Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Helping Parents Parent

A young man called the office today asking whether we had summer internship positions available. The young man was a freshman at Texas A&M University and was interested in studying law in the future. It was obvious he was "cold calling" attorneys out of the phonebook in hopes of getting lucky with a summer job. The young man seemed sincere so I thought I'd spend some time getting to know him.

I explained, in times gone by, the successful job hunter would prepare their resume first and then draft an appropriate cover letter to prospective employers. The cover letter and resume would be addressed to a specific person, mailed, and then followed up a few days later with a phone call inquiring about job openings. With this method, I explained, the employer would have their resume in hand and already know something of their background and experience. Although more labor intensive, I encouraged the aspiring job hunter to take such an approach. It would prove much more rewarding in the long run, was more professional, and revealed an important element of style.

Many of our clients are much like this young man - just starting out in life - but needing strong direction during a very uncertain time of crisis. In addition to sound legal advice we offer these young people, many of our clients appreciate the touch of mentoring we can also provide. Remarkably, the parents of these clients often call to express thanks for helping them direct their child during a time when their child did not want direction. In these situations, helping parents parent is our privilege and we take it very seriously.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking with this young man. I could tell he took my advice to heart and might even try the old-school approach to finding a job. I wish him luck and hope he calls again.

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