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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of September 20, 2016

Law Graduates: Market Yourselves

According to a 2016 article by Elizabeth Olson, "2015 Law School Graduates Got Fewer Jobs in Private Practice," in the New York Times, the National Association for Law Placement has found that fewer law school graduates found employment in private practice than at any time in the prior twenty years. The executive director of the association noted that this situation is unlikely to change due to the fact that private firms won’t need as many lawyers in the future because technology has made firms more efficient and because nontraditional legal services providers have taken some business away from traditional firms.

Certainly, this is not to say that it is impossible to get a job in private practice. Over 86 percent of law school graduates find some form of employment after graduation, according to Olson, and over 50 percent find jobs in private practice.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that growth in the law industry seems a bit stagnant right now. Thus, it would be wise for law students to think of how to market themselves in the most optimal way.

As a potential hire, what do you have to offer a firm? Many young people in particular are quite savvy with computers; and if this is true of you, you should not be shy about promoting yourself in this arena. In addition, marketing is very important for a law firm. If you have engaged in any marketing efforts—perhaps for a college fraternity/sorority or a law school law review—or even to obtain this first job, know that this is an important skill that a law firm would find interesting. Finally, the bottom line is that a firm is all about the bottom line. If you are budget conscious and know about cash flow forms, you are a likely candidate for hire—and advancement.



Law Graduates: Market Yourselves

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"Ed Poll created and presented your three-day workshop "Starting, Operating, Growing and Profiting from the Practice of Law" for our Law School, the Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Washington Law School Foundation. Ed's professional management skills and presentation talents provided our alumni and students with an outstanding program. The evaluations, both oral and written, were excellent and demonstrated that his audience agreed. One evaluator was particularly appreciative of the thought-provoking and interesting new concepts. Another said, "I have a much better understanding of what I'm to do -- I'm energized. Thank you!" Ed had a major impact on the future of our attendees; this is a unique quality and we are most appreciative of his efforts to create such an interesting and informative program. I enjoyed working with him and look forward to doing so again."

John F. Rapp
Director, CLE
University of Washington

"Ed Poll's efforts resulted in the success of our Mid Year CLE Program event. During the planning stages of this Mid Year Program, the Section's leadership indicated that if 75 lawyers attended the program, it would be considered a success. With our program attendance at over 100 attendees, the leadership clearly is very pleased with our efforts and want to continue bringing programs to the solo and small firm practitioner. We look forward to this challenge of making the Mid Year Program a regular event."

Lee S. Kolczun, Chair
Sole Practitioners and Small Firms Committee
American Bar Association


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