Yikes! I’ve Lost My Job — Now What?

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was writing about how Big Law was essentially hiring any warm body who could bill hours. Well, times have changed. Now the headlines are about law firm layoffs. If you’re one of those casualties, here are a few dos and don’ts that will maintain your sanity while moving you closer to finding your next job. ... Read More
Categories: Job Search

Working for the Jerk Partner as a Young Associate

During the pandemic, there’s hardly a soul working for a living who hasn’t re-examined what’s essential for their job satisfaction. Work-life balance and flexibility have probably received the most attention. However, many have lost sight of what, for a majority of people, is the most important factor: one’s boss. ... Read More
Categories: Job Search

Remember the Basics of Job Interviewing

Lawyers have a reputation for being prepared. Yet it never ceases to amaze me how poorly lawyers prepare for job interviews.Although I have no hard proof of this, my experience working with lawyers has shown they’re typically woefully unprepared. Instead of preparing, they wing it, thinking they’re smart enough to impress whoever is on the other side of the table or, nowadays, whoever is on your Zoom screen.

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Categories: Job Search

Considering a Document Review Job? Weigh the Risks First.

Although the market for legal jobs has vastly improved since the Great Recession ten years ago, it is hardly a robust one for recent law school graduates. One popular job-of-last-resort is document review—a job that many of my coaching clients assert is “mind-numbing.” And, of course, it does not pay particularly well; usually around $20-30 per hour. ... Read More
Categories: Job Search

Go Above and Beyond When Interviewing for a Job

I sit on a nonprofit board. As part of my duties, I recently participated in group interviews for a high-level executive position. We interviewed three candidates. I’ve always had my own ideas about how to effectively interview for a job. I rarely find myself in a position to assess what will actually impress me in a real live job interview setting, however. Now that I have had the opportunity, though, I want to share what I learned ... Read More

Four Tips for Meeting Two People in the Room

Lawyers typically dread attending events like annual bar association fundraisers, CLE conferences — or any gathering where there will be a large number of attendees. In short, they dread the type of event where their “working the room” skills are put to the test. To make connections that bring in new clients, though, you have to spend plenty of time outside of your office — and, sometimes, your comfort zone. Continue reading this post at www.attorneyatwork.com Read More

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

In this troubled legal economy, most of the focus is on attorneys who are unemployed or underemployed. More attention should be paid to those who are unhappily employed. In a lousy job market, many lawyers feel compelled to remain in jobs that they despise. While it’s not new for lawyers to be unhappy about their jobs, it is new that jobs are scarce and unhappy lawyers do not have as many options if they leave. Continue reading this post at www.lawyernomics.avvo.com Read More

When Networking, Confidence and Enthusiasm Are Essential

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Usually I agree with Woody Allen, who is famous for (among other things) making this remark. But when it comes to networking for purposes of business development, I’ll have to differ from the well-known filmmaker. Continue reading post at www.lawyerist.com Read More

Cold Calls Have Chilling Effect On Many Lawyers

Telephone calls to prospective clients or employers can be “cold,” where the person is not expecting your call. They can also be “warm,” where the prospective client knows something about you and is expecting your call. When coaching lawyers, I am often asked about the effectiveness of cold calling. Lawyers who want to develop more business wonder if this highly popularized sales technique might work for them. Lawyers who are looking for jobs wonder if cold calls ever generate warm informational interviews. Almost always, I counsel my clients to turn a cold shoulder on cold calling. The telephone is a “cold” medium The goal of cold calling is to plant a tiny seed that can grow into a relationship — so that the called person will think of you when they have work to refer out or when they hear of a job opportunity. Even if the person being called actually answers the phone, I don’t see a relationship being launched very often using this impersonal medium. Connecting a face with a name makes it more likely that you will be remembered. Don’t use a telephone call to make your “pitch.” Instead, use it to try to arrange a face-to-face meeting. The chances of someone picking up the phone on a cold call are slim to none. Usually, your call is directed to voice mail. Ideally, you have a succinct and interesting message to leave. Even so, what are the chances that a busy person will listen to the complete message and then return a cold call of this nature? If they do, chances are slim that you in turn will be available to take the call. Let’s assume that you get lucky and your targeted contact actually answers the phone. How ready is this person to listen – right at this moment and exactly about this subject? “Cold” interruptions can be irritating. Plus, it takes the listener time to switch gears from what they were doing when interrupted to what you are saying in your phone call. By the time the person is paying attention, the first 30 seconds of your carefully crafted call have already flown by. Email plus face-to-face is a “warm” medium Time devoted to cold calling could be better spent on setting up and attending face-to-face meetings. By agreeing to the meeting, a person has already expressed a willingness to help you out. Plus, they know what you want and are focused from the start. I fully understand that persuading someone to meet with you is easier said than done – but it is still much more effective than cold calling. Let us say that you have 20 potential contact names and five hours of time to spend on your business development or job networking efforts. If you cold call, you might get through to three or four individuals; if you’re lucky, one of them might help you. Without ever seeing your face, it is unlikely the person will remember you. If you email first with a little information about who you are and why you would like to meet, you might end up with some “ignores” (just like voice mail), but with just a ten percent “hit” rate you are likely to end up meeting face-to-face with two individuals who have already been warmed up and expressed a willingness to help you. One final reason to give cold calling the cold shoulder is that just about everyone hates doing it. As I tell my attorney coaching clients, what is hated rarely gets done well – or at all. Most of my clients find it much more comfortable to email first, then meet in person with a few select individuals who understand the agenda. Read More

Why You May Want to be a Family Law Attorney When You Grow Up

As an attorney coach, I often counsel lawyers who are considering a move to a new practice area – helping them balance the pros and cons of such career choices. One overlooked area I often recommend is family law. Continue reading post on myshingle.com Read More