It’s not easy getting a job at a law firm. In fact, some of the biggest firms get thousands of applications every year. Smaller local law firms are generally less competitive, but can still be challenging to land a job at. To help you get hired at a law firm, here are just some of the important steps you should take.
Get an education
Probably the most important step you can take to get a job at a law firm is to obtain a degree. Contrary to what many people think, this doesn’t have to be a law degree. Going to law school will definitely help, but otherwise there are many firms that are willing to hire and train candidates with general degrees.
Taking modules related to law (such as a legal writing module as part of an English degree, or accounting law module as part of an accounting degree) could help. There are also other short courses you can take as found here at Study Portals to give you some legal educational knowledge. You may also take a Notary training course if you want to work on notarizing legal documents.
Prepare your resume
A strong resume is important when applying to any job. When applying for a job at a law firm, your resume needs to be particularly well-written in order to stand out from the crowd.
Try to keep your resume snappy while highlighting key skills and relevant experiences that you think could make you a good candidate. This could include any hobbies or achievements that show communication skills, research skills, problem solving skills or writing skills.
Use law career agencies
There are many recruitment agencies out there such as Origin Legal that specialise in helping job seekers to find legal job vacancies. These are a great option when trying to land a job at a law firm and could gain you access to vacancies that aren’t listed through general job ad sites.
You can find these agencies online. Apply to a couple of these agencies if you can.
Apply directly to law firms
When applying to law firms, don’t only limit yourself to law firms that are advertising vacancies. There could be some law firms that are thinking of hiring someone else and by approaching them now you could get in there early.
Do your research to find law firms that interest you and then find a means of contacting them – whether it’s an online form or an email of an employee found through LinkedIn.
Consider trying to get some voluntary work
Some law firms may not be able to take you on as a paid employee, but they may be able to take you on as a volunteer for a week or two. This voluntary experience will give you an advantage over applicants with no experience at all. In some cases, voluntary experience may even lead to a paid position – especially if you’re able to prove to the company that you’ve got the soft skills they’re after.
Volunteering is something that you may be able to do while studying. This could include working during your summer break or working one day per week at a time when you don’t have any lectures or seminars.