Relocating to a new city
At some point in your career, you may be faced with the possibility of relocation. Relocation may be necessary for family reasons, to find employment in your desired field, or to return home after having attended law school in a different city. Either way there are a few things that one needs to take into consideration when relocating and looking for legal employment. Below are a few things that should be considered.
Make the Connection:
Employers are hesitant to hire someone who is not committed to staying in their area. Thus, they will look for someone who has a demonstrated connection to the location. When considering relocating you should first focus on geographic areas where you have connections. Connections can be 1) a place where your family or close friends live, 2) the place where your college is located, or 3) a place where you were previously employed. If you do not have any connections, be prepared to sell the reason why you want to live there.
Make the Contacts:
Building a network in your desired city is key to finding employment and establishing a connection. Most legal employment is gained through networking and one must be diligent in these efforts. Here are a few ways to build a network in a new city:
1. Contact Alumni: Call on alumni from both your undergraduate institution and law school. To find alumni contact the Career Service Office, Alumni Office, Westlaw Legal Directory, Lexis Career Center and Martindale Hubbell (www.martindale.com).
2. Join the Local Bar Associations: Every city will have a variety of bar associations. This is a good way to meet lawyers in your practice area and to get vital information about the local legal community and job market. Be sure to become active in the bar association by attending events and meetings.
3. Get Reciprocity: Sometimes, CSO can arrange with a law school in the area where you wish to relocate that would allow you to use the local law school’s career service office and resources. Please contact the CSO for more information. You may also use the BYU intercollegiate job bank to research available positions in other states. To log on to the job bank, follow the instructions below go to law2byu/career_services/jobbank, click on "Intercollegiate Job Bank, and enter your user name and password. This resource will help you find opportunities around the nation.
Make a Move:
The legal job search is very complex when looking locally and made even more difficult when looking in a different city. Thus, you will need to be very proactive and aggressive in order to obtain a desired position. Here are a few things you can do to help:
1. Plan a trip: Visit the city in which you are interested in working. While there make appointments with alumni, friends and employers for both informational and employment interviews.
2. Catch up on local news: Familiarize yourself with the local issues, politics and business so that you can speak intelligently in interviews.
3. Apply to job postings and follow leads: You should aggressively send your resume and cover letter to places that have advertised jobs or places suggested to you by people in your network.
4. Use social media: Social media is an excellent way to catch up and learn about opportunities. LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) is an excellent resource for connecting with attorneys around the globe. Through LinkedIn you can join discussion groups, find out about job opportunities, and even apply for jobs. If you are interested in finding out about particular markets around the country, you should use social media as a way to tap into that information.