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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn on law firm hiring is on the minds of many. While no Big Law firm has yet canceled its first-year class, many are pushing back start dates until 2021, or until after the postponed bar exams. While this presents an issue for first-year associates (essentially putting them on pause), it also creates opportunity.
Opportunity for who? For the incoming first-year associate that is willing to think a bit more creatively about career prospects, and for law firms of the small and midsize variety.
Although the traditional Big Law hiring loop has been disrupted, career opportunities (some outstanding ones at that) may still be available for attorneys at smaller firms less impacted by the evaporation of high-profile corporate work. Likewise, the pause in Big Law hiring creates opportunities for these firms to market themselves in a way that might turn the heads of talented new attorneys that might not typically be on their radars.
Here are four ways that small and midsize law firms can take advantage of the uncertainty of the 2020 hiring market.
Of course, many would-be associates who come across this messaging won’t be tempted and might prefer to simply wait on Big Law to come through. But with the right approach, you may just catch the eye of your next rainmaker.