The legal profession is typically associated with extensive schooling and credentials. Nevertheless, you can find a job in the field of law with different degrees and experience. There are many jobs for people of various backgrounds and interests. Examples of careers include but aren’t limited to solicitor, arbitrator, barrister, company secretary, judge, lecturer of law, and mediator. This list isn’t all-inclusive, and it just represents a broad sampling of the countless opportunities that exist in the legal field. Getting your foot in the door can be challenging if you’re just starting out.
You’ve put so much time, money, and energy into finishing uni and getting good grades. Maybe so, but the competition for jobs at law firms is fierce. This article discusses what you need to do to get a job. Hope these tips will help you pursue a career in law.
Write The Perfect CV
When applying to open positions, it’s crucial to have a CV. It will outline your relevant skills and experience, highlight the benefits you offer employers, and, most importantly, lead to an interview. If you don’t have relevant work experience, include all appropriate education that shows you’re the best person for the job. Suppose you did volunteer work during university time. Mention in your CV that you provided free legal services to individuals, groups, and organisations. This will demonstrate to prospective employers that you’re hard-working and involved in your community.
It’s tempting to add a profile photo to your CV, but it’s best to be avoided. Why? It has to do with something called unconscious bias. Your application might be rejected based on whether or not you resemble the picture of the perfect candidate. Not including a profile photo protects you from discrimination based on race, age, gender, etc. Also, the image won’t add value to your application. Ensure your CV is easy to read and looks professional. Use bullet points to break up complicated information, format headings with bold, and aim for two sides or less.
Research Law Firms in Your Area
Do your homework and find law firms close by. Learn about their specialities, discover some of their most famous cases, and get to know the size and backgrounds of their clientele. Create a shortlist of law firms you’d like to work for and consider how their values align with yours. Working for a firm isn’t just about the hours you put in. It’s about knowing their values and understanding if they match yours. You should work for a law firm that stands for honesty, trustworthiness, respect, and ethics. They should be accountable for their actions (successes and failures).
Having the opportunity to learn new things and grow is vital in any position. An internship or a full-time job will allow you to learn as much as possible. Not all law firms encourage a growth mindset. Even if they are willing to mentor and coach, they’re not proactive in sharing resources and knowledge. Ongoing learning and development are of the essence, as they allow you to expand your skillset and adapt to an ever-changing field. Find out about the training opportunities available. Developing new skills doesn’t mean going back to school.
Work With a Recruitment Agency
If you’re looking for a job in the legal field, you’ll be surprised to find out that recruitment agencies fill many positions. A recruitment agency is an intermediary between you and the employer (the law firm). The aim is to match the job opening to the candidate’s needs, which is a difficult task. You’re valued, have a voice, and, above all, can grow professionally. Working with a recruiter means that you’re not alone. As you’ll soon see, job hunting is a time-consuming undertaking. At times, it can leave you feeling discouraged. You don’t hear back after applying for a job, you don’t find a suitable role, or you’re rejected from the very get-go.
An agency such as Legal Recruitment Agency UK brings knowledge and specialised skills. More specifically, they can be very helpful in getting an insight into the current market conditions and trends. As experts in the field of law, the recruitment agency can help you with CV writing, interview techniques, etc. Recruiters have access to jobs that aren’t always advertised, so registering with an agency is the best thing you can do. Nonetheless, it’s worth calling ahead and making an appointment to ensure that roles are available in your industry. If your CV is in their database, the recruitment agency will contact you directly when a position opens up.
Use Your Connections
If you’ve succeeded in building good relationships with your professors and colleagues, take advantage of them and ask for advice on finding a job. Networking is the most successful way to find a job in the legal field, but it’s intimidating for many. A conversation is all it takes to kickstart your career in law. You can try a less formal approach, such as asking for information and advice, or a more direct approach, such as asking for job leads. Reach out to everyone you know; you may be surprised who can lend a helping hand.
Be very clear about what you want to get the kind of referral you need. Tell your connections why you want to do a particular job. If you possess unique skills, let them know about it. The more your contacts know about what you want, the better they can provide helpful referrals. Keep in mind that not all referrals have the same value. The designation and the role of the employee are what matters. So, take into account the role of the person you’re reaching out to for a job reference.
Build An Online Presence
Don’t waste any more time and build a professional social media account. The CV will always be necessary, but your online presence is just as significant. A prospective employer will want to know more about you, so they’ll google you to see what they get. Besides education and skills, law firms want to know if you’re a good fit for their organisational culture. They hire based on shared values and cultural beliefs. With a little bit of strategy, you can control what they find. Set up a LinkedIn account and make sure it’s complete. It’s the first thing that will show up in a Google search.