TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - As law students prepare for graduation, they
may be anxious for prospective employers to "show them the money." While it
might be tempting to take the highest paying offer, job seekers should
consider more than just salary when determining which law firm or corporation
to join, advised Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal, a
leading staffing service specializing in positions in the legal field.
"Competition among law firms for first-year associates has intensified,
which gives candidates more options when deciding which positions to accept,"
said Volkert. "Graduates should be careful not to let compensation eclipse
other considerations and make sure they're asking the right questions when
evaluating a job offer." Volkert suggested graduates consider the following
questions when evaluating employment opportunities:
- Will the partner I report to be someone I can learn from?
During the interview, ask the manager how he or she assigns projects,
sets goals and defines success. This will enable you to assess the
level of support you are likely to receive.
- What training opportunities are available?
The first few years of your career set the stage for the future. Look
for employers who offer opportunities for client contact, case
management, education and professional development, including
mentoring programs and continuing legal education.
- What incentives does the firm offer partners or senior lawyers?
Determine what the long-term rewards are for building a career with a
firm or corporation. Equity and non-equity partnerships as well as
other forms of performance-based compensation provide legal
professionals with the potential to share in the financial success of
- Have I done enough due diligence to evaluate my options?
Take time to thoroughly research prospective employers. Visit their
websites, gather their literature and read news articles to learn
about the firm's reputation and stability. Don't forget to ask people
in your network what they know about the firm.
- How can I assess the firm's culture?
Pay attention to the subtle clues, such as how you are treated when
you come in for an interview, and whether the partners, associates and
staff are professional and likable. Trust your instincts: If the
environment isn't welcoming or employees seem unhappy, tread
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half
International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments
with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, law clerks, paralegals
and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half
Legal offers online job search services at www.roberthalflegal.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: To schedule an interview for local commentary in Montreal,
Toronto or Calgary, please contact Jason Chapman at 416-365-3153, extension
For further information:
For further information: Robert Half Legal, Contact: Jason Chapman,
(416) 365-3153 extension 62070, firstname.lastname@example.org