Updates and advice for attorneys and law departments.

Common Job Search Mistakes You Are Making As an Attorney

The job search is tough. But when you accidentally make one or more common mistakes, it becomes tougher. Whether you’re just out of law school or are back on the job market, shorten your job search and improve the quality of your job offers by avoiding these common mistakes:

  1. Failing to think of the job as a business.

Law school prepares students to think, perform legal research, and become competent and skilled attorneys. However, few law school classes discuss the business end of law. Law firms and legal departments need top talent, but they also need people whose skills mesh well with the organization’s current capabilities and who can work efficiently in order to control costs.

When applying for jobs, do your homework. Study the organization’s departments, its major work, and its largest clients. Then, tailor your application materials to play up your strengths in these areas and describe how your work will contribute to the firm or department’s bottom line.

  1. Never critically examining their strengths – or how these strengths fit into the job market.

Law students go to law school because they want to practice law. They spend their classroom time, exam preparation, and internships focusing on the study and practice of law, and in the process, they often discover which legal fields interest them most.

Students who get too attached to practicing in a particular area of law, however, may find themselves at a disadvantage on the job market unless they have also considered how their aspirations and their strengths mesh with the current demands of the job market. Although focusing on a particular area of law can be profitable, so can marketing yourself based on your strengths in particular legal skills, like legal writing, mediation, or litigation.

  1. Going it alone.

Launching into the job search alone puts you at an immediate disadvantage. You’re limited to applying for the job openings you can find, even though many openings are never posted. Many organizations that will take the right candidate if one appears nevertheless are not actively looking for candidates.

By reaching out to your professional network and partnering with a recruiter, you increase your chances of finding the right job for your skills and goals.

At Assigned Counsel, our experienced recruiters can help you shorten the job-search learning curve – and shorten the time required to find the job you love. Contact us today.

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