industry presentation at regional conference. Curtis Brown, LTD., New York, NY Assistant to Literary Agent, July 2007 – April 2008 Reviewed thousands of manuscripts and query letters for publication potential and prepared written appraisals of such submissions for internal use. Composed letters of introduction for texts sent to publishing houses for evaluation. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Proficient in Spanish. Accomplished concert pianist; toured extensively in Western Europe as member of junior symphony. 12 Fish Road Bozeman, Montana 12342 (973) 898-0732


Duke Class of 2012 Resume Format (Public Service Oriented)
PATRICIA L. YU 123 Acme Street Durham, North Carolina 27705 919-967-1111 EDUCATION Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC Juris Doctor expected, May 2012 GPA: 3.42 Honors: Duke Law Journal, Staff Editor Make a Difference Scholarship — awarded for exemplary community service Note Topic: The Evidentiary Challenge of Abuse Accusations in Divorce Proceedings Activities: Intramural Football, Graduate League Champions Public Interest Law Foundation, Fundraising Committee Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law, Hong Kong Summer 2010 Completed upper-level coursework in International and Comparative Law University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric, May 2009 GPA: 4.2/5.0 Honors: Dean of Student Affairs Scholastic Achievement Award Religious Studies Department, Research Fellowship Activities: Multi-Cultural Student Advisory Committee, Secretary EXPERIENCE Department of Children & Family Services, Oklahoma City, OK Legal Assistant, Summer 2011  Drafted petitions and motions submitted to the court on behalf of clients in guardianship disputes, including a successful probate guardianship transfer and the appointment of a temporary guardian.  Researched termination of parental rights and other related issues arising under the Juvenile Court Act for attorney’s reference during oral arguments.  Prepared cases for administrative hearings by determining the sufficiency of the evidence, creating case theory memoranda, and drafting direct and cross-examination questions. Families First! Legal Clinic, Washington, DC Senior Student Clerk, Spring 2011  Represented indigent clients before administrative law judge in claims related to disability and public assistance benefits, resulting in an average increase in benefits of $300/month per client.  Participated in all aspects of divorce and landlord/tenant cases, including interviewing and corresponding with clients, filing petitions and motions, and presenting evidence at prove-up hearings.  Drafted and argued petitions for Plenary Orders of Protection on behalf of domestic violence victims before Maryland state court judges. Winnebago County Public Defender, Granville, Ohio Legal Extern, Summer 2010  Researched and wrote memoranda on legal and evidentiary issues in areas such as search and seizure, appeal rights, jury instructions and hearsay exceptions. Portions of memoranda were incorporated into briefs without substantial revision.  Conducted trial preparation, including interviewing clients and witnesses, photographing evidence for exhibits and preparing related charts and diagrams for use in court. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Native Mandarin speaker. Enjoy winter camping, triathlons (participated in Hawaii Ironman Triathalon, 2009).


Appendix F
Sample Language for Resumes


Work & Activities Prior to Enrolling in Law School
SUMMER JOBS OR WORK DURING COLLEGE U.S. Department of State, Office of Russian Affairs, Washington, DC Program Assistant, June – September 2009; December 2010 – January 2011  Assisted in the coordination of planning and logistics for U.S.-Russian consular talks and other official conferences. Planned and scheduled consultations in Washington for U.S. Ambassador to Russia and other Moscow Embassy officials.  Wrote reports, memoranda and cables on national security and diplomatic relations topics for use by Department officials in meetings, speeches and official communications. Conducted research from domestic and foreign news sources.  Drafted official letters on behalf of Office Director, Secretary of State, and other Department officials. Music Television Networks (―MTV‖), New York, NY Standards and Practices Intern, May – August 2010  Analyzed MTV Networks and competitive programs for decency and assessed compliance with accepted media standards.  Worked interdepartmentally to communicate standards issues between record labels and the Network.  Independently conducted weekly presentations for department members nationwide on current issues and trends in print-media and trade magazines. The Hon. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), United States Senate, Portland, ME Intern, Maine Press Office, May – August 2009  Drafted press releases and conducted research on a variety of political and economic topics with national or state significance, including Senator Snowe’s work as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  Maintained daily contact with city and state media. Regularly briefed the Senator on current issues. Monitored and advised Senator Snowe on her media coverage. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Research Assistant, African-American Studies, Educational Psychology, and Speech Communication Departments, January 2008 – May 2010  Conceptualized, designed and executed study of the forms of racial bias expressed on an online sports-themed discussion board.  Administered qualitative surveys and oversaw focus group studies related to racial perceptions in college athletics. Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Chicago, IL Interlibrary Loan Specialist, May – August 2010  Utilized database to procure written and electronic copies of cases, statutes, journal articles and other materials at attorney request.  Coordinated with library departments at neighboring firms and government offices to retrieve books and legal documents not available in the firm’s internal collection. 69

