Tag Archives: Job Search

Being true to yourself

Nancy Mackevich Glazer is manager of Legal Launch LLC.  The goal of Legal Launch LLC is to provide uplifting, career counseling for 3Ls, recent law school graduates and experienced attorneys.  Nancy offers her clients endless ideas and possibilities to help land them the right job in a competitive market.  www.LegalLaunch.net;    Nancy@LegalLaunch.net

Throughout your life, no doubt, you’ve heard people advise you to “be true to yourself.”   Even Shakespeare admonished, “To thine own self be true …”

From Shakespeare’s Elizabethan era, fast forward to now, April 2011.  I’ll bet that the following description sounds familiar to many of you:

  • You’ve graduated law school, even passed the Illinois Bar Exam.
  • You’re looking for a job in law that will provide sound footing to begin your career while also helping sustain you, your landlord, and your lender(s).
  • You’ve sent out a ridiculous number of resumes, each with its own custom crafted cover letter.  (You don’t care to count how many.)
  • Like so many of your law school friends, you haven’t had one response — not even a “Thank you, Mr./Ms. _________.   We have received your resume, and you will hear from us by __________…”   Nothing.

I take pride in a similar demoralizing experience I had as a 2L, back in the day.  I was active in a Chicago-based civil liberties organization.  This organization was honoring a man who had once served as a past president and who, in my eyes, changed the world as I knew it.   This man, high upon my pedestal, was also a name partner in his own Chicago law firm.

I wrote this nameless partner a congratulatory note for being honored, and he subsequently invited me to his firm to get acquainted.     As we discussed the state of the legal profession back then, in the Dark Ages, he explained to me that I would never stand a chance of being hired at his law firm.  The reason:  I wasn’t good enough.   I had not attended Harvard, University of Chicago, Northwestern or Stanford as an undergrad or as a law student.  Simply put, I wasn’t in “The Club.”

While I truly didn’t meet with him to prospect for a job, I was rather startled and somewhat offended.  Okay, if you go to law school, you have to be able to withstand blows of this sort.  So I did just that.  I picked myself up off the floor, smiled sweetly, looked him straight in the eye with appreciation for his time, and started putting one foot in front of the other again.

My point is this:  we’ve all been kicked in life and in our job searches.  No doubt, no one is getting kicked more than the graduates of recent years.

The key is:  How are you going to handle being kicked around?  Will you become a tougher, bolder person?  Or, will you become a tougher, more calloused person?

It may be extremely difficult, but if you do nothing else, take some comfort here:  Attorneys who approach me for help with their job searches have endured many blows.  I hear these stories repeatedly:

  • How new attorneys and law students spend time crafting e-mails to lawyers, asking for informational interviews.  Even if there is a connection through family, friends or law school, often, these requests asking for only 10-15 minutes of non-billable time, go unanswered.
  • About recent graduates sending time-consuming, customized cover letters and resumes (x 3.14) in response to posts of available jobs.   Responses of any kind are rarely inspired.
  • How graduates sign on for temporary assignments to start on a date certain.  The coordinators for these projects string along their temporary hires week after week, explaining that the project continues to be delayed.  As a result of these attorneys’ loyalty and keeping of their word, they have missed out on 4-6 other temporary assignments.  Needless to say, these folks fear their landlords and their loan officers.

I repeat, take comfort here.

What I’m suggesting is that the legal world’s pendulum is off its center.  If you are reading this, nodding your head in agreement, you are the victim of simple oversupply v. no demand economics.  You’re smack dab in the middle of a lopsided scale of justice.

You knew this already, but here’s what you might not know: You’re not crazy.

Hopefully, you can look yourself in the mirror and know that market forces have taken over; what you’ve got is the mirror on the wall, your own good reflection and your gut telling you that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.

My advice amidst the madness is, try to stay true to yourself.  Try to think about the reasons why you went to law school in the first place.  Put yourself above the imbalance, if possible.

While you’re out there pounding pavement, during or post- law school, know that it will not always be easy to hold fast to who you really are.  Today, you are considered fortunate to have a potential employer simply read your resume.  If you get a written response via snail mail or email , that’s huge (even if you were not accepted).  An interview?  An exceedingly rare event!

