Perhaps the most important thing you can do during your first semester to improve your career prospects is to focus on doing well in your course work. However, there are other things you can do to make your eventual job search easier.
During the fall semester, you will meet with a member of the Career Development Office team to start making a job search plan. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions, get advice, and think about where you want to end up after law school. Don’t hesitate to contact the CDO if you have questions.
As you get closer to applying for jobs, it can be helpful to read job postings in the area you’d like to practice in, and see what skills and qualifications employers tend to look for. After your first semester of law school, you can view job postings at CDOnline. You can also use CDOnline to explore career paths, connect with alumni, schedule appointments with your advisor, prepare your application documents, and RSVP for CDO workshops.
Finally, make an effort to become involved in the community you’d like to join. If you’re interested in a particular area of law, join (or even start!) a student organization. Attend CLEs; try to meet people who do what you’d like to do. They can tell you what it’s really like, give you advice on how to get there, and even give you a heads up when jobs open up. You’d be surprised how much of a difference it can make.
A good way to meet legal professionals is to join bar associations and professional groups. Law is a very interconnected profession, and this is a great way to meet the people who will be your colleagues in the years to come.