Employers expect legal experience and proven skills from law students

Published: March 2nd, 2009

Category: News

When potential employers interview recent law school graduates, grades are not the only thing they are interested in. They’re also looking for legal experience. Employers take a critical look at how you spent(d) your time while not attending classes. So, you better think twice if you plan to lounge by the pool this summer.

“We want to see that you have practical legal experience,” said Otto Immel, a partner with Quarles & Brady LLP, Naples, Fla. “Your resume has to prove that you are hardworking, can multitask and work effectively under pressure. You won’t get hired if you hang out and work on your tan all day.”

Immel and Kelly Davis, also a partner with Quarles and Brady, were on campus recently to provide students insight on what employers expect from potential employees.


Experience preferred by potential employers

  • Clerkship
  • Corporate
  • Judicial
  • Government agency
  • Research assistant
  • Respected non-profit

Proven skills sought by employers

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Application
  • Writing
  • Advocacy
  • Negotiation

Considerations employers make when hiring

  • Work ethic
  • Writing skills, including grammar spelling citation
  • Analytical ability
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Personality
  • Organizational skills with the ability to manage and prioritize competing demands
  • Team player