Gaining a Foothold in the Job Market
The online version of the ABA Journal recently posted an article about how difficult it is for recent law graduates to find a foothold in the employment market. http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/lost_generation_lawyer/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email
This, of course, is a shock to no one as the focus of almost any unemployed graduate’s job search efforts should be getting a foot in the proverbial door. But this concept begs the question: how does one go about doing that? One of the best ways is by doing a project or some contract work with a small firm. Recognizing that a “foothold” will probably not mean a 40-hour a week job (at least not initially) project work is a great way to show a potential employer that you can add value. For example:
- Demonstrate your superb legal research and drafting abilities by drafting a brief or a motion;
- Assist with trial prep;
- Prepare skeleton outlines for appellate work;
- Help organize a CLE;
- Draft blogs and articles for publication.
Simplistic as these ideas might seem, there is no better way to communicate your potential value to a firm by actually showing what you can do. So make yourself available to your network of friends and colleagues; let them know you are available to help out with projects at a nominal hourly fee. Doing a fantastic job on one project means it is much more likely you will be given another project, and yet another. Plus you are building your list of references. The next thing you know you will have found that full-time position you’ve been looking for!