Don’t Make This Common Mistake: Research Your Market!

One of the biggest mistakes I see law students make when conducting their job search is the failure to research the local legal market.  While there may be many factors that influence where you want to practice, a significant factor should be whether there are opportunities there in the legal field.  Unfortunately, however, students often blindly select locales without ever considering what the local job market is like or whether the geographic location is already saturated with attorneys. 

To avoid this mistake, you must research your potential markets.  One of the best ways to do this is through informational meetings with local practitioners and judges, who are often finely tuned in to the local market.  In addition, you might contact the state’s bar association to request any demographics or surveys regarding hiring trends or average salaries. 

Researching the market should be one of the first things you do before you even commit to a state’s bar exam, so remember to start early.  Make an appointment with a Career Counselor to develop your individualized market research plan to ensure you select the locale with the most potential, which can affect the time it takes to find a job, how hard you have to work for it, and what your compensation will be.