POST COLLEGE WORK Legal Assistant/Paralegal or other Law Firm Administrative Assistant Positions Baker Botts, L.L.P., Houston, TX Administrative Assistant, May 2008 – July 2010  Provided all aspects of administrative support to Senior Corporate Partner, Litigation Partner, Bankruptcy Of Counsel and Litigation Associate.  Managed partners’ billing procedures with accounting department and clients.  Coordinated client and attorney meetings. Drafted and edited client and court correspondence. Collected, organized and filed legal documents.  Received highest marks at annual reviews; performed drafting responsibilities, such as composing basic transactional documents and certificates, usually reserved for paralegals. Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP, New York, NY Paralegal, Litigation Department, June 2008 – May 2009  Managed complex litigation case files, discovery materials, court filings, and attorney work product for white collar crime cases. Prepared resources for attorney use in depositions, including reviewing discovery materials for relevance, reviewing interrogatories and summarizing witness testimony.  Developed proficiency with LiveNote, Summation, Concordance and other litigationsupport applications. Fabian & Clendenin, Salt Lake City, UT Litigation Legal Assistant, May 2009 – June 2011  Managed discovery in securities and product liability litigation for this highly regarded full-service regional law firm. Supervised legal assistants and document clerks.  Created discovery organizational system resulting in increased efficiency and improved communication between attorneys and clients.  Researched energy, land use and natural resource issues in direct response to client questions. Translated documents and facilitated filings in pro bono political asylum cases. Business Positions Where Magazine, Miami, FL Acting Editor, Associate Editor, Intern, February 2009 – May 2010  Managed editorial department of a city travel magazine with a monthly circulation of 74,000 and offices worldwide.  Interviewed, wrote, edited, assigned, researched, fact-checked, and formatted more than 200 articles on local events and trends. Oversaw dining, theater, museums, shopping, spas, wine country, and real estate sections.


General Electric Consumer and Industrial Division, Louisville, KY Co-Op Engineer, January 2009 – December 2010  Served as New Product Introduction team member for high-end gas cook-top and Product Cost Take Out Controls team member.  Implemented software revision for laundry control resulting in annual manufacturing savings of $100,000. Designed and completed hardware revision for dishwasher display for annual savings of $200,000.  Performed reliability analysis and testing for controls components. Constructed test procedure to simulate standard use over 10-year period.  Analyzed reliability of gas cook-top products using statistical regression. Non-Profit Positions MoveOn Political Action Committee, Milwaukee, WI Field Organizer, September – November 2010  Recruited, trained and supervised twenty-six volunteer ward leaders and nearly 100 additional volunteers to turn out over 1,300 identified infrequent voters on Election Day.  Implemented national volunteer strategies exceeding both team and voter targets. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC Policy Analyst, August 2009 – September 2010  Worked closely with teammates to compile and distribute information and evaluation data for Congressional review of border inspections.  Analyzed documents and interviewed agency officials regarding strategic training of Customs and Border Protection Officers. Proposed training modifications to improve identified weaknesses.  Drafted majority of 250-page report ―Border Security: Despite Progress, Weaknesses in Traveler Inspections Exist at Our Nation’s Ports of Entry.‖ issued August 2010. Teaching & AmeriCorps Oxford Academy, Oxford, MS Student Advisor, August 2008 – August 2009  Developed and administered guidance program for over 100 students of this experimental charter school.  Achieved 13% improvement in attendance rates over previous year.  Translated for Spanish-speaking students and parents. Instructor, June 2009 – January 2010  Taught algebra and tutored at-risk students for state exit examinations.  Achieved 15% increase in student pass rates over previous year. AmeriCorps Fellowship, Chicago, IL Program Coordinator, January 2009 – September 2010  Developed and implemented new projects in Six Sigma, ESL and OSHA workforce education at the City Colleges of Chicago to promote community and economic development in industrial neighborhoods.  Taught on-site safety training to immigrant Hispanic factory workers. 71

