Tips to create a career plan in Law

Tips to create a career plan in Law

Law is an area that covers many specialties. It also requires many steps up the ladder when you finally finish your Law Degree. So, after you have burnt the candle at both ends, spent hours studying and getting some work experience, you should have a good understanding of what working in law entails.

But have you thought about what your Career Plan looks like? Think of your Career Plan just like a business strategy. You need to look at where you are now, where you’d like to end up in 30 years and then work out how you are going to get there. It will increase your odds of a happy & fulfilling career.

You need to ask yourself the following questions as a starting point. Then the next step is the actual career plan.

What type of law are you interest in?

Criminal law? Family Law? Corporate Law? The list goes on ….. Each specialty requires different knowledge and skillsets and some are more competitive than others. You can also think about what niche you might like to work in. EG: As a family lawyer you might like to specialise in mediation or helping children through divorce.

What are your career goals?

You should have a vision or end goal in mind for your law career. What specific goals do you have?

  • Work in Fortune 500 company?
  • Become a judge or Barrister?
  • Travel the world using your degree?
  • Help social cases or the less fortunate?

Defining your career goals will help you work out the steps you need to take to get the experience to take you to the next level.

What type of firms should you be applying to?

Depending on the type of law you want to practice and your end goals, you will need to consider what type of firm you want to work with. Large? Boutique? Specialist? Family-Friendly? Flexible?

Every firm has its own unique culture & values so do some research and find out more from the people working there. Then you can create a list of the firms that might be a good fit for you.

What are you passionate about?

Has there been a personal experience that has impacted your life and made you want to be a lawyer?

Is there a particular area of law that you are really passionate about and love? Understanding what drives you, can help you to work out what area of law is right for you.

Are you planning on having children?

If you plan to have children, you need to factor time out of your career into the overall plan. Taking a 1-5 year break to raise a child will impact your career trajectory so you need to be OK with that and consider what impact this will have on your career.

How will technology impact?

We are already seeing disrupters and technology impacting the types of new firms being set up. Innovation will continue to move at warp speed so consider what impact it might have in the future. Will it mean more contract roles in law? More remote work? More passive work? There is no doubt that technology will impact the jobs & opportunities available.

What if I need to change course?

There is no guarantee that you will love working in law. You might get burnt out, lose the passion or find another area you want to transition into. Is there a complimentary area or industry that would suit the skills you have built? Think about what these types of roles might be and be open to such opportunities when the time comes.

If we skipped ahead, where would you like to see yourself in 20-30 years’ time?

If you think about the end of your career, where do you see yourself? Do you want to be working in law in 20-30 years? What does your life look like? Are you working full time or part-time? It can help your plan if you skip forward then work back from that.

In what skills do you excel?

Do a skills audit. Be honest with the skills you are good at and what you might need to work on. This will also help to determine what sort of additional training or work experience you will need to take on over the coming years

Your career is something that you have invested a lot of time, money, blood, sweat & tears in. Don’t take an ad hoc approach to it and consider that some moves will be up the ladder and some sideways (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Spend time creating a Law Career Plan. Not only will you feel prepared for what’s ahead, but it will also help you make the right career steps.

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