If you’re out there looking for work, no doubt your head has been lost in this familiar breeze of a pendulum-gone-mad.  You are probably accustomed to it.  Accustomed to no responses … Accustomed to being strung along …

Sadly, it is inevitable that job seekers today might lose a part of themselves in an unbalanced market runneth over.  If this sounds familiar, don’t do it.  Don’t forget yourself.  Don’t forget why you aspired to study law, even though the law school-to-profession model changed in the middle of the game.  This still isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.

*Back to that name partner. Funny enough in the following year, the hiring committee of this man’s very own firm ironically extended me an offer to work post graduation — summer stipend, bar review course tuition and a raise-before-I-even-walked-in-the-door, all included.  (This guy was obviously not on his own firm’s hiring committee)  For other reasons, I did not accept this offer.  Again, it was market forces causing the firm to break old rules and change the way the game had to be played.

In life, you have learned to be bigger than this.  You learned it in kindergarten, when you were admonished, “When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.”

The lawyers in our lawyers club, riding the supply-side pendulum, don’t seem to be watching out for us, holding our hands or sticking together.  There is no tattling, and no teacher is present.

Later in law school, the very core of the Socratic Method taught us to toughen up.  We have all learned how to take an intellectual beating in front of our peers.  As a result, we then showed up to class better prepared.  We also became more analytical, and eventually, better lawyers.

Job-seekers, you’re not crazy.  Don’t ever grow accustomed to the silence following the submission of a job application.  That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

Even for those of us who never made it to the Ivy League, we lawyers belong to a very fine club.  This is true despite the lack of recognition I received from a once-highly–pedestalled civil rights honoree.   We’ve earned our membership.  We’re in, no matter how the pendulum happens to swing.

References

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

Employers are being very careful about who they hire, looking at information sources that are new (social media), some that have dubious relevance (credit reports) and old – references.  I don’t think candidates often give sufficient thought to who these people are.

Generally if you are in an active job search as an attorney, you should have those who supervised you, those you have supervised, and those you have represented ready to serve as references.  Peers are also important, especially with flatter organizations reducing the opportunity to supervise people.  The people you select, probably from among many choices, should share several characteristics.  Most importantly, they should know you well and be able to respond to in-depth inquiries about you as a person and your work.  Ideally, your reference should be able to cite one or more situations in which you went above and beyond the call of duty, or produced a very favorable outcome in a difficult situation.  They should be articulate and persuasive, as they will be doing a sales job, and you are the product.  They should have as much stature in their field as possible.  Someone who was a SVP/General Manager is going to have a bit more gravitas than the IT help desk manager, even though he may also love your work.  But be careful: stature is no substitute for knowledge.  Recommendations from people higher up the management ladder who don’t know you well will inevitably sound a bit hollow, and may quite possibly hurt you rather than help.

The references should address what employers want to hear about: Who are you, how do you work as part of a team, what are your strengths and weaknesses, will you deliver in a crunch –these points are just some of the potential areas of inquiry.  If you have a blemish on your record, a good reference at that employer might be able to do some good explaining it away.  They can explain extenuating circumstances, put it in context, or give some insight into the internal politics of the organization that might have contributed to your less-than-stellar outcome there.  Your reference may be able to cure many ills with a phrase such as “I’d hire her again tomorrow, without hesitation.”

I think it’s essential today more than ever for your non-lawyer references to talk about how you helped their business.  You could be magna cum law review with a genius IQ, but if you can’t translate that encyclopedic knowledge of the law into actual results for your client’s business, and relate to business people in terms they can understand, it won’t be quite as impressive to a prospective employer.  While I think there is an unfortunate trend among corporate employers to look at the legal department the same way they look at manufacturing in terms of contributions to the bottom line, a client that can legitimately point to a situation where you saved the business a lot of money, or dodged a bullet, will be doing you a favor.  Although law firms do tend to rely far more on quantitative criteria such as class rank or billing dollars, the new paradigms that are being explored in the firm/client relationship demand a sensitivity to business concerns as well as top-notch lawyering.  As a result, these kinds of recommendations may serve you well in either the firm or in-house context.

Skills

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

It’s very hard to pinpoint when exactly you instinctively know that the answer to the question, “when is it over?” is “now.”  You will probably get to that point gradually, not in giant steps.  But it may come.  What do you do when it comes?

