Job and Industry Resources for
Lawyers & Other Legal Services Professionals
Although law can be a highly rewarding, profitable profession, it’s definitely not one for the faint of heart. The competition is stiffer than ever, for one thing – according to a 2013 survey conducted by the American Bar Association, only 55 percent of American law school graduates are employed in full-time positions with law firms – but that doesn’t mean your chances of long-term success are hopeless. With a diploma from a reputable school, a few professional letters of recommendation and a lot of assistance overtime, you can beat out your competition and secure a solid job in prosecution or defense.
Openings for paralegals, legal word processors and other assistive jobs, on the other hand, can be comparatively simple to locate – while certain legal specialties, such as civil litigation and bankruptcy law, are thriving more than others; such as patent law and trust preparation, which are increasingly outsourced to do-it-yourself document companies like LegalZoom. In short, the more information you’re armed with, the more accurately you can plot a successful law career. So here, we explain how to track down the resources you’ll need to succeed in the fast-paced world of legal practice – and how to put these resources to work for you.
Search the classifieds
No matter if you’re angling for a career as a paralegal, a legal secretary or a practicing lawyer, online job boards and recruiting firms can connect you with the internships or employers you’re looking for. Resources like these run the gamut from sites like Legal Career Network and Major Legal Services, which include open positions for lawyers, paralegals, legal secretaries and interns, all the way to firms like Canny, Bowen Inc and Moster Legal Placement, which specialize in recruiting and placing high-level lawyers and legal executives.
On the other hand, you can explore the employment market for yourself on legal job board websites like FindLaw and LegalWeekJobs. Sites like these often include a variety of posted openings for certified attorneys, as well as openings for paralegals, secretaries, legal accountants, and legal administrative specialists. Many of these sites even categorize their postings by specialty (e.g., corporate law, real estate, divorce, etc.) which makes them handy tools for getting a sense the availability of openings in particular legal subfields.
Recruit prepping help
As you probably already know, passing a Bar exam is no easy task – but you don’t have to go through the preparation process alone. The official sites of the National Conference of Bar Examiners and the American Bar Association both provide extensive information on Bar exams for various states, along with details of admission standards and practices, and even links to online educational programs and study guides.
Facebook groups like "Bar Exam Toolbox" and "Breeze the Bar Exam" – and LinkedIn groups like "Bar Exam Discussion" – are also great places to practice on sample questions, get your own queries answered, and learn from others who are preparing to pass (or have already passed) the Bar. Groups like these can provide handy supplements to your more rigorous and comprehensive test prep books – and they can also help you sort out confusing points along the way.
You can easily track down even more groups by taking advantage of Facebook’s "Find all pages named…" and "Find all groups named…" search functions, and by browsing the "Related Groups" listings at the bottoms of Interest pages. LinkedIn’s advanced search functions, meanwhile, can help you target your search toward groups that include people in your network, or that focus on your particular geographical region. Who knows – you might even make friends with some fellow law students along the way.
Dive into directories
If you’re just getting started in your legal education, or are just interested in finding out more about legal professions, many legal directory websites provide lists of law schools, articles covering various areas of legal debate, and guides for launching your legal career – making them great places to begin your search for actionable, reliable information on your own subfield, and on the legal field as a whole.
Even if you’ve already passed the Bar, you can do your career a favor by submitting info on yourself or your firm to online lawyer directories like Martindale.com and FindLaw – two of the largest portals of free legal information on the Internet. Sites like these can also be useful hubs for connecting with other legal professionals, accessing legal news and educational resources, and for building up your reputation as an expert by contributing to community discussions. Much like Facebook and LinkedIn groups, legal directories can connect you with legal professionals and law students you’d never have met otherwise, and help you expand your professional network.
Succeeding as a legal professional takes a combination of creative thinking, hard work, active networking and sheer determination – but you can boost your chances even further by tapping into web resources like these. In the face of steep competition, even the slightest edge could help land you the internship or job of your dreams – so get connected with helpful groups, stay up to date on the latest news, and turn all that hard work into the legal career you really want.
Law.com — An informational resource for legal professionals, journalists, policy makers, and anyone else interested in breaking legal news.
Bar Admissions Information from the American Bar Association — A wealth of free general information on admission to the Bar.
FindLaw — A resource for legal info, and for open positions at all levels within the legal field.You may also be interested in Court Reporters or Law Enforcement & Protective Services.
Visit our Career Research Center to learn more about jobs, salaries, and employment growth in Law & Legal Clerical.