How to Find Law Graduate Jobs in 2020!
So, you’ve finished your law degree, your practical legal training is underway and you’re excited to be commencing your new legal career! If you’re passionate and determined to secure a new legal job, then check out our latest legal career guide on how to find law graduate jobs in 2020!
So, where do you start and how can you ensure that you stand out from the other legal graduates and finding a legal graduate job that you’re passionate about?
Here are a few tips and some preparation activities that will dramatically improve your chances of success!
The Gatekeepers – The Legal Admissions Board
First things first, make sure your admission obligations and requirements are in order. If you haven’t been given the rundown by your practical legal training provider or state law society yet, then know this. You need to be squeaky clean to satisfy the requirements of gaining admission as a lawyer of the Supreme Court.
Make sure that you are fully across your obligations and the disclosures you need to make to satisfy the legal admission requirements. It’s important that you are fully aware as you don’t need anything at this stage slowing you down as you transition into legal practice. Contact your state legal admissions board or state law society for more information.
If you’re already admitted, congratulations, nice work!
Prepare Your Legal Resume and Cover Letter
Ok, there are no excuses now, your legal resume and cover letter need to be perfect! No spelling or grammatical errors, keep it as black text on white paper and use a well-structured resume format, it’s important!
Remember, as a lawyer your ability to communicate effectively is paramount to your success, you’re expected to be able to write and communicate at a very high level, even as a law graduate. Law firms are assessing your ability to draft and write correspondence based on the quality of your resume. If you’re submitting your legal job applications with a dodgy legal resume, it’s sending a very clear message about what type of lawyer you may be, in terms of your attention to detail and technical writing skills.
If your resume is full of mistakes, it’s going to do more harm than good and you’re unlikely to secure interviews!
Want more tips on how to find law graduate jobs in 2020? Make sure your resume is demonstrating your transferable skills: Click here!
For a guide on how to write a legal resume: Click here
Download a free legal resume template: Click Here
Develop Your Commercial Acumen, Marketing and Business Development Skills
The legal industry is becoming increasingly more competitive and law firms are looking for candidates that can contribute to other areas of the business that were once previously reserved for the senior legal practitioners, such as marketing and business development activities.
It’s never been more important to focus on becoming a more rounded legal graduate, so look for opportunities to develop your general business skills and commercial acumen in addition to learning some basic skills around marketing and business development.
LinkedIn gives you an incredible opportunity to build your personal brand, allowing you to demonstrate that you can network and build a referral and client base. When networking on LinkedIn, don’t fall into the trap of only networking with members on the legal profession. Focus also on building relationships with people in other industries that may align with your legal practice area of interest.
Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile
It’s time to step up your LinkedIn game, social proof is important! Ensure you have a professional profile picture with a clear headshot, it’s time to archive the full-body graduation photo!
Draft a great LinkedIn Bio, demonstrate your skills and experience and sell yourself a little (don’t go overboard). It’s a good idea to make sure your LinkedIn Bio is keyword rich with the right search terms so recruiters and the law firms internal HR teams can find you in their candidate searches. Be sure to include the types of legal practice areas you’re interested in.
Don’t Be a Stranger – Network Like a Pro!
Finding a legal graduate job will be significantly easier if you start to build your professional network early on in your legal studies prior to you starting your full-scale job search assault.
Lucky for you, LinkedIn is an amazing social platform and job search resource that can put you in touch with the right people. Start by connecting with those on Linkedin that are responsible for the hiring decisions, this would include the HR teams, practice managers, principals and partners.
Follow their law firm company page and genuinely engage with their posts and updates when appropriate to do so. The benefit of doing this is that over time they will come to remember you. When the time comes and if you would like to apply for a position with their law firm that you see appear in one of their posts, reach out directly and bypass the publicly advertised job boards like Seek and Indeed where all the competition is.
Find Law Graduate Jobs Before They are Publicly Advertised on the Job Sites
Perhaps the best strategy for securing a graduate law job is to find and apply for legal job opportunities before they are advertised publicly on the main job sites like Seek and Indeed.
When law graduate jobs are posted on job sites the competition increases significantly. It’s much more difficult to stand out amongst other candidates due to the sheer volume of candidates.
Here are a few tips on how to find job opportunities before they advertised on job sites.
Connect and network early on LinkedIn (as stated above) with the recruitment teams, practice managers, principals and partners. Always remember, it will be significantly easier to secure a graduate lawyer job if you have existing relationships with the people that make the hiring decisions.
Attend as many networking events as possible and take the relationships you’ve built online, offline. It’s great to connect and network online but real relationships are built face to face, so attend every networking event you can that will give you the opportunity to meet people, especially the senior lawyers and staff that may be responsible for hiring.
Apply for law jobs and send/register expressions of interest with firms that are not currently advertising for staff. Why is this a good idea? You have no idea about the internal moves and the positions that may become available. By registering your interest with firms prior to them the advertising any jobs publicly you’ll avoid the competition and volumes of other candidates, your applications will be more receptive because the hiring teams are not being bombarded with job applicants (as they are when they advertise publicly). This strategy won’t generally work as well with larger mid-tier and top tier who have structured graduate intake and programs, however, the smaller boutique and suburban law firms will have a more ad hoc approach to hiring and onboarding new graduates.
Follow Up Your Law Graduate Job Applications – Ask for Feedback!
It’s so important that you follow up on your job applications. If you’ve applied to a job advertisement and have not heard anything after the stated shortlisted period, call or email the firm and ask for feedback. Use every application as an opportunity to refine your resume and develop your job application process. If you receive an email from a law firm saying you were unsuccessful in being shortlisted, reply and ask if they would mind offering you some quick feedback, it may end up leading to an opportunity.
As an example, what if the law firm replies saying they didn’t feel you had the right experience they were looking for when you clearly do? That’s a good indication that perhaps you’re not communicating your skills and experience properly on your resume or cover letter.
Feedback which can lead you to improve areas of your resume or cover letter is highly valuable!
The legal graduate job search process can be highly stressful, and the rejections can be very demotivating, remember to stay positive. It’s a process that most law students must go through as very few law students secure a position from a graduate intake program. Your success will ultimately come from the preparation you’ve put in months before you start applying for legal jobs.
If you need any advice or support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Brietley London.