Tag Archives: Advice

Q&A with Jonathan L. Loew

Jonathan L. Loew, special counsel at Much Shelist, took some time to answer a few of our questions.

What do you like most about your practice?

I like the creativity of it. The areas in which I practice are always evolving and no two cases are alike. Particularly, I enjoy revisiting established legal concepts and finding ways to apply them in my cases. These days, there are a lot of demands for lawyers to be innovative in their approach to providing the best possible legal and business counsel, and this gives me an opportunity to be creative. It’s wonderful when a judge appreciates the time and effort I put into my work. I also accept and embrace my role as an officer of the court, quaint as that may sound. I’m proud that my work helps the court reach an informed decision in the cases in which I participate.

What is the biggest challenge of your practice?

Much of my practice involves writing legal briefs. Judges are inundated with cases, and spend much of their time reading briefs. These documents are a lawyer’s chance to talk directly to the judge. Out of respect for the demands on a judge’s time, it is necessary to make written points concisely, credibly, accurately, and in a way that gains and holds the judge’s interest and commands respect. I often face this challenge when writing briefs.

What advice do you have for new lawyers?

Work hard, but save time for yourself, your family and your friends. Ask questions and don’t pretend you know something if you don’t. Be reliable, be polite and look for the positives in every situation. Find trustworthy mentors who will share their experiences, build your confidence and serve as admirable models for how law should be practiced. Talk to judges to find out what they expect from you. Don’t isolate yourself—other lawyers are valuable sounding boards and will become treasured colleagues and friends as the years go by. Continuously work on your writing skills as they will be extremely important throughout your career.

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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.

Q & A with Cliff Scott-Rudnick

Cliff Scott-Rudnick, a visiting professor and director of Continuing Education and Professionalism at The John Marshall Law School, will be participating in the May 8 panel discussion at the Attorneys in Transition event. Here are his answers to a few questions regarding his participation in the panel.

What are your top three pieces of advice for a lawyer looking for his or her next job?

He suggests asking yourself:

What do you really want to do? What are your passions for the law?  How much money do you need?

How should lawyers keep busy while they look for a job?

Network. Volunteer. Exercise.

What do you hope those who attend the event will take away from or learn from the panel discussion?

You are not alone.  It is not the end of the world or your career.  Things will get better.

Q & A with Leonard F. Amari

Another member of the May 8 Attorneys in Transition panel will be Leonard F. Amari.

He has been a private practitioner for 40 years, and is president of The John Marshall Law School Board of Trustees.

What are your top three pieces of advice for a lawyer looking for his or her next job?
— Be aggressive, as aggressive in finding a job as doing a job, 9 to 5, every day;
— Recognize that most Chicagoland lawyers are small firm and solo practitioners without a hiring policy, game plan, or mid-to-long range career plan. They hire who is at their office door when they need to hire, or, as was my case, when someone pointed out to me how valuable they would be if I hired them even though it was not on the agenda;
— Network, network, network.

How should lawyers keep busy while they look for a job?
See the answer above and exhaust the suggestions they’ll receive at this seminar.

What do you hope those who attend the event will take away from or learn from the panel discussion?
That they are not alone, that the legal profession is a mentoring profession, that they shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for help, career guidance, (networking, networking…).

Q & A with Alexis Reed

We’d like you to meet another one of the panel members who will be participating in the Attorneys in Transition event on May 8 at The John Marshall Law School.

Alexis Reed is an attorney search director with Special Counsel. She has been in legal recruiting with the company for two years. Prior to joining Special Counsel, she was a practicing attorney with Nisen & Elliott, focusing on commercial litigation and bankruptcy. Continue reading

A few job tips

Amy McCormack, co-president of McCormack Schreiber Legal Search Inc., offers the following tips for lawyers looking for their next position:

  • Whether you are employed or have been laid off keep a good working resume. It should be a fluid document that gets tailored to the positions that arise. Some firms receive hundreds of resumes and look for the buzzwords that set candidates apart from each other.
  • Don’t forget to network. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Touch base with college friends, law school friends, family, and colleagues from past jobs. Use social networking sites because many businesses look at profiles when looking for employees.
  • Look outside the box. Don’t go to the same job sites time and again; check out sites you wouldn’t think would have jobs. If you always go to acc.com, also check out Career Builder. Don’t forget specialty legal publications that are geared to your practice area.
  • Don’t rule out contract and temporary work, because many people land good positions through that work. At the same time, the work will help you make money.
  • Volunteer. McCormack says she knows of a number of job candidates who do pro bono work or volunteer in their communities. They often stumble across job and business development opportunities while volunteering.
  • Be flexible and open-minded. Some candidates have this mindset that they don’t want to take the first job opportunity after being laid off and they become too picky, McCormack said.

“We are in a whole new world, and you cannot evaluate new job opportunities right now as you might have evaluated them two years ago,” she said. “It’s just not necessarily realistic.”

Look at every opportunity very carefully because they will come along far less frequently than you would hope.