Most lawyers follow a fairly linear path.  You do very well in college, get into law school, find a job and start practicing.  Sometimes it goes according to a pre-ordained plan, with others it’s serendipity and little else.  You find a job you like, you do well at it, and you like it well enough.  You continue to do it because you get used to the income, you have a passion for the law, you enjoy the intellectual challenge, you like the social or professional status that comes with saying “I’m a lawyer” or some combination of all or none of these factors.  But then it’s gone, and your efforts to find another job in the law run into macroeconomic dislocation, a changing legal landscape, or naked discrimination, or something else, and you realize, “I may never get another legal job.”  While that realization comes for older lawyers today more often, it can happen to anyone.

Fortunately, lawyers are reasonably intelligent people with a variety of skills.  It’s important for you to grasp that those skills are transferable to many other professions, and that with some salesmanship and honest self-evaluation, you can move in another direction that may be equally rewarding, personally, professionally or economically.

Inventory what you did as a lawyer.  You wrote lots of different kinds of things.  Speak publicly in front of small and large groups.  Locate arcane information.  Investigate and dispute facts.  Evaluate the veracity of conflicting accounts of events.  Take large amounts of information and distill it into sensible, digestible portions.  Simplify the complicated.  Prioritize, organize and plan numerous projects to meet sometimes unyielding deadlines.  Persuade others.  Work with complex financial data.  Develop and use advanced computer skills.  Educate clients’ employees.  And don’t forget what you learned from your clients – you may already be a near-expert in some very interesting areas because you had to learn it in order to give advice to your clients.

Don’t forget your hobbies and your past jobs before the law.  What skills do they contribute?  I was an athletic trainer in high school, and I am sure could still tape ankles and knees to help prevent injuries, and provide first aid.  I worked for six years in a restaurant, ultimately becoming a traveling training assistant, who taught personnel in new stores how to prepare and serve food according to that restaurant’s policies.  I learned a lot about great customer service and how to get people to deliver it.  Sometimes these skills will be great as they are, sometimes they might need some validation or enhancement through additional training or certification, but shouldn’t be ignored as another advantage.

Once you have this inventory done, learn what other jobs require those skills.  There are a number of tools available on the Internet or in your local library that can aid this process.  In short, while you are often stymied initially by the box that you’re currently in, you need in this changing economy to be flexible and capitalize on how your skills may be transferable.

Networking

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

The absolute best, nothing-else-comes-close, most likely-to-succeed way to get a job is through networking.  Now that I have said what thousands of others have (which by the way I DO agree with 100 percent as it has worked for me on several occasions, and for countless others that I know), is what I really think networking should be about.

Over the years (though more recently on the increase it seems to me), I have observed people at various gatherings, furiously flitting like a hummingbird from group to group, never meeting your eyes because they’re scanning for the really important people they think might be there, always devoting 5 percent of their brain to what you’re saying and the other 95 to their strategy for “working the room.”  I have visions of a special floor in Dante’s Inferno for such folks where they have to read other people’s business cards 24 hours a day for eternity.  Allow me to submit to you that these people are doing something, but it’s only a perversion of “networking.”  When I see LION next to someone’s name on LinkedIn, I cringe involuntarily.

You can tell I’m not great at “networking” as many people define it.  I’m outgoing – to a point, personable, able to converse intelligently on a wide range of subjects, with a decent sense of humor, but I have near zero tolerance for artifice and glad-handing.  And you have to find what works for you and who you are.

I think your true network should be all about people you have taken time to get to know, or who have worked with you or share another connection such as an alumni group.  You share a fairly good idea of each other’s personality, strengths, weaknesses, talents, contacts, and interests.  You’ve seen each other in action and like what you see.  You know some faults, and while you take them into account, on balance you’re willing to overlook them.  You probably know at least something about their family.  You’ve known them a while, in some cases years.  Some of them are also “friends” in that you’ve met and know their spouses/significant others, and sometimes their kids, been to each other’s homes, and interacted socially.

This group is the result of considerable time spent on development, though you didn’t think of it that way when you did it: you just liked them.

There’s a second group: People who regularly turn up at those professional or alumni meetings, who you know almost on sight, and with whom you have had more than one conversation.  You either have formed, or are beginning to form the impression that they might be someone you’d like to know better.  They’re interesting both as a person and, in part, because of who they are, what or who they know, or because of what they do.  They remember you and will take your call, or take the time to return it.  Both are part of your network.

But the former group is the most critical to your job search.  These are the folks who are going to call that prospective employer and talk with the hiring partner they went to law school with, adding that they think you might be an asset to the firm.  They are going to say nice things about your capabilities when used as a reference.  They have trust and credibility with you and with the other people they might call on your behalf or introduce you to.

