Making these common mistakes when applying to a law firm?

Law firms are the largest single group of employers for lawyers in India, but before we go any further, I’d like you to take a reality check of what the picture looks like in a big law firm: 

  • Such a firm can get as many as 80,000 applications for internships per month, but has a maximum of 40-50 seats for interns in any given month 
  • The number of job vacancies every year in a big law firm is around 20-30 at most
  • Big firms typically have one HR professional and a full-time practicing lawyer who has to take out time from a 14-16 hour workday to select interns
  • They are certainly not going to click on every application and find the best ones. They simply don’t have the time or resources to go through every application, most of which look very similar anyway  

For a moment, imagine yourself in that position – what would you do? How would you identify the candidates best suited to your firm? 

If the majority of applications end up in the trash, where does the question of sending polite rejections even arise? 

Of course, big law firms do want the best talent, but in the absence of any other criteria, they have no option but to go for known brands – in this case, they end up recruiting toppers from the top NLUs. Even though they know it’s not a perfect system, it is at least a manageable one.

What happens as a result? Young lawyers complain that NLU students receive preferential treatment from the big firms, irrespective of merit or hard work – and no one gives lawyers from other institutes a chance. 

Is that entirely correct?

In reality, everyone is applying only to a few big or very famous law firms. And apart from sending numerous emails and probably trying to call law firm offices, they are doing little else. 

How many of you have sent emails for jobs and internships, then called HR, and finally kind of given up after none of your actions produced results?

What else can you do, you may ask. The reality is that most people do nothing else. They don’t really try to find other ways of getting into a law firm.

Several of them abandon the idea of working in a firm altogether, and attempt competitive exams like Judiciary or civil services, which are even harder to crack. 

Some have no choice but to reluctantly start a litigation practice under a senior who will pay them peanuts as a stipend, impart no training, and offer minimal to zero client exposure. In other words, disguised unemployment.

They gain no knowledge about how to find clients, how to perform the work, how to grow their earnings, how to be financially independent, and how to make it big in their careers. 

For a while, they think that by following their seniors for a few years, they will find a way. A few of them figure out that they have to learn everything themselves anyway and find a way. Most are unable to do so.

Naturally, they complain that the profession is unfair. But buying into that narrative means that you are deceiving yourself. 

Are you aware that India’s law sector is about to boom?

In 2020, some people said they were not getting jobs because of the pandemic, and were expecting to get one as soon as the pandemic ended. 

In reality, they are still not getting jobs, and still blaming something. Perhaps economic uncertainty, or global recession, or something else. 

What else? What are the other excuses some of us use to justify not getting the results we want?

You are losing out on precious time to prepare and get ahead. In fact, you could be missing out on incredible opportunities right now. 

While most of your competition thinks that there is no opportunity now, and it is pointless to make an effort, you can prepare yourself for the opportunities that are arising and surge ahead.

So what are your options if you want to take action in this current environment?

How can you adapt and act according to the situation, and make lemonade from this lemon that life has given you?

How can you prepare in advance for the upcoming boom in India’s legal services market? 

Not only will we show you where you may be going wrong while applying for a law firm job, but also show you how to get it right

For more useful information and updates, kindly also join our Telegram channel ‘LawSikho Lawyers Community’. Download the Telegram app on your device if you don’t have it. 

See you at the bootcamp!

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