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Attorneys Must Apply and Keep Applying During a Job Search
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Summary: Attorneys must get over the fear of sending their resume out to more than one law firm during a job search if they want to get good results.

Applying to just one job rarely turns out with positive results. If you are in the market for a new job, it will likely take applications to multiple places before something pans out. This is true for lawyers too. There is a lot of competition out there for attorneys and there are a lot of cultures within law firms affecting the right fit so attorneys need to find the right one. Harrison Barnes explains in “Why Every Attorney Needs to Apply to a Lot of Places (and Not Give Up) When Rejected” why this is important.


Attorneys have been trained from the beginning that they should be careful who they send their resume out too. They also develop an assumption that if they don’t get feedback immediately after their first or second application that they need to put their search on hold. These ideas are far from the truth. Attorneys should be getting their resumes out to as many firms as they can because you never know which one will be the right fit or what opportunities may result from getting your resume out there.

As Barnes states, “You are a product and you need people to be interested in you.” Attorneys must sell themselves over and over again until they find someone that is interested in their product. They advertise themselves by giving presentations, writing articles, networking, going to dinner with clients, and joining legal and community organizations. When an attorney does these things to get their name out there, they are not assuming that someone is going to call them up the next day wanting the attorney to join their firm immediately.

Having options as an attorney is also important. Law firms have different business models and cultures that may not suit your preferences. Having more than one option lets you decide which firm is the better fit so that hopefully the new position will be your job for the rest of your career.

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Applying to as places as possible also increase your chances of finding an opportunity that you would have dreamed would be available to you. You never know what a law firm is really looking for. You may have interned at an environmental agency during college. A law firm may be looking for someone with experience with that specific agency, giving you edge up on other candidates that you would never have known about.

Attorneys that attend prestigious law schools can often find greater success by going to smaller markets where their skills are rarer and thus valued more compared to going to a big market where there are hundreds of other attorneys with the same credentials as them. An attorney that is open to any market and puts their resume out there to those markets will get better results.

Most importantly, attorneys can learn from the rejection so they can improve themselves for the next interview. Being rejected is not always necessarily a result of your skills, the firm may just realize that you are the right fit for their firm’s culture.

How many places do you think an attorney should aim to apply to? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about how to improve your resume and chances of finding a job, read these articles:




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