Work & Activities During Law School
1L SUMMER WORKING IN PUBLIC INTEREST OR GOVERNMENT Mississippi Center for Justice, Jackson, MS Intern, May – July 2012  Assisted with formation of education project geared toward creating a more holistic disciplinary process in the Jackson Public Schools (JPS). Since implementation of the program, expulsion rates have decreased by 17%.  Collaborated with local and national organizations to provide legal representation for all JPS students facing long-term suspensions and expulsions.  Established a training manual and program for volunteer advocates for students facing suspensions and expulsions. The Hon. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, DC Intern, May – August 2012  Conducted research on proposed legislation regarding a wide variety of topics to inform Senator Leahy’s voting positions. Drafted statements for Senate floor and committee hearings, including analyses of agricultural subsidies and childhood nutrition.  Prepared memoranda summarizing the backgrounds and records of judicial and executive nominees. Briefed the Senator on major Supreme Court and circuit court decisions. California Appellate Project, San Francisco, CA Legal Intern, July – August 2012  Participated in all aspects of death penalty litigation with this non-profit organization representing condemned inmates on San Quentin’s death row, including direct appeals and state and federal habeas petitions.  Reviewed the voir dire of a capital trial and drafted claims based on ineffective assistance of counsel as part of a state habeas petition. ACLU National Prison Project, Washington, DC Intern, May – August 2012  Assisted in civil rights litigation aimed at improving prison and jail conditions for federal, state and local inmates and detainees.  Conducted legal and policy research for government affairs representatives. Wrote memoranda comparing and evaluating California and Arizona prison reform proposals. Drafted briefs and letters and summarized trial transcripts and depositions for use in appeals. Assisted with discovery, trial preparation and trial. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Quito, Ecuador Social Policy Area Intern, June – August 2012  Participated in the organization and review of a compendium of the legal norms and rights of children and adolescents in Peru.  Aided in the planning and coordination of a workshop with the Shipibo of the Amazon to increase the participation of adolescents in the political process and facilitate their input in policy documents. After attending the workshop, 87% of youth indicated their intent to vote in the next municipal election, up from 32% prior to the workshop.


1L SUMMER WORKING IN JUDICIAL CHAMBERS The Honorable Andrew J. Peck, U.S. District Court, S.D.N.Y., New York, New York Judicial Intern, May – August 2012  Conducted extensive legal research on a variety of substantive and procedural issues and prepared memoranda to brief the Judge on matters before the Court. Portions of several memos were incorporated by Judge Peck into opinions. Drafted habeas corpus petition opinion.  Performed deputy duties. Observed and documented for the Judge’s records settlement conferences, plea hearings, detention hearings, and various other court proceedings. 1L SUMMER AT LAW FIRMS, DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL Lenz and Staehelin, Geneva, Switzerland Summer Associate, May – July 2012  Worked in the Litigation and Arbitration, Banking and Finance, and Corporate and M&A groups of Switzerland’s largest law firm.  Researched and wrote memoranda advising international clients on U.S. and European banking rules, securities regulations, and other legal issues. Drafted witness statements and internal memoranda for $500 million intellectual property dispute. Translated briefs and other materials for external use.  Documented legal discussions between firms and due diligence interviews related to upcoming cross-border acquisition. Nishimura & Asahi, Tokyo, Japan Summer Associate to Outside Counsel, Development Bank of Japan, May – June 2012  Revised stock purchase and lending agreements for Bank’s Growth and Cross-Border Investment Groups. Wrote letter to opposing counsel disputing due diligence requests.  Conducted legal research in both Japanese and English; summarized securities regulations in pertinent foreign jurisdictions for client best practices update.  Drafted nondisclosure agreement provisions. Interpreted English-language contracts for Japanese attorneys. Holland & Knight LLP, Miami, FL Summer Associate, May – August 2012  Assisted with researching and drafting briefs on energy litigation matter filed with the United States Courts of Appeals for the Eleventh and Ninth Circuits.  Researched and wrote memoranda of law for the Sustainable Development team, including an analysis of the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) and the related Florida counterpart and the applicability of this legislation and the results of an Environmental Impact Statement to a major golf course development project. Damon Morey, LLP, Buffalo, NY Summer Associate, June – August 2011  Worked primarily in the Corporate and Commercial Finance departments of this leading Buffalo law firm with over eighty attorneys.


