Make us your home page
Jobs | Advice

Law school graduate should ask practicing lawyers for advice

The economy may be warming up, but it's still a chilly climate for job seekers. Under the federal Workforce Investment Act, every county in the country offers free job counseling centers, known as OneStop Career Centers. To find the one nearest you, go to or call toll-free 1-877-872-5627. Terri Carpenter, spokeswoman for nonprofit government agency Sacramento (Calif.) Works, offers some answers to readers' questions.

Q: I will graduate from a Florida law school in December, then plan to take the California Bar and seek a permanent job in Sacramento. What areas of private-sector law will be most likely to hire entry-level lawyers? To maximize my value to employers, I've been developing lots of skill sets (criminal litigation, appellate, judicial and civil externships), as well as learning Spanish and specialty accreditation. Any other tips?

A: I would suggest contacting a professional association for lawyers in the area. You should also contact local law firms to schedule an informational interview with a managing partner or other attorney to ask their tips on pursuing a legal career, as well as possible paid or unpaid internships.

For entry-level attorney job openings, visit You might also consider paralegal positions to gain some valuable experience and contacts.

Q: I worked 16 years for a major insurance carrier and was promoted to various management positions. Health problems forced me to take a medical leave in 2001. Since then, I've earned a teaching credential but haven't worked in 10 years. How do I explain this gap to a prospective employer?

A: You need to decide the type of industry/jobs you want and then develop customized resumes. I would suggest a functional resume that focuses on your skills, experience and qualifications for each job industry sector or occupation you are interested in. That lets you avoid listing your gaps in employment.

Q: I co-owned with my husband a small book packaging company for about 20 years. It was extremely rewarding, but changes in the publishing industry made it financially impossible to continue. My husband found other employment, but I seem to be hopelessly stuck. I have applied to countless online jobs. My two biggest negatives are that I am 62 and do not have a college education. I am in no way ready for retirement and cannot afford it anyway. Any suggestions?

A: Talk with a OneStop Career Center counselor who can look at the skills you have from your publishing background and make recommendations for jobs in other industries. You should also consider a resume workshop to be sure your experience and qualifications are detailed in the best light. A workshop on interviewing skills could also be helpful.

Law school graduate should ask practicing lawyers for advice 03/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 11:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags


    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]