With Memorial Day heralding the official start of summer, there’s something that all solo lawyers (meaning true solos who operate a law firm of one) should do: hire a law student. With the legal job market still shrinking, it’s a challenge for many law students to find paid summer employment to gain experience that could help them land a position in the future. Hiring a law student lends a hand to the up and coming generation — but it’s not a gesture of charity because you’ll gain just as much from hiring a student as you give. And with that, here are the top eight reasons that you should hire a law student this summer.
1. Create Content to Last Throughout the Year Most solos are so busy serving clients that their marketing initiatives can fall through the cracks — with devastating consequences when they hit those inevitable dry spells. But many of these marketing initiatives are readily delegated to summer law students. If you already have a blog or newsletter, law students can find content and write updates. But law students can help out even for projects that have been on your to-do list but you haven’t had a chance to start. For example, this summer, I tasked one of my summer clerks with curating and writing a newsletter on Blockchain and the Energy Sector. Moreover, newsletters aren’t the only form of content that you can ask law students to create. Other projects that law students can assist with include researching and writing law review articles and how-to guides for prospective clients, and summaries of recent key cases in your practice area. Have the law student create enough content so that you can stockpile it and continue to distribute it even after your student has gone back to school.
2. Law Students and Social Media Related to content, law students can also assist with starting or continuing a firm social media campaign. Students can set up news feeds and find interesting articles to share on different social media sites. A few years ago, I tasked a student intern with my trade association to spend a day walking around DC and photographing the buildings where our organization did business so that we could post them on our Pinterest page. Likewise, you could send a law student to the courthouses where you practice, your favorite lunch spots, and other sites in your city and post photos on Instagram or Snapchat to give potential clients or future employees some insight into a typical “day in the life.”
3. Law Students As First Cut Every day, solos are bombarded with emails about interesting CLEs or webinars that they may not have the time to attend. Or they may want to check out an oral argument or legislative hearing on an issue that they track for clients. Even though all this content is recorded and available online, it can take several hours to rifle through just a week’s worth of materials. Here, I’ve found that law students can be helpful in taking a “first cut” — listening to the material and summarizing the highlights. Based on the summaries, I can weed through those events that I may want to listen to first-hand, and if not, I still have the highlights summarized for my files.