 

Drafted letters of credit, SBA loan applications, and collateral documents for commercial lenders. Researched New York and California deviations from the Uniform Commercial Code. Participated in renegotiation and restructuring of intercreditor agreement. Assisted pro bono client with HUD grant application related to the development of a sustainable housing project

1L SUMMER AS RESEARCH ASSISTANT Professor Neil Siegel, Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC Research Assistant, May - August 2012  Investigated and briefed tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud, and money laundering issues relating to a complex criminal appeal.  Performed original research on the political history of U.S. racial civil rights legislation and policy for forthcoming book on the contemporary landscape of civil rights law. Professor Sara Sun Beale, Duke Law School, Durham, NC Research Assistant, June - August 2012  Drafted sections of the supplement to a Federal Criminal Law casebook, including text on new sentencing guidelines.  Conducted research for scholarly articles on prosecutorial discretion and prosecution of juveniles as adults.


Special Entries for JD/LLMs JD/LLM DEGREE Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina Juris Doctor/Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law expected, May 2014 SUMMER STUDY ABROAD Duke-Geneva Institute in Transnational Law, Geneva, Switzerland Summer 2012 Completed upper-level coursework in International and Comparative Law Special Entries for Transfer Students EDUCATION Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC Juris Doctor expected, May 2014 Honors: List as usual Activities: List as usual Original Law School, City, State Matriculated Month Year – Month Year GPA (or rank): 0.00 (or 0/000) Honors: Journal or Moot Court, invitation extended Scholarships or awards (description of criteria if not well-known) Activities: Student groups, organizations and community activities, position Undergraduate Institution, City, State Full Name of Degree in Major, Month and Year of Graduation Honors: List as usual Activities: List as usual



Appendix G

List of Action Verbs Commonly Used To Describe Professional Experience



ACTION VERBS condensed conducted conceptualized considered constructed consulted continued contracted contributed controlled converted coordinated corrected counseled counted created credited critiqued dealt decided defined delegated delivered demonstrated described designed determined developed devised diagnosed directed discussed distributed documented drafted earned edited elected eliminated endorsed enlarged enlisted ensured proposed provided published 77 entered established estimated evaluated examined expanded expedited experienced experimented explained explored expressed extended filed filled financed focused forecasted formulated found gathered graded granted guided handled headed helped identified implemented improved incorporated indexed initiated influenced inspected installed instituted instructed insured interpreted interviewed introduced invented tested toured traced

accomplished achieved acquired addressed adjusted administered advised allocated analyzed answered appeared applied appointed appraised approved arbitrated arranged assessed assigned assured attained audited awarded bought briefed brought budgeted canceled catalogued caused changed chaired classified closed collected combined commented communicated compared completed computed conceived concluded investigated involved issued

joined kept launched learned leased led licensed listed logged maintained managed matched measured mediated met modified monitored moved named negotiated observed offered opened operated ordered organized oversaw participated perceived performed persuaded planned prepared presented presided processed procured produced programmed prohibited projected promoted proofread

purchased pursued qualified ranked rated received recommended reconciled recorded recruited reduced regulated related replaced replied reported represented researched responded revamped reviewed revised scheduled selected served serviced set solved sought specified spoke started studied strengthened submitted substituted suggested summarized supervised surveyed tackled targeted taught

trained transferred translated transported traveled treated turned uncovered updated used utilized visited worked wrote

Verbs to use when describing legal positions assisted wrote proposed defended performed followed up researched prepared drafted determined investigated contacted attended analyzed negotiated summarized counseled interviewed observed operated conducted advised processed


Appendix H
Effective Cover Letters: A Suggested Framework & Samples











 Does your letter pass the ―target‖ test, or does it sound like Spam?  Does Paragraph 1 grab the reader’s attention? Does it introduce your headlines/thesis?  Do Paragraph #2 and #3 powerfully describe what YOU can do for THE EMPLOYER?  Do you make it easy for the employer to consider you and identify next steps?  Read, read and re-read: Is your letter typo-free and grammatically perfect?


Sample Cover Letter Format Private Employer (Indented)
Do NOT include your name in the header. There should be two hard spaces between your address and the date.

Your address City, State Zip

There should be four hard spaces between the date and the employer’s address.


Your address and the date should be aligned just slightly to the right of the center. (7 halfinch tabs)

In this style paragraphs are indented one halfinch tab.

