Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2:41 pm, December 18

The Wife snapped this with her cell phone yesterday at 2:41pm.  Two more days until we round the bend.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An open letter to those seeking an internship at a public interest law firm

Dear Applicants,

As the attorney responsible for hiring next summer's crop of interns, let me be the first to thank you for your interest and enthusiasm.  Since I know job searches can be very stressful, I have compiled a few observations and tips that may be of some help.

First, make sure your cover letter is addressed to the right party.  Reading that you are very excited about the prospect of working in Utah does not make me want to hire you for a job in Alaska. 

If the job announcement asks applicants to submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, transcript and references, do so.  Two sentences in an email full of attachments does not constitute a cover letter.  Likewise, stating that "references are available upon request" is a mistake--I requested your references already.

Make good use of your cover letter; it will get read multiple times before I ever make an offer and is the starting point in my review of your application.  Introduce yourself, tell me why you are excited about the work my firm does (without sounding like you are trying to pick me up at a bar), discuss the most relevant portions of your experience or education, and tell me that you are available to discuss your qualifications in greater detail at my convenience.  If this is your top choice of all the prospective jobs you have applied for or have some special connection to my firm, say so.

Since you are applying to a public interest law firm, you need to show some minimum level of dedication to the principles embodied by the firm's mission.  Your past work at a for-profit law firm that represent interests in opposition to our organization must be explained if you want me to take your application seriously.

If you get an interview, read our website, spend 5-10 minutes internet stalking me, do a Google News search of our organization, and be confident about your accomplishments.  If your interview is on the day after we file a ground-breaking law suit or have some other significant court victory, showing your familiarity with this matter will go a long ways.

When submitting an application via email, give your attachments names that tell me what the file is and who submitted it.  While we're on the topic, make everything a PDF.

Lastly, please understand that sending rejection letters sucks nearly as much as receiving them.  I know, hard to believe.

Your local friendly hiring attorney.