The latter group might open some doors, or pass along a hot tip about the hidden market, which is terrific, but value and nurture that first group all the time.  You can’t start when you’re laid off.

Equilibrium

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

I was reading an article during the football season about Lovie Smith, the Bears’ head coach, and the writer highlighted his philosophy of never getting too high or too low in the face of media and fan criticism of his lack of visible emotion.  There is a very important lesson here for job searchers.

A job search is a process with deep roots in frustration, despair, pressure and panic.  I think back to Lee Trevino’s old story about “pressure is having two bucks in your pocket trying to make a putt for a five dollar bet.”  Whatever money you have during a search never seems to equal what you need.  Friction between spouses is not uncommon, rooted in money, or simply unspoken fear of impending disaster.

Recruiters who never answer, or never get back to you when promised.  Being rejected for no good reason for jobs you can do in your sleep.  Creditors who don’t take no for an answer. So it can be easy to greet good news with ecstatic joy only to have it replaced five minutes later by crushing despair.

As an attorney you have had some training in dealing with this type of problem: during a negotiation, you are savvy enough not to let your opponent know what’s good and bad by your demeanor.  You maintain your equanimity, even if you just lost the one battle you had to win.  It is essential that you control your emotions and keep that even temperament in your search.

First of all, those very same people who drive you to insanity will react badly if you actually show your emotions, and hurt your efforts to find a job.  I recall a conversation I had with a recruiter at a large well known firm, who told me “I needed to get rid of the bitterness.”  This comment came seconds after I had expressed some umbrage when she told me that a job that she had posted wasn’t available to me because I wasn’t on Law Review, despite the fact that I had represented a similar business for several years quite successfully and was then fifteen years removed from my last report card.  Was she being narrow-minded and clinging to useless stereotypes?  Undoubtedly.  Yes, folks, there are idiots out there, lots of them unfortunately, some in high ranking jobs.  But telling them who they are will not help you, no matter how much you want to.

Second, and far more important, it will hurt you in many other ways.  If you are what you eat physically, then you are what you feel mentally.  It’s going to be enormously difficult to project the confident, ready-for-anything persona that most legal employers want to see in a candidate if you are wallowing in a puddle of self-pity.  You might exude instead a somewhat repellent aura of hopelessness.  After a while, there is a toll on your physical health that is well-documented in the medical literature.  Loss of energy, ability to enjoy the good things that happen, even depression and worse can follow.

Easy – no.  Essential – yes.  There will be challenges, and many of them may appear insurmountable.  To have gotten through law school, you had to display a substantial reserve of self-discipline.  It is time to dip into it, and apply liberally.  Talk with your spouse.  Rely on trusted friends and share your frustrations.  You’re not alone in how you feel.  And if you believe, prayer is not a bad idea either.

Checking out the resume — Part II

Nancy Mackevich Glazer is manager of Legal Launch LLC.  The mission of Legal Launch is to give uplifting and creative career advice to 3Ls, recent law school grads and experienced attorneys.  Nancy helps her clients land gratifying employment – legal or nonlegal  - in a competitive market. www.LegalLaunch.netNancy@LegalLaunch.net

Last week, I discussed how your resume’s descriptions of your past legal work should “add value” to the clients, firms or companies where you were employed.  This week’s continuation of the “adding value” theme requires you to look at your many-times- revised-and- it’s-getting-close-to–perfection resume.

This week, I ask:  Do you have a section in your resume that describes your experience drafting motions or briefs while clerking for a firm?

If your answer to the question above is “yes,” take a look at that section of your resume again.  I’m sure you started out the paragraph with a past tense action verb, such as:

“Researched and wrote summary judgment motions, motions in limine and motions to dismiss.”

The past tense action verbs are great; leave them in.

However, if your entry looks like the one above, there is no description of what you did or what value you gave to your former employer or client.  Good impressions about your law school or grade point aside, the partner looking at your resume needs to know exactly what you can do for her.

For example, let’s say she’s has to file a complex motion to dismiss in chancery court in next month and needs some help.  From your resume, noted above, she doesn’t really know if you can handle this task.  Instead of offering generic experience on your resume, “Researched and wrote … motions to dismiss,” try something like this instead:

Researched and wrote summary judgment motion in complex insurance coverage matter on behalf of insured, prevailing on three counts of a four-count complaint; analyzed law and drafted motions in limine and briefs in an employment matter, successfully convincing U.S. District Court  judge to rule against 6 of opposing party’s 10 jury instructions.

