Fresh graduates usually look for any available job that fits their educational accomplishments. Searching for a job is stressful and exhausting because you may encounter rejections and competitors who fight for the same position as you.
We cannot avoid this harsh reality, but we can do something to lessen its burden. If you are a fresh law graduate, who does not have any idea what to do next or where to go, this article will surely help you set your career path.
You need not worry about it. There are thousands of individuals like you who are confused as well. Besides, everything about this article is helpful tips on how to start your legal practitioner journey.
The following information is a step-by-step tutorial that you need for your decision-making.
Make Sure to Pass Bar Exam
Passing the Bar Exam is the most crucial part of becoming an official lawyer. Actually, every lawyer, may it be local or international, famous or not, has undergone this exhausting and heart-pounding exam.
Examination to obtain a license is true even to nurses and engineers, including lawyers. You could not proceed to legal practice unless you passed this exam.
The Bar Exam is intently designed to assess and evaluate aspiring lawyers’ knowledge and skills and to inform them about the fundamental skills they should have before becoming a licensed legal practitioner.
It is used to determine whether a candidate is qualified to pursue legal practice within a particular jurisdiction. Therefore, you must pass this exam.
How to apply for the Bar Exam?
Typically, every admission regarding bar examination is held by the Board of Bar Examiners in the state to which you are applying. However, every state varies significantly in admission procedures; nevertheless, the process usually includes:
• Applying for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and take the exam.
• Applying for the actual bar examination and take the exam.
• Completion of any additional requirements or pre-requisites instructed by the state. (Every state has different requirements, hence, make sure to know all of them)
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is the type of examination that trains aspiring lawyers to deal with ethical dilemmas once they are in the real scenario of legal practice.
Most of the states require bar examiners to pass the MPRE before taking the Bar Exam; otherwise, they will not be allowed to sit for the Bar Exam. For example, California and Massachusetts require a passing score of the MPRE before proceeding with the Bar Exam. They must pass both exams to be officially called a legal practitioner.
Thus, you must also be aware of the state’s rules and regulations where you are residing before taking the Bar Exam. This will help you avoid problems that may occur along the way, especially when you are at the peak of your review. Of course, you do not want that to happen, so make sure to settle everything beforehand.
How to pass the Bar Exam?
Since it is imperative to pass the Bar Exam, and it demands serious attention, and most of your time, you need to have a reliable guide to prepare yourself for it.
Here are some viable tips that can help you:
• Consult with someone who already passed the exam.
You can always call for help from someone who already passed the exam. Ask their techniques and use them to your advantage.
• Be Focused
While doing your review, you must be willing to donate most of your time reading articles and cases. Do not hesitate to detach yourself from any possible interruptions during your review.
• Take a break!
You cannot digest every bit of information you read if you do not give your brain some time to relax. Even if you study every day, make it a habit to give yourself a break.
• Try to answer previous Bar Exam questions.
Practice yourself to answer questions in the previous Bar Exam. This will help you adjust to the complexity of the exam and give you an idea of how it works.
• Create a study plan
This is very helpful because you can track everything you studied and are about to be considered. You just simply outline the coverage of the exam and trace whether you tackled everything or not.
It is always up to your preference and the strategies you are comfortable with that matter. You just need to believe in yourself.
After the Bar Exam
After passing the Bar Exam, you will likely be overwhelmed by emotions, but that is normal. After that, several organizations will try to approach and hire you, especially if you got a high score. But you need to take a rest first. Take time to think about your next course of action.
You can do these things while at break:
• Spend time with your family
• Travel around the world
• Reconnect with your friends
• Spoil yourself
Do not speed things up. You are worthy of time to relax. Give yourself a month or more to recover from a long journey of endless study. The month-long recovery is vital because it will allow you to decide and prepare for your career path.
Choose a field of practice.
This is what you should be thinking during your break; to choose a field of practice. Legal practice is composed of many areas, and you must select a field that you like the most. Each variety needs a specific quality or skills that fulfill specific legal needs. Lawyers alike must choose where they belong concerning their abilities.
Now, let us explore the different types of lawyers and their respective functions in the legal field. (You probably gave considerable thought to these options already).
1. Criminal Lawyer
This type of lawyer knows everything about criminal laws and settles disputes if a crime is committed. A criminal lawyer understands the provisions of every criminal law that are used in a criminal trial. The three types of criminal lawyers are public defenders, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
2. Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured due to the negligence of a person or group, you might need a personal injury lawyer. They will help you get legal compensation against the accused person or group.
3. Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
This type of lawyer helps workers get the benefits they are entitled to when they get injured on the job. Individuals who happen to be in that miserable situation should look for worker’s compensation lawyers to guide them legally.
4. Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy lawyers are the legal counsel of those who experienced financial setbacks and cannot pay their debts. They can help you get debt relief often by introducing the repayment method or discharge of obligations in the bankruptcy court.
5. Family Lawyer
Family lawyers deal with family-related legal issues like prenuptial agreements, divorce, child custody, alimony, and more. They are responsible for giving clients accurate pleadings necessary to carry out a specific family case effectively.
6. Immigration Lawyer
This type of lawyer seeks to help immigrants with legal issues about their legal status in a particular country. Immigration lawyers usually deal with everyday problems like visas, green cards, asylum, and refugee status. They guide immigrants to process their concerns legally.
7. Estate Planning Lawyer
Basically, estate planning lawyers help individuals to arrange their assets once they die. Estate planning lawyers will sort anything to ensure the financial needs of their client’s children are met.
8. Intellectual Property Lawyer
Intellectual property lawyers help individuals settle legal issues regarding trademarks, patents, trade secrets, copyright, and other things concerning intellectual property. They are responsible for making every intellectual property protected by the law.
9. Employment Lawyer
Employment lawyers deal with every legal issue in the workplace. They usually advise clients about employment contracts and settle common legal matters like unlawful termination, workplace discrimination, and harassment.
10. Corporate Lawyer
This type of lawyer is responsible for settling corporate or business legal issues. They handle agreement cases like mergers, divestitures, and more. Corporate lawyers help business owners in the form of legal guidance when doing business.
11. Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice lawyers help individuals that are hurt by a medical professional, intentional or not. They will study evidence to prove if there are any malpractices committed. Common problems like misdiagnosis, medical negligence, and incorrect medication are a few of the things they face.
12. Tax Lawyer
Tax lawyers settle legal issues about taxes. They are knowledgeable about the legal tax system and handle cases like tax evasion and failure to declare tax returns.
13. Civil Litigation Lawyer
Civil litigation lawyers handle cases filed in a city like a breach of contract, property disputes, and more. They help mitigate problems that cause harm to a person.
Look for a client or employer.
After deciding which field of practice you want to pursue, you will look for clients for your solo law firm, or you will be looking for a job. However, you must remember that it is hard to find new clients for your law practice or to find a job in the current job climate since you are new in the field. But with patience and consistency, it is possible.
It may be an easy task if you got a high score during the Bar Exam, but for some, it is not. You need to do much convincing to make for them to trust you. Once they do, everything else will go smoothly.
Clients are your bread and butter, so you must treat them nicely. Also, you can work in a private or public law firm or organization. However, each workplace is different. Private lawyers earn more than their public counterparts. Thus, be wise in choosing which side you should be on.
Build a Network
A network is essential as it helps you expand your area of influence. You can build a network by treating clients professionally and give them excellent outcomes. As a result, they will refer you to other potential clients, and the numbers will keep growing.
Furthermore, it is favorable on the lawyer’s part to have many clients. Not only will they earn a lot, but also the level of expertise will tremendously rise. The more you experience, the better you perform on handling cases. In return, clients will admire your work and eventually earn a title.
Moreover, you can also utilize your skills and hone them to perfection by working in an organization. It can be a law firm, corporation, government agency, and more. You can apply for a position in any organization that fits your skills concerning your preferred field of practice.
In doing so, you will gradually establish a network that you can use to advance your interests. If you plan to have a law firm or business in the future, then having a network is essential because it will help you advertise everything you can offer.
Establish a law firm
Establishing a law firm might be costly and requires a lot of work, but you must consider this, especially if you cannot find a job. You can establish a law firm once you become a lawyer, or you can work on different agencies for the experience. It is up to you.
However, you must always remember that everyone starts at the bottom. Do not expect that your newly established law firm will have clients flowing in from the start. You need to work at it.
Take note that for your law firm to succeed, you must advertise and market your law firm. This is where a network is vital. Therefore, building a network first before establishing a law firm is an advantage.
It does not matter whether you own or work in a small solo law firm or work in a large law firm, whether you are a private or public lawyer. What matters is that you are finally a Lawyer with the benefits of being admitted as such!