Attorney’s Name, Esq. or The Honorable Judge’s Complete Name Name of Organization Note that there are two spaces Street Address between state and zip code. City, State Zip Dear Mr., Ms., Judge, etc.:
Never use ―To Whom it May Concern.‖ Be sure to use a COLON, not a comma!

The text of the letter should be single-spaced. A double space should separate the paragraphs.

Begin your letter by introducing yourself, but keep it brief and to the point. Specifically, tell the reader (1) why you are writing, and (2) what position you are seeking. If you have the name of someone who is known to both you and the reader, or know a particular fact about the reader, you should use it here-e.g., ―Mr. Ronald McDonald suggested that I write...,‖ or ―I heard your presentation at the Law School...‖ The last sentence of this paragraph should be a ―thesis,‖ in the sense that it sets out the 2-4 qualifications that you will discuss in the body of your letter. This paragraph, and the rest of your ―body‖ paragraphs, should flow nicely from paragraph to paragraph, fully elaborating on your thesis sentence. You should have at least one paragraph that discusses why you are specifically interested in this employer. The middle paragraphs should serve as a general summary of your educational background and/or work experience, organized in a manner that logically follows your ―thesis‖ sentence. Back up this sentence with some concrete examples, but take care to integrate these examples – your paragraph should not come across as simply a listing of accomplishments. The main purpose of the closing paragraph is to ask for an interview. You may indicate that you will be contacting the reader to discuss employment opportunities or an interview. Use this paragraph to inform the reader that you will be in town during a specific period of time, during which you are available for an interview.
Use ―Sincerely‖ or ―Very truly yours‖ followed by a comma, four hard returns and your signature line.


The closing is positioned two lines below the last line of the body and should be aligned with the date.

Your typed name
Simply state ―Enclosure‖ or ―Enclosures,‖ if more than one, two hard lines below the signature line, flush with the left margin to signify the inclusion or your resume and/or reference sheet.



Sample Cover Letter – Public Sector (Block Style)
14 Fairmont Street Durham, NC 27703

December 1, 2011

Dinah Wiley, Esq. Director Whitman-Walker Clinic Legal Services 1407 S Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20009 Dear Ms. Wiley: I am a first-year student at Duke University School of Law with a background in children’s law who has worked with children with HIV/AIDs. A summer internship with the Whitman-Walker Clinic would allow me to apply my experience to an endeavor to which I am fully committed. Last summer at Camp Heartland, I supervised nine and ten year old children with HIV/AIDS. As a counselor, I was responsible for the emotional well-being of my campers, and throughout the summer, I counseled them on coping with their illnesses. During my time at the camp, I realized the negative impact that social stereotypes have on children whose lives are affected by HIV disease, and I decided to devote my legal education to fighting this insidious discrimination. This fall, I have continued to work on HIV/AIDS issues by assisting people with AIDS in drafting wills, living wills and powers of attorney in conjunction with Duke’s Pro Bono Project. Prior to drafting these documents, I conduct legal research to ensure that I include the appropriate language and I interview each client to determine their wishes. I believe that my research skills and credentials, combined with my dedication to this area of law, will make me a valuable member of your staff this summer. I have enclosed a resume and a brief writing sample for your review. I will be in Washington, DC the week of December 18th and would be delighted to meet with you to discuss opportunities at your organization. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Sarah Strauss



Sample Cover Letter – Private Sector (Block Style)
300 Erlwood Way, Apartment 208 Durham, NC 27704

December 1, 2011

Ms. E. Joy Bryan Legal Recruiting Coordinator Ward and Smith, P.A. P.O. Box 867 New Bern, NC 28563 Dear Ms. Bryan: As a first-year student at Duke University School of Law with life-long ties to eastern North Carolina and a strong desire to live and practice law in the area, I am writing to ask that you consider my candidacy for a Summer Associate position at Ward and Smith for the summer of 2011. As a North Carolina native, I was familiar with Ward and Smith’s excellent reputation long before I entered law school. I also had the pleasure of hearing partner and Duke Law alumnus David L. Ward speak on his antitrust practice at an event at the North Carolina Bar Association. It was especially interesting to learn about the firm’s recent involvement in antitrust litigation involving the financial industry. Given my longstanding interest in dispute resolution and positive experiences in both Contracts and Torts, I am especially drawn to Ward and Smith’s highly regarded Litigation Practice Group. I believe my education and work-related experiences have given me a number of skills that could help me contribute to Ward and Smith’s tradition of excellence. My undergraduate training in philosophy at Harvard has helped me better identify and analyze complex legal issues and write about them, especially in preparing trial and appellate level documents. Additionally, my experiences in management on behalf of several non-profit and for-profit entities—including successfully promoting sales to new clients and serving as a representative to existing clients in the U.S. and around the world—have enhanced my ability to communicate with, relate to, and work well with others. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to introduce myself more fully and discuss the possibility of working with you next summer. I have enclosed a resume for your review; please let me know if you would like me to provide you with any additional materials. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.

