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Law Employment Research

Ask a Law Librarian

The reference librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are happy to help you find or navigate research resources.

Reference:  (480) 965-7161
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Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (COL) Students

  • Make an Appointment with a Law Librarian:  COL students can make individual appointments with law librarians for one-on-one assistance by submitting this online request form. Appointments are available in-person, by phone, or via Zoom.
  • Group Research Training with a Law Librarian:  This is an opportunity for groups of three or more COL students to receive personalized research instruction on any legal research topic. The Law Library's expert reference librarians will meet with your group and provide training to meet your research needs. Group trainings can be held in-person or via Zoom.


This guide assists students with background research on employers as well as other career development strategies. Meet with our reference librarians for expert help researching employers, including large and small firms, government agencies, and judges. We can help you find information about legal practice areas, individual attorneys, and employers’ commentary on emerging legal issues, as well as statistical data about employers. This can help you identify attractive job opportunities and help you tailor your message for your application materials and interview talking points. We can also help you identify practice and study materials for particular legal fields to help you on the job. For help with crafting your resume, cover letter, and interview messages, contact the College of Law’s Career Services department.

General Resources

Careers in Criminal Law (Ellen Brotman, ed., 2010)
Testimonials from practitioners and experts provide background on prosecution, defense, and other opportunities such as becoming a judge or related advocacy work in a variety of contexts. The authors delve into the emotional elements, the challenges, and the triumphs they have experienced in criminal law.

Careers in International Law (Marcelo Bombau, ed., 2019)
Chapters include testimonials, comparisons of legal work in different cities and countries, strategies for networking and landing jobs, and information about particular fields such as immigration, international environmental law, and labor law.

From Finals to the Firm: The Top Ten Things New Associates Should Know (Calvin H. Gladney & Raymond Millien, 2018) (available on campus or with a West Academic account)
A concise guide to developing yourself professionally coming out of law school, including finding a strong mentor, creating your own opportunities, bringing new perspectives to the team, and building the consummate professional persona.

The Happy Lawyer (Nancy Levit & Douglas O. Linder, 2010)
This book can help you set yourself up for a joyful legal career during law school and help you maintain and regain your happiness during trying times. Taking charge, building relationships, and recognizing your success can help.

Law Jobs: The Complete Guide (Andrew J. McClung et. al, 2019) (West Academic login required)
Find answers to big questions facing legal professionals: transactional work or litigation? Big law or not? Public interest or private law? Attorney work or JD Advantage jobs? Criminal or civil? Stay in academe? This resource gives you a look at the pros and cons to consider. Also available on West Academic (available on campus or with a West Academic account).

A Short & Happy Guide to Being a Lawyer (Kenney F. Hegland & Paul D. Bennett, 2021)
A primer on essential skills for employment such as client interviewing, counseling, negotiating, and legal writing, as well as courtroom skills such as preparing witnesses, cross-examination, and making objections. Also available on West Academic (available on campus or with a West Academic account).

Thriving in the Legal Profession: Three Pillars of Success (Pamela Bucy Pierson et. al,, 2018) (West Academic login required)
A short primer on keeping yourself happy and successful as an attorney, from handling your emotions, finances, and professional skills in a changing legal market.

Bloomberg News (Bloomberg Law login required)
The latest updates along with commentary from practitioners on particular areas of law, featuring video reports and podcasts to help you brush up on the particular field you are pursuing.

Law 360 (Available on campus or through ASURITE)
Legal news from around the nation along with emphasis on the legal industry, high-profile practice areas  and policy issues such as access to justice to keep conversations flowing during interviews or networking events.

NALP Directory of Legal Employers
The NALP Directory of Legal Employers is a free resource for information on law firms, government agencies, public interest organizations, and corporations, including lawyer demographics, practice areas, compensation and benefits, and diversity and inclusion practices.

Summaries of activity at the high court along with previews of forthcoming cases and sessions, along with commentary on the court and its impact on various legal regimes. Decisions that impact your particular career focus can be a conversation starter during an interview.

Westlaw News (Westlaw login required)
Legal updates from around the world along with highlights pertaining to certain practice areas in the Practitioner Insights Analysis section. You can browse blogs, news services, and topics to make sure you’re up to date on interview day.