Picking a Direction After Law School

151 Views
A. Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes
There's a lot of pressure these days to land "the job of your dreams" when you graduate. The truth is, almost no job right out of school is anybody's definition of a good dream. If it were, half of all new associates at large law firms wouldn't be changing jobs within first three years of graduation!

Let's be realistic. The most you can expect from your first job is to find a place where you can hone the skills you like to use, and learn what you need to learn to develop-over time-a rewarding career. Accomplishing this is not only a lot easier, but more realistic, when you take the time to figure out what skills you prefer to use and what positions match your natural abilities.



Here are three simple questions that will help you identify an initial career direction:

Are you drawn to people, or to data and ideas? In general, you'll find more of a people-orientation on the plaintiff's side of personal injury; in criminal advocacy; in family, elder, immigration, employment and sports law; and in general practice. If you gravitate toward data and ideas, you'll be suited to such areas as insurance defense and coverage, bankruptcy, intellectual property, environmental and health law, commercial transactions, tax, and real estate.

Are you motivated to solve problems or analyze problems? "Problem-solvers" prefer the concrete, relatively short-term projects in elder law, adoption, small business representation, simple estate planning, criminal law, guardianship, and general practice. "Analyzers" like the complicated, large-scale projects readily found in environmental law, commercial transactions, complex litigation, trusts and intellectual property.

Do you want to do more writing or more talking? Thriving in the library or when you prepare class notes is a good clue that you tend to writing. Preferring to learn through study groups or loving moot court and clinical education classes means you're happier when you're talking. At the beginning of your legal career, you won't do much talking except in general practice, criminal or quasi-criminal advocacy, or litigation in a mid-size or small law firm. Later in your career, it will be hard to concentrate on writing unless you choose appellate work, insurance coverage, intellectual property, or complex business transactions.

By the time you finish just this simple analysis, you'll have identified several areas of law that suit you. That knowledge alone will replace the fantasy of a dream job with a concrete and realistic career direction.




Featured Testimonials

I found more jobs on the website as compared to others. So, I will definitely use the service in future.
Peter


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #194: New job listings are added several times throughout the day, every day.


Location
Chicago, IL
Description
Business Law Mid-Level Associate The candidate should have Excellent academic credentials with 3-6 ...
Apply now  
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Description
Judicial Clerk The candidate will work as litigation associate. In addition to excellent academic c...
Apply now  
Location
Menlo Park, CA
Description
Judicial Clerk The candidate will work as litigation associate. In addition to excellent academic c...
Apply now  
Location
San Francisco, CA
Description
Judicial Clerk The candidate will work as litigation associate. In addition to excellent academic c...
Apply now  
Location
Washington, DC
Description
Judicial Clerk The candidate will work as litigation associate. In addition to excellent academic c...
Apply now  
Location
Charlotte, NC
Description
Judicial Clerk The candidate will work as litigation associate. In addition to excellent academic c...
Apply now  
 

NOW TRENDING ON BCG ATTORNEY SEARCH

MOST POPULAR ARTICLES

Testimonial of the Week

I came back to LawCrossing to search through the listings in my new job search because I had been able to get my last 2 jobs through using the site. I love the search capacity and filters. This is a very valuable service.
  • Jennifer Guidea Bloomfield, NJ
Job of the Day

Experienced Labor and Employment Attorney Opportunity

New York City, NY

Our client is seeking an attorney that has at least three years of employment litigation and counseling work for a perma...

Employer: JuriSolutions, Inc.

Job Search Tip

New management at one company points to openings at another. The new guy had to come from somewhere. Call to find out if that position has been filled.