CSO Career FAQs
Q: What is the Career Services Office (“CSO”)?
A: We are a student service available to you throughout your time at Barry School of Law and beyond. Barry Law’s CSO Counselors have earned law degrees and are available to help both students and alumni with career-related issues. We counsel students about career exploration and how to network, review resumes and cover letters, help prepare for interviews, discuss how to handle job offers or salary negotiations, how to research job fairs and employers, and much more. Come talk with us!
Students can email email@example.com or call the CSO at (321) 206-5653 to schedule an appointment.
Q: What resources does the CSO offer?
A: We have many resources! The CSO maintains a collection of online resources and directories, career related books, and materials available for students' use in our office or for check out. Additional information is available on our website. We also maintain several online resources: Facebook, Symplicity, , and Interview Stream.
Q: How do I find out about Career Services events and programs?
A: Each Tuesday the CSO sends out a weekly email, Career E-Update, to your student email. The E-Update will tell you about upcoming programs. We also post announcements on our Facebook fan page and maintain bulletin boards in ALC. We have many deadlines, and time-sensitive programming so keep your eyes open! We may sometimes email or call you directly when it is necessary.
Q: Does the Career Services Office provide job placement?
A: The CSO is here to support all of your job search and recruiting efforts, but we do not have the resources to act as a placement agency. We provide the resources, tools, knowledge and counseling, networking events, attorney contacts, and a host of recruiting opportunities to help you identify job openings and successfully apply and interview for these jobs. But ultimately, you control your professional future. However, at times, employers request the CSO to find appropriate candidates for them. For the CSO to fulfill these requests effectively, we need you to share with us your goals and experiences to evaluate if such an opportunity is right for you.
Please keep your profile in Symplicity, including your practice and geographic area preferences, updated regularly.
Q: What is Symplicity? What does it do?
A: Symplicity is the CSO's exclusive online job posting site where law clerk and attorney positions are listed. The online system also manages On-campus Interviews (“OCI”) and Resume Collection programs. It is also used to track RSVPs for Career Services events. Students can access Symplicity after November 1 of their first semester. Alumni can continue to use Symplicity after graduation using a new 'Attorney' profile that can be created from the main Symplicity page.
Q: I forgot my Symplicity password. How can I retrieve it?
A: Symplicity can email you a password reminder. If you need your user name (usually, your email address), just ask us.
Q: Why should I be a Fan of Career Services on Facebook?
A: Facebook has become a primary resource in today’s social media realm. Facebook is a great way for the CSO to network with students and keep them informed. Find us! Search for “Barry Law Career Services”.
Q: When should I begin my job search?
A: As per the American Bar Association, the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) and Barry University School of Law guidelines, full-time 1Ls may initially contact employers beginning November 1, but not before. We support the idea that new law students need to take most of their first semester to acclimate to law school and to devote themselves to their academic success. As such, the CSO does not provide individual career counseling to 1Ls until November 1st. For after-graduation jobs, your search starts day one (though not in the traditional sense). Expect roughly 30% of your search to be online and 70% of your search “offline”, i.e., personal interaction.
Q: When can I have my resume and cover letter reviewed?
A: After November 1st of your first semester, any time! During the first week of November each year, the CSO conducts new 1L career orientation to help you prepare your career plan, and we conduct workshops on resume and cover letter writing in your LRW I and LRW II classes in the fall and spring. We offer resume review and job search advice to post-first semester students and alumni continually throughout the year.
Q: What type of employment is available while in law school?
A: Law students will be able to find employment as a(n):
- Law Clerk: Paid position; no school credit. The student would engage in a variety of legal research and writing, and administrative tasks, at a small or mid- sized firm or business. Law clerks can work in the summer and throughout the school year. These positions sometimes lead to an offer of permanent employment after graduation.
