Mizzou Law’s annual Small Firm and Public Interest Expo is just around the corner. A variety of employers in all practice areas will be there to talk with law students. How can you prepare for such an event? Here are some tips that will assist you to making the most of this opportunity.
Before the event:
- Click on the Expo tab on the top of this blog. You will find a list of the employers attending with a link to their website. This list is updated daily. You will also find a link to Symplicity which will allow you to quickly register. Registration is not mandatory, but if you pre-register, you will receive a nicely printed nametag at the Expo. If you show up without registering, you will be welcome, but you will also need to make a handwritten nametag.
- While looking at the list of attendees, begin to select the organizations/firms that you want to visit. Gather basic information (size, location, practice areas) and do enough research that will allow you to ask informed questions.
- Update and review your resume. Check for typos. Feel free to have your advisor in the Career Development Office check it over. You want to make sure your reference sheet is also updated. Print out at least a dozen copies of both. on nice resume paper. For those firms or organizations that you are extremely interested in, consider targeting a resume specifically for them, using keywords and highlighting experiences that are relevant to their practice.
- Review or create your “elevator speech”. It should include what you want the employers to know about you when you introduce yourself and shake hands. Keep it short, just a few key points. You may want to have one ready for public interest employers and a slightly different one for firms.
- Check your attire. Make sure your interview attire is clean and ready to go. Be sure to polish your shoes or go buy that pad-folio you have been meaning to purchase.
- Having business cards is a nice touch. If you have time to have some made, the Career Development Office has a template you may use. On the desktop of the computer in the Resource Room (103D) you will find the file.
- Have a folder or pad-folio for your resumes with a notepad. This will allow you to bring your notes on each firm/organization to the event. There will be places for students to sit away from the employers to review their materials and make notes about their conversations.
- Develop a plan for the Expo. Decide which employers you must visit with and which ones you hope to stop by and learn more about. If these type of events make you nervous, consider visititing employers who interest you but are not on the top of your list, first. This will allow you to become comfortable and confident. If you are naturally comfortable, stop by your key employers first, then visit others you are interested in learning more about. Before you leave, if time permits, walk by your key employers and thank them for attending. This will allow you to remind them of your interest.