It is a nasty job market out there, as we all well know. And it is likely that if you are waiting for your bar results, you are also in the process of looking for a job. What fun, right? So how do you go about job hunting when you aren’t yet a licensed attorney?
Focus on networking and making connections (and print some business cards).
It is very possible that many jobs won’t take a chance on hiring someone before getting bar results. This is understandable, right? Because of this, you may want to focus more on networking and making connections while waiting for your exam results and less on filling out and submitting job applications.
How can you network and make connections? One great way is to set up informational interviews (you can check out this handy guide on The Girl’s Guide to Law School). Spend some time on LinkedIn looking for folks you may be connected to (or not connected to) that you would like to meet. What do you have to lose by reaching out?
And go ahead and have some business cards printed up to hand out at these meetings. They don’t cost all that much money and they make you look so much more professional.
Attend conferences where you can network and meet new people.
Did you know that conferences can be a great place to meet up with people? Spend some time digging around for conferences that sound interesting to you and sign up. Sure, I know spending money before you have a job can be a little daunting, but you may meet someone fantastic at the conference, which could lead to a job opportunity. Or you may learn something interesting that you can talk about in a job interview. Basically, it is win-win. Alison and I attend quite a few conferences and we typically find that we leave with having learned something and likely with a few new connections.
Check out volunteer opportunities.
Your local bar association or government agencies may have bar internships or volunteer opportunities where you can brush up on your legal skills while waiting for bar results. Sure, it would be better if you got paid, but volunteering and gaining training will still likely help you reach your goal of a paying job in the near future. And working is better than sitting on your couch watching DVDs and worrying about your bar results.
Take part in programs offered by your bar association to learn new skills.
Your bar association may even offer programs that you can attend (sometimes at very low cost) to help get you ready to practice law. These workshops are great opportunities to learn a few things and meet new people. Again, why not give them a try?
I know waiting for your bar results is hard and not having a job makes it even more difficult. But getting out there, networking, and connecting with others will only help you get your career started off right.
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