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Monday, March 26, 2012

Of fumes, mens and value

I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda running on fumes…I know, it’s only Monday. But concepts like “weekend” and “R&R” only apply if you’re not self-employed…or if you married well, I suppose. Due to my sketchy taste in mens, I’m not—praise Allah—married yet (think of all the boys who I’d be denying a chance to um “date” me…), and so I remain self-employed. Therefore,  while I did enjoy this weekend, I’ve  also been working non-stop since…2008? Give or take a year…or three. So, I’m feeling a little exhausted on this blustery day in Queens.  However.
However, Spring Break is over, you’re “probably” sober, the New York Supreme Court has thrown out the first in a series of lawsuits against various law schools over the schools’ allegedly deceptive post-grad employment data…and you need a job. What to do? Indeed. Here’s what: network on your value. What do you bring to the presumptive employment table? Great grades? Not enough. Some internships which look nice on your resume, but didn’t directly translate into verifiable new skills and useful contacts? Forget it.  Your value is your skills, your grades, your contacts, really all of that, marketed in a way to alert prospective employers as to what a useful, sharp, plugged-in, hard-working employee you’ll be.  Your value must be that tangible.
The reason law school, for example, isn’t the elevator to success it used to be is because grades alone don’t cut it anymore. Not in a saturated economy like ours, with so many law schools and law students. Grades matter, sure…but they cannot be your entire plan of attack. If you saw the GPAs of some clients who have come to me after a year or so of legal temping and increasing desperation, clients whom in a so-called “normal” economy, I’d be asking them if that want that venti no-fat frap with foam or no foam…then you’d understand why I say, grades are not enough. It’s a package deal. A package of grades, of real-world, problem-solving internships in which you’ll actually be given responsibilities and be held accountable and have regular access to people who can help you network; of law school clinics at which you’ll actually have to work and learn skills, from answering the phone to interviewing clients; and of access to alumni who have the wherewithal and the incentive to help you. All of this is how you add value. And when you add value, you dramatically add the probability of gaining a job.  You see what I’m driving at here? Interested? Email me @ then I’ll show you my value!

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