You were accepted to one of the nation’s top law schools, made it through all of your classes and passed the bar exam. The hard part is over, right? Not so fast.
Even though the job outlook for lawyers has improved in recent years, finding a job after law school isn’t as simple as you might think. You need to make your applications stand out and increase your chances of finding a job soon after graduation. Follow these four tips to do just that.
- Highlight Your Skill Set
Law firms might get hundreds of applications for a position, and you need to make sure your resume highlights skills that others might not have. In addition to listing your internships, show off your expertise in other valuable areas.Do you have project management experience or did you oversee your crew club’s budget while an undergraduate? Let potential employers know! Also, list relevant writing projects and published articles that exemplify your ability to write for the lay reader, an important skill set for any new lawyer to have.
- Network, Network, Network
Sometimes the old saying still holds true: It’s not what you know but who you know. Join professional associations, tap into resources from your alumni network, reach out to acquaintances on LinkedIn and ask professors for assistance making connections in your desired field.If you’re applying to a large firm or corporation, take advantage of social media and search Facebook for friends who also might work there — a recommendation can go a long way. Make networking a habit early in your legal career, and it will serve you well long after you’ve landed your first job.
- Expand Your Interests
One of the realities of the changing legal landscape is that new lawyers will often need to wear many hats. While your specialty might be in one area, you could end up working with clients across different niches.The key to being successful is keeping an open mind.Look for ways the different law concentrations intersect and how you can hone your skills — even if you’re not working on the cases you’d like to be. Contract law and marriage law, for example, share similarities and can allow you to flex your recently acquired law school muscles and help your new firm meet its needs.
- Alternate Route
If you’re not finding your dream job, you might be looking in the wrong place. The traditional path of applying with a firm after graduation is falling by the wayside in some areas.Many young lawyers are expanding their job search past firms. Legal consulting is one avenue many new lawyers are pursuing. Others are discovering the many job alternatives available to those with a Juris Doctor.
At Decton Staffing Solutions, we’re always looking for talented legal professionals for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire positions. Apply today!