New Law Grads Are Graduating With A Ton of Debt

What Recent Law Grads Need To Know

Law school is different now. With law grads graduating heavy in debt, the legal field isn’t nearly as promising as it once was.

But as a recent law grad, what can you do to move up the career ladder?

Above the Law recently outlined a few pieces of advice every new law school graduate should know if they hope to successfully navigate their legal careers.

BUILD A NETWORK

Network is key in nearly every industry. But, experts say, it’s especially valuable for law grads.

“It’s extremely important,” Karen Sargent, assistant dean and executive director of the Office of Career Services at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, tells US News. “It’s maintaining relationships that are going to carry you throughout your career. And you never know when those relationships are going to come into play.”

Experts say that when it comes to the legal field, reputation is everything. And a little bit of networking can go a long way.

“For attorneys, the payoff is even greater; attorneys live and die by their reputation and maintaining a group of advocates, mentors, and friends will both embed your reputation in the legal community — for better or worse, so be careful — and open new opportunities to you from lateral movement, referrals, career advice, or even just moral support,” according to Above the Law.

SALES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK

While sales and marketing aren’t typically the first things you think of when it comes to law, experts say, having a knowledge of selling can be helpful.

“While an endearing sentiment, the reality is that any partner worth his or her salt has developed sales prowess,” according to Above the Law. “In my dealings with rainmakers, the one thing they all possess is the ability to communicate with clarity and act with authenticity. It takes a track record of expertise to get in front of a client, but once you’re there, you have to close the deal and pass up when you cannot deliver.”

EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS

Like many industries, the days of staying at one law firm for several years are over.

Experts say it’s important to always explore your options if you hope to move your career along.

“Staying with one firm for eight years in hopes of becoming a partner won’t boost your chances as much as you might hope,” according to Above the Law. “In making your career plan, remember that there are always opportunities for more substantial work, higher pay, and better mentorship. It never hurts to be aware of your career options and check in on the marketplace from time to time.”

Sources: Above the Law, US News