Some students are lucky enough to be able to secure a training contract or pupillage before they finish law school; however, for those who are not so lucky, landing that first legal job can seem an insurmountable hurdle. Here we look at five more ways in which you can enhance your chances of landing that first legal job.
1. Use your law school’s careers service
This service is there to help you and often has excellent resources. The careers service can assist you in your job search, perhaps opening your eyes to opportunities you may not previously have considered or even acknowledged.
It will often provide invaluable advice regarding interview techniques, such as how to convey your interest in a position or answer specific types of interview question. Many also provide assistance to those who would like to perfect their CVs and to those struggling to complete the dreaded application forms.
2. Send out many applications
It is important to apply for positions within firms that could offer you your ideal job; however, competition is fierce for any legal job and you will be severely limiting your chances by making just a few applications. A job offer that does not entirely match your ideals is better than no job offer at all.
What is more, for the vast majority of people, your first job is just that. It will provide you with experience and greater knowledge; if necessary, you will be in a better position to move both onwards and upwards at a later date.
3. Network, network, network
The importance of networking cannot be understated. Everybody loves to try to help somebody they know, so try to know more people!
Effective networking as a professional skill is something at which some people have to work very hard; however, spreading the word amongst existing friends, family and acquaintances that you are a law school graduate and are looking to land legal job is both easy and definitely worth doing. Those you already know may have surprising contacts that can work to your advantage.
4. First impressions count
You are more likely to be offered a job if you already look as if you could work there. If you are attending an interview for a large corporate law firm, dress like a corporate lawyer; in fact, most legal jobs will require you to wear a suit and to make sure you look presentable. If you look the part, any prospective employer is more likely to be able to imagine you fitting into their existing team.
When you are faced with an interview, it is imperative to clear your mind of any preconceived notions about the particular law firm or chambers. Start the interview with enthusiasm for your potential employer and they are more likely to share enthusiasm for you.
Above all else, don’t lose hope. It is a fierce jobs market, but opportunities can arise when least expected.
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