After law school, a Juris Doctor diploma is not the only requirement to land a job. Like other professions, the legal industry is a competitive job market. More than your diploma, you have to acquire several things before getting that first job that will ignite your career in law.
Here are four things that will help you get a job after law school:
Understanding the Changing Legal Environment
In order to get a job, it is essential to stay relevant. The law industry is continuously changing, and you have to have a grasp of the past, present and future of the legal profession. You need to figure out how you can fit into today’s legal environment.
Skills That Are Beyond Your Legal Expertise
When you are applying for a job, you are not the only applicant. Everyone has a Juris Doctor diploma, and everyone has a solid foundation of legal theory and doctrine. Legal staffing companies or firms are always looking for people who will add value to their company. Hence, skill sets like project management, business development, reading and understanding financial statements are professional skills that could make you stand out from the crowd of J.D. diploma holders.
Employers expect new lawyers to be action-ready. Thus, they prefer applicants who have vast experiential learning experiences. Applicants who had practical trainings through externships, immersion in semester-in-practice programs and in-house legal clinics are more likely to get the job.
Strong Professional Network
In any industry, strong professional network is invaluable. Developing professional network should start at law school. After graduation, you should continue nurturing those relationships and try to diversify your network. The popular anecdote in the legal industry is that the job openings you find on advertisements are only 40% of the job supply, because a certain network of people keeps the rest. Thus, having strong professional networks in this industry is an advantage.
Success in getting that first job is achievable once you have the right preparation, skills and investment. Continue to add value to yourself, take training opportunities and stay connected, and soon, you will get away with unemployment.