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How to Do Your Homework - Sources Of Information

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There are numerous resources that can provide you with more than enough information for your interviews: the employer's Website, the NALP directory, the Vault.com guide, Martindale-Hubble, information gathered by law school career services, newspaper articles, and employers’ press releases and publications. Consider using one or two but not all of them, as that will likely overwhelm you and prove to be too time-consuming. If you have more time, you may find entertaining tips on Websites such as www.law.com, www.abovethelaw.com, and www.lawyerconfessions.com. These Websites offer interesting discussions on such topics as firm scandals, compensation issues, and lateral moves, to name a few.

For firm interviews, you should always turn to the firm's Website first. It is the best source of information because it has links to practice areas and attorneys’ profiles. Reviewing this information will help you determine whether the firm really has a strong practice in a certain area, or whether it is simply listing it in hopes of growing in that area. The NALP directory at www.nalpdirectory.com is another great source of information. It is particularly useful to quickly assess the size of an office, the number of attorneys in each of the firm's departments, the name of the hiring partner, the recruiting person's contact information, and the number of summer associates.

For small firms, which sometimes do not have websites, begin your research by consulting the attorney profiles on Martindale-Hubble. Once you figure out who these attorneys are and what they do, Google them. Consult state-bar Websites, as well, which may list basic background information about these attorneys. Finally, research the attorneys and the firm on Westlaw or Lexis to find out about cases in which they have been involved. Although this process can be time consuming, it is still the best way to research small firms.

For government interviews, you should review information available online, paying particular attention to recent cases on which your interviewers may have worked. Also take a look at the agency's website, newsletters, and a job description, if there is one. Talk to people who have worked there in the past or are currently working there, since they can also be a great source of information. Finally, www.vault.com provides useful information on various government jobs.

For clerkship interviews, start by researching the judge on Google. Then, review recent opinions and articles authored by the judge. Also take a look at Martindale-Hubble and the almanac of the federal judiciary. Find out about the judge's background, nomination, and anything particularly interesting about him or her. Ask former clerks and your law school career services for feedback about the judge. Finally, if you have time, read Behind the Bench: The Guide to Judicial Clerkships by Debra Strauss. This book offers excellent advice about clerkships in general, and interviews in particular.

For in-house interviews, you may find the following resources helpful: the American Corporate Counsel Association, www.acca.com; the National Law Journal, www.nlj.com; www.law.com (look for the newsletters targeting in-house attorneys); The In-House Blog, www.inhouseblog.com; Corporate Counsel Magazine, www.corpcounsel.com; and the book America's Greatest Places to Work with a Law Degree, by Kimm Alayne Walton.

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