Law Library Guide Helps Job-Seeking Law Students Do Homework on Employers

No matter how glorious your resume and transcript or how many glowing recommendations you collect, you have to know a lot about a job opportunity to let your employers know that you want it and are right for the position. Success in the legal job market, as in law school, takes a lot of homework.

And we at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are here to help! Our Law Employment Research Guide for job seeking law students and graduates compiles resources to help get tabs on law firms, to land a clerkship with a judge, or just to build essential lawyering skills such as networking and compiling contracts.

The Researching Law Firms tab gathers resources to help you get a feel for how your potential employer operates, and how you can set yourself up to be its most appealing interviewee. Litigation analytics tools give you insight into practice areas, specialties, biographical details about attorneys. Legal news resources can help you brush up to keep the conversation flowing. Books give you background information on legal employment opportunities, and advice on your application materials and interviewing strategies. Online resources provide general career tips, and other online tools help you get a more complete picture of the life and culture of a law firm before you try to dive in.

The Clerkship Interviews tab features litigation analytics on judges, their histories of motions, and the practice areas in which they tend to work. Books and legal news will help you connect with your judge on a human and intellectual level, and advice on finding your judge’s opinions will help you get more personal. Online resources help you find openings and land your clerkship.

Finally, the Professional Development tab includes resources to help you build the skills to be a more effective attorney, and to be a better-known job candidate. Networking opportunities resources will help you connect with different facets of the legal community to build a higher profile that can translate into job opportunities. Books will help with the transition from law school to legal practice, keeping yourself happy and balanced as you meet the challenges of life as an attorney. Finally, practical job preparedness and practice tools can give you a leg up on the job, gathering resources that can help you operate effectively and efficiently.

If you make an appointment to Meet with a Librarian, we can give you some pointers on research tools to uncover the information you will need to wow your future employers in cover letters and interviews. And make an appointment with Career Services for more detailed assistance on landing a job and developing professionally. Good luck on all your interviews to come!

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

The Law Library Can Help You Shine for On Campus Interviews

Law students send resumes far and wide with the hope of landing their dream placement, but during On Campus Interviews, or OCI, you won’t have to venture far. Employers come to campus because it is an efficient way to gauge many students’ qualifications in one cost effective, concentrated time period. The Law Library can help you highlight the knowledge and skills that will help you stand out from the crowd.

The library’s reference librarians are happy to meet with job seekers to help research firms and other employers. We can help you read up on cases that attorneys have argued to assemble talking points. Find judges’ past decisions and gather details such as the types of cases that law firms tend to handle most frequently. This can help you keep a steady rapport with your interviewers when they ask you what you’d like to know about the placement.

We can help you identify ways to stay up to date on developments in your field. Reading through blogs, reading details on developing cases, pending rule changes and other legal news, or engaging with expert commentary is a way you can highlight your mastery of and dedication to your particular field during interviews and networking events. We can help you set alerts on your favorite research databases so you can be sure that you’ll have the latest information when you need it.

We can also introduce the tools of the trade, including materials in the library collection that practitioners frequently consult. Online practice guides and document templates can help you impress interviewers, and then produce professional work efficiently. We have experience using specialized tools and research databases for particular practice areas, which can give you a leg up over competitors with more baseline research skills.

Furthermore, our Law Employment Research Guide assembles tools job seekers can use to tailor your resumes and cover letters and to prepare for interviews. Books from the library’s collection provide focused advice on landing particular jobs and thriving in the legal profession. Legal news websites can help you stay current. We have focused advice on researching law firms, with websites and litigation analytics tools that provide data on employers. Blogs and books provide tips for getting in the door and moving up the ladder.

The guide also has advice if you are seeking a clerkship. It lists texts and blogs that provide tips on standing out, as well as resources on finding job openings and reading up on judges’ work. Finally, the Professional Development topic, we introduce networking opportunities, such as specialized legal associations in Arizona as well as student organizations at ASU. We also provide texts on developing life and legal skills and introduce practice tools that can help you build expertise and efficiency in your field. The law librarians have firsthand experience navigating the legal employment landscape, and the skills and experience that can help you land your dream job during OCI. Meet with a Librarian to get an edge before you button up your best interview suit.

Andrea Gass, Reference Librarian

The Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

Do you have some free time over winter break? Would you like to win $500? The deadline to enter the annual Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research is Monday, March 29, 2021 at 9:00am

The purpose of the award is to encourage students to focus on practical skills and to refine their research abilities beyond ordinary proficiency to achieve their personal best. We are most interested in your research process. Submissions may be, but are not limited to, papers written for a class or as a journal note.

Two award recipients will be selected.  The first place winner will receive $500.00 and a Certificate of Recognition.  The second place winner will receive $250.00 and a Certificate of Recognition.

A panel composed of two Law Librarians and one Legal Writing Instructor will judge submissions based on how well they demonstrate the following:

  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of research materials, including, but not limited to, online and print resources, search engines and databases, primary and secondary legal resources, interdisciplinary resources, and empirical resources
  • Exceptional innovation in research strategy, including the ability to locate, select, and evaluate research materials with discretion
  • Skillful synthesis of research results into a comprehensive scholarly analysis

To learn more about the award including eligibility, acceptable papers, selection criteria and application procedures, please visit: Ross-Blakley Law Library Award for Exemplary Student Research

And remember, if you need help with your research, don’t forget to Meet with a Librarian.

Good Luck!

Checking Out and Returning Books after Thanksgiving

To check out law library books after November 25, you can place a request through the library catalog.  When the items are ready, library staff will contact you to arrange a time to pick up the books in the first floor lobby.  If you are unable to pick up the books in person or need assistance with placing a request, contact Carrie Henteleff.

In most cases, you will be able to keep your library books until the beginning of the spring semester.  If you need to return library material over break, you have several options:

  • Items can be returned to the first floor lobby of the BCLS building.
  • Items can be returned to exterior library book returns located on each ASU campus.  The closest exterior return to the law building is on the north side of Polk St., between 1st St. and Central, outside the University Center building.  Please do not return Flash Cards and Interlibrary Loans to exterior book returns.  These items must be returned to the BCLS building.
  •  Items can be shipped back to the law library:

Ross-Blakley Law Library
Arizona State University
Mail Code 9620
111 E. Taylor Street, Suite 350
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467