Category Archives: Job Hunting

Library Highlights: African Americans and the Law

It worked for me

It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership

Colin Powell

E840.5.P68 A3 2012

From the Publisher: It Worked for Me is filled with vivid experiences and lessons learned that have shaped the legendary public service career of the  four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. At its heart are Powell’s “Thirteen Rules”—notes he gathered over the years and that  now form the basis of his leadership presentations given throughout the world. Powell’s short but sweet rules—among them, “Get mad, then get over it” and “Share credit”—are illustrated by revealing personal stories that introduce and expand upon his principles for effective leadership: conviction, hard work, and, above all, respect for others. In work and in life, Powell writes, “it’s about how we touch and are touched by the people we meet. It’s all about the people.”

Courage to Hope

The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear

Shirley Sherrod and Catherine Whitney

E901.1.S54 A3 2012

From the Publisher: In this “inspiring memoir about the real power of courage and hope” (Kirkus Reviews), lifelong activist Shirley Sherrod explains why she was fired from the USDA under false charges and how she stood up against the politics of fear.

End of the pipeline

The End of the Pipeline: A Journey of Recognition for African Americans Entering the Legal Profession

Carla D. Pratt and Dorothy Evensen

KF299.A35 E94 2012

From the Publisher: This book had its beginnings in a simple question: How have some African-American attorneys, recently admitted to the bar, successfully navigated what research suggests is a very precarious pipeline to the legal profession? The response to this question entailed a journey that spanned some three years, over fifty informants, and a dozen or so researchers and scholars who study the intersections of education, race, and efforts to achieve social equity.

Moving Diversity Forward

Moving Diversity Forward: How to Go From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing

Verna A. Myers

KF300 .M94 2011

From the Publisher: “If you believe that your organization has done everything it can to enhance its diversity, and if you are still frustrated at how little progress you have made, Moving Diversity Forward is for you. It is an instructive read for all of those who wish to live and work in a multi-cultural world where everyone has a fair chance to succeed and contribute.”

parodies of ownership

Parodies of Ownership: Hip-Hop Aesthetics and Intellectual Property Law

Richard L. Schur

KF4757 .S38 2009

From the Publisher: Parodies of Ownership offers a broad analysis of post–Civil Rights era culture and provides the necessary context for understanding contemporary debates within American studies, African American studies, intellectual property law, African American literature, art history, and hip-hop studies. Weaving together law, literature, art, and music, Schur deftly clarifies the conceptual issues that unify contemporary African American culture, empowering this generation of artists, writers, and musicians to criticize how racism continues to affect our country.

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot

RC265.6.L24 S55 2010

From the Publisher: Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all  HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

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News You Can Use

Reliable Sources of Legal, Political and Economic News for San Diego Law Students and Legal Professionals

 

There is a new Guide to News sources for law students at TJSL created by Reference Librarian, Catherine Deane that supplements the Current Awareness page created by Interim Library Director, Patrick Meyer.

Let’s think a little about why you might want to pay attention to the news, what kinds of news you should keep an eye on, and how you can incorporate news reading into your day.

As a law student, you have already entered your profession on the first day of law school. Investing time, money and brain cells into a legal education is only the bare minimum, and once you have done this, it makes sense to back that up with an understanding of the lay of the land.

The good news is that even if you have been doing nothing in your free time but reading comic books, watching reality TV and playing Halo for the last four years of college, you still have three years to catch up with the rest of the adult world and to figure out what the lay of the land looks like. You may be a student, but you are not a kid. You are a professional in training.

Politics

This is not to say that you need to set aside Rock Band completely in favor of watching C-SPAN   and listening to NPR 24/7, but if you know what city you intend to live in when you graduate, or at the very least what state, it makes sense to start paying attention to local politics. Figure out who the key players are and what their policies are.

History and Culture

Beyond that, laws are not created in a vacuum. The law, and particularly the common law created as it is by judicial precedent and the decisions of 12 hopefully not-too-angry men, is shaped by history and culture. Not culture in the sense of museums and the ballet, but culture in the anthropological sense of how people think; what people do with their time; how they spend their money and what they think is moral. For instance, there are two sets of genital mutilation laws recently in the news, male and female. One type is culturally accepted in the U.S. the other is not. So it makes sense to pay attention to cultural battles over legal issues. And of course, you want to keep an eye on what the Supreme Court is doing, because their decisions change the law everywhere in the U.S.

Economics and Job Trends

The legal profession also does not exist in a vacuum, it is influenced by the U.S., state, and local economy. It makes sense to keep an eye on the economy, when you are ready to graduate, you may need to move to another state to find an economy that supports lawyers. Also, there are many ways to use a law degree other than being a lawyer at a law firm. You may want to keep an eye on the types of legal jobs that are cropping up. This allows you time to find and network with people who use their JDs in a nontraditional way and to see if this might be a career path that you prefer, and if it is, you can start networking in that field and shoring up the other skills that you would need for that career.

