Although we hear the stories about how difficult it is for law school grads to pass the bar exam and get jobs, it might be that way at the nation’s top law firms with top salaries.
Even with COVID-19 and an economy seemingly in shambles, it’s not terribly difficult to get a job as a lawyer as soon as you pass the bar exam.
You’ll want to start looking and networking when you’re still in law school though.
Here’s how you can finally push the start button on your legal career as soon as you pass the bar exam.
- Search and Network: Law school grads were searching for jobs and networking toward that end long before the advent of the internet. Imagine how difficult it was for them with letters, phone calls and cold calling at law firms and government agencies. Now, you have the internet, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and even the opportunity to create your own blog. Your intended audience will be lawyers in your preferred practice and geographical areas. Even if you only have the opportunity to initially meet them socially, they’re going to remember your face and the fact that you’re a young lawyer looking for work. Even if they’re not hiring, they might help you get turned in the right direction.
- LinkedIn: Law firms are likely to have reviewed your LinkedIn profile before they ever get to your formal resume. Make sure that your profile has a quality photo. You’ll want to detail your legal interests and endeavors in your profile. Be sure to supplement it with professional recommendations. If you follow legal websites or blogs of special professional interest, note them on LinkedIn, and communicate with the people or organizations that publish them. Always keep your profile updated, and follow the law firms and lawyers that you want to work with. Invite positive discussion about the lawyer or law firm. Continual positive contributions are a compliment and get noticed.
- Don’t be Bashful: When a now nationally known personal injury lawyer was just a law student in Chicago, he spotted the most successful personal injury lawyer in the city walking down LaSalle Street. He turned around, caught up to him told him he was in law school and asked him for a job just doing whatever needed to be done at the lawyer’s office. His chase paid off. He got a clerking job and became an associate after passing the bar exam. That law student is now the most successful personal injury lawyer in Chicago. Don’t be intimidated by the top names in the area of law that you want to practice in. Most of them want to help you if they can.
There are a variety of reasons why you might not qualify for a job with a premier law firm. Only a small minority of lawyers who are starting out are. That has nothing at all to do with whether you’re going to be successful.
That first job out of law school after passing the bar exam isn’t difficult to get. From the day of your first law school class, think like a lawyer, act like a lawyer and always be prepared. You’ll have as big of a career as you can handle soon enough.
Your early professional success with that work will take you anywhere else that you want to go.