- Summer Associate: Paid position; no school credit. These are competitive positions at large firms which are highly valued because they often lead to an offer of permanent employment after graduation. Summer associates are recruited in the early fall of their 2L year primarily via OCI. (Resume Collection but students may apply directly to the firm). Some firms offer summer associate programs for 1Ls; however, the majority of the positions are offered to second-year students.
- Intern: Unpaid position; no school credit. These positions are prevalent in the public sector (e.g., government agencies, public interest organizations). Please note the recent Department of Labor opinion letter on interns in the private sector. Interns perform the same tasks of a law clerk.
- Extern: Unpaid position; school credit received. Similar to an intern, an extern would primarily work in the public and non-profit sector. For more information, please contact us.
- Judicial Clerk: Reserved for post-graduate employment. During school, it would be a judicial externship or judicial internship.
- Fellowship: Fellowships are jobs that last for a specific period of time, usually after graduation and at public interest law organizations (but you apply while still in law school). Fellowship jobs are funded study, research, and/or representation. The funding is often from a third party. Fellowships give graduates and students the chance to research or work on specific interests. Pay close attention to the details and deadlines of fellowship programs!
Q: How much can I expect to earn as a law clerk?
A: While there is not a set hourly rate, and some firms offer minimum wage, most law clerks will receive between $9-$15/hour depending on the nature of the work and experience of the applicant.
Q: Do I have to work during the year, or can I just wait until the summer?
A: Law school is a rigorous education process, so it is an individual judgment call and your studies must come first. Traditionally, the better your academic performance the greater range of opportunities available to you. However, having a body of practical experience on your resume upon graduation will add greatly to your marketability. Additionally, experiences help you determine what type of legal career is a good fit. So, it is really a personal decision. We strongly encourage you to get experience while a student through law clerk positions, temporary internships, and through academic-bearing externships. The CSO is always available to help you strategize.
Q: Where do most alumni work after law school?
A: Generally, most Barry Law alumni work in Florida, and most commonly in Central Florida. However, Barry Law alumni can be found all over the country and each year more students decide to work outside of the area.
Q: What type of market is Orange County?
A: Although there are a number of large firms with offices in Orange County, it is predominantly a small and mid-sized firm market, meaning most law firms have about 40 or fewer attorneys.
Q: What if I want to practice outside of Central Florida or in another state?
A: As with all career paths, we can help you strategize and research for your future plans. Reciprocity, which allows you to limited access to job resources at other ABA-accredited law schools is one option. There are numerous other suggestions we have and various factors to consider. Make an appointment to talk with us!
Q: What is a bar association?
A: A bar association is a professional organization of attorneys, called a “voluntary bar” (as opposed to a “big bar”, the one that regulates your license). Bar associations are located in most cities and counties, and are composed of professionals in a wide variety of practice areas. Bar associations offer networking lunches, CLE opportunities, attorney and student mentor programs, and other social events like happy hours. We strongly encourage you to join and get involved in a voluntary bar association while you are a law student. Most have student memberships!
Q: Where can I find a mentor?
A: The YLS Mentoring Program. Since 2010, Barry and the Young Lawyer Section (YLS) of the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) implemented a YLS-law student mentoring program. YLS members mentor 2L and 3/4L Barry law students. Student Mentees will be paired with an attorney Mentor for one academic year, and the two will meet periodically during the year to learn real-life aspects of the practice of law. Open enrollment periods to become a mentee will be announced by Career Services in late August each year. http://www.ylsmentoring.org/
The Florida Bar also has a virtual mentoring program, E-Mentor Program, and many voluntary bar associations like Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida have recently developed mentoring programs.
Q: Should I list my GPA on my resume or when applying for a job?
A: Everyone who views your resume will have an opinion, likely a different one from the last person’s. We say yes, list your GPA and/or rank and/or percentage. Some will argue that you do not list your rank unless you are in the top 10%. We disagree. We believe that too many employer will jump to a negative conclusion if you do not have the information listed.
