Build Strong Relationships With Law Schools To Boost Your Recruiting Efforts

Graduating lawyers won’t take the bar exam for several months. But savvy law firms have already begun revving up their recruiting efforts. They know that hiring the best candidates is a competitive process. The winners in this race will be those firms that find the most effective ways to meet, greet, and woo soon-to-be attorneys at their law school.

Here are some strategies to help you gain a critical edge on your competition when you’re ready to hire:

Recruit summer associates from law schools.

One of the best ways to introduce prospective employees to your firm’s culture—and evaluate their skills—is to observe them in action. Promote your summer associate program at local law schools. Stay in touch with stellar performers so you can extend job offers to them before they’re snatched up by your competition.

Get your lawyers involved in recruiting.

Ask your colleagues—whether they’re associates, laterals or partners—to reach out to their alma maters. Ask them to connect with the career-development office. Use this space to share opportunities about job openings, upcoming speaking engagements, and mentorship opportunities. This strong connection to law schools can be a helpful recruiting tool.

Post on law school job boards.

Law schools are motivated to make sure their new grads get a strong start to their career path. List your associate-level positions on virtual and physical job boards at the schools.

Play up your strengths.

Promote your best assets. If your firm is based in a more affordable city, it might offer a better option for new graduates with hefty loans. Does your firm emphasize flexible schedules and the ability to work remotely? Determine what’s unique about your practice. And use those unique factors to differentiate your firm from the competition. Remember that the newest batch of law school grads are Millennials. Millennials often want less rigid work hours, more mentoring, and true work-life balance. If you can meet those needs, your firm will be an appealing choice for new lawyers.

Work with local law schools’ job-placement offices.

Collaborate with local schools. Gain a better understanding of what activities and events most interest up-and-coming attorneys. Sponsor campus events such as “lunch and learn” sessions. Offer to review students’ resumes or critique drafts of briefs. The more law students you meet, the more you’ll be able to clarify what skills best serve your firm. The more you can spread the word about opportunities in your various practice areas, the better.

Invite law students to your office.

Sponsor educational or social events at your firm for students at local law schools. Provide transportation from campus, refreshments and small takeaways like branded pens and notepads. Meeting students in a more relaxed setting provides you with an opportunity for in-depth conversations. These conversations should reveal their interests, skills, and abilities. Your firm will gain a reputation for helpfulness and support. Give your firm an advantage over other practice and win top talent.

For tips on how to build a strong multigenerational workforce, check out our white paper.


Attract & Retain Top Talent

With a rapidly changing industry, it's vital to offer the right compensation and set the right expectation. With our Salary Guide, get detailed job descriptions, industry insights and local salary data to equip your managers with hiring confidence and expertise.

Get your copy »

Get email updates about more content like this.


| Next articles in The Column blog |

Get the foundation you need to hire the best legal talent.

Request your copy of our 2021 Salary Guide »