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
Many of us are spending hours a day on Zoom. While Zoom has been a great tool at a time when we can’t meet in person, most of us are experiencing at least some level of Zoom fatigue.
There are many reasons for this and a lot has been written on the subject (e.g. while Zoom is a visual medium, it is much harder to read body language on a screen; looking at a screen is hard on the eyes; having conversations on your computer can be distracting as alerts pop up in front of you; if you are with a group, you can’t keep multiple people in your peripheral vision while you focus on the person who is speaking; if you want the other person to think you are making eye contact, you have to look at your camera and not into their eyes).
One thing that is very distracting about Zoom is that most of us can see our own image on our screen. While this can initially provide us with useful information about what the other person is seeing (Are we properly lit? Is our face large enough on the screen? Have we minimized the distractions in the background? Are we having a bad hair day?), it also creates an element of stress that doesn’t exist in the “real world”.
How do you move to a new city and build a law practice? Do what Dave Dykeman has done over the last 20 years. Dave is Co-Managing Partner of the Boston Office of Greenberg Traurig where he also Co-Chairs the firm’s Global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group. In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, Dave and I talk about building a niche IP practice in medical devices and other technologies. He describes how his early marketing efforts yielded great results over time.
After 23 years, I’ve finally decided to change my primary email address. You can now reach me at email@example.com.
In 1997, when the web was really starting to take off, I acquired the domain Seckler.Com. Soon after, I set up the domain CounseltoCounsel.Com. My email address became firstname.lastname@example.org and despite the fact that I was using CounseltoCounsel.Com for my website (and eventually Counsel to Counsel became my blog and my podcast), I’ve never used the CounseltoCounsel domain for my email address.
In truth, I’ve never really liked email@example.com. But it took a pandemic to overcome the inertia.
Making change in your business always involves an initial investment of time and energy. While I’m pretty busy with work right now, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Most importantly, I really like the fact that my branding is now more consistent.
Eventually, every professional athlete faces the same challenges: when to retire and what to do next. For the most part, an athlete’s career is limited. Few players will be able to compete into their 40’s. Lawyers, on the other hand, do not face these constraints. They can practice full-time well into their 70’s or 80’s and even continue to actively participate in firm management.
As the pandemic has caused law firms and partners to rethink their priorities, the issue of what to do with senior partners has never been timelier. For lawyers who are thinking about the next 10 to 15 years of their lives, they may be asking themselves the same question that King George poses in the musical Hamilton—What Comes Next?
AALAM’s Law Firm and Solo and Small Firm Committees is offering this program to provide insights into how to build a book of business in the age of social distancing. This Zoom cast will feature a marketing coach and a legal recruiter, who will offer fresh perspectives on business and career development. Learn the ins and outs of business development and tips on effective marketing from seasoned panelists, Stephen Seckler of Seckler Legal Recruiting and Coaching and Marc Zwetchkenbaum of Marc Z Legal Staffing. The panel will be moderated by AALAM’s own Jason Chan.