Legislation faculty graduates pursue an enormous vary of careers, from household legislation to expertise legislation to the frontlines of social justice. Some select to not follow legislation in any respect.


Amongst these pursuing a personal sector authorized profession, many hope to affix a world legislation agency serving to high-profile purchasers with multifaceted authorized points. On-campus recruitment for legislation agency positions will be extraordinarily aggressive. Many legislation college students work onerous for the chance to tell apart themselves as a legislation agency summer season affiliate.

Raj Shah is a accomplice at DLA Piper, a world legislation agency with greater than 4,000 legal professionals working in additional than 40 international locations. 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 legal professionals considering a profession at a serious legislation agency. The next interview has been edited for size and readability. 

Q: What do legislation companies like DLA Piper search for within the legislation college students they rent? Is there something that candidates too typically overlook?

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

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

In fact, we additionally gauge a person’s ardour for the legislation, in addition to their resilience to adversity and talent to beat challenges. It’s additionally essential to be a robust workforce 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 serious agency like yours?

It’s essential to emphasise that there isn’t a clear-cut, one-size-fits-all strategy to turning into a profitable lawyer. In fact, your grades and your expertise are essential 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 essential than demonstrating the flexibility to use what you may have realized to your craft. Showcase how your distinctive ability set and expertise translate right into a profitable profession as an lawyer.

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

There isn’t a one path to touchdown a job at a serious agency – don’t fear should you really feel like you may have taken an uncommon journey to this stage, since you might be able to carry a worthwhile new perspective that others won’t have. Be your genuine self and present how one can add to the tradition on the agency.

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

The largest mistake a candidate could make is treating all large legislation companies the identical. Do your homework on a agency and transcend historic knowledge, 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 deal with follow areas, industries or geographies that align along with your objectives? How do workforce members work together with each other exterior of formal mentorship packages? Does the tradition of the agency align along with your objectives on your future? There are loads of intangibles a few agency of any measurement that may make it the most effective match for you.

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

Q: What are some rising tendencies within the authorized occupation that somebody aiming to construct a profitable authorized profession within the long-term ought to take into account?

In terms of tendencies within the authorized occupation, synthetic intelligence is driving loads of the dialog proper now. To embrace change responsibly, we’re using AI applied sciences that may improve the standard and timeliness of the providers our legal professionals present.

AI will improve our work, not change it. Actually, robust authorized evaluation, writing, group and oral advocacy will solely be extra essential as AI begins to tackle among the extra research-focused elements of our jobs.

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

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

Should you’ve performed thorough analysis, a stay interview ought to be a welcome alternative to tell apart your self and join along with your interviewers. Use the interview as a chance to showcase among the tender expertise I highlighted in addition to your ardour for the occupation. Additionally, use it as an opportunity to be taught and ask significant questions that may can help you discover the correct match on your future.

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