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What Are the Best Tips for Finding Employment after Law School?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 May 2019
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The available job prospects after law school can depend largely on which school was attended and where the graduate placed in his class. Graduates from top tier schools that finish in the tops of their classes typically have very little difficulty finding a job in their desired sector. Others may need to get a little more creative when looking for a job after law school. If a job at a private law firm isn't forthcoming, the graduate can look for lower paying government or nonprofit work. Another way to gain experience and eventually move up to a better paying job is by taking work as a clerk.

One of the best ways to assure that a job will be waiting after graduation is to attend a top tier law school. These schools are often more expensive and difficult to get into, but graduating from one of them can make getting a job much easier. Those that graduate in the top of their classes from these schools can often get high paying jobs with private firms right after law school. Even students that graduate in the lower part of their classes can usually find work with private firms.

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Graduates from lower tier schools can often find work in the private sector as well, especially if their school years were put to good use. Networking can be helpful because having excellent connections can help a graduate get his foot in the door. Extensive mock trial experience during school, journal work, and internships can also help open doors. Just as with top tier schools, graduates from lower tier schools tend to have better luck finding good jobs if their placed in the top few percent of their classes.

If good paying opportunities in the private sector seem few and far between, getting a job after law school can take some more creativity. Lower paying government work is sometimes an option, and working for a government agency may provide good experience. Another type of job that might be available after law school is a clerkship, which is another way to build experience and potentially move into a better paying position later on.

Some law school graduates never hold a single legal job, though they may find work in related fields. Jobs that have a heavy legal element, such as human resources (HR), may be one place to look for work after law school. Many companies also retain in-house legal counsel, so that is another option to explore.

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