Monday, March 7, 2011
This two-part post offers research tips for law students as they prepare for job interviews. The first post included tips for researching biographical and background information on potential employers. Part two offers advice about deeper research recommended as a student prepares for a job interview.
After spending some time looking through a potential employer’s website and at any biographical data available in a directory, students preparing for a job interview should also research case law and litigation, scholarship, and news sources for additional information about the interviewers.
Case Law and Litigation
• When searching case databases on Westlaw or LexisNexis, use fields and segments to find only cases argued by a particular attorney (attorney or counselor field) or decisions authored by a particular judge (judge field).
• Don’t look only at the case opinions, but take time to look at briefs, motions, pleadings and verdicts that are also available on Westlaw and LexisNexis.
• Mealey’s Litigation Reports on LexisNexis also provides a wealth of information about key cases.
Scholarship and Publications
In addition to researching the case law and litigation background of a potential employer, students should also read what an interviewer has written. Students can search Google Scholar (by author), law review databases, and should also search local bar association publications. A quick search in a legal periodical index (such as Index to Legal Periodicals or LegalTrac) could locate articles that will provide for interesting conversation at a job interview and will certainly demonstrate interest in the employer.
Students preparing for an interview should also run searches in local newspapers, Google News, and/or the news databases available through Westlaw and LexisNexis. Searching by attorney name or firm name will yield results about recent newsworthy events.
Finally, searching social media can also provide valuable insight into current events and information about the firm culture. Some resources to try include Google Blog search, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Spending some time doing this type of background and current news research will demonstrate interest in the employer and hopefully lead to active discussions during the interview. It doesn’t hurt to demonstrate research skills either!