It’s no secret that law students are most open to the advice of their law school career services offices when they first start law school. Early in the fall, most 1Ls eagerly attend programming, schedule their first appointment with a career counselor, and actively seek advice about their career direction and search.
As they walk farther down the law school path, spend time studying in the library with stressed-out classmates, receive their first set of grades and start to listen to 2Ls and 3Ls, they become less and less receptive to Career Services — and other shields start to go up.
With that in mind, to keep law students engaged with career services for as long as possible during their law school careers, building relationships with 1Ls and getting them invested in their career services office early is essential. There is no better way to do this than to connect with incoming students RIGHT NOW, in July/August when they have few obligations, are excited to start law school and are eagerly seeking resources to help them succeed once they arrive.
If your career services office wants to send out an engaging email to incoming 1Ls in July — what should that look like? How can you make your outreach effective and compelling? And how can you ensure that your communications are compliant with NALP’s Principles and Standards?
So, a reliable way to connect with incoming 1Ls is to send something specific that they can engage with and that can spur them to think about the type of legal career they are likely to succeed in. But be careful about getting too engaged! It’s important to be in compliance with NALP’s Principles and Standards.
The NALP Principles and Standards specify that:
“Law schools nevertheless should not begin providing one-on-one career counseling or application document reviews to first-year students before October 15.” NALP Principles and Standards, Part V. D (1).
“Educational and professional development contact with 1Ls is permitted at any time at the discretion of the school.” NALP Principles and Standards, Part V. D (2).
Sending out the LawFit career assessment in the summer is an ideal way to connect with incoming 1Ls personally, in a way that caters to their individual needs while staying in compliance with NALP’s Principles and Standards. You can get a head start by sending 1Ls the LawFit assessment as part of your professional development efforts –and wait until October 15 to go over the results, one-on-one.
Sending the LawFit Career Assessment to 1Ls in July/August also signals that you are attuned to their needs, recognize that they each have unique goals, strengths, and career paths — and that your team is eagerly planning for their arrival on campus. We hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to set the tone for a productive, three-year relationship between new students and your Career Services team.