Careers in legal professions are continuously changing and job seekers are also being required to change along with this. No matter where you are in your professional development this is an optimal time for you to positively position yourself in the legal market. Before you start your job search it is important for you to adjust your perspective. You should be looking for the right opportunity that allows you to broaden your experience and acquire the necessary skills to propel you further in your career.
Whether you are a law student, a new attorney beginning their career or a lawyer looking to make a change, by following these 5 time-tested strategies will help you to understand what it takes to start your legal career in the best possible way.
1. Get Certified
A great way to get started in your legal career is to begin by advancing your education. For those wanting to get ahead in some speciality areas, you may be required to obtain an advanced degree or professional certification. Acquiring certifications in a particular field will demonstrate the commitment to the profession and also enhances your professional credibility. The The Certificate IV in Legal Services (BSB42215) is a fantastic starting point and aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to provide advice on legal services, interpret legislation and manage legal practice administration. This certification allows students a great opportunity to work in law firms, corporations, government departments, conveyancing service providers or financial institution as a paralegal, legal executive or as a senior law clerk.
2. Perform a Self-Assessment
When considering embarking on a career path in law, it is important to conduct an honest self-assessment to determine if a career in law is an accurate fit for you. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and give a frank review of your experiences and certifications. The skills required for all legal professional include strong writing and communication skills, strict adherence to deadlines, highly organised, strong attention to details and strong technology skills.
3. Use Your Expertise
For those who have experience or a previous background in an additional field such as accounting, nursing or engineering, you are able to leverage your expertise into new career opportunities in law, either through becoming a legal consultant or through specialisation in your niche area. For instance, a previous and strong foundation in nursing may give you the advantage and open opportunities to work as a legal nurse consultant and an accounting certification may open up opportunities in tax law.
4. Research Your Preferred Field
You may have chosen a field you believe is ideal and well suited but career disillusionment in many professions including the legal profession is particularly common in lawyers and paralegals. A highly effective way to research your chosen field is to read a wide range of literature and explore the internet for information relating to the duties, expectations, salaries, educational requirements and job outlook relating to the specific field you are interested in. Another great way to research is to talk to other lawyers, law students and of the legal professions about the nature of the profession and any other additional questions to increase your knowledge foundation.
5. Build Your Network
If you are looking to learn about the legal profession in general and potential job opportunities, one of the best ways to do this is in particular through word of mouth. It is important to continuously network to gain professional contacts and to expand your understanding of the profession. Contact your local law firms and legal staffing agencies. Attend any local meetings, conferences and seminars and talk to a variety of different people who work in the field to learn more about the profession and available job openings.
Another way to build your network is to find a mentor with experience in the legal profession you are considering. A mentor can educate in regards to the advantages, disadvantages, job prospects, employment outlook, salary and daily tasks of the profession. A mentor is also there to give advice through the transition to a legal career, supply you with the knowledge about the field, refer you to other professionals to build your network circle and even point you towards new career opportunities. Many mid to large law firms often have established mentoring programs which assign interns, law clerks and junior associates to an experienced partner or law associate.
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