So the really best way of doing it is I also like using Google to find information. That can work very well, as well. Do a search for law firms in your practice area in the location you want to work in. A lot of times that will present you with information that you'll not find on any directories. I'm very impressed with Google's ability to do that. That's certainly a good way to do it. At BCG, we list top law firms in different practice areas. So you can use that.
There's another source called Chambers, which has different law firms in different states. It's Chambers, USA. I believe they list information of firms in different practice areas. Then there's also US News and World Report. But what I would encourage you to do is spend more time on Google and more time on places where the information is free because you're going to get access to more information that other people aren't finding.
An example would be the Vault list of firms. Vault is a great source for firms, but that's only going to show you very few firms. You're not going to really find as many firms as you normally would if you use paid sources. But everybody can use paid sources. For example, everybody knows about NALP. NALP is a good source, and they have a lot of firms. But it costs a lot of money to list a firm on NALP, and so you need to find places that aren't necessarily listed in those organizations. There is another way to find attorneys. Just use State Bar directories.
A lot of times, these directories break down people by practice area. You can find a list of all of the state bars on our website. There are local bars, and there are also bars for different practice areas.
2. Is there a service that can mail your resume on your behalf?
Yes. There's service called Legal Authority that can do that. That's one of our services, but at the same time, the work that Legal Authority does, you can do yourself. You don't necessarily need to use a service like Legal Authority. But it can help you do it for you. So Legal Authority is a good service for that, and you'll find it at legalauthority.com. You can also create lists yourself. By the way, when you create your own list, it's a good thing because you may find you can also email the alumni at your law school. You can find if there's something that a firm does you think is particularly attractive.
You can mail them, and you may know someone at the firm, or there are all sorts of things. The more you kind of investigate a firm, the better it is. People love to get personalized application material. So Legal Authority will send application materials for you, but they won't be that personalized. You can do it yourself, and people love receiving personalized application materials. If you can do personalized application materials, that's going to make a huge difference. If you're able to do that, whatever you can do to send personalized application materials should help. Personalized means you give reasons that show you're interested in the exact firm or something along those lines.
3. If you don't hear back when you send your application materials, what should you do? How should you follow up? And what's the best way to follow up?
Well, the best way to make sure the firm gets your application materials is not to email them. Also, don’t apply through the law firm or the employer's online system. I mean, you certainly can. But the best way to make sure is you mail your stock because mailing gets approved. Then the other thing you can do is you can just apply again, sometimes. But you don't want to be pushy with firms. A lot of times if you're pushy, firms won't like you. But being pushy can sometimes work for you.
4. If you decide to email a resume or a cover letter, should you also send a writing sample?
Law firms will ask for a writing sample later if they want.
Typically, you want to send less because if you send more, it will give an opportunity for you sometimes to potentially screw up. So you don't want to screw up by sending something that they may not like. I actually don't mind sending writing samples. I think it can be a good idea to send writing samples.
But at the same time, since it shows a lot of enthusiasm, if you send a writing sample, it should be something that you're 100 percent sure is very good. There are all sorts of rules for writing samples, such as making sure that the formatting is right. And you don't want to send things you worked on that are not public memos.
5. Do you have a template of what a letter to a firm could say?
Yes. You'll find it on our website. Please visit our cover letters section.
A cover letter does not need to say a lot. Sometimes, a short letter actually gets more attention than a longer one. The idea is, when you're young especially or older, a lot of people give too much importance to the things that they've done. But you don't always need to go into a lot of detail.
So I think I will try to talk a little bit about that for you guys next week. So if no one has any more questions, I think that's probably it. I'm sorry there were some issues with the PowerPoint when we got started. We are planning to do also a resume and cover letter workshop in the next week or so. So we'll send the dates and times for that. I'm sure that would be helpful for a lot of people. And if people want as well, I'm happy personally to look at everyone's resume. And I will record if you don't want to do it publicly. I can record short little discussions about what I think you should do to improve your resume.
So after the call, we'll send out an email to everyone about what to do with a resume. And then if anybody would like any personalized help with their resume and cover letter, we can arrange some calls for that too. So, I will have some information set out about that after this meeting. And I certainly appreciate everybody being on the call and a member, and we have a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the next several weeks. But I think that's it for today. What we covered is very important, and I'm encouraged by the questions. Especially the one on looking for places to send. So that's good. Thank you.