When you are job searching there is a “no stone unturned” mentality in finding a hopeful employer to send your “based on a true story” résumé and completely bullshit cover letter. One location that I never thought would work but actually has had some results is Craigslist. Yes the same website where you can buy used Ikea furniture can also help you find a job. Is it sketchy? Definitely. But no worries, Bitter Lawyer has your back. Keep these 5 tips in mind when applying and you likely won’t be skinned alive during the interview.
Avoid Anything In All Caps.
IF YOUR AD LOOKS LIKE THIS THEN YOU ARE LIKELY NOT A REAL COMPANY. IN FACT YOU ARE LIKELY A PERSON LOOKING FOR A LAWYER TO REPRESENT YOU IN SOME CRAZY ASS LAWSUIT. IT IS LIKELY A MASSIVE CLASS ACTION THAT IS A GUARANTEED VICTORY AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT FOR RAISING YOUR TAXES OR FLYING DRONES OVER YOUR HOUSE. EITHER WAY YOU ARE A CRAZY MCWEIRDO. ALSO, IT IS ACTUALLY UNETHICIAL TO SOLICIT WORK SO DON’T REPLY TO THIS.
Make Sure You Will Be Paid.
At some point in time, perhaps around
1863 2008, a group of employers thought it might be beneficial to have someone come and be their bitch while not paying them any money. It’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off. Nope. Don’t get me wrong, if you are in law school I would drastically advise you to take any legal work that you can do even if you aren’t being paid. However, the second Sallie Mae starts calling your house 4 times a day the unpaid internship ‘job’ loses its luster.
The Ridiculously Overqualified Posting
Maybe this works. Doubtful—but maybe. Every so often you will come across the most ridiculously awesome sounding job . . . until you get to the requirements. It will start something like this, “Great opportunity to grow and develop with an up and coming law firm. Focus is on high level work with perfect client’s who never complain. Six figure salary with quarterly bonus.” Then the tables turn. REQUIREMENTS: “Graduate top 10% of your class from a Top 20 school. Law Review AND Moot Court Required. Prefer someone with Clerkship experience or 8-10 years of law firm experience at Vault 100 firm.”
Show me someone who actually fits those requirements and I will show you someone who is not sitting on their couch watch Maury during the day sifting through Craigslist ads. Sometimes I still apply to this position just to see response I get from the firm. Oh my résumé impressed you but you don’t think I would be a great fit at this moment? Really . . . you don’t say.
The Reverse Ad.
I’ve never understood this process. During a time when half of all new law graduates are unemployed your thought process is to post an ad to Craigslist saying: “Hardworking and intelligent new law graduate who hopes to practice in M&A law. Graduated in the top 50% of my class and receive one CALI book award. Please email me if you are interested. Desired salary >100k.”
Real talk: Has anyone ever been hired this way? Not just as a lawyer but in the history of job searching. I’m so hardworking, instead of busting my ass networking and searching through listings online, I’m just going to put out an ad here online and you can contact me. Oh and I am obviously a hot commodity considering I am unemployed and likely living in my parents basement considering my contact email is: email@example.com.
Fully read the ad.
True Story: I being both Bitter and Solo in my practice, have been searching for new employment options when I came across an interesting ad. The firm was looking for an associate (check) when 1-5 years experience (double check) who was interested in the following areas of law: real estate, contract, business formation, civil rights matters, bestiality defense, and employment law. (Che . . . wait. What?) Bestiality defense? I understand due process and the right to counsel but if my client butchered 400 chickens and screwed a beagle, I’m taking him back to Nevada where he’s wanted for banging horses. Can’t do it. Won’t do it. This goes double for ads that request “résumé, cover letter, photo, and transcript.” Umm a photo? Why do you need to see a picture of me? Just get my résumé and Facebook me like a normal human being.
Post image courtesy of Shutterstock.