Very truly yours,

Joshua Janes



Sample Cover Letter – Public Sector Informational Meeting Letter (Block Style)
Your address City, State Zip


Attorney’s Name, Esq. Name of Organization Street Address City, State Zip Dear Mr., Ms., Judge, etc.: Begin your letter by introducing yourself, but keep it brief and to the point. Specifically, tell the reader (1) why you are writing, and (2) that you are interested in an informational — rather than formal — interview. If you have the name of someone who is known to both you and the reader, or if you are aware of a particular fact about the recipient, you should use it here. The last sentence of the paragraph should be your ―thesis sentence.‖ For example, this first paragraph might begin something like this: “I am a second-year law student at Duke University School of Law. Jane Doe, Director of Public Interest America, suggested I contact you to learn more about your involvement with the City Works Project in Baltimore. As you can see from my enclosed resume, my long-standing interest in urban housing predates my law school experience and includes three years in project development at HUD. I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you briefly to learn more about opportunities for young attorneys in this important field.” The middle paragraph(s) should serve as a general summary of your educational background and/or work experience, organized in a manner that logically follows your ―thesis‖ sentence. ―Having worked in government and on zoning committees in both large and mid-sized urban settings, I began law school with a clear goal of ultimately tackling equal housing issues on both the individual and policy-making levels.” Back up this sentence with some concrete examples, but take care to integrate these examples – your paragraph should not come across as simply a listing of accomplishments. Your closing paragraph goes here. The main purpose of this paragraph is to ask for ―AIR‖ — Advice, Information, and a Referral if possible. Reiterate the fact that while you are not in fact looking for a job interview from the recipient, you are looking for general information. You might also use this paragraph to inform the reader that you will be in town during a specific period of time, during which you are available for a meeting or something as simple as a cup of coffee.


Your typed name

cc: Jane Doe Enclosure


Sample Email

TO: CC: FROM: BC: DATE: December 1, 2011 SUBJECT: Duke Law Student Seeking Summer Employment

Dear Ms. Smith: I am a first-year student at Duke University School of Law and am interested in obtaining a position with your firm for the Summer of 2012. I have attached a copy of my cover letter and resume.

I will be in the St. Louis area visiting family and friends during the winter break (December 19 – 31), and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with representatives of your firm at that time.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you. Sincerely, Heather Hutchinson




Appendix I
Sample Reference Sheet


Sample Reference Sheet

ISABELLE J. ARCHER 123 Jordan Avenue Durham, NC 27705 (919) 124-6236



Professor Henry James, Constitutional Law Duke University School of Law Corner of Science Drive and Towerview Road Durham, NC 27708 919-555-1212 Ralph Touchett, Esq. O’Farrell & Ashley, LLP 101 Park Avenue New York, NY 10170 212-234-1234 Henrietta Stackpole, Esq. North Central Legal Assistance Program 212 North Mangum Street Durham, NC 27702 919-123-9876

Be sure to include an email address for your references!


Appendix J
Sample Transcript


Thomas M. Cogdill
3611 University Drive, 26-A Durham, NC 27707 (919) 345-6789 UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT DUKE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW 2010 Fall Term Course Title Civil Procedure Constitutional Law Criminal Law Intro to Law & Leg Prof Legal Anal/Research Writ Professor Conley J Siegel N Beale S Levi D Ragazzo J Alayan K Official Grade 3.5 3.2 3.2 Credit Only Credit Only Credits 4.50 4.50 4.50 0.00 0.00

2011 Spring Term Course Title Torts Contracts Property Legal Anal/Research Writ Intro to Law & Leg Prof 2011 Fall Term Course Title Intellectual Property Evidence Products Liability Federal Income Tax Ethics/Law of Lawyering Professor Boyle J Beskind D McGovern F Zelenak L Bradley K Official Grade 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Credits 4.00 4.00 2.00 4.00 2.00 Professor Coleman D Gulati G Salzman J Ragazzo J Alayan K Levi D Official Grade 3.7 3.5 3.1 3.1 Credit Only Credits 4.50 4.50 4.50 3.00 0.50