By writing your resume in a way that describes exactly what you have done and how you were successful in the past helps a prospective employer make her decision.  She knows you wrote a similarly complex brief in your experience and that you were successful. She sees what kinds of subject matter you have researched and analyzed.  She sees that you added value to the brief, to your former client and to your former firm.

Phrasing your experience as I have done above allows a future employer to see that you can hit the ground running!    Showcasing your talent in this way can help you land a job – even ahead of students who received better grades or who graduated from higher-ranked law schools. In this way, you provide a decision-maker with the tools she needs to go to bat for you in the hiring meeting.

Outside counsel

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

You need help with your search, and are thinking of reaching out to some of the outside counsel you know from your last job. You picked this guy because he got good results in past cases and the company has paid him $756,000 over the last year to handle this litigation, so why won’t he return your calls now that you’re “in transition.”

Calm down.  It’s going to happen.  It should happen less, but it doesn’t.  First, let reality in.  You are one of probably 50 in-house counsel he works with and you may not be the most important – and every other lawyer in his firm has the same issue.

Even though you picked him, he isn’t working for you, he’s working for the client: your old employer.  You didn’t pay him, the client did.  And he has to balance any residual loyalty he may have to you with his obligations to the client, and sometimes that isn’t easy, depending on the circumstances of your departure.  So recognize that while he may help you, he may not just as easily.  As with so many other things in your search, if he doesn’t: move on.

Having said that, I have often wondered why outside counsel don’t think long term and help in-house counsel in transition.  Assuming that you are convinced that I know my stuff, and that my departure was not the result of nefarious activities, why would you not want to remain in my good graces by helping my search?  Outside counsel spend an inordinate amount of time – and money – these days trying to attract and keep clients.  So why not try to maintain relationships with in-house lawyers you already know, who might be in a position to remember your e-mail address the next time outside counsel is needed, by giving their job search a boost?

In some cases, the indifference they display has annoyed me to the point of wanting to ask: “So you’re willing to bet I will never be a general counsel again?”

The reality is that there are lots of good lawyers out there.  As house counsel, I can pick lawyers from ten different law firms for any given legal problem, and probably get similar results from a legal standpoint.  Why should I call you?  No quid pro quo.  No improper influence.  But that help you gave me helps build our relationship, and convinces me you are smart enough to think strategically about your firm and you’ll apply that same smarts to my case, enough to tip the balance in your favor.  And believe me, no matter what you read, relationships are not dead as a deciding factor in counsel selection, even in the current “cost is king” environment.

The best job hunting advice I’ve ever heard is that your job search never stops.  Prepare for when you no longer have the job you would do for free.  When you are working, pick the outside counsel you value, who do a good job legally and who are smart enough to know they need to work with you to make your management happy, not just tell you their problems and call only when they’re sniffing for business.  Show them you know your stuff.  Offer to speak at one of their programs.  Cultivate the relationship.  Take some time to help them out; introduce them to someone they’d like to know – or represent.

It’s a two way street.  And then, when you need them, you – and they – won’t have to justify it.

Who am I?

Bill Wilson spent over 20 years in legal departments at corporations large and small, from high tech to brick and mortar, and is writing about various topics while trying to find that next great career opportunity.

This very simple question should be the start of your job search.  The answers hold the key to building your resume, where to search, and who can help you.  But it’s deceptively simple, in that there are many, many layers to it.  And answering it requires a healthy doses of honesty – with yourself.  Fortunately, as a lawyer, you should be very good at the process, but it’s always harder with yourself.  So don’t try to do it all alone.

On one level, you need to state the facts: I have done this kind of law in the past, I’ve worked here.  But you need to know much, much more about yourself.  Organizations have personalities too, and chemistry is probably the key factor in hiring: the hiring powers ask “do we want to work with this person?”  “What will they add to our organization?”  And they are looking at fit, and so should you.  Some want a particular kind of person; others look for a mix.

I will confess that of my 20-plus years of regular full-time employment in-house, only 14 of those years was I working where I should have been.  I am not a very political person, but I worked five years at a company where politics was played out with live ammunition.  I value integrity above many other factors, but went to work somewhere that did not share that value with me.

