re you an unemployed law school graduate? If so, know you are not alone. A number of recent articles have cast a spotlight on the lack of employment opportunities for newly licensed attorneys. In fact the February edition of the ABA Journal highlighted disgruntled law school graduates who were frustrated with the depressed legal market and their high student loans in “Law School? Bag It, Bloggers Say.”
But what are those disgruntled students doing to find legal employment? More importantly, what are you doing?
If your job search strategy involves subscribing to numerous job search engines and your law school alma mater’s career network then you may want to reconsider your strategy. You must be creative and strategic. You must DO more because in the process of DOING you will likely find employment.
Some things you can do include:
> Reaching out to persons in the legal industry who you’ve built a relationship with for guidance and advice on finding a job. You never know who may be your biggest advocate.
> Using social media. For example, if you want to practice family law then create an informative blog with family law guidance for potential clients.
> Get real legal experience. You can do this by becoming an Ad Litem or Amicus attorney or taking a pro bono case at a legal clinic in your area.
> Offer to clerk for free at a state District court or law firm where you may know someone.
After I took the Texas Bar I went to work with Cordell Parvin, a nationally known business and career development coach who practiced construction law for over 35 years. Cordell encouraged me to use my past career experience and start a blog to help law students and new attorneys, which led to the birth of Lawyers-in-Training. My blog caught the attention of some seasoned attorneys I knew who opened the door to other opportunities, such as being a speaker on a panel for a State Bar of Texas webcast. After I passed the Bar, some of those same attorneys referred me for jobs. Ultimately I decided to start my own law firm because it allowed me to balance my family and work as well as practice the type of law I wanted to practice. However, all of my clients have been referrals from either attorneys I built a relationship with while in law school or from law school peers. Without those relationships, I would have no business.
The reality is you become a more attractive candidate to a potential employer when you show initiative and motivation and waste no time gaining real experience. Think about what you can DO to show those things. In the process of DOING you will likely find employment that you may have not found otherwise.