But I’m already so busy, how do I find time to gather and read more information?

Phone

Trade out a small portion of useless activities for a small portion of news acquiring activities. For example, your phone is with you all the time. If you have a smart phone, download a few news apps and trade out 10 minutes of Angry Birds for 10 minutes of listening to NPR.

Facebook

According to nielsenwire individual Facebook users spend an average of just over six hours a month on Facebook. Use 10 minutes of your FB time to read news. Just hit the like button on a few news sources and they will push news to you, all you have to do is scan your feed and read/listen/watch a few news items and you will be better informed than if you spent those ten minutes playing Farmville. It will also irritate your nonfarmville playing friends much less.

Email

You can also have news items delivered into your email by signing up for RSS feeds. Or subscribing to newsletters and blogs.

Bookmark this News Resource

Also, there is a bookmark bar at the top of your browser. I have created, especially for you, a one stop shop for any kinds of news that you might want to read, (yes, I even put some entertainment news on there, it’s important for you to be able to chat about silly things as well as being informed about that War in that far away country that that environmentalist grad student you have a crush on won’t shut up about). When you are networking, people don’t always want to talk about the heavy stuff. So it’s a good idea to bookmark into your Favourites Bar this News Link so that when you are bored, it’s just as easy to pull up the News pages crafted just for you, by your librarians, Catherine Deane and Patrick Meyer as it is to pull up Facebook.

So go ahead, check it out, bookmark it today, empower yourself, and take charge of your development as a knowledgeable, professional adult pursuing a career in law.

Networking Tips for Law Students

If this blog post is too long for you to read, at least take a glance at the Networking Resource Guide.

Who is Who?

So you have been invited to a dinner or cocktails with judges or with lawyers, some of whom work at a firm that you have been investigating, because it is a firm that you would like to work at. What the heck do you talk about? Beyond discussing your shared law school experience, it’s probably good for you to be able to discuss the latest news. You should know who is the Governor of California, and who is the Mayor of San Diego, and what they look like.

Attending classes in law school does not make you a lawyer. Beyond the bar exam, you need to remember that you are becoming part of a local legal community. The community has a shared history, and has its own celebrities. I am not talking about Lohan, Spears and Hilton although that sounds like the name of a law firm. I am talking about local legal celebrities and pariahs. The way to have something interesting to say to lawyers is to read the news about legal issues, especially about legal issues that local or national impact.

But before your speak, the most important thing to do is to listen.

Listen

Most of the legal history of the community is local knowledge that is only known to other lawyers and judges. The most important part of networking is listening to lawyers talk about themselves, each other and the judges. You should always be more interested in learning about other lawyers and what they do than you should be about telling them about yourself.

Pay Attention

This is your future profession. Give yourself a fighting chance when competing against other job candidates, by being able to impress your potential employers with your understanding of the lay of the land.

To make it easy for you to keep up with current events in local law, I have created a Resource Guide for you where you can go to read legal news online with your morning coffee. If you can find a way to work current awareness into your day, you will be a much stronger candidate when standing next to the summer associate or judicial intern who can only talk to the lawyers and judges about their substantive academic accomplishments.

Be Consistent

You need to be consistent about paying attention to what is going on in your State and your city. Putting in the effort now to make current awareness part of your day makes you an informed individual. This means that when it’s time to network you can just be yourself, because you will have plenty of things to talk about.

The Good News

If you haven’t been reading up on legal and political news, do not despair, you may not be able to come across as someone who knows about these kinds of things, but you can still be impressive.

Be Fun and Interesting

Lawyers don’t necessarily want to talk about legal and political news all the time. Get a hobby so you have something non-legal that you can talk about with passion with lawyers who have similar hobbies. This could be as easy as making sure you budget time in your study schedule to catch that Ball Game.

Remember, partners are not just looking for associates who can Am Jur their Torts class, they are looking for rainmakers who know how to network. If you are interesting to them, you will probably be interesting to clients. If you are not a natural extrovert, you may want to join Toastmasters or take an Improv theater class, these are the kinds of activities that will give you the skills you need to be able to  impress others when networking.

To make it easy for you to keep up on the legal news and local California Politics, I have created this Resource Guide for you. You should know what I look like too so you can come and ask me for when you need legal research help. I also recommend that you subscribe to this blog to make sure you are alerted when a new blog post is out. Below is a list of other Web resources on networking for law students.

 

References

Legal Jobs RSS Feeds

Looking for a job?  If you’re a current TJSL student or a TJSL alumni, be sure to take advantage of the helpful services provided by the TJSL Career Services office.  To keep up with the latest job postings, check out these 2 RSS feed displays:

Legal jobs in California 

Legal jobs in the United States

They compile current legal job postings from LawJobs, Monster, Indeed, Counsel.Net Legal Jobs, Yahoo! HotJobs, and CareerBuilder in one place for easy viewing.  The displays automatically update, so you don’t have to re-run searches. Click on the job title to go to the full listing.