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To Temp or Not to Temp

Whether or not to take a temporary legal attorney job while either waiting for a permanent position or between jobs is a question faced by a large number of attorneys and new law school graduates in the job market. Although BCG only handles permanent placements, we are often asked for advice with respect to the temp legal job market in general and how temporary positions (as well as those from legal temp agencies) affect a lawyer's marketability for permanent positions. For an out-of-work lawyer, the question may seem simple enough at first blush because temporary work is, among other things, a paying job. I suggest you give it a closer look before making a final decision. Being a temporary attorney can have a great effect on your legal career. It is more than simply serving as a way to make money until you find your next or first permanent position.

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Thank you very much for sharing interesting topic. You are giving very good stuff through this post. Some temporary jobs may seem to be the ones that no one else wants. Even these placements can be a learning experience if you keep an open mind about it. Remember, you are getting paid to do the tasks assigned to you, however menial they may seem to be, and a paycheck in this day and age is nothing to scoff about.

Posted by: Aisha Miller

You have some interesting insights on temporary attorney work, however, I think one piece is missing from your discussion. There is an underlying assumption made that all law grads should and do seek associate positions with large law firms. That assumption has lead many a contract or temp attorney to think they have failed in their career if they have not gotten such a position. There are many reasons to avoid such positions, not the least of which is that despite the relative high pay, the attorney will be working effectively two full-time jobs at a time.

There are a growing number of attorneys who are deliberately choosing a different type of lawyering in smaller firms, on their own, or working independently on a freelance basis, on their own schedules and terms. These attorneys are no longer hiding the shadows, embarrassed to tell colleagues what they do for a living. They are sharing the benefits of these career choices with others, and the concept of a less hectic, while still intellectually challenging, lawyer lifestyle is catching on with this new generation of lawyers.

Posted by: Melody Kramer

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