By Legal Futures Associate Flex Legal
Throughout your undergraduate years, a job in the legal sector is a bit like a carrot dangled in front of you. It’s probably something you’ve been envisioning throughout your studies, but the unfortunate reality is that landing your dream job isn’t easy. The job market can be a real jungle, and you might end up looking at different carrots than the one you’d imagined.
The good news is that other carrots can be just as tasty – even if they won’t help you see in the dark. Joining a legal temp agency like Flex Legal can not only give you some breathing room whilst you look for your ideal carrot, but it can expose you to different firms, legal areas, and job roles whilst you accrue valuable real-world legal experience. Here’s how you can establish your career in the legal sector by joining a legal temp agency.
1) Jump directly into the jobs market
Interview processes can be long, stressful and, unfortunately in many cases, unsuccessful. By joining a legal temp agency you are cutting out a lot of this background process and beginning a working life in the legal sector much quicker. An agency will of course still interview you and check your credentials, but generally speaking you’ll be in work faster. Not only that, but once you’ve done the one interview with the agency you’ll be can start being placed in suitable roles based on your skills, experience, and ambitions. This means more time getting stuck into actual legal work experience, and less time rewriting CVs and Cover Letters, applying for jobs, and preparing for interviews. Legal temp agencies have direct access to available jobs, and can use their knowledge and contacts to get you placed. The jobs will, effectively, come to you.
2) No gaps on your CV
We’re not saying we agree with this, but employers always take a suspicious look at gaps in your CV. Think about when you begin to apply in earnest for a permanent job. What would look better to a recruiter – a candidate who had not worked for months and waited for an ideal opportunity, or a candidate who had got stuck it right after graduating and accrued some real experience already? The truth is that the sooner you can start to build an image of yourself as a proactive and hard worker, the more you’re going to help yourself in the future. Joining a legal temp agency can allow you to fill any potential CV gaps, which makes you look like a much more appealing hire in future.
A good temp agency (such as Flex Legal if we do say so ourselves) isn’t happy to have you accept any old role that comes your way. They will offer you a range of roles, and let you say yes or no to the ones that suit your interests and commitments. Each role is upfront with its length, location, and pay. This puts you firmly in control of which roles you decide to go for. You could, in theory, queue accept roles in advance and go straight from one position to another. This saves you application time and means you can spend more time focusing on work and your other commitments.
4) Skill development
As mentioned, perhaps the most obvious benefit of temporary legal work is building up skills and experience in a real-life working environment. The long term implications of this are nothing to be scoffed at. Not only does it improve your CV, but it lets you develop actual skills that you might not otherwise have been able to develop. The sooner you start anything, the sooner you can start improving at it. The sooner you start improving at it, the sooner you can potentially get exposed to better rates of pay for doing it. This could be through the kind of jobs your legal temp agency sends your way, but also to future permanent jobs you may want to apply for.
5) Better career path
Your career is a journey, and journeys are never linear. The reality of the working world these days is that you’re likely to change jobs multiple times. When you work for a temp agency, and encounter areas of the law you perhaps hadn’t previously considered, you can get exposed to all kinds of new opportunities. A converse benefit to this is that if you try a different area and don’t like it – it’s only temporary. You can take the experience and go. When you’re a recent graduate, this kind of easy exposure to other areas of law is invaluable. By working through a legal temp agency, you can cement your ideas about your ideal career path, or change your mind by encountering new opportunities. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
6) Better contacts
In law, contacts are important. Getting yourself out there, meeting new people, and making actual contacts, is invaluable. As you move through your career journey, so will the people you encounter. If you’ve managed to make a good impression with someone who later becomes a senior partner at a huge law firm, that might just land you a huge opportunity somewhere down the line. As they say – you reap what you sow. You want to reap luscious organic carrots, to continue our vegetable-based analogy. You can do this by sowing some carrot seeds early on in your career, fresh out of university, and making good early impressions at multiple different organisations. Also – remember that opportunities can come up quickly and unexpectedly. If an role becomes available at a law firm you’re temping at, and you’ve already impressed them, you’ve got a tantalising carrot within your reach.