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Legal Authority BLOG

The Benefits of Contacting Law Firms and Companies Without Openings


A. Harrison Barnes
One of the questions we often receive at Legal Authority is why would you possibly want to send your application materials to a law firm without openings? This question doesn’t take into account the business model of most law firms or their internal economics.

Law firms typically bill out by the hour for their services. Lawyers can only work a certain number of hours per day. If a law firm has more work than it can handle, or could be billing more to cases and matters, the work simply doesn’t get done and the law firm loses money.

When you send out resumes in an unsolicited manner, you are essentially presenting law firms with a business proposition. If they have work you can do, they can bill out your work. The amount a law firm bills for generally exceeds what the law firm pays you and the law firm makes money.

Law firms often get so busy that they don’t even take the time to advertise their jobs. If they see your resume when they’re busy, they’ll often choose to bring you in because they can make money from hiring you. When you mail your resume to a law firm, you’re more likely to stand out and catch their attention. Letters are personally delivered, have to be opened, and generally people are flattered and like to receive mail. This is especially true in today’s day and age when people are emailing resumes and applying through databases.

Simply stated: Law firms will hire in response to an unsolicited resume, because they can make money from your work.

Companies are the same. Companies rarely receive unsolicited resumes from attorneys. Companies typically pay outside counsel very high legal fees. The average law firm charges over $300 an hour. The law firm also charges for faxing, photocopying, research, paralegal support and more. The result of hiring outside counsel can be extremely expensive for law firms.

When you apply to a company, the first thought that crosses their mind is can you help them save money. In today’s economy, companies are extremely interested in saving money and bringing in an attorney can help. Companies are also very inexperienced in their ability to recruit attorneys and many don’t know where to start–they’re concerned about the business they’re in. They may be experts in hiring engineers or executives, but don’t know the first thing about hiring attorneys. I have seen numerous attorneys get some pretty incredible positions due to this knowledge gap.

Both law firms and companies LOVE unsolicited resumes. This is an incredibly effective way to get a job. They like it for business reasons that have nothing to do with whether they have openings or not. One of the best ways to get a legal job is just to be there at the right time. This is what we help you do at Legal Authority.

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