People like to be around fun and happy people. I don’t know anyone who likes to work with a Debbie or Doug Downer. So the more you portray yourself as happy, energetic and enthusiastic, the better your chances of getting a job offer. I suggest ACTUALLY BEING enthusiastic but for those of you that find that to be out of character, fake it! But more importantly, search to find an area of law that you are authentically enthusiastic about. If there is NO area of law that you can get excited about, maybe you either: (1) haven’t really looked hard enough; or (2) are headed towards the wrong career.
People love to talk about themselves, and attorneys are no exception. So the more you get attorneys to talk about themselves while they are around you…the more they will think back to how much they enjoyed talking to you! An additional benefit is that it will help you get to know the associates at the firm. You definitely want to learn more about the attorneys, especially those in the groups you are exploring this summer. Find out their career paths, their hobbies, etc. Ask them if they have any exciting projects they are working on, and after they tell you, let them know that you think that the project is exciting as well. If it’s an area of law that doesn’t absolutely repulse you, let the attorney know that you would love to help out in any way possible because it’s something you are interested in learning about. (While you might not think you are interested in that area of law right now, the assignment might change your mind…or give you clear proof that it’s not for you.)
Clearly you can’t go immediately from office to office telling each attorney that you are interested in what they do or you’ll look like an insincere brown noser. We’re going for more of a sincere brown noser at worst, and enthusiastic inquisitive aspiring attorney at best. Also, as a caveat, make sure that you have the time or can make the time to squeeze in any work you might get from these conversations. The worst thing you can do after expressing your interest is to turn down the work or turn in anything other than excellent work product (by the deadline).
Enthusiasm is contagious. The more you develop the rep of being enthusiastic and excited about the law firm and the assignments, the more the associates will enthusiastically recommend that YOU be given an offer to join the firm.