The legal job market, as labor data reveals, continues on its downward passage. The ever increasing number of law school grads further confounds the problem, making the jobs available to job-applicants ratio rather lopsided.
It is logical to assume that getting a decent law job is not going to be easy and the only grads who can be reasonably assured of a smooth passage are those who have relatives with established law firms, or those with enough money to start their own private practices.
How can then, lawyers go about their job search, to ensure that their legal education provides them with the job they deserve?
For new graduates, If you are starting to look for a job after graduating then you are already late. You should start looking for appropriate employment avenues when you are on the verge of graduating – the field is less crowded at that time and you can avoid the later rush.
Don’t start looking for your dream job right away. Check out all legal jobs that are currently open and get a decent starting position. It may not be the best and it will certainly not be the one that you have been dreaming about, but it will give you a platform from where you can build. Your first legal job will not be your last and it will teach you many things that your law school did not. Moreover, it will give you the requisite experience which will add a lot of weightage and worth to your resume in future job-hunts.
It is quite likely that you also have a student debt to repay. If we are to go by the national average, it should be anything between eight to ten thousand dollars a month. However, you have a six month grace period, before you start repaying that loan. Finding a job much before the expiry of this grace period, ensures that the loan does not become an insupportable burden.
There are three ways in which you should search for your job: 1) The location; 2) type and 3) salary requirements. There are umpteen job sites that will allow you to search for legal jobs, through these keywords.
Create a resume and post it online on relevant job sites. Study what the resumes of good lawyers look like and simply adhere to the format. Badly written resumes are likely to end up in the waste bin. It is quite possible that the roles could be reversed and instead of you finding the job, a job could find you.
Also put together a list of great references. Good references, from your law school professors, your local senators and others similarly placed, are better than more references – quality will always score over quantity.
Send your resume to as many legal job openings as possible. Even if there is an opening for a job, that you would love to have but feel that you probably don’t merit, still send your resume – you never know who or what they are looking for.
The main aim of a starting job is four fold. Firstly, it helps you put your foot into the door, it gets some desperately needed cash income flowing in; it enables you to gain vital experience and lastly it is better to have some job rather than have none at all.