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Low Grades Should Not Stop You from Landing a Great Legal Job
- Know Your Niche - The big names will not take you as you are now, so remove them from your job scanner. You do not need to compete for jobs that are at presently out of your reach. Aim at the middle and lower middle law houses. Start early; offer your services to a few of these law houses while you are still in school. Let them know you as a worker.
Most of these houses need at least a little help. Seek mentors in these houses and take up the tasks they hand to you with diligence. When the time comes, they will want to have you and offer you a job. This would be your first step to your legal career.
Work hard and gain a reputation in any particular niche where you are good. Every 2-3 years, based on your reputation, move higher and higher.
- Secure a Pro-Bono License - If you aim for a government job, you will have to put in your time there. Volunteer for jobs from the beginning of your law school time; get a pro-bono license. This will help you when positions come up. It is also a goodidea to keep track of the deadlines for various applications for intern positions.
- Target Your Efforts - The biggest mistake graduates (with low grades) do is to mass mail their resume to all possible avenues. In this way, they cut themselves off from all possibilities to land a job. Be focused and targeted when you are planning to land a job. Research each legal house where you are planning to apply and tailor your resume to match their requirements to the T. Focus and target are two keywords that should guide you.
In fact, these middle level legal houses are constantly on the lookout for hidden gems like you. All you need to do is prove to them that you are diligent and hardworking and they will hire you.
It is not going to be easy to land a job and build a career when you graduate at the bottom of your class. But it is not impossible either. With a little strategy and a lot of hard work you can get to the top pretty quickly.
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Short resumes get read. Long resumes get filed. Keep it brief, snappy, easy to read, to the point. And don't go back more than 10 years. That's ancient history.