This job market is horrible. I just read today that another law firm closed down. I was laid off two weeks ago and I am a first year. I am worried but not overly so. I know a really good way to find a job that I used in law school but I am confident a lot of others will NOT try because everything thinks that jobs should come to them! That is good for me.
With only a few exceptions, the only people I know who are getting interviews are doing targeted mailing of their legal resume with cover letters to employers who might not necessarily be hiring. I did this when I was in law school a year ago and it worked.
When I was in law school, I did not get a single interview through on-campus--but that may have had something to do with my grades. I went to an Ivy League college but did not do well law school--at least not in the top 10%. I did fine in my job search, however: By this time last year (as a third year) I had at least four offers. I go to a second/third tier law school in Chicago and really did not think I would have that much luck. I used a service called that LegalAuthority to mail out over 500 letters.
The service cost me over $1,000 but I really think it was worth it. I was getting interviews within 3 days of sending out my letters. I think this is a great way to get a job--even if you decided to do the work you have to pay the LegalAuthority guys to do on your own. The service is expensive but it is really too much work to do on your own.
Be proactive in your job search!! I think the mass mailing idea is the smartest way to get a job by far. The reason is because most law firms when they have extra work do not go out and advertise for associates--they just do not do the extra work. This method of finding a job shows the firms they can get someone to help now without them having to advertise or lift a finger. Plus, most of the firms I approached thought that I was writing them because I knew about them from somewhere. They were impressed I wrote them!
I ordered the LegalAuthority service from the company about a week ago and should be mailing my letters any day. I am sure I am going to get calls pretty quickly (within 3-4 days) after sending my letters. Sure … I will not have heard of a lot of firms that are calling but I am going to have offers I am sure. This is how people are getting legal jobs right now.