So you’ve just graduated from law school, congratulations on your success! However, despite your sense of pride and success from completing law school, you’re probably wondering what do you do now? What professions are available for me now that I’m done with school, and will I be able to get a job? Here are five suggestions to get you started.
Suggestion Number 1: Start Networking
Whether you’re a self-employed lawyer or working for a law firm, networking is a very important part of your professional development. The reason why is because networking helps you broaden your knowledge of the legal sector, get more clients, coworkers, connections that can help facilitate your business, even help you find work! Therefore, networking will give you a good start towards developing your own firm, working as a lawyer with another firm, or in finding the job that you want.
How do I start network, you are probably wondering? Start talking to your friends, professors, colleagues from your internships and coop experiences, your fellow classmates and your coworkers. Get their advice on what they know about the legal sector, how to get a job in the field, if they know of any jobs you should apply for, if they will act as your references, tell you about law practice start-up or even hire you! Also consider creating a profile on linkedin.com, which is a website designed to help professionals network, find opportunities and learn more about their sector.
Suggestion Number 2: Don’t Be Afraid to Start You’re Own Practice
Applying for a job can be hard these days, and the legal field is competitive. Therefore, if you have received a few rejections recently during your job search since you graduated from law school, don’t let this discourage you. Either try again and keep on applying, or consider starting your own practice. There is a lot of information available on the internet that can help you with your own law practice start-up such as creating a business plan, marketing and law practice management issues. There are also plenty of books on the subject of how to start a business, marketing and management that could also help you get started.
Suggestion Number 3: Start Applying for Jobs Now
If you haven’t even started applying for jobs, you should start now. Despite the slow acceptance rate in the current job market, according to Forbes legal jobs will be opening up over the next five to ten years. This is because many currently in the profession are near retirement age, which could create a market gap. However, this market gap could be an opportunity for the recent law school graduate looking to succeed in his or her career. Therefore, go ahead and apply for jobs, be patient and keep on looking until you find a position that works for you.
Suggestion Number 4: Consider Working as a Clerk
Most successful law school graduates started out as legal clerks either during school or after graduation. Working as a legal clerk at law firms gave these candidates some basic experience that eventually helped them get a six-figure income job as a lawyer. Therefore, if you want a job straight out of law school that is relevant to your career goals and degree that will help you get a six-figure income job as a lawyer, working as a legal clerk might be a viable option for you.
Suggestion Number 5: Get a Job Related to your Bachelors Degree or Previous Graduate Degree
Other successful law school graduates who received bachelor degrees or graduate degrees before law school eventually end up working in a six-figure income legal position by working in a job related to the degree(s) they received before law school. The reason why is that these law school graduates credit that their previous degrees and related work experience gave them a diverse resume and set of skills and knowledge. This helped them to distinguish themselves apart from other applying for legal jobs in the field, thus making their resumes or CVs a little more competitive. Therefore, if you are having problems getting a legal job right out of law school now, don’t be afraid to look at careers related to your bachelors degree and/or other graduate degrees you have received for a while. This can also give you time to look for legal careers that would interest you, network but also the strengthen your resume/CV so that eventually you can become that unique legal candidate that law firms and other firms within the legal sector will want to hire.