Yesterday we brought you the story of a 2L at Cardozo Law School who has taken out Google ads promoting himself, in an attempt to find a summer associate job. Here’s what his ad looks like (as displayed to an Above the Law reader who alerted us to his campaign):
We reached out to Eric Einisman to ask him: What was he thinking?
We spoke with Eric by phone yesterday. Here is the (slightly edited and condensed) transcript of our conversation:
ATL: What gave you the idea to set up your own website and promote it with Google ads?
Originally I wanted to do something that would show up when an employer was just Googling me. I set up a simple website — basically my résumé, not much more — and bought Google AdWords for my name and related searches, like “eric einisman” or “eric einisman michigan.”
After OCI interviews took place, and after a lot of the Biglaw jobs came and went, I thought I should expand my campaign, going beyond just search terms for my name. Google AdWords suggested some additional terms, and I picked out some of my own — mostly law-related terms and practice areas I’m interested in, such as litigation and entertainment law.
ATL: How much have you spent — and how much are you planning to spend — on the effort?
I haven’t spent much so far. The whole campaign has cost me less than if I had done a mass-mailing campaign, in terms of printing and sending out cover letters and résumés, in hard copy. If I get some results, the money would be well spent.
ATL: So are we talking several hundred dollars?
No, less than that.
ATL: In an update to our story from yesterday, we mentioned a guy in advertising who got a job after a $6 Google ad campaign. You’ve spent more than that, I’m guessing?
More than $6, yes. I should mention that Google gives me a lot of flexibility in terms of my campaign. Some commenters were speculating that they could click on my ads and cost me a lot of money. But with Google, I can customize my budget and place limits on my ad spending in a single day, for example.
ATL: Have you started to see results from your campaign yet?
Initially I got a lot of clicks back in August, when interviews were taking place. I could see that people were looking for me; I was getting a lot of clicks at that time.
Then interview season wound down, and I was getting less and less in terms of clicks. So that’s when I decided it was worth a shot to do some advertising, especially given how tough the economy is and how my résumé might not necessarily stick out. So I decided to increase my range.
ATL: Have you started to get inquiries from employers?
I’ve been on quite a few interviews, but I’m not sure if it’s because of my website or ad campaign. It hasn’t been brought up, so I can’t tell what role the ads have played.
ATL: But you haven’t had employers reach out to you and say they saw your ad and want to interview you?
Not yet — but I’m hopeful!
ATL: How would you respond to people who would criticize your ad campaign as “too much” or “over the top”?
As I was saying earlier, coming from where I’m coming from, it’s tough to stick out. If there’s any reasonable way that I can do that, then it’s worth it. Some people have called my approach “desperate,” but I don’t think it’s desperate — just different.
I think there is some line out there that could be crossed, but I don’t think what I’ve done crosses that line. I’m not going out there handing out t-shirts that say “hire me”; I’m not putting up posters all over lower Manhattan.
As I said, I don’t think this is that different from a mass-mailing campaign, which people have been doing for a long time. I have spoken to lawyers at large firms, graduates of Cardozo and similar schools, who got their jobs through large mailing campaigns. What I’m doing now isn’t that different.
ATL: Given the challenges of the job search, do you regret going to law school?
I made the right choice in coming to law school. I’m glad I’m here, and I’m happy with my school. I’m looking forward to the practice of law.
The truth is that I got a little bit of a late start in terms of being serious with my studies in college. I didn’t really focus on my grades until my third year. I had a 3.8 in my last two years at Michigan, but that was too late to outweigh some of my earlier grades.
I think it’s important to maintain a positive outlook. This can be hard to do, given the bleak employment numbers, which can be scary to a lot of people. But it’s not productive to focus on them.
I did get some good news today: I learned that I was selected as an Alexander Fellow, which means that I’ll be working for a federal judge next semester. It’s a competitive process and quite an honor.
Thanks! I’m excited.
ATL: You’re in the middle of your 2L year, so perhaps it’s a bit early for this, but do you have a sense of what you might want to do long-term in your legal career?
Right now I’m keeping my options open. I’m just a guy trying to get a job.
UPDATE (2/28/12): And succeeding. We’re happy to report that Eric Einisman has secured summer employment at an immigration firm, Wildes & Weinberg. Congrats!