One of my second year professors gave me the following advice: “make sure when you go out into the legal world you find a job you want that interests you and excites you.” Unfortunately, I did not follow my teacher’s advice right out of law school but ultimately I parlayed my knowledge, skills and passion to create two legal tech and consulting companies.
I often tell that story and pass on the same advice to law students and young lawyers. There are many more career options today than those which were available to me right out of law school. Plus, the educational opportunities are more abundant with groups such as Law Jobs for Humans, which offer exposure to new skills, new thinking and access to new resources.
It’s important to think about what you are good at and enjoy doing, and to nurture those skills that will take you on an exciting career path where you will have fulfilment, purpose and impact.
Your career does not have to fit into a square box.
When I was a practicing attorney, reevaluating my career as a 5th year associate in BigLaw, I had two options: become a partner at the firm, work a million hours per year and sell billable hours for a living… or leave the firm and go in-house, public interest or to a government attorney position. Now, there are many more career opportunities for students to explore including emerging jobs in legal operations, finance, project management, consulting and technology. Elevate is a great example of that.
I am a strong believer in building a network right out of law school–the contacts you make and keep will be the people who support you along your journey. They will also connect you to new career and business opportunity you never knew existed. I am convinced it is a huge part of my success, and I encourage students and young attorneys to attend as many industry events as possible to learn and make new connections. Groups such as CLOC, ACC Legal Operations, and LegalWeek will expose you to people, ideas and information you will not get in law school.
Today, law is much more fun and full of opportunity for those with a thirst for learning, implementing new ideas and innovating.