Five ways to land your first job after law school

Here are five tips to help you land that first legal job

All law graduates will have worked hard to study law and succeed in their law degree; it is also likely that they will have spent a lot of money in the process. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to find a job when the studying is done; after all, there is a lot of competition out there.

Perfect your application

It is unbelievably frustrating when the content of an application is brilliant but it is full of typos or grammatical errors; for this reason, CVs, cover letters and any relevant application forms must be double- and triple-checked. Attention to detail is vital, as lawyers are paid to be detail-orientated. If you cannot achieve this with your application, it will be assumed that you may be equally careless with your clients’ documentation.

Send your CV by post

Whilst we live in a high-tech world where the majority of communication takes place via email, sending your CV by post works particularly well for ad-hoc applications where no job is being advertised. Few people send their applications by post; however, many people like receiving post. Receiving an application in this way is likely to mean it will be read, which is not necessarily the case with emails.

An obstacle may be your opportunity

It helps to remain enthusiastic about your chances of success, as this will keep you motivated to continue applying. If you have a dream, follow it and persevere. You will not succeed if you stop trying.

Try not to listen to those who discourage you and tell you it is impossible. It takes some people a few years before they secure a training contract, but they only secure one because they did not stop trying.

Widen your search

You may need to go to where the jobs are. This may not be possible for everybody, but being flexible with your geography can make it easier to find a job. Most towns have a law firm, but smaller rural towns may not have very many openings; conversely, London has many law firms and openings, but there is a lot of competition.

Accept that you will be a foot soldier

Whilst some seek a career in the law due to the high salary expectations, it is a myth that all lawyers are very well paid. This depends upon the area of law in which you specialise, but it is particularly true for the majority of junior lawyers. You will have to work hard at the beginning of your career to improve your position and credentials.

In the short term, it is essential to accept that there is work that needs to be done; if you do this well, you are more likely to succeed. Many law graduates start their careers as a paralegal, which means doing a lot of administrative work and not so much legal work; however, this is just the first step. It will benefit your career to carry out the work you have with enthusiasm, as it is likely to lead to greater things.

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