If you're an attorney considering making a move to or within Texas, you may want to know what Texas law firms are looking for when it comes to hiring lateral associates.
In general, for associates the "sweet spot" is 2-5 years of experience.
At this point in your career, you have the skills to contribute to the team, but your partnership determination is far enough in the future that they can get maximum value from you before that decision is made. As always in the law, the stronger your academic record the more interviews you will get. But once in the door for an interview, your interpersonal skills will determine whether you get asked back.
Other factors that affect whether you will get an interview are:
- The number of jobs you've held since law school. Firms want someone who is loyal and not a "job-hopper"
- Culture fit (an attorney whose attitude mirrors that of the firm's)
- Passed the bar exam the first time.
- If licensed in another state but not Texas, it's helpful to either have already signed up to take the Texas Bar exam, which proves you are serious about making Texas your new home, or to have enough legal experience in the other state to waive in to the Texas Bar
- Gainfully employed. The adage that it's always better to be looking for a job if you already have one holds true in the law. Even if you were laid off for reasons beyond your control, those who are not currently working are viewed less favorably than those who are.
- Local candidates tend to have an advantage over other in-state candidates. And in-state candidates have an advantage over out-of-state ones. If you are relocating, articulate your ties to the area and explain why you are interested in living in that particular city. Being from there, having lived there before, having family there, or even having good friends who live in that city are all reasons that potential employers like to hear.