Interested in Private Practice Law? Follow These Tips
Private practice law typically offers generous compensation with a broader variety of work when compared to in-house law.
For applicants set on pursuing private practice law after law school, it can be helpful to express interest in your applications. Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently explained how applicants can best position their application if they’re interested in pursuing private practice law.
HIGHLIGHT RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE
While law schools won’t expect you to have extensive experience in private practice law, Kuris says it can still be helpful to highlight your experience working in business.
“Think carefully about how to articulate your work experience through materials such as your resume and personal statement,” Kuris says. “Even entry-level work may demonstrate relevant skills that will be useful serving clients in private practice.”
And you don’t have to be limited to your resume when highlighting work experience either, Kuris says.
“Consider integrating such experience into the personal statement, as well,” Kuris explains. “While your resume presents the objective facts about your job and its responsibilities, your personal statement gives you an opportunity to breathe life into the subjective experience of your work.”
TARGET RELEVANT SCHOOLS
If you’re intent on pursuing a specific field, such as entertainment law or real estate law, it can be helpful to target law schools that specialize in your field of interest.
“Drill down into law school websites to find unique programs and offerings like technology law or energy law,” Kuris says. “Look for relevant programs and clinics. Read professors’ biographies to find potential mentors. If you hope to join a large law firm, extend your online sleuthing to the ranks of top law firms in the city where you plan to practice. Alumni connections can open doors during interview season.”
CONSIDER SMALLER MARKETS
Applicants typically target major cities, such as New York or Los Angeles, when considering law school as these cities are home to high-profile law firms. However, Kuris says, private sector law jobs are available nationwide.
“It may be easier to get a job in a fast-growing region with a booming private sector than in large established markets,” Kuris says. “Moreover, many burgeoning legal markets have relatively few law schools, reducing competition.”
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