Looking back, I probably realized those things in both cases by the time the offer was made, if I had been more rigorous about the process of who I was, and acted consistent with them.  Sure enough, I was more successful when I worked where my personality and the organization’s were in sync.

Take some time with some clean sheets of paper to do some thinking.  Are you a workaholic, or is balance important?  Is money key, or other things? Type A or laid back? Am I a loner or a team player? When didn’t it feel like you were working?  When did you feel valued?  What could you have done without?  Was it people (who change frequently) or was it the institution (that usually don’t) that was the source of your issues or the reason it was great?  What got you excited: was it the products, was it the chance to work with lots of other smart people, or was it that they assumed you knew what you were doing and let you do it?  Lots of rules or no rules?  Many questions.

A word of advice: Get feedback.  Take out old performance reviews and look for the grains of truth.  Ask mentors, past supervisors – and listen.  Don’t forget your spouse.

Armed with these answers, you will write a better resume that paints a more vibrant picture of who you are; narrow your search to organizations that are consistent with you; and probably be happier with, and more successful in, the job you get.

A time to give thanks, for your law degree

J. Nick Augustine J.D. is the principal of ALR/PRA, Inc., a full service law practice management agency.  Nick advises and assists attorneys in transition in public relations and marketing.  Nick also shares recruiting and staffing experience and tips for legal job seekers.

This last week, as many of us celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we likely had that conversation with family and friends – “So, have you found an associate position yet?”  I’ve spoken to a few young lawyers who are ready to tell people they are giving up on law to go tend bar or deliver pizza.  Your situation may seem dire, and it may be, but there is hope and you should be thankful to have come this far.

Imagine, in your perfect world, that you were able to get an interview shortly before the end of your third year of law school and that you were hired for an associate position beginning shortly after you sat for the bar exam.  If that had been the case, would you now be having the same thoughts of leaving law?  Likely not, and you would be telling everyone to go to law school to join you in your noble profession.  Your frustration is temporary and situational.

Frustration often comes when your loan payments come due.  Many young lawyers say they would not have gone to law school and incurred tremendous debt if they had known they might not be able to get a job.  Law school graduates really need to address collective thinking about education; there is no entitlement to employment simply because we incurred great debt in earning a law degree.

Rather than stomping your fists, upset by a flooded market, job seekers should re-evaluate their skills sets and aspirations – you have more going for you than you realize.  The skills earned in law school include advanced research, problem solving, negotiation and technical writing.  Also valuable is an understanding of constitutional and government processes.  Imagine all the positions in which a fundamental understanding of the law is useful; for example, insurance companies employ compliance officers and other professionals who value the skills sets derived from an education in law.

Your law degree is also valuable in some of the following positions:  lobbyist, government administration, legal business professionals, health-care administration, forensics, and several additional public and private sector positions.  Guess what?  You may really enjoy one of these alternative positions – have you honestly considered any of them?

Even though it may seem bleak in tough economic times to imagine being able to pay off the student loans and meet your career goals, there are jobs out there and wise job seekers are savvy at marketing their legal and other professional skills to great success.

Giving thanks for your legal education also promotes forward thinking.  As we move forward from the recession and tough economic recovery, we should keep hope that there can be good economic times ahead.  At the end of the day, and as you are thankful for your family and friends during this holiday season, remember that you have advanced education and are in a better position than most.

Q & A with Alexis Reed

Alexis Reed, attorney search director at Special Counsel, will be one of our speakers at our Sept. 30 event. She took some time to answer a few of our questions. If you are interested in attending the event RSVP to oclarke@lbpc.com.

What do you hope people get from your presentation?

I hope that people learn a bit about organizing and creating a persuasive resume, one that will catch a prospective employer’s attention. I also hope that they learn about interview preparation and interview techniques.

What is the biggest challenge for lawyers when looking for a position?

Many lawyers have an idea in their minds about a “perfect” job, and in this economy, I think that attorneys need to be flexible when looking at potential opportunities.  Consider everything and anything that seems reasonably interesting and in-line with your career goals.

What is one piece of advice you have for lawyers?

Make sure that you follow up on every single job lead and every single resume submission!

When do you see the job market changing for lawyers?

After talking with several of our clients, both law firms and corporations, we are all hoping to see an uptick in the market this October.  However, clients involved in corporate finance and real estate areas are not projecting growth until the third quarter of 2010.