As the founder of Wegman Partners, Colby Wegman recognizes that there are several important things for students and recentlaw school graduates to keep in mind as they look to enter law firms. For example, he realizes that many lawyers choose to specialize in limited areas of law- allowing them to develop expertise to make them more effective in their selected specialties. The path for exploring specialties can be daunting for some, but it does not have to be if you know what steps can prepare you to make an educated decision. Here, Colby Wegman provides a few tips that will help recent law grads evaluate their interests and choose a specialty that best matches their preferences.
Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses
If you are having trouble picking from a variety of different specialty areas of law, try to consider your strengths and weaknesses to guide your decisions. It is always possible to learn to build on certain skills with time, but you may also find that you already have talents that lend themselves to a certain specialty out the gate. For example, individuals that have strong public speaking skills and are talented at producing convincing arguments may consider litigation. If working with clients on a one-on-one basis is more your speed, transactional law may be a good fit instead. An honest evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses will help you narrow down specialties quickly and is a great first step towards making a choice.
Reach out to Attorneys with Different Specializations
Who better to learn about the ins and outs of a specialty than from legal professionals already working within the space?Asking experts how they ended up in their area of specialization is great for getting ideas for how you will find your own. Many legal professionals will allow students or recent graduates to shadow them or perform volunteer work at their office. This gives individuals the opportunity to learn about the daily routine in different areas of law, and this firsthand experience is extremely valuable for deciding later.
Use Resources from Your Law School
It is important to remember that most law schools will have resources that will help students or recent alumni determine their preferred specialties. In-house career counseling is an excellent way to get feedback on your educational background, skills, interests, and work experience while evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. Career counselors can also be a resource for helping recent graduates find a new job in their preferred area of expertise. If you can, try to speak with advisors in different fields of laws so that you can get a diverse range of opinions and insider perspectives that will aid you in your search.
Stick With Your Passions
When it comes down to it, it always benefits us to consider how our passions and interests will factor into our prospective careers. Many prospective legal professionals follow the money and, while it is important to earn money for a variety of reasons, you are always more likely to be successful in a specialty that you are passionate about. Passion also helps keep a legal professional motivated to persevere through obstacles and challenges that individuals face throughout their careers. If you have a solid idea of what you enjoy doing from a procedural standpoint and are aware of what passions you have within the legal field, you will be well on your way to building a strong career that you are truly proud of.