Like many other bar associations, the Dade County Bar Association’s website includes job postings in their “Career Center.” These listings include a Bankruptcy Associate position in Orlando, a litigation attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, an Associate in Plantation, Florida, and an Associate in Tampa, just to name a few. To review current job postings, visit the Dade County Bar Association Career Center. To learn more about the Miami area legal community, browse the Dade County Bar Association’s Website. You will find photos from recent events, committees by practice areas, and a calendar of events.
Tag Archives: 1L
What does economics have to to do with finding a legal job? Everything! In determining where you want to practice, perhaps the most important factors are supply and demand. Does the local legal market need another attorney? Are any firms in the area hiring? If so, in what practice areas? Is there saturation or have there been recent legal layoffs? How is the local economy faring in general? These are all important factors you must consider before you commit to any legal market. And according to a study by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., nearly every jurisdiction except for Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Washington, D.C. has an oversupply of lawyers right now. What does this mean for you? It means that to find a legal job in an area that does not have great demand for attorneys, you will probably need to work harder, it will take longer, and your starting salary may be less. It also means that more than ever, you need to work one-on-one with a career counselor from your first year forward to ensure that you are ahead of the pack in your job search efforts. Contact Career Services for a counseling appointment in our office or via phone.
Research recently reported by NALP indicates that aggregate starting private practice salaries fell an astonishing 20% for the 2010 class. “This downward shift in starting salaries is not, for the most part, because individual legal employers were paying new graduates less than they paid them in the past,” NALP Executive Director James Leipold explained in a recent press release. Rather, he attribures the fall to the fact that graduates found fewer jobs with large, high-paying law firms and many more found jobs with the smallest law firms. Based on this statistic, you would be better served to focus your job search efforts on small firms with 1 to 10 lawyers rather than medium to large firms since small firms are the ones hiring. Moreover, although they generally pay less than larger firms, small firms sometimes offer a better work-life balance. If you are determined to ultimately work in a large firm environment, you can start in a small firm, gain critical experience and develop a reputation for expertise in your practice area, which will make you marketable as a lateral hire for a large firm.
Interested in an associate’s position with an insurance defense firm in West Palm Beach? Or a corporate associate position with a regional law firm out of Ft. Lauderdale? How about an associate’s position at a firm as far away as New York or Kansas, or as close as Orlando or Atlanta? Symplicity has job postings from law firms in many different states. As a general rule of thumb, you should check it at least once a week for any new postings in which you might be interested. Browing the postings also helps you get a feel for average pay and the practice areas in which firms are hiring so that you can focus your job search in those key areas. If you have difficulty accessing Symplicity, contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bar Associations are fabulous resources for job postings in many areas, particularly in larger cites. Most are organized based upon the county or city in which they are located, so you can find them online through a simple search using the county or city name and the words “bar association.” For example, if you are interested in the Atlanta area, check out the site for the DeKalb County Bar Association. To the right of the menu bar, you will find the “Career Center,” where you can search for jobs, sign up for job posting alerts, or post your resume.
To start your search for bar associations in your target area, make a list of the counties and cities in the region in which you are interested, and search for each of their websites. Then peruse any job postings, which may be listed under classifieds or careers. If you don’t see any, pick up the phone and call the bar association to ask them how most legal employers in the area advertize positions!
Each year, salary and employment trends of recent law graduates are analyzed in Jobs & JDs: Employment and Salaries of New Law Graduates. Through NALP, we recently received a peek at the 2010 statistics, which reveal that a slight majority of employed graduates obtained their first job at a law firm. Also, jobs in small firms outnumbered those in firms of more than 100 lawyers for the first time since 1997. In addition, the percentage of law students hanging their own shingle for a solo practice increased. What does this information mean for you? It continues to be a very competitive market, but law firms are still the legal employer of choice for recent graduates. For the best result, focus your efforts on small firms. Schedule an individual appointment with a Career Services Counselor to review your application materials and to plan your job search strategy to maximize your marketability.
The full report of Jobs & JDs will be available in August, and we will have a copy in our office. So stop by in the Fall to learn more detailed information on the types of employment and salaries obtained by law school graduates in 2010, including the following:
- what types of jobs graduates found and where they found them;
- what members of the Class were earning;
- how earnings varied with geographic location and job type;
- what sizes of law firms employed the most graduates;
- which states offered the most job opportunities; and
- how women and minorities in the Class fared.
In the meantime, you can read the full text of the Selected Findings released by NALP, which provides a detailed summary of the statistics.
First, consider the purpose of the particular social media platform. Is it for professional or personal use? Who is your target audience? For personal use, Facebook is most popular. For professional purposes, LinkedIn is the medium of choice. When possible, limit yourself to those two. Twitter is an option, but can be a minefield prone to accidental tweets, as demonstrated in recent politics.
Next, choose your profile photo wisely. For LinkedIn, a professional close-up headshot is preferable. For Facebook, the photograph can be more informal, as long as you are appropriately attired and not engaging in any questionable acts. Follow this same rule of thumb for all photos posted to your Facebook account, not just the profile shot. As for the information in your profile, be selective in what you reveal. If you would not want a potential employer to know certain information about you, you should not include it on Facebook. Despite your privacy settings, employers often find ways to view your online posts, perhaps by having a mutual acquaintance who is a friend of yours pull up the page for them. And remember that “digital dirt” can follow you for decades. So keep it clean online!
By following this simple social media strategy, you can optimize your marketability to law firms. To get started, review your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts today and remove any unsuitable information.
When I encourage students to network by attending bar functions, they typically look for luncheons or receptions. Although those types of events are great to attend, there are countless other opportunities to network with law firms and attorneys at many other less traditional bar events.
For example, one of my 1L students took the initiative to attend a bowling event sponsored by a local bar association, and he walked out that night with an offer for an internship. And he didn’t have to present a resume or schedule an interview! Through casual conversation, the attorney was convinced the student would be a good fit for his office. So when you’re looking for networking opportunities, scour the calendar for off-beat events like tree plantings, home building drives, golf outings, or even a Karaoke night. Check with the local bar association for tips on what type of attire is appropriate and come eager to have fun. Because if you are having fun, that means you are talking with people, which is – networking!
According to a recent “Roundtable on the Future of Lawyer Hiring, Development and Advancement” hosted by NALP, law firms are in broad agreement that they would like to see new lawyers with more exposure to business training. As explained by Robert E. Williams, Partner and Chief Talent Officer at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, “[a]ll the lawyers here are familiar with the legal case method, where you read a fact pattern and then think of the applicable law. In the business case method, you read a fact pattern and then think of what you should do…I think that’s really invigorating to someone who’s been steeped in the legal case method for quite a long time, and it will bring them into closer alignment with the way their clients think.” (“Finding the New Normal,” NALP Bulletin, Vol. 23, No. 6, June 2011) If you have a business degree or a background in a business related field, emphasize the skills you learned in that regard on your resume and in interviews. When asked what distinguishes you from other candidates, point out how your practical business experience translates into being a better attorney who understands the practical day-to-day implications of legal conclusions. Afterall, a law firm is a business!
Did you ever dream you could have a fashon stylist in your closet to help you pick the perfect outfit for an interview or the first day of work at your fabulous new firm? Now you can have your own virtual stylist at the push of a button. Go Try It On , take a photo of what you are wearing, upload it to the site, and you will receive instant, objective feedback. Do this at least a week before the important event so that you have ample time to shop for another outfit if neded. To get your fashion feedback, click HERE.