There are a couple of ways to list your GPA/rank on your resume.
Do not list your GPA alone! Because all law schools have slightly different curves or grading ranges, the GPA needs the additional information of rank and/or percentile to give it context. It is up to you for the format, but you must apply strict rules to the math.
You can determine your percentage using your GPA. Please refer to bottom of the Registrar's webpage on the intranet which explains how ranking is calculated in reference to GPA. Regarding odd percentage numbers, there is no rounding down. Ever. The reason being is that if you have an employer who thinks in absolutes (e.g., a 10’ 1” rug cannot fit in a 10 foot wide room), then that employer would question your judgment if he/she compared your transcript to your resume. For example, if your calculation landed you in the top 18.4%, you would have to state “Top 18.4%”, “Top 19%” or “Top 20%”. If you ever end up tied with another student, you also must indicate that on the resume.
Q: I accidently sent the wrong cover letter to an employer while applying for a job posting on Symplicity. Is there any way to recall it?
A: Possibly. If the employer is collecting online and as long as the particular job(s) has not expired, you may recall the application. Click on the "Jobs" tab, then click on the "Applications" subtab. The "Withdraw Application" button will pull the application from the employer's email so long as it has not been opened.
Q: Aside from Symplicity, are jobs posted elsewhere?
A: Yes! Symplicity is one source of legal field jobs specifically targeted to students and alumni; it is our internal electronic job bulletin board. But there are many other online sources where you can identify job openings. Ask us for more sources!
Q: Are online social networking sites helpful for job searching?
A: Certain sites have proven to be effective, BUT you should always be cognizant of your image. Employers can and do check your Facebook account! Researching your online presence, including your blogging history is common due diligence for an employer. LinkedIn, because it is devoted to professional networking, is more helpful in developing professional contacts. Twitter is also becoming an increasingly credible resource to identify job opportunities. Look on Twitter job boards.
Q: Will Career Services help me prepare for an interview(s)?
A: Yes. The CSO facilitates interview preparation through Interview Stream, an online virtual interview program, and in-person mock interviews. You can automatically log into Interview Stream on the home page of Symplicity. Please contact us for more information.
Q: How do job fairs work?
A: Every job fair is run differently. Some function similarly to OCI where you must be invited and pre-scheduled for an interview in order to attend. Others have a table talk component, where you would be encouraged to bring your resume, and discuss current and/or prospective career options with employers. Other fairs are strictly informational. Regardless, students should arrive professionally dressed in a business suit and take advantage of the opportunity to meet and learn more about prospective employers.
Q: I'm applying to several positions, but am not getting any interviews. Why?
A: Remember that finding a job is a job. It takes time. It is important that you remain persistent, hone your resume and cover letter writing skills, and continue to network (be a bit of a squeaky wheel). Come talk with us and we will help with your strategy.
Q: I'm getting several interviews, but no offers. Why?
A: Interviewing is a learned skill. Please take advantage of Interview Stream (link on your Symplicity homepage), the resources in our library on interviewing skills, and talk with us to receive feedback. Consider asking us to conduct a mock interview with you.
Q: I really want to work at a firm, but I don't know if they're hiring. Can I apply?
A: Yes and no. With large firms, it is best that you follow the recruiting calendar for Fall Recruitment (as a 2L). If you miss the application deadline, it is highly unlikely that you will be considered. For small and mid-sized firms, it is always recommended that you send "unsolicited" resumes because their hiring needs are less predictable.
Q: I'm nervous about not getting a job after the bar exam. What can I do?
A: Be deliberate about your job search. Finding a job after graduation starts during your 1L year. Take advantage of all the resources that the CSO provides. Expect roughly 30% of your search to be online and 70% of your search offline (personal interaction). We are here to help you lay your foundation for your professional success. Come talk with us.
If you have other questions or cannot find an answer you need, please just ask!
firstname.lastname@example.org or (321) 206-5653