Just out of law school? If so, congratulations! It takes years of hard work and dedication to come out of law school with a good degree – not to mention an enormous pile of money. But no matter how well you have done so far, the litmus test is your ability to get a job.
As you are likely to know already, competition is fierce, and it can be a tough task to secure your first employment. There are, however, a few things you can do to enhance your chances – and we’re going to take a closer look at them for you today.
Apply to everything
I’ve known a few lawyers in my time, and even more law school graduates who ended up taking a different career direction. The difference between the two groups is that the former went after their first jobs like a hungry wolf seeks out its prey. The latter held off, looking for that perfect position, before realizing their opportunities were severely limited. The key to success in law is to get a job before anything else. It’s the first rung on the ladder, and you can’t climb it without going through that process. So, don’t hold back, apply for every position you are suitable for, and you will avoid a crisis.
Be prepared to move
The chances are that you won’t get a job in the perfect location, either. Your chances of scoring a great position – and a fruitful career – will be much higher by keeping your geographical options as open as possible. If that means moving to a small law firm on the edge of a desert, so be it. The point is you have to get that first position, and those that are flexible will have a greater chance of success than those that aren’t.
Develop your business skills
Working for a law firm is just like working in any other business – you are there to make the company money. You have to make sure that you have demonstrable skills in business – do so, and you will stand out when compared to your rival candidates. Consider working with a career coach for lawyers, and be prepared to develop your business skills even further as you progress.
A lot of fresh graduates believe the world owes them a living. They are young, of course, and can be opinionated and full of ideals. But the truth is that these traits can rub people up the wrong way. You might want to work for the biggest and best firm, for example, and look down your nose at the smaller companies. If this comes across in your interview, how successful do you think you are going to be? Be nice, be enthusiastic, and make people feel that you want to be there – it will make a significant difference to your chances.
Finally, like nearly every other industry, networking can make a huge difference to your chances of securing your first job. Legal circles in every area are tight-knit – everyone knows everyone else. If you can network like a pro and get to know the names that matter – for the right reasons – it shouldn’t be long before you land yourself a gig. Good luck!