YOUNG ATTORNEYS JUST NEED TO JUST GET OUT THERE AND START JOINING COMMUNITY GROUPS AND GET KNOWN AND THEY WILL PICK UP LOTS OF LEGAL WORK.
Back in "the old days," there would only be a few attorneys in town. If a youngster hung up a shingle, chances are he grew up in the town and knew those attorneys. The young attorney would join the local civic groups and take his place in society. By doing so, the young attorney would be in the mix of things and the business community would feel comfortable with him. There was no pressure on anyone because there was lots of work to go around.
That model really doesn't work so well anymore. Consider that there are 1,268,011 active attorneys in the United States versus a total U.S. resident population of 315,816,000 (2013 statistics). This means there is an active attorney to resident population ratio of 1:249. That's a lot of attorneys for not a lot of people.
Ever hear of six degrees of separation? I guess if you were a glass-half full kind of person you would think that you are six degrees away from being Kevin Bacon's attorney. The reality is that today's legal market saturation is so great that just about everybody has an attorney in their family or already knows an attorney. By way of example, on the blue collar residential street where I grew up on, in the five houses on my parents' side of the street among the kids I grew up with, there was one law student who dropped out after the first year, four kids who grew up to be attorneys and seven who did other things in life. So, like 1/3 of the kids on one stretch of the street grew up to be attorneys.
I hate to break the news but joining a local community group probably isn't going to get you any paying work. Chances are there are already a bunch of attorneys that belong to the group and they won't be too receptive to your not too subtle attempt to poach their contacts. What you probably will end up with is a bunch of non-paying work for the group itself. After all, no one else in the group gets paid so why should you? To the extent you join this group and become friends with the people in it, any time these friends call you with a legal problem, they will expect the legal work to be done for free. I can also guarantee you that if they don't get the outcome they expect, they will trash you within the group and say you are not a good attorney; if they do get the outcome they expect, they will think it was obvious and they shouldn't have to pay you as a result. Any time you do legal work for a friend, relative, or member of a group you belong to, expect no money and social problems as a result.
As an aside, when you join a local community group, don't be surprised if you become unpopular in a hurry. Chances are unless there is another attorney already in the group, the group has not been following any standard business practices. Probably "Good Old Joe" has been the treasurer for twenty years and no one has seen a bank statement that entire time and no one really understands Old Joe's financial statements. Probably even though the group seems to do well at its fundraisers it always seems to be low on funds. Probably you as an attorney will want to sort this out. Probably things will come apart for the group once you start pursuing that. Probably the group will fall apart and blame you. So, think hard before you join any group and disrupt "Good Old Joe's" management.
The myth that "young attorneys just need to get out there, join some community groups and get some work out of it" is BUSTED.