Jessica Olmon ’06: Co-Authors Self-Help Book for Law Students Searching for Big-Firm Jobs
Jessica Olmon ’06 learned plenty from her vast job search, which ended with her landing a job with Fulbright & Jaworski in Los Angeles in February of her third year of law school.
So much that Olmon, who was now frequently interviewing candidates for the firm, teamed with Erika Finn, a graduate of Berkeley Law who brings an additional perspective, to write the book: The Insider’s Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job: What Every Law Student Should Know About Interviewing.
Olmon met Finn while the two spent their last year of law school visiting at UCLA. Finn was somewhat of a veteran on law firm interviews, having done hundreds of them during her first two years at Berkley.
The first draft of the book was written in a quick four months. “After we talked about it, we realized we knew so much,” Olmon said. “Between the two of us, we knew the topic so well that we just wrote it.” A Hawaii-based publisher agreed to print the book last year.
“There were no competitors,” Olmon said. “There are tons of books out there about succeeding in law school and about your first year as an associate at a firm, but few about landing the job. A couple of books may have had a chapter or small section on the topic, but there was no book on how to get the big firm job.”
Olmon said that she is a firm believer that all law students, no matter the location of their law school, should have the same chance at landing a job at a big law firm. In the book, she shares the interviewing skills she believes will help that happen.
"When I was looking for a big firm job outside of Ohio, it seemed like the process was a big secret," she said. "The book clears up the mystery and tells you what law firms are looking for, which is something that all law students should have the opportunity to know."
There is even a chapter focused on finding a job outside the city where a student’s law school is located. “You want to come off to the firm as being just as good as another candidate and that you are worth the risk,” she said.
The Insider’s Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job: What Every Law Student Should Know About Interviewing was published in January 2009.
The book applies specifically to legal interviewing, which Olmon says is different from other types of interviews. “Businesses today go toward focused interviewing, and they appraise candidates based on objective standards,” she said. “Law firm interviews are still very subjective.”
“A lot of people think that grades and law school alone will determine the outcome of their job search,” she said. “There is more to it than that, and there is a lot a student can do to increase their chances of getting offered a job.”