A great way to make contacts in your dream region or in the legal community at large is volunteering. Admittedly, volunteering is very difficult if you are a student or recent graduate with no income. Most of us limit our volunteer work to internships and internships during school hours, as well as the mandatory pro bono time required to obtain our license. Absolute. Maybe. The truth is that there are very important benefits to working in a law firm. Most law firms offer a great introduction to the profession, including training, insurance, and a predefined clientele, so you can focus on becoming the best lawyer possible without having to worry about running your own practice, managing marketing, generating clients, and more. They provide the support staff and structure to ensure that you can only practice law. Large law firms generally have a multitude of resources from a technological and collective network point of view. Benefits include mentorship, cross-reference, comprehensive on-site copy and direct mail centers, and expanded access to research. Lawyers at large law firms also typically benefit from the help of support staff, including administrators, paralegals, legal researchers, project managers, and marketers.

Key Responsibilities: An IT manager oversees all aspects of communications technology and assists businesses and law firms with their computers, phones and networks. IT managers can work alone or supervise a small team of IT staff. Main tasks: A litigator represents clients in civil proceedings. These lawyers have a thorough understanding of procedural law, including how to represent both plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation, and how to communicate an idea or argument on behalf of their client. Litigators may work for small private law firms or larger commercial law firms. BigLaw is a nickname that refers to the largest law firms in the legal field and is annually included and ranked in the AMLAW 100. These companies often have hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers. Large law firms usually have offices in multiple locations and offer various legal services to their clients. BigLaw firms are typically headquartered in Washington, New York, Chicago, Boston, and Dallas, and have multiple locations and an international presence. The law firm industry players range from individual practitioners to large, full-service law firms (PDF, 1.8 MB). Within these law firms, there are a number of roles – the lawyer is one of the most common. In 2020, lawyers held about 804,200 jobs, nearly half of them in legal services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Another 17 percent worked as individual practitioners, and the rest were employed by federal, state, and local governments. In a law firm, lawyers can be partners or partners. Junior level associates are employees who work on a variety of cases and tasks within the company, but may specialize as they gain experience. Partners earn a share of the company`s profits, but are also directly responsible for contributing to the business, either by working alone on files or by leading a team of employees. According to the American Bar Association`s 2021 Profile of the Legal Profession (PDF, 8.4 MB), less than 1% of all law school graduates became self-employed in 2020. Starting an individual practice can take some time, and lawyers will likely need to use their personal and professional networks to market the practice. This may not be possible for everyone. However, individual law firms can offer flexible hours, work-life balance, and the ability to select clients, potentially making them an attractive option for those with more experience. In addition, many large law firms have international practices and multiple locations around the world. Lawyers may have the opportunity to work on a global workload.

I hated networking. I always felt like it was a fake experience where everyone realized I was just there trying to get a lead for a job or referrals for cases. It wasn`t until I left school for many years, confident in my career, that I really learned to love networking for what it was: a chance to get out of my business and my small circle of friends and talk to people. (After five years of working from home, including two during a pandemic, I would now kill for one of those embarrassing new lawyers.) Depending on the legal career you are interested in, the type of degree you receive may vary. To become a paralegal, for example, you can study in almost any discipline. However, if you choose not to pursue paralegal education, it may be helpful for you to get a paralegal certificate after graduation, which can train you for the position and show potential employers your commitment to the position. If you only consider networking as part of your job search, it won`t be fun. You`re unlikely to make meaningful connections with people. But if you approach it as a social activity and as a way to make new friends and colleagues, you may find that you actually enjoy it. Once you have these meaningful relationships, these people can end up serving as a resource for your career development when you least expect it. Compensation can also be significant.

Of course, compensation may not be important in times of recession or in small businesses. But the training aspect is still there. With high salaries and the brightest talent from top law schools flocking to BigLaw, you can expect some competitive atmosphere. While many large law firms use lockstep`s salary scale, many companies still use the charming phrase “eat what you kill” partner compensation system. Employees receive salary and benefits like regular employees, and affiliates typically earn additional benefits/bonuses based on company revenue. Law firms employ non-participating partners, which means that a portion of their compensation is paid on a fixed basis in the form of a salary or participating partner, meaning they file a K-1 Schedule Tax Form and more than half of their income is tied to commissions. Junior partners and senior partners differ in the amount of management responsibility expected and the amount of profits paid.