Since the recession, most people in the legal world know the industry has changed in many ways. One of the most significant ways the legal industry was modified post-recession is that it started to focus on specifications. Law firms started looking for attorneys who had specialized interests and niches to fill their positions rather than a “jack-of-all-trade” attorney. Because of this, recent graduates and attorneys who are planning on getting back into the field need to change their resumes and outlook on the overall industry.
Learning, curiosity, and inquisition are good skills to have as an attorney in the new legal job market. Once you find a niche you enjoy, whether it is intellectual property, fashion law, or tax, get involved in the events and news of the field. With technology constantly growing, there are an abundance of ways to stay connected into any and all interests. This includes podcasts, blogs, CLEs, lectures, and much more. Stay connected and constantly learning.
If you have the time and the knowledge, get involved in the community of your niche. Some attorneys write articles for magazines or journals, do guest lectures at universities, or provide free or low cost legal advice. This keeps your mind working with and around your specialization, and thinking of it in a multitude of ways. It will also keep your niche interesting so that it won’t become mundane to the point that you lose interest. Furthermore, becoming involved in the field will push you to be in contact and network with likeminded people in the industry.
Focus your resume.
Once you’ve found the special niche in the legal industry you enjoy the most, tailoring your resume to express your expertise is the final step. Your resume is your selling tool, so be sure to highlight the most relevant information you have rather than compiling every legal job you have done in the past. Your resume should be crafted around your experience and how those that experience boosts your knowledge and skills of your specialization.
The legal industry took a major hit after the recession, but it is making a comeback to adjust to a new job market. The world is becoming a more specialized place, so it makes sense that legal jobs would look for attorneys with specific legal skills and niches. Finding your specialization is one of many steps to take when planning your legal career. Once you find your passion, work on developing your personal brand to set you apart from the competition.