The Career Journal of the Wall Street Journal publishes an array of free career resources. A recent article suggests that the shotgun approach may not be the most effective way to look for a job. I’ve been telling this to recent law school graduates for years. It’s just another application of the concept that “less is more”. In other words, if you say you are open to “anything”, then you do not provide people in your network with a memorable way to think of you (or help you.)
In Pursuit of Attorney Work-Life Balance: Best Practices in Management provides new data on the strategies utilized by employers to support attorney work-life balance and on the nature of the conflicts attorneys experience between their work responsibilities and personal/family priorities.
Here is a marketing checklist for large firm associates. It is nice the way Larry Bodine has broken the list down by class year (i.e. he does a nice job of illustrating why it makes sense to start thinking about marketing early in your career.)
Large law firms continue to increase their use of temp attorneys on large, document intensive cases. An article in the National Law Journal shows that the numbers at some firms are growing signifcantly. I clearly see the benefit to firms. Temp staffing allows for much more flexible hiring and eliminates the problem of having to carry extra staff when there is nothing for them to do.
But temp assignments may not offer much of a career opportunity for the lawyers doing the work. Certainly, I would never fault anyone for taking on a temp assignment in order to generate some needed income. On the other hand, I think it more the exception than the rule that doing this kind of temp work (i.e. large document review in litigation or corporate transactions) will lead to something bigger.
Anyone looking for a stepping stone to a better legal job would do better to identify temp opportunities through networking. There is more leg work involved, but the opportunities are likely to be higher quality.
Job security really doesn’t exist for most of us. The best we can do is prepare ourselves for the next potential move. Even if you are a partner at a law firm, things can change quickly (Testa Hurwitz is a recent example in Boston.) A career counselor offers some good tips for protecting yourself. You have to do a little translating to make this relevant to a legal career but the basic concepts are still there.
Ward Bower offers some interesting observations about the impact of gloablization on the legal industry. He sees increased competition for the best legal talent and observes that over 100 U.S. law firms now have an office in London.
Altman Weil has just published the results of a national survey of median billing rates by area of legal specialty. No big surprises here but it is still interesting to see the numbers.
Accuracy in a resume does not mean documenting every single life accomplishment since high school. On the other hand, employers have a right to expect that your resume is a reasonable summary of your relevant experience. If you were fired from a legal position after a relatively brief period of time (e.g. 3 months), leaving that job off of your resume could later get you into hot water. (Remember, it is the cover up that got Nixon in trouble.)
If there is a blemish on your professional record, find a way to disclose the blemish that demonstrates how you have learned from your mistakes. For a more complete article on the subject, click here .
Volunteering is a great way to build potential business relationships and enhance your career (while feeling good about doing good.) Here are some good tips to help you get the most out of your volunteer efforts.
For decades, professional service providers, including consultants, accountants, lawyers, and others, rarely marketed their services. Instead, they thrived in a cozy world where personal relationships and word-of-mouth generated enough new clients to grow a profitable business. Those days are long gone.
With so many business advisors to choose from, clients can quickly tap the minds of an army of experts for help. To compete in this market, professional service providers must challenge the conventional wisdom on marketing and selling professional services.
A good place to start is to dispel the following five myths.