Are You Suited to Working in a Specialised Law Firm?
It’s the age-old conundrum facing university graduates the world over “I’ve finished learning. Now what?” Recent law school graduates are not exempt from this trend. While they may have conquered the complexities and intricacies of the law, the challenges they face don’t stop there.
When it comes to a career in law, there are a number of different avenues that recent grads (and indeed those who have been practicing or a part of the industry for years) can go down. One of the most pertinent choices facing job-seeking lawyers today is whether they want to work for a specialised or non-specialised law firm. A specialised firm is one that focuses on one particular area of the law, such as corporate law or construction law jobs. Specialised law firms can still offer a range of different services, but they have a precise area of focus. Specialised law firms are often much smaller, more intimate and referred to as ’boutique’ firms.
While both specialised and non-specialised law firms have their pros and cons, ask yourself these questions to help determine whether you’re a lawyer who’s destined for a career in a boutique, specialised law firm.
Is there an area of the law you are passionate about? If there is one subject, area, or branch of the law that you are particularly interested in, choose a law firm where you can cultivate your interest and pair your law work to it. You’ll fast become an expert in the area, and you’ll be spending time developing something you are keenly interested in rather than working on other areas of the law that interest you less. If, for example, you’re passionate about immigration law, jobs at a niche immigration firm will suit your interests.
Are you worried about getting lost in a big law firm? Non-specialised law firms are often larger than those that specialise in a particular law area. If you’re worried about getting lost in the crowd, then choosing a position at a smaller boutique firm will help you get experience across a wider range of law services and put you in a better position to move up the corporate ladder.
Do you like client contact? With fewer lawyers employed, boutique firm lawyers will be required to engage in a higher level of client interaction. Those who enjoy such client interaction and working closely with people will thrive in law jobs at boutique firms. The atmosphere is more informal and relaxed, and you’ll be working face to face with other people.
While specialised law firms may deter lawyers worried about a lack in variance of work, it’s important to remember that no area of law can remain isolated from the other. Any focus area of the law will undoubtedly be touched by others, keeping one area interesting and fresh.
Are you suited to work in a specialised law firm?