We’d like you to meet another member of the May 8 panel. David S. Glynn is director of research and product development for the Law Bulletin, and has been there 15 years. Prior to that he was a human resources manager at a mid-sized Chicago law firm. He also has a background in litigation support as he use to be in the courthouse trenches.
What are your top three pieces of advice for a lawyer looking for his or her next job?
Network, network and network.
- Face-to-face networking — Just the act of networking will help to drum up employment. This can be done in a variety of ways, but in-person, face-to-face connections are important. Get one contact to give you five more contacts. It’s who you know, or who you’re connected to that will help you find a job. Keep these face-to-face meetings short, give them your elevator speech outlining your valuable qualities/skills, ask for some contacts who can help and follow up with a thank you note. Meeting with business people through mutual contacts may result in them having a personal stake in getting you re-employed.
- Virtual networking — Use professional networking services like the Chicago Lawyer Network and LinkedIn to make virtual connections and locate connections you currently have. It will also help you reconnect with contacts with whom you’ve been out of touch. Visit your contacts pages and their connections will remind you of people you know and with whom you can directly connect. Follow up on these connections to get in-person meetings that will lead to more contacts.
- Presentation and Grooming — Fine tune your resume and customize it appropriately to fit the job. With the advent of word processors, you can organize/customize your qualifications to fit the job for which your are applying more accurately. A resume is a billboard to get you an interview. Once you’re in the door you have completed a major accomplishment. Get your suits cleaned and get your hair cut/done before an interview. The better you look, the more likely you’ll make a good first impression.
How should lawyers keep busy while they look for a job?
Attend any potential networking opportunity. In addition to the aforementioned networking suggestions, join a non-profit board, but remember your commitment should be on the long-term side, rather than a brief stint. If that’s too much of a commitment, help out/volunteer occasionally at the nearby homeless shelter, Goodwill, or other non-profit that helps out people in need. If you feel the chips have got you down, this will remind you that you aren’t so bad off after all, there are others in much worse shape than you.
If you yourself are in financial need, register with some of the lawyer temporary agencies like Special Counsel or Robert Half. There is a demand for document review attorneys — most lawyers can handle this type of work and it will help bring money in the door. Most of these agencies are willing to spare time for you to interview with potential permanent employers. Exercise regularly and avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs – this will not help your demeanor.
What do you hope those who attend the event will take away from or learn from the panel discussion?
If they walk away with one solid contact, one solid piece of advice that will help them along with any rejuvenation to their job search or start-up, it will be a successful event.