If you can’t get enough of courtroom dramas and you are fascinated by the legal field, working in a law office may be your ideal employment scenario. But if you are just starting out, getting your foot in the door can be challenging. Maybe you’ve searched the classified ads only to discover zero opportunities in the law field.
Understand, however, that some law offices do not heavily advertised available positions. Don't let this discourage you.
How To Get Experience In The Legal Field
There are different ways to gain experience in the law field:
1. Legal Secretary
Maybe you haven’t taken legal courses in college, but you have extensive administrative experience. You might be a good candidate for a legal secretary. Some law firms hire legal secretaries with no experience - as long as they are familiar with computer software and can handle other administrative tasks.
This is a great opportunity to learn how a law office works, and there is also the opportunity to assist attorney’s with their cases. Beginning your career as a legal secretary can be a stepping stone to becoming a paralegal - and possibly a lawyer in the future.
Prior to graduating from a legal program in college, contact various law offices in your local area and apply as an intern. Internships
are an excellent way to gain experience in the law field, and depending on how well you preform, the law firm may offer you a position upon graduation. For example if you are interested in becoming a personal injury lawyer, look at internships with firms in that niche, like Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
Even if the firm cannot offer you a position, the fact that you’ve gained real experience can give you an edge in a competitive job market. You can include this internship on your resume and obtain a professional reference. Many successful law firms gladly accept applications for internships. For information on internships, talk with your college adviser or contact local law firms directly.
3. Temp Agency
Schedule an appointment with a legal temp agency and complete an application. These agencies can help if you have some legal knowledge. As a temp, you work with a law firm on a temporary basis. There may be assignments for receptionists, legal secretaries, paralegals and legal clerks. Some temp assignments are long-term, and if you do a good job, the law firm may offer you a part time or full time position.
Contact your local legal clinic or legal aid office and inquire about volunteering. These offices handle a lot of cases, and they often need help with overflow work. You can work as a law clerk
, which is a person who completes administrative work around the office, or perhaps help with research. This can provide you with quality legal experience, which can open the door to future opportunities in the law field.
The law field encompasses so much, and you don’t have to be a lawyer to have a fulfilling career in this area. Legal positions are perfect if you enjoy the legal field, but don’t have the time or resources to attend law school.
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