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Q&A: Advice for Law Students Hoping to Work at a Major Law Firm | Education

Law faculty graduates pursue a huge vary of careers, from household legislation to know-how legislation to the frontlines of social justice. Some select not to observe legislation at all.

Amongst these pursuing a non-public sector authorized profession, many hope to be a part of a world legislation agency serving to high-profile purchasers with multifaceted authorized points. On-campus recruitment for legislation agency positions may be extraordinarily aggressive. Many legislation college students work exhausting for the chance to distinguish themselves as a legislation agency summer time affiliate.

Raj Shah is a accomplice at DLA Piper, a world legislation agency with greater than 4,000 attorneys working in additional than 40 nations. Past his work counseling notable corporations in complicated litigation, Shah chairs DLA Piper’s Chicago Litigation group and the Partnership Nominations Committee.

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Raj Shah

Because the co-national hiring accomplice for associates, Shah shares with U.S. Information his recommendation for aspiring attorneys considering a profession at a main legislation agency. The next interview has been edited for size and readability. 

Q: What do legislation corporations like DLA Piper look for within the legislation college students they rent? Is there something that candidates too usually overlook?

We focus closely on mental curiosity – the final willingness and eagerness to dig in and be taught concerning the shopper, its enterprise objectives and goals, and the matter at hand.

Most candidates have a sharp toolkit and may apply the legislation precisely, however usually attorneys function in areas the place the solutions aren’t clear. We wish to see aspiring attorneys who can turn into consultants about their purchasers’ mission and market to provide them holistic and tailor-made recommendation. Are you able to clear up issues and supply progressive options?

After all, we additionally gauge a person’s ardour for the legislation, in addition to their resilience to adversity and skill to overcome challenges. It’s additionally essential to be a sturdy crew participant.

Q: What can an aspiring lawyer do earlier than legislation faculty, in class or within the workforce, to greatest put together themselves to turn into a lawyer at a main agency like yours?

It’s necessary to emphasize that there isn’t any clear-cut, one-size-fits-all strategy to turning into a profitable lawyer. After all, your grades and your expertise are necessary indicators of success, however it’s not merely the face worth of the place you labored or the place you attended faculty. We worth totally different views and experiences. Whether or not you studied artwork historical past or math is much less necessary than demonstrating the power to apply what you will have realized to your craft. Showcase how your distinctive talent set and expertise translate into a profitable profession as an lawyer.

Q: Do you will have any recommendation for candidates apprehensive that they don’t match the mildew of a typical “large agency” lawyer?

There isn’t a one path to touchdown a job at a main agency – don’t fear in case you really feel like you will have taken an uncommon journey to this stage, as a result of chances are you’ll give you the option to deliver a helpful new perspective that others may not have. Be your genuine self and present how one can add to the tradition at the agency.

Q: Many legislation faculty candidates know that jobs at main legislation corporations are prestigious and aggressive, however they’ve additionally heard horror tales concerning the calls for and disadvantages of the job. What’s your recommendation for these unsure about whether or not working at a main legislation agency is correct for them?

The largest mistake a candidate could make is treating all large legislation corporations the identical. Do your homework on a agency and transcend historic information, which simply tells you the place a agency has been, not the place it’s going.

Discuss to classmates or alumni who interned or labored there. Come ready to an interview with questions that align along with your profession goals. For instance, does the agency concentrate on observe areas, industries or geographies that align along with your objectives? How do crew members work together with each other outdoors of formal mentorship packages? Does the tradition of the agency align along with your objectives for your future? There are a lot of intangibles about a agency of any measurement that can make it the very best match for you.

Being at a giant legislation agency as a result of it’s “prestigious” shouldn’t be the only real purpose. The purpose ought to be going to a place that permits you to be taught, do work you discover rewarding and construct your profession for the long-term, whether or not you stay at the agency or transfer on finally to a totally different kind of authorized work.

Q: What are some rising traits within the authorized occupation that somebody aiming to construct a profitable authorized profession within the long-term ought to think about?

When it comes to traits within the authorized occupation, synthetic intelligence is driving a lot of the dialog proper now. To embrace change responsibly, we’re using AI applied sciences that can improve the standard and timeliness of the providers our attorneys present.

AI will improve our work, not exchange it. In actual fact, sturdy authorized evaluation, writing, group and oral advocacy will solely be extra necessary as AI begins to tackle a number of the extra research-focused elements of our jobs.

Whereas understanding how AI is ready to form our occupation is necessary, candidates can’t lose sight of the talents that can proceed to be essential: judgement, discretion and mind.

Q: Lastly, extra legislation colleges are reintroducing interviews into the admissions course of, both reside or with recorded questions. As somebody who’s certainly participated in lots of interviews, on either side, do you will have any interview recommendation for legislation candidates?

For those who’ve carried out thorough analysis, a reside interview ought to be a welcome alternative to distinguish your self and join along with your interviewers. Use the interview as a possibility to showcase a number of the tender expertise I highlighted in addition to your ardour for the occupation. Additionally, use it as a likelihood to be taught and ask significant questions that can permit you to discover the suitable match for your future.


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