I am a fourth year associate in Big Law and started my career as a tax associate. Due to the economy the past few years, I've also done a great deal of general litigation work and even some general transactional work. How should I market myself to firms?
This is a question I'm seeing a lot lately as many associates have scrambled to find whatever work they could during the slow days of the past few years. Unfortunately, most mid- to large-sized firms do not want someone who has done a little bit of everything because they prefer to have an associate focus on a single area of law. In this case, I ask candidates to make a specific resume for each practice area to which they've had exposure. I ask them to think about every project they did for that practice area and make a representative work list detailing each project. They can then use that information to make a fairly accurate guess as to what percentage of their time has been spent on each practice area throughout their career.
Using the above example, if it turns out that they spent 50% on litigation, 35% on tax matters and 15% on corporate matters, I would likely suggest that we pursue both litigation and tax positions, but not corporate positions. We can then use these focused resumes to put the candidate in the best light for the positions they apply to and tailor their cover letter accordingly. So, although it may sound appealing to market yourself as well-rounded and exposed to multiple areas of law, you are best served to sell yourself as an expert in one particular practice area.
If you need any help strategizing and marketing yourself, please contact one of the recruiters at BCG Attorney Search and we'll help you think of your most compelling story that will help you land your ideal job!
Please see this article to find out if litigation is right for you: Why Most Attorneys Have No Business Being Litigators: Fifteen Reasons Why You Should Not Be a Litigator