As a law student, you will probably want to feel the adrenaline rushing while fighting for your clients in the courtroom. Becoming a litigator is the right thing to experience the true meaning of a legal career. It is far more thrilling than sitting in a plush corporate office reviewing contracts and advising clients about staying out of legal trouble. However, litigation requires tenacity, creativity, and curiosity, whether you pick the civil or criminal niche. Additionally, you must prepare for litigation as a practice specialty right from the outset to get the right start. Here are a few expert-recommended tips for young legal professionals looking to kick-start a career in litigation.
Begin with a solid footing
A solid footing with relevant education gives you a good start. You will definitely require a law degree from a reputed school to build a legal career. But you must focus more on the rules and procedures for criminal and civil litigation. The rules of evidence should also be on your tips to show your dominance in the courtroom. The good thing is that law schools cover these fronts in their curriculums and also include experiential learning activities for their students. You can ramp up skills like arguing motions, gathering information from opposing parties, and negotiating settlements for your clients.
Pick a specialty
Like any profession, litigation also has several sub-specialties. You can try your hand at commercial litigation or explore other fields, such as employment, tax, or maritime litigation. Likewise, personal injury, product liability, and insurance defense are other options you can focus on. Picking a niche makes you an expert in your field and limits your competition in the industry. Consider your interest and aptitude, and choose a sub-specialty to match.
Look for the right opportunities
Trial lawyers often face stiff competition in the job landscape, and things can get more challenging if you are just out of law school. You must look for the right opportunities to kick-start your career. Working with a specialist recruiter is a good option to land a dream job early. Since law firms rely on these recruiters for filling a position in litigation, you have better chances of getting a start with them. They can help you find a firm that aligns with your core expertise and offers lucrative compensation and growth prospects.
Build your network
This one is a no-brainer, whichever area you want to explore as a litigation professional. In fact, you must start building a network even before stepping out of law school. Connect with alumni, professors, and peers to seek advice and recommendations. Explore LinkedIn to extend your network in the legal landscape. Attending legal conferences, participating in job fairs, and joining professional organizations are some other steps to grow your network.
Foster relevant skills
Fostering relevant skills should be an ongoing effort for professionals looking to make it big in litigation. As a trial lawyer, you must have strong communication skills with expertise in public speaking and writing. Also, master the art of persuasive arguments and ramp up your advocacy skills. Being open to continuous learning also puts you in a good place as regulations and laws evolve.
A litigation career sets you up for success, but you may encounter stiff competition as a beginner. Follow these tips to get a head start as a young professional.