Alan Shore Denny Crane Law JobsAlan and Denny will get you a law job

There are more lawyers in Australia than there are law jobs. And with the number of Australian law students growing each year, competition for legal positions will only increase. Here are some tips to help you stand out in the crowd and secure a job at a reputable law firm.

University grades

Unlike some sectors, where your competency for a job is determined mainly at an interview and your grades are peripheral, law is a profession in which marks matter. It may not be the case that university grades always correspond to a person’s intelligence, but they are the best indicator available to law firms for determining the intellect of their applicants. So pay attention in class.

For combined law students, it is important to remember that by the time you apply for summer clerkships during your fourth year, you will have only completed about one third of your law subjects. Because top tier firms only recruit graduate lawyers form those that have clerked with them during law school, it is important to do well in the first few years of your degree. The subjects that you complete during that time are the only ones available to the firms that you’ll be applying to clerk for.

Extracurricular activity

Although law firms primarily use university grades to distinguish between applicants, it is important to supplement your academic life with appropriate extracurricular activity. Contrary to popular belief, law firms do not want to hire people interested only in the law. They want people who have a wide variety of hobbies, because law is fundamentally a client based profession, and to attract and retain clients it is necessary to have hire well-rounded and charismatic people.

Interview

Interviews at commercial law firms comprise of behavioural questions, aimed at finding out how you respond in certain employment-related situations. An example of a behavioural question is, ‘tell us about a time when you set yourself a goal and achieved it’. You should prepare answers to these questions. Finally, be prepared to engage in small talk, because part of what your interviewers are trying to ascertain is how personable you are – as in, whether clients will like you.

Good luck.

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