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How to Survive Your First Career Day

Sam Labahn (3L)

First of all, don’t let the title sway you from attending this year’s career day. It is a great way to meet potential employers, learn about different areas of the law, and hear about the experiences of lawyers of varying seniority at the bar. So without further ado, here are some tips and tricks to having a successful (and not too stressful) experience at career day.

 Do:

1. Wear a well-fitted and tailored suit. There is no worse way to stand out than in an ill-fitted suit, and no better way to stand out than in a great one!

2. While we are talking about suits, if you have not purchased one yet I would strongly recommend you purchase a wool suit rather than a polyester one. I wore a polyester one during my first career day and I almost passed out from heat exhaustion. Take it from me, those bad boys do not breathe well and are not a good purchase.

3. Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking around during career day and nothing is more painful to watch than girls who cannot walk in heels combined with a nasty blister. It is totally okay to wear flats!

4. Wear deodorant! Career day takes place in a small room with lots of nervous and sweaty people. The last thing you need to be is smelly.

5. Smile. Nothing helps what is surely to be an initially awkward conversation become a nice chat more than a warm smile.

6. Brush your teeth in the morning, and have a mint after your coffee during lunch.

7. Talk to lots of people, and always ask for business cards. You might think that you’re not interested in a firm’s practice but interests can change during the course of law school and it never hurts to have some contacts on hand. I also recommend making a small note for yourself on the back of each business card to remind you about what you discussed or what was unique about your conversation. It can be very helpful for you to distinguish firms during the application process for summer or articling student positions.

7. Bring a bag fo’ yo’ swag! There are lots of free goodies at career day, so make sure you have enough space in your brief case or purse to load up!

Do NOT:

1. Bring your resume. This is an opportunity to schmooze and mingle, not an interview.

2. Wear too much cologne/perfume, for the love of god.  Less is always more!

3. Wear too much makeup, please ladies. This is not the time for sparkly eyeliner or your bubblegum pink lipgloss.

4. Interrupt your colleagues. It may be tempting when you’re vying for the attention of that one lawyer you want to speak to so so badly, but nothing annoys people (both your colleagues and lawyers) more than someone who doesn’t know when its their turn to speak. If you don’t have as much time to speak with that lawyer as you would like to, grab a card and contact them to meet with them one-on-one. Most of the people that are at career day are happy to attend coffee dates with students.

5. Drink too much. I know its law school and minor alcoholism is justifiably rampant, but save any debauchery for thirsty Thursdays. This also applies for the after party!

Hope these tips and trips are of good use, and best of luck!