Keep Your Job Search Active After Graduation

What they do not tell you going into law school is that if you do get a job through OCI, you are unlikely to have a job at graduation. On the positive side, many will find jobs in the six months after graduation, usually after they have passed the bar. With that in mind, keep your job search active after graduation.

That six-month window might be your best shot

Applying for jobs is boring and tedious, which is one reason why applicants tend to get burned out. A recent report, however, also notes that many people are staying unemployed for longer periods of time. Applicants become burned out, their confidence may start to sag, and they may also run of contacts to pester. Applicants may also start to feel the financial crunch, and take a job in a non-legal field to pay the bills.

Many employers tend to view those applicants differently. Recent graduates who are not working are usually not developing legal skills. That, or whatever skills they developed during school may erode from lack of use.

Study for the bar and apply for jobs

Studying fot the bar unequivocally sucks. Depending on what state you are in, however, you should still have plenty of time (at least an hour a day) to dedicate to your job search. Some states have very high bar passage rates, meaning you probably do not need to study eight hours a day for two months. The exam is pass/fail, so focus on passing and finding a job, rather than passing it really well, and being unemployed.

You can use your studying as fuel for your job search; it can be frustrating to work your butt off studying for the bar, pass it, and not have any means of using your law license.


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  • gatorm

    I’m graduated, am unemployed and studying for the bar. Great advice–I’m still job-searching–but I’m running out of places to apply. I’ve sent resumes and cover letters to courts of all levels, public interest groups, small, medium, and large firms. Where do I go next?

  • Randall Ryder

    I think it is worth going back to basics: talk to your professors, talk to whoever you worked for during law school–whoever you established a positive rapport with during law school. Lots of people are solely concentrated on the bar, and it can be a good time to revisit whatever connections you have.