Types of Private Practice:
One career option available to you upon graduation from law school is the practice of law in a private firm. Both large and small firms-each possessing their own set of distinct advantages and disadvantages and to determine if this is a viable option, there are various factors you should consider.
Large Law Firms:
As a prerequisite to practicing for a major firm in a large city, you generally must graduate at or near the top of your law class and/or serve on law review. Since large firms receive a lot of resumes, they can afford to be very selective.
Large firms practice numerous types of law. Responsibility for each type normally rests with distinct departments such as antitrust, tax, or litigation, each striving to be the most productive in order to obtain a larger portion of firm resources such as promotion of associates and higher partner salaries. Associates are often allowed to rotate through the various departments until they find one they are especially interested in, at which point they are permanently assigned and can start to develop expertise in that particular specialty.
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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.