How will 2012 treat lawyers looking for law jobs in 2012? What is the outlook?
Has the recession for law jobs ended, as AboveTheLaw and others may think?
The recession has bitten attorneys hard. Finding good law jobs has taken more application and effort than ever before and there are some – a few – signs that jobs may be more plentiful this year than last.
But don’t hold your breath. While the current situation is similar to what occurred in the US in 2000-2001, it is considerably more severe today, as LawCrossing and others have pointed out.
Instead, take the necessary steps to put yourself in the best possible position to score a law job and one that you can live and work with.
Because while the recession may have ended – again, we’re not holding our breath on that one either – the actual recovery has yet to kick in.
Banking, insurance and law all lost jobs during the recession, which hardly augurs well for the so-called “recovery”. However, law graduates continue to pour out of law schools at a never-ending rate that creates a major issue for those seeking law jobs.
All depressing news on the law jobs front, but let’s look at the positives here.
The BigLaw firms look likely to hold their bonus levels and it appears that hiring at BigLaw is set to marginally increase for both laterals and also entry-level lawyers coming into the profession with those firms.
Similarly, there are expanded opportunities for lawyers outside of law – not exactly law jobs, but certainly legal jobs of the kind that actually reward all those years of legal study and the loans that accompany those who have finally achieved their legal qualification.
Emerging areas of practise and new jurisdictions opening in the Mid-East and Eastern Europe, as well as the ever-expanding legal market in China and Asia generally also increase the scope for law jobs. If you are prepared to open yourself up to opportunities then you can obtain jobs in some exciting jurisdictions and in some exciting emerging areas of practise as well.
If you want to use your law degree for a ‘non-law job’ then if you go by what AOL have seen as the very best jobs from a lifestyle and pay basis, then you might want to consider other options, including becoming one of their top jobs – a law professor. They not only earn reasonable money but work 400 hours per year less than the average US employee and enjoy major benefits along with their lengthy sabbaticals.
The key thing for anyone seeking a good law job is to ensure you’re not only open to opportunity but also putting your best foot foward with a resume that will sell you properly and using websites and recruiters who will best help you.
There are ample sites and information (including here on LawJobsPipeline) where we can help you get yourself best prepared for a great law job, but getting your resume into the best, possible shape is one of the very best things you can do.
For instance, continue to keep your options open by keeping on top of what is happening with law jobs. It’s not good resting on your laurels with your existing job in case that terminates and you need to go searching. You need to remain proactive, keep up-t0-date with information and keep your resume fine-tuned. Ensure you are upskilling and keeping your law knowledge wide and deep.
And for lawyers who aren’t certain about their prospects and continue with advanced degrees, then you may want to think again because the issue of having an LLM or more can serve as a warning to potential employers that you’re uncertain about meeting the market with practical, solid application and have been avoiding the market by continued study – at least according one recruiter reported in LawJobs.com.
There will be great law jobs out there. But you have to be in the right position to take them when you can.
That means keeping fully abreast of the law jobs market at all times.
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