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Young Lawyers Conference

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

Professional Development Series

These programs aim to assist you in planning your career from making long term plans to how to adapt and behave in a professional setting. Receive advice from successful young lawyers and seasoned practitoners that will set the building blocks to a fulfilling career. If you are interested in contributing content, contact Chris Fortier at

Tips for Obtaining Your First Job


The job market can be tough to navigate. From having little direct feedback and lots of unsolicited advice, this period can be stressful and difficult. Join four people who have worked the job market and learn from each of their perspectives: two law firm hiring committee members, a career services director, and a legal recruiter. Each provides unique advice that will assist in your job search. From the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Fall 2012 Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. This program lasts about one hour.




How would you address gaps of inactivity on résumés? (4:10)


What are some interesting volunteer “gap-filler” experiences you’ve seen on recent résumés? (9:58)


Do volunteers need to disclose on their résumés that they are working for free? (13:34)


Which is better: working for free in a law-related job outside of a chosen practice area or working for low pay in a non-legal job that is related to the chosen practice area? (15:18)


What relevant information should be on a resume and what are common mistakes on resume? (18:20)


How can joining a bar association help fill a résumé gap?/ What should be an unemployed person's strategy when working with bar associations for employment search purposes? (25:13)


How big can a résumé gap grow before it becomes an issue for most employers? (32:35)


Are job applicants that work for free over an extended period of time setting themselves up for lower salaries in their first legal jobs? (34:13)


Do you recommend being more flexible in where to practice when starting your career? (39:07)


When is the appropriate time to evaluate the direction your career is going in relation to your goals? (39:27)


When is the appropriate time in a networking relationship to bring your resume? (45:50)


What traits in candidates do you search for when determining if you can work with them? (51:19)


Importance of Writing Sample (53:30)


Moderator: Adena Liebman, Chair, ABA Law Student Division 2012-2013



Britt Kelly, Charleston, SC

Amanda Dudgeon, Charleston, SC

Terry Kelly, Columbia, SC

Mark Moore, Charleston, SC

Return to the Professional Development Series.