Sunday, February 25, 2018

6 Suggestions When Choosing a Law Firm to Work For

Some law students are happy to be snatched up by any firm at all. If you have multiple offers, however, or if you're just picky about where you want to spend the next few years, it's worth the effort of carefully considering which firm is right for you. Here are just a few tips for making that decision.

1. Compare and Contrast Benefits

Salaries are always a big selling point when law firms are trying to recruit, but they aren't usually the only things on the table. Don't be afraid to ask if there are additional perks that come with the position. 

You might be able to secure yourself a really good deal, especially if the firm is keenly interested in you.

2. Evaluate Their Reputation

Some firms are known for being vicious, cutthroat places. Others are more moderate or more obscure. A good way to gauge the reputation of a firm is to check out their online reviews. 

Places like Tully Ricnkey Law have lots of feedback from former employees, and they can tell you what it's really like to work in that building. This applies to other law firms besides Tully Rinckey, too.

3. Look At Their Practice Areas

If you have a specialization, you'll want to work for a law firm that allows you to grow your skills in that particular field. For example, if you're aiming for a career in personal injury law, try to find a firm that's settled million-dollar car accident lawsuits. 
They're the firm that will have something to teach you about your practice area.

4. Figure Out Their Hierarchy

Some law firms promote and compensate their workers based on their seniority. This is called a "lockstep" hierarchy. Other firms will promote based on things like billable hours and number of referrals. 

There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to which type of firm is more appealing to you; just be aware of the difference when you're considering all of your options.

5. Ask About Advancement Opportunities

Becoming a partner is the dream, of course, but there are other ways that law firms can help your career while you're working your way up to the big leagues. 

For example, they might allow you to network with important people in the field through annual conferences and events, or they might give you the chance to assist on big cases with other high-performing associates.

6. Don't Forget the Practicalities

It's easy to get so wrapped up in the big questions of employment that you forget about the little details of choosing a new job. What will the commute look like? If you'll have to relocate, what's the average rent in the firm's home city? 

Are you getting a good impression from the person who will be your immediate supervisor? Think about these things before you actually sign on the dotted line.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you consider different venues to start your legal career. 

The experiences that you have at your first job can really shape the rest of your life as a lawyer, so don't rush your decision! Take your time, look at your options and choose a firm where you know that you'll go far.

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