Why Attorneys Should Consider Short Term or Contract Legal Jobs
The market is tough and you’ve likely spent a lot to fund your legal education. You have loans to pay off (not to mention regular bills to pay) and in these market conditions finding a job that meets your needs and your salary requirements can take some time. Some attorneys may be reluctant to take on temporary or contract work because they feel it may weaken the appeal of their resume for full-time employers, or because they don’t see temporary work as leading anywhere from a career perspective. If that’s your view, we invite you to reconsider. You might be amazed at the potential for contacts and full-time employment that derives from a temporary assignment.
The temporary/contract marketplace in the legal industry is growing. Many firms are trying to cut costs and offering work as “temporary” or short term, can help them to save costs. They like the chance to get to know someone’s work without having to worry about offering them benefits or having to deal with severing the relationship due to a lack of effort or sub-par work. On the flip side, this also gives them a chance to get to know you and when it comes time to hiring for that full time position, you might be at the top of their list. Hiring for short-term jobs gives firms a chance to work with talented lawyers, with no strings attached.
On your side of the equation, contract work can give you a chance to show your dedication and talent, and to meet people who might be the key to a full-time opportunity. Another advantage to the job seeker: if you’re on a contract assignment and you end up not liking the work environment, you’re under no obligation to stay. Temporary placement companies will always promote this personal flexibility as one of the great benefits of this type of work.
There can be other benefits as well: more control over your hours, less politics, you can leave the office behind you when you leave work (in some situations you may even be able to work from home). And contract work isn’t always tedious document review: some assignments involve research, writing and other functions typically handled by associates.
While you’re job hunting for that perfect full-time job, don’t shy away from taking short-term assignments or contracts – they offer much more in terms of opportunity than appears at first glance.