Total Credits: 30.50 Cumulative GPA: 3.34


Appendix K
Sample Thank You Letter


Form Thank You Letter

Your address City, State Zip


Attorney’s Name, Esq. or The Honorable Judge’s Name Name of Organization Street Address City, State Zip Dear Mr., Ms., Judge, etc.: Remind the interviewer of the position for which you interviewed, as well as the date and the place of the interview. It is always courteous to express your appreciation. If you elect to write one letter to your OCI host, the partner/attorney in charge of hiring, the most senior partner/attorney on your schedule, or the recruiting department representative, mention the names of the other interviewers with whom you met. In addition to noting how much you enjoyed meeting his/her colleagues, you might also wish to mention a topic of particular interest from one of the meetings. Finally, ask the interviewer to express your thanks to them. Express with enthusiasm your strong interest in being considered for a position. Mention anything about the firm that genuinely interested you, especially anything you learned from this interviewer in particular. Explain why you would be an asset to the firm. Be specific. Suggest that if you can provide him/her with any additional information, he/she should not hesitate to contact you. Reiterate your interest in the position and thank the employer again for their consideration.


Your typed name


Appendix L
Sample Acceptance Letter


Sample Acceptance of Employment Letter
1212 Snowcrest Trail Durham, NC 27707

January 23, 2012

Roger Davis, Esq. Slater & Slater LLP 155 Flowers Street Los Angeles, CA 90067 Dear Mr. Davis: Thank you very much for your letter of January 15, 2012, in which your firm extended me an offer for a position as a summer associate beginning in May 2012. I am very excited about the opportunity to work for Slater & Slater this summer and am pleased to accept your offer under the terms set forth in your letter. As we have discussed, I am eager to begin work as soon as I complete my exams. I will contact Amory Evans in your recruiting office to arrange for a start date. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (primary phone number) or should you require any additional information. Thanks again for this opportunity. I look forward to a productive summer.

Very truly yours,

Priti Srikanti


Appendix M
Sample Letter Declining An Offer Received


Sample Offer Declination Letter
1212 Snowcrest Trail Durham, NC 27707

January 23, 2012

Mr. Jerry Jones Recruiting Coordinator Heath & Graham, P.C. 1355 Seventh Avenue Dallas, TX 75226 Dear Mr. Jones: Thank you for your offer of employment with Heath & Graham for the upcoming summer. I truly appreciate the opportunity, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with the attorneys at the firm. While the decision was a difficult one, I have decided to accept an offer with Firm X. [Or ―After much deliberation, I have decided to decline Heath & Graham’s generous offer.‖] I look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Yours truly,

Robert K. Jordan


Appendix N
Sample Interview Questions


What Interviewers Ask During An Interview What do employers, particularly legal employers, look for in their potential new employees? As you prepare for interviews, focus on these highly prized five attributes of a new attorney:
    

Analytic ability An ―ownership mentality‖ about your life and work A communication style appropriate to the setting Well-articulated interest in that particular employer Commitment to the community or city of the employer

Your objective is to answer the questions presented to during an interview as well as make conversation. Below are some commonly asked questions:
                        

Let’s discuss a complex situation that you analyzed. Is there a project that you accomplished without complete information? What did you do? Have you ever picked up work or tasks that ―were not your job,‖ but you saw that they needed to be done? What makes our organization compelling to you? Provide a specific example. How long do you plan to live on our city? How do you like Duke? Why did you come to law school? What do you see yourself doing five years from now? What do you consider your greatest strengths and weaknesses? What is your most notable accomplishment? What unique experiences or qualifications separate you from other candidates? Tell me about yourself. Tell me something that is not on your resume. Describe your most rewarding law school experience. In what school activities have you participated? Why? Which did you enjoy the most? How are you doing in your present job search? Where else are you interviewing? Did you receive an offer from the employer you worked for last summer? Why or why not? What do you think of your last employer? What do you know about our organization? Do you have a geographical preference? Why? Why are you interviewing in this city? What can I tell you about our organization? Do you have any idea what area of practice you would like to go into? What have you learned from your participation on a journal or in a clinical program? What is the question I should ask you, the answer to which would make me hire you on the spot? Tell me about your writing sample.


