What makes a legal career satisfying? Representing the most sophisticated clients? Making a great living? Getting the brass ring at a large law firm? Or is it giving back? If you ask Rich Johnston, Chief Legal Counsel for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, it’s the latter. Rich spent almost four decades as a partner at WilmerHale (originally Hale and Dorr). While he did get to work on great cases as a commercial litigator, it was his public service and pro bono work that brought him the highest levels of satisfaction.
Thinking about new ways to leverage your legal expertise in 2021? Join us for a webinar on December 16th, Creating Board Options for Lawyers.
If you are a senior lawyer, you might be intrigued by the idea of serving on a non-profit or for-profit board of directors. Board membership offers a high-impact way to leverage your expertise and skills. In the case of a non-profit board, it is a way to give back and find more career satisfaction later in your career. For-profit boards offer a way to grow your income and reward you for the years of knowledge you have developed about an industry.
Bill Gavotch, General Counsel of Primark US, has also worked in-house at Staples and for three major firms in Boston. In the latest interview on the Counsel to Counsel, Bill talks about how he has had to adapt to change throughout his career, what it was like to leave private practice, and how civic engagement has greatly enhanced his professional and personal life.
On this day after Joe Biden was named President-Elect, I was thinking what I could post on LinkedIn. Facebook is where I go to voice strong political opinions. My comments on LinkedIn are more measured. So I looked back into the archives of my blog and found a post which feels more relevant than ever (Talking Politics and Religion at Your Job Interviews). I posted it while Barack Obama was still president (during the 2016 election). My big message was “be cautious when talking politics and religion with people you don’t know” however don’t be afraid to authentic in job interviews or in business networking settings if you see an opening. You’ll attract the people you want to work with or work for.
Common political and religious beliefs are the basis of very strong bonds (maybe the strongest). Of course be careful. You may lose some opportunities. But you’ll strengthen the relationships you want to strengthen and IMHO, you’ll end up ahead.
Jonathan Moll is my latest guest in the Counsel to Counsel Podcast. Jonathan spent over twenty years in private practice before becoming the first General Counsel at Babson College. Babson had been Jonathan’s client almost from the day he started practicing law. Jonathan talks about how he developed a specialty in representing education clients and a particular niche in crisis management.
These are challenging times for all of us but there are still great ways to advance your career as a lawyer, even in a time of social distancing. You have to be proactive, take care of yourself, be realistic and accept that it is harder now to juggle work and family, etc. These and other great tips from my co-presenters on a podcast sponsored by the American Health Law Association .
While I usually sit in the interviewer seat during podcasts, I was very pleased to be a guest on Steve Fretzin’s podcast, Be That Lawyer. Steve and I discus:
*The importance of relationship building in selling professional services
*The challenges and issues that lawyers face in making career transitions or in growing a law practice, and,
*The Next Stage, my new coaching program for senior lawyers who are thinking about What Comes Next.
The legal job market was strong until the start of 2020. And then came COVID. If you are currently a junior associate at a law firm, chances are that your first job search was more reactive than proactive. There were lots of options. Law firms came on campus for OCI and you ended up working as a summer associate (and eventually received an offer of permanent employment). Or maybe you responded to a posting from your career services office or even saw an ad on Indeed or LinkedIn for an entry level job.
The market has shifted and now that you’ve been on the job for a couple of years, what is the next step in your career? Partnership? Perhaps. But the reality for most associates is that they will make at least one move in the first few years of practice. Some associates will make a lateral move to another firm, while others may opt for in-house corporate roles, government agencies or even launching their own firms.
If you are a junior associate in your first job out of law school and you are looking for more career insights about these issues, join Stephen Seckler and Linda Kline for a live webinar at the Boston Bar Association on October 15th.
Since March, most of us have been getting a crash course in how to use Zoom (or other virtual platforms). In some ways, Zoom is really just another phone call and most lawyers are very accustomed to speaking on conference calls. But Zoom has its own nuances and as many of us are learning, there are pluses and minuses of being able to connect visually from a distance. In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel podcast, I speak with Charlotte Dietz, Founder of Speak Well Partners. Charlotte is a talented communications and public speaking coach and business story strategist. She shares some great insights into how we can all do a better job communicating in a virtual environment.
Earlier this year, I participated in a speed networking exercise through my business networking group ProVisors. The mantra at ProVisors is Know Like Trust Refer. This exercise was one of the many ways we have invested time in ProVisors meetings in trying to learn more about each other so we can get to know each other on a professional and personal level.
The goal, of course, is to get to know each other in a way that makes us feel comfortable giving referrals. While most of us seek out competent professionals when someone we know have a need that we cannot fulfill, in truth, it is much easier to identify someone we like and who we trust.
Since by definition, a competent professional has a skill set that we lack, often our decision to make a referral is not based on our professional assessment of that individual’s skill. Do we really know that someone is a good CPA if the Internal