Our next Attorneys in Transition event is Feb. 24. One of our speakers, Nicole Nehama Auerbach, founding member of the Valorem Law Group, took some time to answer some of our questions.
What do you hope people learn from your presentations about the job market?
My presentation will be more about things that I’ve learned about the industry and things that have worked for me. So it’s not necessarily a true presentation “about the job market.” My hope is that something I say resonates with at least one person in the audience, and that I perhaps say something that makes someone think about things in a new or different way and that change helps them in their search.
What is your biggest piece of advice for finding that next job?
Stay focused and positive. It is a tough market and it may be a while until you find the next thing. In the meantime, consider temp attorney work or other things to bring in some income if necessary. Don’t fixate or obsess on this search (even though it is an extremely important thing). I find that when I most desperate – for a win, for a client, for something — it comes across subliminally, and not in a positive way. Remember to take some time for yourself, to do something you never could do when you were working all the time – even if that means sneaking off to see a movie or a museum exhibit for an afternoon. The more human you become, the more you will relate to others, and the more you will open your eyes to opportunities you might not have otherwise thought of.
Why is networking so important?
You just never know who you will meet who might have a job for you, have a suggestion for you, have a kind word for you, or have a friend of a friend with a cousin once removed who may have something. I can’t underestimate it, but there is a fine line between effective networking and desperately trying to amass as many business cards as possible at any given time. Possibilities arise when people genuinely are interested in you or what you can do. Relationships can’t be forced – so just be yourself. And follow up – but DO NOT STALK!
How should lawyers adapt their careers to this changing legal environment?
I consider myself a bit of an “apple-cart upsetter” – meaning that I have always felt that the status quo should be challenged if it isn’t working right or isn’t sustainable. I think in this changing legal environment you simply have to be willing to think outside of the box. You must be flexible, and I think you have to come to terms with the idea that life may not be as easy as it used to be. I also happen to think that change – sometimes even drastic or unwanted change – ends up causing people to do things that they never would have done, and usually that’s a positive thing.