As law firms slowly begin to pull out of the economic decline of the last few years, they have emerged with what has been coined “the new normal” with respect to law student hiring. Although firms were once willing to take full responsibility for training new associates and little emphasis was placed on learning through on-hands experience, law firms are no longer willing or able to do so. Now, firms look for associates who have substantive legal experience that will allow them to hit the ground running. This is important because clients are no longer willing to pay for training an associate on their nickel, and firms cannot afford to write off significant portions of associate hours devoted to on-the-job training.
What does this mean for law students? It means that you must obtain legal experience during your law school career and that your resume should highlight the practical knowledge you have gained through those experiences. Ideally, you should have at least 400 hours of legal experience by the time you graduate, which not only provides invaluable training, but also enables you to network and learn about opportunities in the legal field. To find out more about how you can obtain legal experience, schedule a counseling session with a Career Services Counselor.