April 1, 2021
Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.
Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they've learned and apply it immediately.
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
Lewis and Clark School of LawWebsite
Joel Silverman: I believe that the biggest trend we will see in the job market is that job seekers are going to have to become more flexible. Not only are they going to have to think about what is going to get them a job, but what are they going to bring to the table for an employer in a rapidly changing market? How can the recent graduate bring more than just the same old legal knowledge? Do they have marketing and sales experience? How can a new attorney help a firm with their social media presence? IT experience and remote learning/educating? Technology continues to evolve and shape the way in which we practice our craft and market our skills. The new graduate has the potential for a set of skills that the employer does not have and therefore, the graduate has to make that part of their practice shine.
Joel Silverman: We are unique, in that we are looking for team players and attorneys that want to market and learn about the business of law. For us, it is imperative that an attorney keep an open mind towards learning about more than just the law, but about psychology, business, marketing, sales and the law. We aren't looking for experts, but those that want to grow in a more wholistic sense, within the practice of law.
Joel Silverman: Absolutely. Salaries have gone up by 50%, since I started, 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the cost of education has gone up faster than the increase in salaries. With that said, an attorney truly has a sky's the limit to their salary. If an attorney can understand the business of the practice of law, then that attorney has a leg up on all other competition. The business of the practice will also change, based upon the firm you are working in, at the time. However, the end result is that the better you understand the business (which isn't taught in law school), then the more you will make within the practice.
University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
Career Services DepartmentWebsite
Hanna Royce: The pandemic has shown many law firms that their employees can work successfully in a remote environment. I expect to see more remote opportunities. Job seekers also need to be prepared to convey themselves professionally through virtual interviews.
Hanna Royce: The key to success is to add new and relevant legal experience to their resume. If graduates are not taking on full-time roles, this could mean completing document review or project work on a contract basis.
Hanna Royce: Graduates should keep their network active. This includes them taking the time to re-engage with the members of their network on a regular basis and continuing to make new contacts. They should make it a priority to stay in touch with their classmates and professors. They might be looking for a new position in the future, and their legal network can help them locate opportunities through the hidden job market.
Many graduates are securing remote positions. To be successful in a remote environment, employees need to make the extra effort to communicate and stay connected with colleagues. Even when employees are telecommuting, they should dress as if they are going into the office. This can help them with productivity and illustrate their professionalism when meeting with colleagues or clients.