Reading a piece in Business Insider about which applicants get hired as summer associates at Gibson Dunn, I couldn’t help but think that the answer was those who published a legal blog.
“When Gibson Dunn reviews applications for next year’s summer-associate class, hiring managers are looking for enterprising young lawyers who are such a good fit that they could spend their entire career with the firm.”
Enterprising – by definition, someone who shows initiative and resourcefulness. Blogging puts you heads above other law students. We’ve seen it in law schools across the country.
Spend their career with the firm? That’s going to take some strong reputation and relationship building skills for business development. Blogging, again.
“We really want to make sure that we help identify incredibly creative people who are passionate about the law,” said Perlette Michèle Jura, a Gibson Dunn partner and the firm’s global hiring chair.”
Passion is a prerequisite for blogging. A passion for a niche area of the law. To learn about it and to network with others with a similar passion, whether a lawyer, a law student, a law professor or reporters and publishers.
“Law-school students interested in a job at Gibson Dunn should reach out directly to attorneys at the firm to establish a connection, said Dhananjay Manthripragada, a ligation partner who is on the firm’s hiring committee.”
Blogging is all about reaching out to lawyers. Blogging is a conversation.
Reference in a blog post something a lawyer working in the area of law for which you have a passion may have written. A blog post or article of theirs is perfect.
Look at some of the best legal blogs. They are regularly quoting others.
Mention the source of your quote in a tweet of your blog post with a hat tip (h/t) to them and they’ll see your post – and your initiative. An email complimenting them on the piece and sharing that you quoted them in your blog post has the same impact.
You’ll connect on LinkedIn and go onto to connect otherwise – maybe for coffee if in the same town.
You could also quote a blog or article in which they were the subject.
“Even if a person is absolutely gold on paper, Jura said they need to show they can collaborate with others, or it’s unlikely they’ll get an offer.”
Blogging, done well, is a collaborative exercise. Your ability to “converse” by listening so as to reference other bloggers, journalists and reporters in blog posts and engaging others who are citing your blog posts in their posts or in social media is on full display.
You are collaboratively advancing legal discussion in your niche.
Passion and authenticity – candidates being themselves is key at Gibson Dunn.
“We are talking to you because we already think you’re fantastic, and we want to get to know you better,” Jura said. “We’re always curious to hear people’s stories and any information they want to share — and not being afraid to just be yourself is one tip.””
Jura’s referencing interviews, but blogging is all about being real and authentic – building off your passion.
Bloggers will be well prepared to share their stories and information about a world other candidates had not experienced – legal blogging.
Legal blogging as a law student demonstrates that you are enterprising, passionate, collaborative, authentic and engaging.
Gibson Dunn is not alone, other law schools would be glad to hire a legal blogger as a summer associate.