There are several ways to ease your transition from law school graduate to attorney. Strategic planning and distinguished execution will bring you the results you desire to achieve.
Research the Statistics of the Bar Exam You Desire to Pass
Law students should take the time to research the bar exam pass rate in the jurisdiction in which they wish to take the exam for several reasons. The bar exam pass rate differs by jurisdiction. A potential bar examinee should be aware of the first-time examinee pass rate and the repeat examinee pass rate. A potential bar examinee should also be aware of the average LSAT score of the population taking the exam, and the average MBE range of those sitting for the bar exam. The opinions of other people that have taken the bar exam in the state are only opinions. It is pertinent to look at the numbers, which are the facts about the past bar exams administered and good indicators of the future bar exams administered. It is pertinent for law graduates to understand the realities of passing the bar exam today. The decisions you make regarding the bar exam will not only determine your bar exam success, but also, your success as a young Attorney in a tough and competitive job market.
- Look for the pertinent statistics on the state bar websites
- Request information from your Academic Resources at your law school
- Review the information provided by your bar exam course about state specific bar exam statistics
Research the Major Employment Prospects in Your Jurisdiction
Before a law student graduates law school, he or she should research major employment prospects within the area that they plan to seek employment within. There are certain areas of law that are more predominantly practiced in certain parts of the nation. Law students should understand what the major employers are within the vicinity, and also they should understand what areas of the law are more predominantly practiced within those offices in order to secure employment after graduation.
- Research specific offices in your jurisdiction that usually have a demand for lawyers: insurance companies, government offices, government contractor offices, banks, and corporations, and offices of legal publications
- Locate alumni from your law school in your jurisdiction and ask them if there are any available opportunities at their offices
- Understand the business needs of your jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have more government offices, some jurisdictions have more financial offices, and some jurisdictions have more corporate offices and independent law firms. Understand your surroundings in order to achieve your professional goals.
Before a law graduate enters today’s competitive job market, he or she should recognize the fact that there are plenty of licensed attorneys with a law degree and professional experience with no permanent professional role. Therefore, a recent law graduate should realistically be open to being on the compromising side until they successfully hold their first legal professional role as a licensed professional for approximately two years.
- Build a solid professional network of legal and business professionals. There are far more legal jobs outside of the law firm setting
- Gain professional experience in the specific area of the law that you would like to work in. Professional offices like to see specialized professional experience.
- Make sure that you have law review or law journal experience
- Make sure that you have an above average GPA. Law Practice and other offices that employ lawyers want to see more aptitude and less effort
Understand your strengths, weaknesses, and understand who you are professionally. If you are aware that you are not strategically the best candidate for a specific role, do not waste your time even applying to that role. Spend your time applying to professional roles that match your professional skill set and your professional aptitude level. Don’t spend your time fixing your professional attributes that you cannot fix and pursue the wrong opportunity to obtain a professional role. Spend your time pursuing the right opportunity from inception.
- Apply to professional roles that are good for your long term and short term professional development
- Apply to opportunities that you specifically have professional experience in and have earned some graduate coursework in. You have the highest chance of obtaining employment in an area in which you have both professional experience and have earned graduate coursework in
- Try to gain prestigious professional experience in a more competitive and aggressive legal market like Washington D.C. or New York. When a candidate can demonstrate that he or she can successfully obtain professional experience in a tougher market from the inception of their career, it speaks volumes about your aptitude and professional experience. The goal is to distinguish yourself from the thousands of other applicants that apply to the same job. If you can demonstrate success in a tougher and more competitive environment it is highly more impressive
Law school students should invest in themselves during law school, and they should look to strategically plan the future.