Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

Recently in Job Market Category

Landing a job at a prestigious law firm that's going to pay the BigLaw bucks while you're still in law school is unattainable for most law students. At this point, there are just so many more students than there are prestigious summer associate gigs, or even law firm clerking jobs for that matter.

It's a competitive market, and setting yourself apart is getting harder and harder. But that doesn't mean a law student can't work somewhere else without having it hurt their resume. There are plenty of non-law firm jobs that can help set you up for career success down the road, particularly if you don't envision yourself working at a law firm anyway.

Below, you can read about seven non-firm jobs that are good for law students to take, that is, if they can get it.

Cornell Law Grads Make the Most Money

They say that money isn't everything, but that's not what law school students say.

Just walk around any law school and listen to the chatter. It doesn't take a formal survey to know that for most law students it's (at least in part) about the money.

But to make it official, a recent report says that Cornell Law School graduates get the top salaries. Now listen to that sucking sound coming from the top 10 law schools.

Do the Math: Law School Excellence Doesn't Equal Law Practice Success

Jack was great at law school, but struggled in law practice.

A top law school, law review, and honors didn't seem to matter. There was a big disconnect between law school and law life.

He had to face it: excellence in law school doesn't equal law practice success. What he didn't know is, it happens all the time.

Law School: Not the Deal It Used to Be

Unless you have a DeLorean time machine, you're stuck with the cost of a legal education today.

But if you could go back to the 1980s, the average tuition at a private law school was about one-fourth the cost today. So you had a choice: buy a DeLorean or go to law school.

Today, the old "Back to the Future" cars are worth about their original investment. If you are looking at the comparable cost of a legal education, you are talking about a quarter-million-dollar Ferrari.

While being a competent lawyer is one thing, being competent with technology is another thing entirely.

Tech is like a language of its own, and some people know how to speak it, while the rest are left to learn what they can through crude hand gestures, step-by-step guides, and seemingly endless, frustrating hours of point-and-click-trial-and-error. But the truly tech savvy don't just know how to do everything, they know how to figure out how to do the things they don't (and fast).

And while legal employers thankfully aren't too hot on requiring tech literacy tests, some might be quick to figure out when a new associate can't figure out the software, or if they drop the ball and forget to scrub work-product metadata out of a document production.

Below, you'll find the secret to at least appearing to be tech savvy and finding the answers to all your tech questions.

Go Mostly West, Paralegal Practitioner!

Back in the day, paralegals had to toe the line between helping lawyers and practicing law without a license.

But that line is fading as another state has authorized nonlawyers to practice law. Washington led the nation with limited license legal technicians in 2012, and Utah will start licensing paralegal practitioners in 2019.

These legal professionals can handle a variety of cases without a lawyer's supervision -- as if that never happened before.

While the world has come a long way, like sexism, ageism, and racism, nepotism still seems to be holding strong in the legal community.

It's still a tough legal job-market, and it is still rather common for lawyer-parents to help their lawyer-children get jobs (often at their parent's firm, or via calling in a favor from a colleague). And then there are firms, like the one Above The Law showed us a few years back, where the firm's blatant nepotism is touted as a feature, among other seeming non-sequiturs found on the firm's website.

How Come Everybody Else Got a Law Job?

Jobs reports can be confusing, even for law graduates and licensed lawyers.

But when one report says unemployment is at the lowest level in two decades and you still don't have a job, it can be infuriating. And how is it that the employment rate for law grads is the highest since the recession, and you're still sending out resumes?!

If that's you, or if jobs reports just make you want to scratch your head, here are some reasons it seems like everybody else got a law job:

For those of you that just finished the bar exam, first and foremost, congratulations! Just getting through law school and the exam is a feat in and of itself.

But, the real world is likely calling for most of you, and there are bills, responsibilities, and most of all, the looming (and potentially devastating) student loan payments. Basically, once your feet land back on solid ground after your post bar vacation, you need to start aggressively job hunting, if you're not already employed as a legal professional.

Below are three tips to get you going.

When seeking employment in the limited legal market that exists today, associates are looking for more than just competitive pay, but negotiating may be a frightening prospect. Negotiating a job offer tends to focus on monetary terms, like pay, bonuses, and vacation, and often non-monetary benefits get neglected, or are assumed to be inflexible.

But, like most things in life, if you don't ask, you'll never actually know what options are available. And remember, once you get that offer in hand, you know they want you, so don't be afraid to ask for more (just don't make an ultimatum you don't actually want to follow through on).

Below, you can read about some of the more important non-monetary benefits that might be worth negotiating at the offer stage.