Conducting an Out-of-State Job Search

In addition to the resources below, the CSO career counselors are available to help you develop an individualized plan for the market in which you’re interested.

  • Participate in Interview and Networking Programs.
  • The Intercollegiate Job Bank (UT-EID) lists graduate job bulletins from more than 110 law schools throughout the U.S. for recent graduates and alumni. Some jobs listed may be available to third-year students.
  • Request reciprocity to gain access to other law schools’ resources including their job banks.
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Legal Job Bank. You may also search for other types of jobs. Be sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date should you apply online.
  • State and local bar associations, including young lawyers associations, often maintain a job bank. Join the local bar association or affinity bar associations and attend section meetings.
  • Connect with alumni via the CSO’s Alumni-Student Connections Group via LinkedIn. Students and alumni may also participate in the Texas Law Mentoring Program.
  • Join the alumni association of your undergraduate institution to expand your network.
  • Seek out pro bono opportunities through volunteer legal service groups. You may also participate in the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program, which offers pro bono opportunities to all students at Texas Law and promotes an ethic of service throughout the law school.
  • Most large cities have legal temping firms that can help you find temporary or contract work. About half of these positions can become permanent positions, and you’ll benefit by meeting local attorneys who can become part of your job search network. While the Career Services Office does not endorse specific search firms, we do offer a list of legal recruiters and career coaches on our Alumni Resources page.

What should my job search plan look like?

Once you have done your research, you are ready to apply. Be sure your cover letter is tailored to each potential employer. Let the employer know if you plan to be in their city in the near future and your plans for following up; e.g., “I plan to be in Seattle for a networking trip the week of June 5 and will contact you in advance to discuss the possibility of meeting with you during that time.”

For those employers who post open positions, be sure to identify the qualities the employer is seeking and tailor your application materials accordingly. Prepare a cover letter that explains how your education and background fit the specified preferences.

Talk to your references and network about your job search to assess whether anyone knows someone who might be able to help and is willing to reach out to his or her network on your behalf. If you have previously made contact with Texas Law alumni working for an employer of interest, be sure to send a copy of your application materials to the alum with a quick note that you would appreciate the opportunity to stop by and say hello while you are in town. Similarly, if you know someone known to the employer and you have received permission to use their name as a contact, include that in your cover letter. Plan to follow up by email within two weeks of reaching out to an employer if you haven’t heard back.

Prepare for your interview and schedule a mock interview with the CSO career counselors. If you are not in Austin, we can conduct mock interviews by phone or Skype.

Keep an accurate account of the employers you contact. Send a thank-you note to those that help you with your job search. Persistence is important in every job search, whether in Texas or not.

What are the challenges to an out-of-state job search?

Applying for jobs in markets where you have no obvious ties is risky to some employers. From an employer’s perspective, turnover is expensive. Include in your cover letter the ties that you have to the city (if they are not obvious from your resume), and if you have no ties, explain why you are interested in that market. For example, if you are drawn to an area for a particular practice area, explain that in your cover letter. To the extent you have interests or plan to take a bar exam in a particular location, you can also include that information in your resume (“Plan to sit for the July New York bar exam,” or “Boston Red Sox fan”). The goal is to create a document that reflects your sincere interest in the region and organization you wish to join.

You will want to demonstrate that you have knowledge of the markets to which you apply. Read local business journals and legal publications. Join local bar associations. Conduct informational interviews with alumni in the region.

In short, do your homework so you are prepared and knowledgeable in your interactions with employers.