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From Paralegal to Associate: How to Land your Dream Job!

I was recently asked for advice as to how to land a job as a new associate in a particular field.   That particular friend is passionate about entertainment and music in particular.  Now equipped with a law degree and having just passed the bar, he wondered how to break into the music field as a lawyer.   

My first advise, which apply to any field, is to join as many associations as possible.  Networking is primordial.   The associations don’t need to be only legal based, and should be any type of association related to that field.  While most have a membership fee to join, the benefits far outweighs the costs.  By attending the networking events, you will be directly in contact with attorneys and other professionals in the field you want to break into.  It cannot get any easier than that!   

My friend’s immediate reaction was: “but I don’t have any experience in the music industry!”.    Well, then you have to work with what you have.  Make an inventory of your skills and how they can apply to this new field.  Truly appreciate and embrace what you can bring to the table.   Then, get a better sense as to what a lawyer in the music industry actually do.  Go beyond the job description.  This is where attending the associations events are primordial.   Once you have a good picture of what the job entails, then during any interview you can demonstrate a better understanding of the role.  Any hiring manager will tell you that it is best to hire a comparatively less experienced person who really gets it than a more experience candidate who doesn’t. 

Last but not least, do not despair.  Try to find positions in similar industry and see this as a way to branch into your dream field!

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