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How to Grab Your First Legal Job

by writer on October 3, 2013

Despite the declining number of legal jobs in the industry, students are still enrolling at law schools across the country, which means that these students need to search for legal jobs prior to and after graduation. Finding a job in the legal industry can be a daunting task, but hopefully the tips outlined in this article can help those searching for their first legal job relax and eventually sign a contract.

Concentrate on School and Then the Job Search

If you are still in law school, make sure you maintain your focus on academics and treat the job search as a secondary task. When students begin focusing more on the job search they could see their grades suffer, which will hurt their search for a job in the end. For the most part, employers hire workers who are ready to begin full-time positions immediately, not one year later. This is another reason why school should still be your number one priority right now.

Take Multiple Bar Exams

An excellent way to increase your odds at landing that first legal job is to take the bar exam in multiple states. This will add to the number of jobs you can apply for, thus increasing your odds at being hired for a job. For example, if you are a New Jersey resident, take the bar exam in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and even New York. You will be able to market yourself much better to law firms if you are licensed to practice in multiple states, especially if those firms have clients in various states.

Post-Graduation: Job Search Full-Time

Once you have graduated from law school you can turn your legal job search into a full-time event even if you have a full-time non-legal job. Many students want to sit back and relax following seven hard years of work, but anything longer than a short vacation can hurt your chances of landing that first legal job. Put in full-time hours when searching for jobs so you leave no stone unturned during the process. The more hours you put into the search, the more you will get out of it.

Network

Students are force fed this word from day one of their first year in college and it keeps coming up all through law school. Networking is very important these days and it has been proven effective by data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data from the BLS shows that roughly 70 percent of all jobs are found using networking. That statistic pretty much says it all.

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Tips for the Legal Informational Interview

by writer on September 26, 2013

The legal world has experienced its ups and downs since the recession hit and those currently in law school continue to debate whether or not their decision to attend was worth it. Recent law grads and those who are scheduled to graduate within the coming months, should consider scheduling and attending informational interviews to help in their search for a job.

An informational interview has a much different feel compared to a job interview because for the most part, you should be asking most of the questions. If you are considering going on informational interviews with attorneys, make sure you are well prepared before sitting down and taking up anyone’s time.

The first thing you need to do is find people working in the legal practice area you are interested in by talking with faculty members, friends, classmates and maybe even family members. After you put together your list you can begin contacting via phone, email or mail those who you wish to meet. In your correspondence make sure that you let the contact know that you are not asking about a job or asking for a job. Instead, you want to learn more about the practice and what that specific attorney does on a daily basis.

Once you have been able to schedule a meeting, make sure that you are prepared even though this is not a job interview. Do some research on the attorney and the firm where he or she works. Find out their background by reading their bio on the firm’s website so that you can impress with all that you know. Letting your personality shine through during an information interview could help you in the future if the attorney knows of a job opening in the area or at his or her firm.

During the interview, make sure you discuss some of the following items with the attorney:

  • How the attorney made his or her decision to enter into their specific practice.
  • How long the attorney has been working in their area of law.
  • What the attorney likes most about the practice and what the biggest dislikes are.
  • What the attorney does daily in terms of job responsibilities.
  • The qualifications needed by law grads who wish to enter the specific legal practice.

If you feel that you have created a good report with the attorney, you might want to even ask if he or she could look over your resume and give it a critique so you can improve upon what you already have. Ask the attorney for any referrals he or she can offer for you to speak with further about scheduling any more informational interviews about the practice or other practices.

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Your Job Search

by scott on August 16, 2013

The old cliché, ‘timing is everything’ is a phrase which relates to many of life’s situations.In an attorney’s job search, this statement cannot be overemphasized enough.Often times, I hear many misconceptions such as firms do not usually hire around this time of the year or the economy is just in too bad of shape.This is a big mistake.First and foremost, a successful job search requires that you be pro-active each and every day until you have found that ideal position.Those weeks and months you are unemployed, you are potentially losing thousands of dollars in income and this, of course, can be a strain on you and your family.

Within the infrastructure of a firm or corporation, positions are often created to fill the overwhelming amount of work that filters into the legal department.This is why it is imperative to expand your job search in each and every avenue possible.Reaching out to the largest pool of potential employers will allow you to realize all of the opportunities that do exist in the present market.There is no undesirable time to send a resume and remember timing is everything!

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