How to Get a Legal Job in Florida
Florida is a big, heavily populated state. People live and move there for all kinds of reasons. You might move there when you retire, but perhaps you’ll head there for the career opportunities.
You can advance your career in Florida by doing all kinds of things. For instance, you might look for a legal job in Florida. In this article, we’ll talk about what steps you might take to land your dream legal job in the Sunshine State.
Why Move to Florida to Pursue a Legal Job?
Florida is America’s third-most populated state, and you can find several big cities there. For instance, you might move to Miami, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, etc.
When you move to a larger Florida city, you’ll soon find many law firms located there. If you want a legal job, you may target one of those firms. Maybe you’ll look at their industry reputation and determine you want to land a position with one of them.
What Can You Do to Make Landing a Legal Job in Florida More Likely?
If you move to Florida and look for legal jobs, you should try to pass the bar. That usually means going to law school. Florida has several prestigious law schools, and you should study the law and attempt to pass the bar as soon as you possibly can.\
Every once in a while, you’ll hear about autodidacts who taught themselves about the law and passed the bar without going to law school. That doesn’t happen very often, though. More times than not, you’ll need to go through conventional channels if you want to eventually secure a law degree.
That law degree means you can start applying for legal jobs in the bigger Florida markets. You can ask around at all of the prestigious firms and see if they’re hiring aspiring lawyers.
However, you might also get a Florida legal job before you pass the bar. For instance, you can approach a firm and ask them if you can clerk for them while you’re studying to get your law degree.
Many times, a firm will hire you as a clerk so you can learn about the legal profession firsthand while you study to pass the bar. Just know that a clerkship doesn’t pay very much. If you get one, you may have to live with a bunch of roommates while you wait to pass the bar. You may even have to get a second job during this time.
Apply for Jobs that Interest You
If you clerk for a Florida law firm while you study to pass the bar, that firm might offer you a position when you get your law degree. They already know you, and if you show them you’re dedicated and want a job with them, you can probably enter the legal profession that way once you have that all-important degree. You’ll already have some industry experience, and the law firm for which you clerked will likely respect that.
However, maybe you studied and passed the bar on your own, and you didn’t get a clerkship. If so, you’ll need to approach law firms and see if they’ll hire you based on your law degree alone.
Sometimes, that works out. Maybe you make such a good impression during the interview process that a Florida law firm hires you on a temporary basis. If you can impress them while you work there, you can cement a position for yourself.
You might also beef up your resume by getting recommendations from your professors if you attended law school in Florida or elsewhere. Glowing words from a former professor might help you get your foot in the door.
You can also try to open up your own law firm. Maybe you’re the only lawyer at first, and you practice something like personal injury law. You probably won’t do something like corporate law on your own since you need a company to retain you for that.
Most companies won’t take a chance on you in this area if you have no prior experience. They won’t regard your law degree as enough unless you graduated from one of the country’s most prestigious universities.
If you choose to look for work at a law firm, and you didn’t clerk for them, you can also use resources like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster to see which firms need new lawyers. You might get lucky and find one that needs someone right when you’re looking.