It’s that time of year, again. Third-year law school students are taking their last exams, donning fancy graduation robes, and celebrating the end of their law school careers. Many students have even secured post-graduation employment. If you don’t have a job lined up yet, don’t worry. While the number of legal jobs available has been fluctuating in recent years, there will always be a demand for good lawyers. Here are the things you can do to help you get a job after you graduate from law school.
Networking and taking advantage of your contacts in the legal field can play an important role in finding a job after law school. Think back to the connections you’ve made over the past three years and consider contacting them for help.
Call the firm or non-profit where you completed your very first internship. Send an email to the partner you had a lengthy chat with at one of your law school networking events. Reach out to contacts you made through your student activity groups. Call your family’s close personal friend who happens to work as an attorney at a large corporation.
While not everyone will be able to give you a job, they may be able to point you in the right direction or refer you to someone they know. Lawyers network for a reason. Take advantage of any connections you have.
You may know exactly what you want to do with your law degree. In fact, you may have entered law school knowing that you wanted to work in a highly specialized field for a reputable firm. It’s important to understand that your dreams may not be realistic at this moment in time. If you want to get a job right out of law school it is important to be flexible.
The more open-minded you are during the job hunt, the better your chances of securing employment. You may have to make some compromises during this process.
Do you want to work in a very specific field? Think about taking a job in a related field and working your way toward your goal.
Are you set on a specific location? Expanding the geographic locations in which you’re willing to work may open new opportunities.
Are you dead-set on working for a small non-profit? You might want to consider a job with a larger company for the time being to get some experience under your belt.
Flexibility can allow you to get a job and gain valuable experience right out of law school. When you’ve got a few years of experience under your belt you can shift your sights to your dream job. Who knows, you may have discovered a new passion and decided that you’re interested in following different dreams.
Use Your School’s Resources
Your law school exists not only to help you to become a lawyer, but also to help you integrate into the legal community. Reach out to career services and sit down with a counselor. Many times, companies, law firms, and organizations will contact law schools directly with job opportunities. IN addition to putting you in contact with potential employers, the career services department at your school can help you:
- Develop phenomenal application materials,
- Revise and revamp your resume, and
- Practice interview techniques.
Career services is an often-overlooked resource available to all law school students. Taking some time to consult with your law school’s career development office can help to set you apart from other applicants.
Use Old Fashioned Correspondence
If you’re having trouble landing a job or finding opportunities you may want to consider mailing out your resume to anyone who may have a job to offer. Today, most correspondence is done through email. It’s fairly easy for a resume and cover letter to get lost in the shuffle of email. Sending a resume in the mail can be a bold statement that gets an employer’s attention.
They may be impressed by your drive and reach out to you to discuss your future. Even if you don’t get a call right away, an employer may put your resume aside and contact you when they have an opening. In fact, they may even call before they’ve posted the job online.
Getting a job after law school can be hard work. Be patient, be flexible, and be persistent. Your efforts will be rewarded.