Thoughtful Questions You Can Ask During an Interview Almost every interviewer will ask you if ―you have any questions.‖ It is imperative to be able to ask a few–even if you are not actually seeking new information. Questions are a perceived of a sign of interest in the employer, while also providing the opportunity to let the interviewer speak. Good questions also indicate that you’ve ―done your homework‖—while generic questions, or those you should be able to answer yourself from your own research on the organization, show lack of preparation. You have been passed the ―interview baton.‖ Your goal is to engage the interviewer in a lively, back-and-forth conversation, and actually learn something new about the firm— while at all times remaining ―in bounds‖—confining your questions to appropriate, noncontroversial topics. If you ask a generic question about the assignment system or the training program, it will put the interviewer on Autopilot, serving up rote and repetitive answers that don’t provide much opportunity for engagement. This is the wind-up to your interview, and it should be pleasant and memorable—the interviewer will complete his or her evaluation of your meeting immediately thereafter. Make the most of it. Ideally, the interviewee will generate specific questions based on independent research about each employer and/or interviewer. You should use these examples merely as a springboard to more thought-provoking and interesting follow-up questions. Although some may be tailored for a law firm interview, these questions are readily modified for any employer. Keep the following objectives in mind:
    

Demonstrate that you expect to work at this employer for a significant period. Demonstrate your focus, and flexibility, in choosing the practice area in which you will work if you choose to work for a law firm. Show that you are confident in your work product, that you are willing to accept constructive criticism in the form of formal reviews, and that you enjoy learning. Show interest in the culture of the employer. (Many students choose to probe more deeply in this area after an offer has been extended.) That you are interested in the interviewer as a person.

Some questions to ask:
 

To partners: What type of deals/cases/matters are on your desk right now? How might a first year/third year associate contribute to that type of matter? To associates: What type of deals/cases/matters are on your desk right now? How might a summer/junior associate support you on those matters? What type of work did you do as a first year/third year? To whom did you report – senior associates? Partners? Junior associates? How did you come to choose your practice area? How has the practice area changed/how will it change in the future? What qualities do you think make an associate successful in this practice area? Does the firm prefer to have junior associates work and train intensely with a small number of attorneys, or work broadly with a variety of attorneys? 98

    

Do the attorneys in your practice area have an opportunity to work with lawyers in other practice areas/offices of the firm? (If the web bio indicates that the lawyer came from another firm/organization:) How would you compare the culture here with your previous organization/firm? Are there particular practice areas at the firm that are in a real growth mode? What does he or she enjoy most about working at the employer? And when you truly have no other questions to ask, don’t be afraid to say ―I really don’t have any further questions at this time. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. Is there anything on my resume that we haven’t had the chance to cover?‖ In this way, you are allowing the interviewer to take back ―the baton‖ and wrap up the interview gracefully.

Some questions to avoid:

 

 

Avoid questions that are answered on an employers’ web site. These questions show an absence of initiative and limited candidate interest. Use information on the website as a launching pad to other questions to demonstrate a thoughtful approach to synthesizing information. Ask more than ―Tell me about your summer program…your formal training program…the assignment process. Can I be assured a spot in the X department? At some firms, receiving a permanent offer in a particularly popular or smaller department can be quite competitive. The decisions are only made at the end of the summer, once the needs of the firm and the candidates’ strengths can be evaluated. It is appropriate to inquire about having exposure to the work over the summer, but that’s all. For litigators: When will I take my first deposition/argue my first motion? At some firms, early experience is a point of pride; at others, it is an awkward question, because the cases are so large that only more senior lawyers receive this experience—at the clients’ behest. You can get at the same information by asking litigation associates what they are working on, how their work has changed over their tenure with the firm, what work they enjoy most. How much vacation time do first year associates receive? What is your billable hour requirement? Is this an “actual” billable requirement, or “hours worked” requirement? Is it strictly enforced? These questions can easily be misinterpreted to your detriment; in addition, much of the information is on so you should be familiar with it already. May I split my summer with another employer? With another office? Except in certain markets where splitting is the norm, most students wait to ask this until after they have two offers. It is also wise to discuss splitting strategy with your CPDC counselor before broaching the subject with any prospective employer. Questions or negative comments about a prior employer, another employer with whom you interviewed or the current one. Making reference to a comment you read on a blog or list-serv about the firm or organization, including issues about offer decisions, economic difficulties or any other awkward topics.


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