Interested in a making a career move either within or as a new participant in the Texas legal job market. Whether a law firm or the legal department of a corporation, here are 5 steps for success:
Determine the geographic location of your next career move
Thinking the corporate route? Maybe Dallas/ Ft. Worth is for you with its 20+ corporate headquarters, many of them focusing on commercial real estate, financial service & banking, mergers & acquisitions and intellectual property. Or, maybe energy/ oil & gas is your cup of Texas tea, then Houston’s for you with more than 600 exploration and production firms, 1100 oilfield service companies and more than 180 pipeline transportation establishments.
San Antonio offers a mix of healthcare, media, construction, energy and insurance. And, finally Austin continues to explode as this growing tech hub has become one of the hottest relocation destinations for technology focused professionals, including lawyers, during the pandemic.
Do some field research to find opportunities
The pandemic has created demand for certain legal fields, including litigation as well real estate. Texas is seeing some bankruptcies and corporate restructurings, but lower compared to some other areas. We also see positions for entry level to senior associates that specialize in bankruptcy, labor and employment, litigation, healthcare, data security, intellectual property or insurance. Economic factors impact practice areas.
When the economy is strong, we see an uptick in corporate work – making deals, growing companies, M&A, etc. During more uncertain times or a pandemic, we have seen an increased demand for litigator, real estate (buying, selling and negotiating office leases with some employees still remote) and labor and employment. Also related to pandemic is a rise in law firm Human Resources managers and HR coordinators.
Brush up on your interview questions
The pandemic created new interview questions that candidates should be prepared to answer. These include: (1) have you been vaccinated for Covid? (2) Are you OK working in an office full time? One the flip side, employers should be ready to answer related questions too, such as: (1) how did your law firm handle employees during the height of the pandemic? (2) is remote work an option? (3) what is the law firm’s current Covid protocol, including if a current employee tests positive?
Prepare a CLE approved presentation
Connect with local and state Bar organizations and conferences to present your information. This is a great way to get in front of a lot of lawyers and hopefully some in a position to hire for their law firm or legal department.
Find connections to the region you’re considering
If you don’t have family in the area, maybe you have friends or law school classmates that have settled in Dallas or San Antonio that you visit often and have grown to love the city. A spouse went to undergrad there or another connection.
With the exponential growth in Texas in the past 10 years, we hear from many lawyers that simply want to move to the area because of a warmer climate, no state taxes, cost of living and others. Regardless of your reasons, make sure you’ve done your research and can articulate why you’re making the move and why you plan for it to be long-term and your new home.