Master of Laws Interviews Season 2: Episode 6: Monica Murayama International Arbitration Attorney, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

By Yi Song

How to network and ace your BigLaw interview with a personal touch?

For most internationally trained lawyers, the job search in the U.S. begins on Day One of their LL.M. Program. For Monica, it started from Day Zero. She started searching for jobs in the summer before her LL.M. program began. She dedicated eight months to meticulous research, networking and interviewing with potential firms that could hire her. A Brazil-trained lawyer fluent in Portuguese, French and English, Monica had countless coffee meetings with BigLaw partners specializing in international arbitration. Some generously shared their own career journeys, while others were more blunt, “I have five minutes. What do you want?”

One day, while preparing for one of these informational interviews, Moica discovered that the senior partner who was to interview her had lived in Brazil for six months some thirty years ago. She seized this connection to add a personal touch to their conversation. Today she’s working with the partner at Steptoe & Johnson specialized in international arbitration.

How did she jumpstart on networking from Day Zero to land a prestigious externship? How did she turn the externship into a permanent position at another renowned firm? What’s her strategy to network with partners at BigLaw and effectively following up with them? How can you add a personal touch to the daunting process of networking?

Subscribe to the LinkedIn weekly newsletter to receive FREE insider tips. Read Monica’s story here.

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