The recent recession hit law firms and corporate legal departments along with the rest of the U.S. economy. To improve efficiency, many legal departments have started relying on contract lawyers for help with a range of tasks. To earn valuable experience and establish relationships within the legal profession, many new law school graduates are taking on contract work.
The Change to Temporary Work
The legal field is undergoing a noticeable shift toward working with temporary and contract attorneys. For corporate legal departments, contract workers offer flexibility and the chance to work with new talent before considering a permanent job offer.
For law school graduates, temporary work has become a “new norm,” with increasing numbers of young attorneys spending some time in a contract position. Some newly-minted lawyers even find contract work before their bar exam results come in, allowing them to gain experience even before they become licensed.
According to an US News report, contract attorneys who graduated from law school in 2011 averaged $52,000 per year in contract positions. As law firms and corporate legal departments look for ways to reduce risk and lower costs, the demand for contract attorneys may continue to rise.
Why Choose Temp Work?
Working as a contract attorney offers several benefits for young lawyers, including:
- Expanding your work experience. New law school grads have put in three years of hard work, but they often lack the practical experience employers trust. Contract work allows young lawyers to get the work experience they need.
- Maintaining a work-life balance. Contract work offers flexibility, giving young attorneys the chance to build their resumes without neglecting other activities, like hobbies, volunteer work, or raising a family.
- Building a professional network. Contract attorneys build a professional network quickly, as they meet established lawyers in law firms and corporate legal departments. These contacts become invaluable during the job search and when facing a tough professional problem that requires insight into a particular area of law.
- Working now, working later. By working with a recruiter who specializes in placing legal talent, young lawyers gain a valuable ally. Your recruiter can both help you find the work you need now and build the professional presence that will land you the job you need in the future.
At Assigned Counsel, our experienced recruiters can help you connect with the work you’re looking for. Contact us today.