Law firms are expanding their business services teams and looking for new management skills to help them further build their fast-growing businesses. Good candidates, however, are in short supply.
Those already in the profession cannot fill the wealth of new and expanding business roles in law. And new specialisms, in areas such as project management and pricing, demand skills that are still new to the legal sector. Firms are broadening their search for great talent – to other professional services firms and beyond.
Your route into law
There are many benefits to working in law: attractive remuneration and rewards, stability, good career progression and development, the opportunity to work with a wealth of incredibly bright individuals in a profession that is dynamic and fast changing (see our related piece, ‘Ten reasons to choose the legal sector’). But getting a good job offer in law might seem daunting, if you’ve not worked in it before.
Here are our top six tips to secure your future in legal business:
- Do your research, not just of the basics (size, turnover, offices, etc) but also of management initiatives, structure, culture and awards. Try and get a feel for what this firm is like to work for, and judge your suitability carefully. It’ll help you show you’re a good match.
- Get to know more about the people you will be working with – including the managing partner and functional heads. This will help as you put faces to names through the interview process, and make you look engaged and interested. The trade press (The Lawyer, Legal Week, etc) and LinkedIn are good for developing your people knowledge.
- If you are completely new to law, find out as much as you can about the changing trends in this sector and be prepared to talk about them, as well as being able to express why you want to be part of this progressive sector, and how you see your career developing within it.
- Progressive law firms are striving for innovative new ways to deliver their services to clients. But in a partnership environment, it is still a case of winning over the team and influencing change rather than taking control. Show that you appreciate the importance of consensus and the need to persuade and influence internal stakeholders.
- Don’t be afraid of showing that you are passionate and full of ideas. Just try to back up any suggestions with some solid evidence or research. Law firms are full of bright people who will appreciate an intelligent and well-thought-out approach.
- In your interviews, think before you speak. Listen to the questions well and try to answer with relevant examples. Avoid waffle or going off on a tangent, and be prepared to ask questions that go beyond the obvious things you could Google.
The legal profession offers business services candidates a wealth of opportunities to progress to the highest leadership positions at board level. Business teams are highly valued for their contribution to law firm growth and are making a real impact at every level and across every function of their firms.
If you are unsure as to how you could take your first steps into the legal sector, drop us a line. We would only be too glad to help you on your journey into law.