Getting a job is competitive. Getting a job in today’s legal market is very competitive. Here are some tips to help set you apart from the competition and set you up for success.
Know What’s Trending
One way to stay ahead is to see what sort of legal jobs are trending. Check out websites that post surveys and hiring projections. Keep up with how technology is being merged with law. Stay informed. See what the in-demand practice areas are and how you might be able to best fit into them. Who knows, if you are unable to land a job in a specific practice area, you might just help a friend of yours to do so.
It’s not an absolute, but it is definitely a trend: most people get jobs, legal and otherwise, through the people they know or at least through the people of the people they know. It’s not just about speaking to someone in the hopes of getting a job. It’s a long-term game of cultivating contacts, learning about different opportunities, and ultimately figuring out what sort of work you plan on doing yourself. This is more than just LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s about casting a wide net of emails that includes people who are not in law. It’s about setting up phone calls. And yes, it’s also about setting up coffee dates and happy hours. The more people the know, the more likely you are to land a job.
Give Your All to Law School
Publish articles, hold a leadership role in a law association, do pro bono work–do everything you can to set you apart from other job candidates. You’ve heard this before, but having a great GPA (although needed) will not be what ultimately gets you hired. Think outside the box and consult with your peers to hear how they’re going the extra mile themselves.
Cast a Wide Net
Unfortunately there are just more great law candidates out there then the traditional legal job market can support. Fortunately, there are a number of jobs outside of the traditional market that value your degree. Have you considered JD Advantage positions? There are a number of jobs out there where law degrees aren’t required, but are preferred. You may find yourself working in a consulting or accounting firm, e-commerce company, financial institution, or even a tech startup. Don’t rule anything out.
Make Use of Your University Career Services
Your university’s Career Services is a valuable resource. More than just helping you buff up your resume and practice for interviews, career services can connect you with internships, networking opportunities and even jobs. Who knows, perhaps you may end up applying for a legal job that you never even knew existed.