What it takes to temp in the legal industry
Temporary legal jobs are more common than ever making temp legal professionals high in demand. If you have a background in law and are thinking about entering the temporary workforce, here are a few things you should know.
- The most in-demand legal temps have experience working in a private attorney’s office, law firm or corporate legal department. Recent law school graduates can gain experience and beef up their resumes by working as a paralegal on a temporary basis while waiting to take the bar exam.
- You must be computer literate and familiar with the latest legal software. If you are a paralegal or attorney, you should be familiar with Westlaw, the most common legal research tool.
- Most temporary legal jobs involve document review, so experience in that area will help your cause. If your background includes electronic discovery, be sure to highlight the e-discovery review tools you have used.
- At a more general level, you should be able to adapt to new people and different work environments.
- There are plenty of temporary opportunities for paralegals and attorneys, who are frequently brought in to help with specific projects or during the preparation stages for major cases.
- Other temporary positions include receptionists, IT professionals, HR professionals, accountants—even court runners.
- Whatever position you apply for, craft a well-designed resume that can be printed or emailed, and be ready to demonstrate your writing, editing and computer skills.
The Next Step
- If you think you have the skills and experience to work as a legal temp, the next step is putting yourself in the hands of a qualified staffing agency such as Hudson Legal.
- Develop a set of bullet points that lists your experience and credentials. For example, if you’re seeking a position as an attorney, list your years of experience, the number of large projects you have worked on and where you have been admitted to the bar. A simple, easy-to-read document will help the agency expedite your background check.
- Reputable agencies put legal candidates through a rigorous prescreening, so prepare for that before you walk through the door. You can expect to be questioned in detail about your work experience and your reasons for seeking legal temp work. Be up-front about your experience and expertise. Don’t inflate your resume or exaggerate your abilities.
- Let the agency know about any weaknesses you might have in interviewing or job-search techniques. Many agencies offer coaching in these and other areas.
- Be ready to sell yourself to the agency in the same way you would to an employer. If you are ready to discuss your goals and skills in detail, you will make it easier for the agency to find an appropriate position for you.