By Gordon K. Sattro
For many, this is a time of emergence, an emergence from what I fondly call, purgatory.
For those who recently took the bar and were eagerly awaiting the results, they were trapped in an attorney’s version of purgatory. These unfortunate souls had their law degrees but were still unable to practice law. Their obstacle? The bar exam. As many emerge from this time where they were not quite law students and not quite attorneys it is an exciting time.
Many new attorneys in California sat at home in front of their computers on Friday staring at some far off clock waiting for 6:00PM to finally arrive. The tension from many worried thoughts and concerns rushed through their minds and then, 6:00PM came, many were elated, some were not.
Bar results have been released across all the fifty states with the most recent, California, finally releasing its results last Friday evening.
For those who were not fortunate enough to secure a job during their brief time in purgatory, the real work finally begins: The job search.
In the state of California, we have over 166,000 attorneys, and many are looking for work. As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, this figure represents just how many attorneys there are to compete with. Whether you are looking for a traditional legal job (requiring a J.D. and Bar admission) or a non-traditional legal job (J.D. preferred) you are facing a lot of competition.
So, you may ask, “What does this mean for me?”
It means that you are entering a job market that is already saturated and continuing to become further saturated as each new batch of attorneys emerge from purgatory. The fact that this is a difficult job market should come as no surprise, it has been difficult for years now; but it is not getting any easier.
This brings me to the point of this article: Refining your tactics when fighting to secure work.
There is one question you should always ask yourself, “How much effort am I putting into this job search?”
The reason why I say that you must always ask this question is because the answer, the HONEST answer, will be reflected by your results. When searching for a job many make the mistake of focusing on one aspect of the job search and completely disregard other approaches. This is the biggest mistake job seekers make. You MUST take a “multi-pronged approach.”
A multi-pronged approach is one that expands well beyond one aspect of the job search. More often than not, when I am speaking with candidates for Legal Authority they tell me they have been applying to “hundreds of jobs online”. While this may sound impressive, it is the wrong approach. You have to treat your job search like a battle. You do not simply attack a target with one approach, you must utilize many different avenues of approach in order to ensure that you effectively neutralize the target in question.
So let me provide you with the list of a few approaches to take, in order of efficacy, to attack the target (Your new job):
- Network!: There is no better way to secure a job than this. As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know.” If you have not reached out to a bar association, gone to a number of mixers, or reached out to your alumni then you are missing potentially lucrative opportunities. Get out there and be seen!
- Reach out to Firm that Interests You!: There are hundreds of opportunities that are missed by young attorneys and they don’t even know it, reaching out to a firm unsolicited is still one of the most effective ways of securing a job and you need to do so. The best resource for this, if you don’t already know, is with Legal Authority, if you have not reached out to us to learn more about this approach, you need to do so.
- Submitting Your Resume Online to NEW Open Positions!:In contrast to the above, these job listings receive hundreds of responses every day and it continues to grow with each new batch of attorneys.
When submitting your resume online you must also be aware of the approach that you are taking. Always ask yourself the following: “Has this listing been on this site for less than a week? Is this a location that I can commute to? Do I meet the qualifications listed? Are my materials well-prepared?” If you answer “No” to any of these questions, you need not move forward, there will be more opportunities, just move on.
There are many approaches to the job search beyond this, and I will be discussing each approach in depth on this blog on a weekly basis. Keep coming back to receive more insights into the job search. If you want to speak to me directly to expand on these points or to just simply chat, you can schedule an appointment with me at www.legalauthority.com.
For those who successfully passed the bar this year, let me say congratulations, enjoy this victory. Now that you have won your first battle, prepare for the next.
All the best,
Gordon K. Sattro Esq.