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Video, social media aid law job searches

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Mauri Miller was at a networking conference this summer when something unusual happened: A recruiter approached him.

“He said, ‘Do you have a ViewYou profile,’” said Miller, a 3L at Notre Dame Law School. “He recognized me.

viewyou  A student prepares to film a video with ViewYou in Indianapolis. (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

“It just put a face to a name and that’s really been helpful,” Miller said of his online video interview and profile. “When I first go in to employers, they know who I am.”

Miller is among the anxious ranks of law school students and recent graduates for whom getting face time with recruiters might take more than remarkable resumes and relationships. For Miller, the job hunt strategy includes his presence on viewyou.com, an Indianapolis startup that focuses its services on law students nationwide, and his use of social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Miller said he uses those networks to post career and academic developments as well as links to articles of interest, and when he makes contacts with potential recruiters, he forwards his ViewYou video profile.

And he hopes for the best.

“I don’t think you’re going to find a law student in the country that doesn’t have a worry or isn’t worried about post-graduation employment,” said Miller, who hopes to become a corporate transaction attorney and is interning this summer at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in Indianapolis.

Miller is keenly aware of the tough market: According to the American Bar Association, 62.1 percent of 2011 Notre Dame law grads were employed in full-time, long-term jobs requiring a law degree. That’s better than the national average of about 55 percent. The rate for Indiana University Maurer School of Law grads was 63.6 percent, 54 percent at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and 41.9 percent at Valparaiso University Law School.

But Miller quoted a statistic that he said motivates him more – that two-thirds of law school grads who get jobs don’t get them through their university career development departments. “I’ve taken that statistic and ran with it,” he said, building his network by clerking for an Indianapolis environmental judge and working in a San Diego domestic violence clinic in summers prior to his work at Faegre Baker Daniels.

Those traditional career routes alone might not be all he needs to get his foot in the door, though. He said law students more than ever need to ask themselves, “How will you take control of your career?”

Best face forward

Entrepreneur Jason Randolph and some of his friends shared a similar experience: When they applied for jobs online, they usually got nowhere. When they got interviews, they usually got the job.

A founder of ViewYou, Randolph said the idea of brief student videos that accentuate student resumes and references is ideal for law students, particularly 1Ls and 2Ls, to get their faces in front of potential recruiters.

“You really can pick up a lot about a person’s character and their demeanor in a 90-second to 2-minute video,” Randolph said. That can be a key factor for firms deciding whom to interview, often for summer programs that can lead to future opportunities. “Competition for those – that is a fierce, fierce scenario.”

Randolph said ViewYou gives employers an opportunity to screen potential candidates en masse. “A lot of firms are getting away from on-campus interviews because of the time and expense,” he said.

It’s unlikely someone will be hired based on the strength of a ViewYou presentation, Randolph said, likening it to a latter-day elevator pitch. “What we do know is it gets (recruiters) to a ‘Yes, I’m interested in this candidate,’ or it gets them to a ‘no,’” he said, “thus saving the firm and the candidate time and anxiety.”

Debbie Snyder joined ViewYou in June after serving as manager of recruiting and diversity for Barnes & Thornburg LLP. She said she’s been able to translate what firms are looking for to help students tailor their videos.

“The students have been extremely receptive to the concept because they feel like it’s a great chance to get their personality across to the employers, and sometimes it’s going to be a matter of what’s going to be a good fit for the employers,” Snyder said. She said the company has built a database of about 1,000 law student profiles.

Working with schools and outside sponsors, the company is often able to offer students professional video profiles for as little as $29.

Miller used his video to highlight, among other things, his international undergraduate studies in Spain and the Dominican Republic. In his video, he uses a flourish of Spanish to demonstrate his command of the language.


 

Recruiting in tough times

Maggie Gloyeske is in charge of recruiting at Faegre Baker Daniels and said that while the firm hasn’t received video resumes, it’s likely to become more popular.

“A video clip, particularly if it’s short and unrehearsed, can help demonstrate how a candidate thinks on their feet, reacts to unexpected questions, and is able to formulate their thoughts quickly and cohesively,” Gloyeske said. “A video clip can also help us get a sense of the presentation skills and style of a candidate.”

Rafael Sanchez, a partner at Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP in charge of recruiting for Indiana offices, said job prospects are such that many people have expressed a willingness to work in summer programs for free. Since recruiters historically have looked for potential associates two to three years out, he said the situation isn’t likely to improve anytime soon.

“Much like other firms, we’ve essentially cut summer programs at least in half,” Sanchez said. At its peak, Bingham Greenebaum Doll brought in about 11 summer interns across all the firm’s offices, he said. “As a result, competition for the few positions available has become stronger. It is a buyer’s market right now.”

Candidates also are taking some old-fashioned advice, Sanchez observed. “I am noticing a much more deliberate effort to at least make it look on the cover letter as though that person has really researched and thought about the firm,” he said. “That’s always pleasing to see, and that’s just people putting in more effort because more effort is required.”

The firm hasn’t used ViewYou yet, Sanchez said, and the value of social networking is still questionable. “Getting face time and interacting with folks and sort of showcasing yourself at any bar function or networking event is critically important,” he said.

Still, Sanchez said law firm recruiters will embrace services that can provide a cost benefit. “This ViewYou concept is relatively new, and I don’t know I can say it’s caught on yet,” he said. “But I think it’s clearly born out of necessity because clearly the economy is tough. In a competitive job market we’re currently in, with fewer positions available, anything anyone can do to separate themselves is going to be useful.”

Gloyeske said social media, especially professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, are changing how students market themselves. “Law students are familiar with the upside and downside of social media and most are using it to their advantage.”

While methods of getting a recruiter’s attention evolve, Gloyeske said a strong resume and cover letter and expressed interest in the firm remain important.

“Although video and social media can enhance a candidate’s presence during the recruiting process, experience, intelligence, work ethic, ambition, leadership and various other characteristics which indicate the probability of success at a law firm continue to be the most critical factors in evaluating talent,” she said.•
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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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