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10 Factors Helping Attorneys Get a Better Job
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Summary: There are 10 things that can help an attorney move up to a more prestigious law firm job.

Read “Top 10 Ways Attorneys Can Move to a Better Law Firm and Get a Better Attorney Job” by Harrison Barnes to learn more.


Given the opportunity, any attorney would jump at the chance to have a better position working for a big law firm. Knowing how to make those opportunities present themselves can be the tricky part for lawyers and often is out of their control.

There are ten distinct things an attorney can do to help themselves get a better job:

  1. Special skill and practice area

Having a special skill or working in a specific practice area can throw an attorney into a big position even when they have little experience. Patent attorneys are some of those that can pick up better law firm jobs easily despite going to average law schools or working for small law firms.

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  1. Years of experience

The longer an attorney has been out of law firm and in the legal world, the better their chances are of landing that top job. They have better chances because most attorneys starting out at big law firms do not last long so there are fewer attorneys to fill positions. Law firms want motivated, ambitious lawyers. This is found in attorneys who have stuck with the job.

  1. Bring business

A big book of business makes a huge difference in if an attorney can get a better job. An attorney that has great clients, bringing in a significant amount, will be able to pick up a great job just about anywhere.

  1. Attorneys respect you

The reputation an attorney has with other attorneys will make it or break it for them. When the attorneys at a major law firm take notice of an attorneys work and attitude, they will want to bring them on to their team.

  1. Outside writing and speaking

Attorneys can build a reputation for themselves by engaging in outside speaking and writing opportunities. Not only does it provide valuable experience but it allows an attorney to develop a special skill.

  1. Timing

Timing is everything. An attorney that begins their search for a better job at the wrong time will have a hard time finding a better job. Timing is affected by the time of year, state of the financial market and practice area, and more.

  1. Get an LLM

Not all attorneys need to advance their education but for some practice areas, it can make a huge difference. Getting an LLM from a school that has a top program in the practice area can increase an attorney’s ability to be hired by a large law firm.

  1. Working with a skilled partner

Partnering up with a partner that is likely to get a more prestigious law firm can help less experienced attorneys move up with them. Top partners like to take their team with them when they move to start their own law firm or to join a new one.

  1. Working with a growing law firm

Smaller law firms that grow quickly have a good likelihood of merging with big law firms, allowing their attorneys to slip in and find themselves working for a large law firm. This is not always the case as some attorneys are not invited to transfer to the large law firm during a merger but if the attorney works hard and has decent qualifications, they have a good shot.

  1. Geography

The cities where an attorney looks for a job will affect their chance of getting hired. There are some places that don’t have much work so the law firms there aren’t looking for new attorneys. An attorney that is willing to relocate to where the work is can get the best jobs.

What else can an attorney do to become more marketable? Share your tips and secrets with us in the comments below.

To learn more about getting a position with a law firm, read these articles:



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