Researching Potential Law Firms
Doing a good amount of research on a law firm is beneficial in a multitude of ways. When you are looking to move to a new law firm, taking time out to learn about the firm should be an essential part of your job search. It is also one of the most powerful ways to give yourself more leverage when debating which firm is best for your career path. Here are tips on how to research and learn about potential law firms:
Depending on whether you are fresh in your job search or have been looking for a while, you should have a list of questions that need to be answered. If you are in the beginning stages of your job search, gaining the basic information about a law firm is key to projecting your search in the right direction. This includes finding out about the law firm’s mission, practice areas available, culture, and open positions. If you have been looking for a new job or looking to make a lateral move, then learning about specifics is key to your search. This would include the firm’s compensation packages, challenges faced by the firm, and the projected future of the firm. These questions can be combined in the beginning or middle stages of your job search, and can help you decide which firm is best for your career.
The next step to finding out more information about a law firm is to make sure you have reputable sources. There are a number of websites with law firm information, but not all of them are credible. It is essential that you make sure you have the most accurate data, history, and commentary about the law firm you are looking up. Avoiding gossip websites and blogs are also helpful since they will skew your views, and do not provide verifiable information. Using the company website is a great source, as well as Martindale, NALP Directory, and Leopard Solutions to find credible and accurate information about law firms.
Another way to gain information about a potential law firm is to talk to current and/or previous employees. If you have a network connection, send out a quick email or plan to meet up with the person to talk to him or her about their experience with the select law firm. You can also speak to a legal recruiter to gain other inside information. Since legal recruiters work directly with law firms, their hiring managers and partners, they gain information about the law firm’s culture, open positions, and what makes an attorney a good fit. Opening up to people about your job search can lead you to a plethora of detailed, inside information that will be beneficial in the long run.
Another way to look into how you will fit into a law firm is to look into their numbers. Indicators such as average hours billed, average revenue, and average salaries for new associates, are all helpful numbers to compare between firms. You can also look into annual reports that come out on law firms that pertain to you. For example, if you want to look into the best law firms for minorities, women, intellectual property, fastest growing, happiest, etc, then these reports can provide you with the most up-to-date information.
In order to truly understand and learn about a particular law firm, doing adequate research is key in order to figure out where you should try to place yourself. Doing the research on a law firm will save you time on applications because you will know if you have the skills and interests they are looking for. Furthermore, the hard work you put into researching these firms will make you a more confident interviewee, which is always a benefit in the long run.