Law firms are individuals, just as law students are. You want to be judged on your qualifications, and employers do, too. If you want an employer to seriously consider you, you must show interest and enthusiasm about that employer.
When conducting your research, look for things that tell you about how the employer conducts its business and what its workplace is like. Basic information, including the number of attorneys, practice areas, clients, governance structure, and billable hour requirements, may be found in a number of places. Running a Westlaw or Lexis search will turn up cases in which the employer appeared. If an employer has participated in a high-profile case, try the search engine of a local newspaper to find articles written about the case. And don't forget commercial Internet search engines.
Here are some specific suggestions on where to research employers:
- Through the information on the OCI portion of the CPD Web site.
- Through a firm's Martindale-Hubbell listing, which may be found at www.martindale.com;
- Through a firm's NALP questionnaire, which may be found at www.nalpdirectory.com;
- By running a Westlaw or Lexis search;
- By using a search engine on local newspaper Web sites. Go to www.newspaperlinks.com for a state-by-state list of daily newspapers;
- By using an Internet search engine, such as Google or Ask Jeeves; or
- By asking classmates, faculty, and staff.
Some firms may not have Martindale-Hubbell or NALP listings - these are voluntary.