Filling the Demand

Filling the Demand

22 September, 2015

Check out this great article on the state of the legal jobs market for articling students and junior lawyers. It features insightful analysis and commentary by experts in the field, including one of our very own, ZSA CEO Christopher Sweeney.
The subject of law jobs for juniors continues to be a hot topic in Canada, as competition for articling and junior associate positions remains intense. Given the glut of young legal talent, law firms can afford to be strategic in their hiring decisions, focusing on things like non-legal experience and critical thinking skills, in addition to more traditional criteria like grades.
Another way that firms have started to act more strategically in recent years is in the way they manage the more routine aspects of files. This includes increasing reliance on technology and outsourcing to perform tasks that were once the realm of juniors or articling students. This has helped to reduce costs for clients, but at the cost of contributing to the squeeze on junior positions at law firms.
Luckily, for juniors who want to work at traditional law firm, there continue to be opportunities, as long as you know where to look. One way juniors can set themselves apart is to specialize. Niche areas like tax or commercial real estate are performing well and need new talent. Another way to stand out is to emphasize additional strengths you can bring to the table, such as relevant experience in addition to your law degree.
Finally, juniors who want to practice should be open to taking a different path. As clients work to reduce their outside legal spend, the number of jobs for juniors in firms has indeed decreased. However, this same trend has corresponded with increased workloads for in-house counsel, which has led to growing in-house legal departments and an explosion of available positions at all levels, including juniors. There are also many other creative opportunities for junior lawyers aside from working for a large firm in a major city :

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