As a recently graduated lawyer, it can be difficult looking for a firm. Firms don’t typically look for graduates and typically hire from their clerkships. Firms searching for junior lawyers tend to want at least a year of experience. You will need to work to stand out in this competitive career track you have chosen.
University and Academics
Law firms take into account, not only which university you attended, but also how well you did in your academics. Withdrawing from and failing subjects are obviously not impressive to employers when reviewing your resume. If you do not have experience, law firms will put more weight on your academics. Make sure you are studying hard and putting enough hours into your subjects.
Find a Clerkship
Getting practical experience in the areas that interest you can pay off. Find a clerkship whether it’s paid or unpaid and do it well. Your work there will show law firms what you have to offer them. If you can do more than one, do it. The more successful experience you have, the greater your chances grow in standing out to an employer. Notice the word successful. If you are taking on multiple clerkships but not doing well, it will not reflect well on you. It is better to put your time and effort into something that interests you. Choose your clerkships wisely.
Take on Extracurriculars
A CV isn’t just to highlight your academics, especially if you are not academically inclined. If you are involved outside of academics, it can also benefit your career. Joining law groups, taking on leadership roles in groups you join, playing sports, or volunteering can take your CV to the next level. You might be an average student but do a lot for the community around you. It will show your work ethic even if your grades might not reflect it.
Through either your university or your extracurriculars speak to lawyers about their experiences. Learn what their everyday tasks are and what you may need to focus on more. Share your interests and experience with them and ask if they have any advice on the next steps you could take. This gives you the opportunity to have a connection with someone already in the field and who can keep an eye out for any openings. You could also ask them if you could gain experience with them, whether it’s working for their firm or shadowing them. You now have a lawyer who could hire you, recommend you to other firms, or point you in the right direction.
**This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. In relation to your individual situation, always seek advice specific to your circumstances from a lawyer.