The legal industry is highly competitive right now; therefore, qualified candidates constantly struggle to find decent jobs. However, using job agencies to find temporary legal work can lead to promising job opportunities with the potential of becoming permanent positions. When searching for legal work, individuals need to willingly broaden criteria for possible jobs, be accepting of job agencies’ ability to find new legal work opportunities, and be committed to each job opportunity as it presents itself.
Job searches are performed independently or with the assistance of job agencies. New graduates or experienced attorneys may be inclined to search independently, but this opens the individual up to a number of job search mistakes. One of the greatest mistakes of legal work job searches is conducting too narrow a search. With limited search criteria, individuals may end up finding an unsatisfying position, a position that forces them to relocate, a position with limited potential for advancement, or the searcher may not find any positions at all.
Grad students and experienced attorneys often try to stick with familiar people or environments because applying to jobs online or using job agencies make them feel vulnerable to rejection. Being vulnerable while job searching may not be comfortable, but it opens the search to greater opportunities; candidates with open criteria may find new environments that are easier to work in, higher paying positions with more opportunities for growth, and positions that offer more flexibility for family and travel.
When independent job searching fails, job agencies are the answer. No matter the legal experience, individuals benefit from the experience and knowledge of job agency representatives. This is because the agency is familiar with employers’ wants and needs. Additionally, job agencies may have knowledge where non-advertised legal work is available; for example, large businesses may have their own legal department, but only hire through a trusted agency.
Job agencies also benefit the searcher by comparing a candidate’s qualifications before applying for a position. This allows the agency to help candidates market themselves strategically. This also helps the agency and job searcher look for strong fits or positions that closely resemble work the person would like to do.
In a tight market where ideal positions are difficult to find, it is important job searchers be equally committed to each job opportunity. The legal field is changing, and many new positions are contract or permanent positions that offer significantly less in terms of wage or stability than a few decades ago. For legal job seekers, showing a commitment to each new job, whether temporary or permanent, is important. A strong work commitment will help contract workers achieve job stability and move temporary workers to a permanent status. Short job detours can be a helpful steppingstone in reaching other legal positions.
Job agencies help legal job searchers find positions of all employment levels. In hard economic climates where legal billing hours are being scaled back, job agencies are used to find the best fitting candidates. For job hunters, being the best candidate requires marketing skills, experience, knowledge, and personality. Job agencies match qualifications to jobs, but it is important individuals recognize the importance of job commitment even when available work does not meet their initial expectations.