Lawyers work for major banks, broker/dealers, regional and boutique firms, robo advisory firms, and independent wealth managers. Others are employed by law firms that provide contracted services to these employers. Vault.com publishes an annual list of the 25 Best Law Firms for Banking & Financial Services (as ranked by associates). The top five firms in 2021 were:
Visit https://www.vault.com/best-companies-to-work-for/law/best-law-firms-in-each-practice-area/financial-services to check out the list.
Most wealth management firms don’t hire lawyers straight out of law school. Instead, they prefer to hire attorneys who have obtained several years of experience with a major law firm, a large bank, or other major financial employer. Some firms seek lawyers who have experience with a government regulator such as the Securities & Exchange Commission.
There are many ways to land an entry-level job in law. Many major employers recruit on campus, so check with your school’s career services office for a schedule of recruiting visits. The campus interviewing process can be very challenging, and it’s important to be well prepared. Visit the following Web site to learn more about how to ace campus interviews: http://www.chambers-associate.com/where-to-start/on-campus-interviews.
Other ways to learn more about job opportunities include using social media, attending networking events, joining professional associations and utilizing their career development resources, volunteering with legal aid associations, and attending industry conferences. Finally, contact law firms directly or visit their Web sites for information on career paths and methods of entry. Use the NALP Directory of Legal Employers (https://www.nalpdirectory.com) to search for employers by location, employer type, practice areas, and other criteria.
Unsure about what to do during the actual job-search (i.e., resumes, interviewing, etc.)? If so, the Association of Corporate Counsel is a good resource. It offers answers to frequently asked questions about resumes, cover letters, networking, interview strategies and preparation, and other job-search topics at https://www.acc.com/career-development.
At a large wealth management firm, an associate with several years of experience can advance to the position of managing attorney, who supervises the work of other lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries. After seven to 10 years on the job, managing attorneys may advance to the position of chief legal officer, the top legal professional at the firm. Some chief legal officers eventually become partners or advance to become their organization’s CEO or chief operating officer, or join corporate boards.
Visit http://www.chambers-associate.com/where-to-start/compare-firms for a list of well-known law firms. At the site, you can compare firms by a variety of criteria, including starting salary, firm size and revenue, and diversity.
Become a student member of the American Bar Association to receive Student Lawyer, a magazine that contains useful information for aspiring lawyers, and other career and job-search resources. Sample articles from the magazine can be read at https://abaforlawstudents.com/stay-informed/. The ABA also offers a Before the Bar Blog and The Law Student Podcast.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings: