Tamara Klein, one of our speakers for Wednesday’s Attorneys in Transition event, took some time to answer our questions.
What do you hope people get out of the event?
I hope that people learn that there is hope. I think we have hit the bottom of the financial crisis (in terms of legal placement), and are on our way back up. There will still be firms laying off people – but I think it’s going to happen more irregularly. Moreover, I think the firms that continue to lay off people will be ones that should have done it a year ago. I think we are on our way back up. There are plenty of jobs out there.
What is the biggest mistake job candidates make when looking for a legal job?
I think there are a number of mistakes that candidates make. First, I think that associate candidates are trusting headhunters, when they shouldn’t. Although I think the legal market is picking back up, I don’t think it’s at a level yet where firms are going to pay a recruiter for an associate candidate – except in rare circumstances. I also think that people tend to sell themselves short. Although an attorney may have an expertise in employment discrimination litigation, that attorney will be able to handle antitrust litigation. Litigation is litigation, although the forum may change. … People need to think bigger and broader. They shouldn’t limit themselves in terms of presenting their experience in resumes, and they shouldn’t limit themselves at interviews.