LawFuel.com – American Law Firm News – One Oregon law firm is providing advice to lawyers on how to get a law job in an economy that is hardly welcoming of law graduates.
The Daily Emerald reports: Most college students understand that once school is over, it will be harder than ever to find a job. While it’s never been easy to find a job, the once-infallible occupations seem to be dwindling away just like the others. Walking out of college with a degree in law used to guarantee a spot in the work force; but now all it guarantees is a massive collection of debt.
Law firms and recruiters are increasingly aware that a plethora of graduates each year who compete for every position.
“Competition for jobs should continue to be strong because more students are graduating from law school each year than there are jobs available,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics writes. “Because of the strong competition, a law graduate’s willingness to relocate and work experience are becoming more important. However, to be licensed in another state, a lawyer may have to take an additional state bar examination.”
Firms in Oregon want to see students who went to a good law school and had good grades. Both senior partner Roy Dwyer from Dwyer Williams Potter LLP and attorney Josh Kadish from Wyse Kadish LLP ideally want applicants to be in the top quarter of their class.
“Coming out of Oregon, you’d probably have to be in the top 20 percent of your class,” Dwyer said, who has 45 years of experience. “I’ve hired a lot of people, and I first look at where they graduated and their class standing.”
While experience clearly matters, motivation and interest paired with an ardent need to be proactive will put any recent graduate ahead of the pack.
“I recently hired a new law graduate, and one of the factors there was that she had a real interest in the area I was looking for,” Kadish said. “She had interned for a legal clinic that did that kind of law, and she started a society in law school devoted to this particular field of law, so it made the difference.”
Head administrator Harmony Miller at D’Amore Law Group in Portland agreed that while experience is important, it isn’t the most important factor on getting hired.
“No amount of experience is going to overcome a lack of motivation or the ability to learn quickly and have the ability to be really great. If people lack that quality, they probably won’t do well,” Miller said. “Although, I don’t think recent law school grad