Tips on Lading a Job After Law School
As many law students know, going into law is risky for job security. There are about 50,000 students that graduate law school every year, and only about 20,000 positions available for those students to fill. With odds like that, students will need some way to up their game to land their dream job. We’ve laid out a few steps to take for a post-graduation celebration, law job hunting made… easier.
Most time in law school is spent studying law, which makes sense, but students have to be able to go beyond being a lawyer to up their resume-game. If a student can go beyond their lawyer ways and learn some office trades, they’re going to look more desirable as an applicant. Making sure to look into business development, having some basic accounting skills can get you a long way. Having some kind of project management background can help out, this shows you can juggle multiple cases and clients. Being emotionally intelligent will definitely help with client connections, and is something that most law firms will look for.
People say it all the time, but a network is what’s going to get you farther than anything else. Networks help fill about half of open positions, the other half are filled by resume. To build a solid network, students should start as early as they can. Get involved, go to school events. If there’s anyway to keep in touch with alumni, make sure to do so.
“The first day of law school is the first day of your career.”
-Dennis J. Tonsing
Keeping up with the forever changing story that is law will give you the edge. Being specialized in school will ensure more stability. If a student can track the past, present, and predict the future circumstances in their specialized field they seem more desirable to an employer. Students in modern times also have to worry about technology, this is a game changer for lawyers who have been in practice for a while.
Speaking of practice, be practice ready right after graduation. Law firms don’t train on the job anymore, graduates have to be able to jump in head-on. Getting an apprenticeship while in school is one way to do this. Always take up opportunities that will put you in front of clients. Volunteer your time, go to in-house legal clinics, try to find semester-in-practice programs. Electives can also play a role in being practice ready, stay involved, join clubs, learn as much as possible.
The best way to get ahead is to have a plan from the get-go. Having a career plan can make you look more committed. As an A1, be sure to talk to your professors about your plan. and figure out what you want to specialize in. “Why are you going into law,” is a great question to ask yourself if you’re feeling a little lost with creating a plan. Identify your strengths and weaknesses as an A1 to stay on top of what you love and what you need more work in. As an A2 be sure to put that plan into place by networking, and using your summers to build skills. By the time you’re an A3 you should be polishing yourself up. Put together your resume and reach out to your network before graduation. Starting early is the key to success.
Anyone dedicated to their field will end up in a succesful and fulfilling positon. People who are dedicated also understand that it takes a lot of time and effort to truly master a craft. Do what you love, and the rest will fall into place.