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What to Do Right After Graduating from Law School

It’s commencement season, and all across the country newly minted J.D.s will soon be making their way into the workforce–or hoping to at least.

For those who’ve landed jobs, graduation marks the end of one chapter in their lives and the beginning of another. For those who haven’t yet found a job, graduation is simply the turning of a page in a choose-your-own adventure novel. Do you take any job, take the first job that requires a J.D., or head back to graduate school until the legal job market improves?

The answer, of course, depends on a lot of different factors–career aspirations, financial situation, etc. But regardless of your situation, there are three things every law school graduate who doesn’t have a job lined up should do immediately after graduation:

1) Network, network, network.What to Do Right After Graduating from Law School
Very few people enjoy doing it, but many people land jobs through networking. Call it “business development.”

Think of yourself as a corporation. You’re the CEO, general counsel and marketing officer. “Business development” is simply one of the things you need to do.

Start by reconnecting with your law school. Go to alumni events. See if you can volunteer with the alumni association. A lot of smart, successful lawyers take great pride in their alma maters, so you’ll likely have many opportunities to meet and work with them. Impress them, and chances are good they’ll keep you in mind when they have an opening.

They’ll also be able to put you in touch with their colleagues and friends–many of whom could be looking to hire.

2) Consider all the options.
One of the great things about a J.D. is it doesn’t just prepare you to practice the law, it teaches you skills that can translate into business, government and the nonprofit sectors.

Take a look at what you like doing, and then consider finding a job in that area. Your credentials and critical thinking skills will have you positioned to take on a leadership role right away. Think about this: many of the CEOs of the top countries in the world have J.D.s and have never practiced the law.

3) Stay involved.
Keep your skills sharp. Volunteer with an association. Offer you legal skills to a small nonprofit. Help out a family friend with a legal matter. Stay involved in the legal profession because it will only be a matter of time until you land a job.


About the Author

Sumita Dalal is the Founder and CEO of FindMyLawTutor, the largest and most trusted website and online portal that connects law students with law tutors for success in law school. Whether preparing for the LSAT, are currently a law student or are studying for the bar exam, FindMyLawTutor makes finding a law tutor fast and easy.

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