Each Tuesday, attorneys around the country receive in their inboxes the “Article of the Week” written by BCG Attorney Search founder Harrison Barnes. These articles cover everything from tips for attorney job searches to trends in the legal profession. Here is a breakdown of the top 20 articles written by Barnes during 2016, as measured by the amount of website hits.
1 American Legal Job Market 2016: Hot and Weak Practice Areas of 2016
Always popular, BCG’s annual State of the Market Reports are widely read by associates, partners, and law firm managers. The 2016 Report covered practice area trends as well as an in-depth discussion on law firm hiring paradigms. The 2016 State of the Market Report explains the general law firm hiring paradigm and discusses how to assess the strength of the legal market by the willingness of law firms to step outside of that general paradigm.
2 The Only Seven Reasons a Law Firm Will Ever Make You a Partner
If one of your goals is to become a partner in a major law firm, this article is for you. It covers the only seven reasons a law firm will ever make you a partner. For example, firms will make you a partner if you have a lot of business the firm can exploit or if you have some sort of special skill or connections that the law firm needs. Find out more about these and other reasons law firms will make you a partner in this article.
3 Another Big Law Attorney I Know Just Died Young
For all the prestige and financial rewards conferred by practicing law at a major law firm, there is a downside. As discussed in this poignant article, many people toil at law firms—working incredibly long hours on tasks they are not interested in—only to find themselves left with nothing, sick or prematurely dead. This article reminds you that you need to be happy in your career and that a job should neither kill you nor deplete you of all enjoyment and hope in your life.
4 Why Most Attorneys Are Unhappy
Have you ever wondered why so many attorneys are unhappy? One reason is because the nature of being an attorney does not allow a person to evidence weakness, vulnerability or humanity. This expectation of “infallibility” that is endemic to practicing law leads to a lack of connection and unhappiness. Read more about this perplexing phenomenon in this article.
5 The “Systematic Reason” Why Most Attorneys Fail in Large, Prestigious Law Firms
Whether or not you agree with it, law firms are “systems” with rules just like other businesses and institutions, and you must follow the rules and norms of the law firm system if you want to succeed within it. This article explains that the biggest mistake an attorney can make is to fail to understand and follow these rules and systems. This article tells you what you need to do to succeed within large, prestigious law firms.
6 Why Most Attorneys Are Angry
If you have felt angry as an attorney, please read this article to understand why. Among the reasons attorneys are angry are because attorneys are so competitive in connection with their work and status-conscious with each other. When an attorney feels threatened by another attorney who may have higher status, the threatened attorney may hurt the status of the other attorney by having others pull down and disparage that attorney’s status. This negativity can lead to a cycle of unproductive anger.
7 The Only 3 Reasons Anyone Should Work in a Large Law Firm
If you went to law school and believe the only appropriate place to work is in a large law firm, you should read this article. As this article points out, many attorneys are working for large law firms for the wrong reasons. There are really only three reasons why you should be working in a large law firm, and they relate to your learning a skill that you can sell to businesses with lots of money to spend. Find out more in this article.
8 21 Reasons You Will Never Get a Job with a Major Law Firm Now (or Ever Again)
What are the negatives that can ruin your chances of ever getting hired by a major law firm? Among the 21 circumstances that will cause your resume to be rejected from large law firms are going to a poorly ranked law school and not doing extraordinarily well there; going to a law school not in the top ten and doing average to poorly there; not getting a summer associate job in a large law firm; not getting an offer as a summer associate; and quitting a job without having another one lined up.
9 The Most Important Characteristic Attorneys Need to Succeed and Why It Is Almost Impossible for Them to Keep It
Above all else, as this article makes clear, an attorney must have confidence to succeed in the legal profession. But the problem faced by so many attorneys is that the very profession of law is essentially confidence-depleting. The legal profession begins eroding a person’s confidence right from the beginning—during the law school application process and law school years—and this assault on confidence continues through each day of an attorney’s practice. This article tells you why you need to hold onto your confidence at every stage of your career so that you will succeed where so many others fail.
10 Top 10 Reasons Why High Junior Associate Salaries Are Destroying the Legal Profession
If you are an associate at a large law firm who just got a huge salary raise, you may want to consider that your windfall might be harming the legal profession overall. This article discusses how salary wars destroy countless careers that would have thrived under normal market conditions. Read this article to learn why the phenomenon of drastic salary increases tends to occur before major recessions and can lead to mass layoffs, as well as make the careers of partners, counsel and others within law firms less secure.
11 The Four Types of Attorneys: The Finder, Minder, Binder and Grinder
There are four essential types of attorneys working in law firms—finders, minders, binders, and grinders. Grinders are the attorneys who are hired to do the work and most firms want their grinder attorneys to be young and have less than a decade of experience. Finders, on the other hand, are the people who go out and find the work that the grinders do. Find out more about the four types of attorneys—and which type you are—in this article.
12 Why You Should Never Use a Legal Recruiter
Do you think that every legal recruiter is created equal? No! In fact, as this article explains, legal recruiters can be very destructive to an attorney’s career. On the other hand, legal placement professionals can be the key to helping an attorney find a job that will lead to a fulfilling and productive legal career. Find out the difference between legal recruiters and legal placement professionals in this insightful article.
13 21 Reasons Why Being a Large Law Firm Partner Is More Difficult Than Being an Associate
If you are an associate who thinks all his or her problems will be solved by making partner, this article may help you appreciate your position right now. Among the 21 reasons why being a large law firm partner is more difficult than being an associate are pressure to bill hours and generate business, pressure to give work to others and collect bills, and pressure to be on the right side of management.
14 What Yale Law School Teaches about How to Approach Your Legal Career That No Other Law School Does
Did you ever notice that Yale Law School graduates seem happier than other attorneys (even if they seem rather aimless at the same time)? This article discusses how Yale Law appears to teach its graduates a very valuable lesson that can lead to career and life happiness. Attorneys are rent seekers, and Yale Law teaches its students to make that rent-seeking system work for their benefit.
15 The Only Way to Be Happy Practicing Law
What is the key to happiness in practicing law? It is client contact and having a feeling of personal connection to clients. Read this article to find out why client contact is so important to an attorney’s career and life.
16 Two Things the Most Successful 5% of Attorneys Do That the Rest Do Not
The most successful attorneys have a combination of talents in regards to the way they approach their careers. They are both tactical attorneys and strategic attorneys. This article explains why you need to use both strategy and tactics to achieve career success in the legal profession.
17 Why You Can Never Stop Practicing Law for More Than a Few Weeks Once You Start
If you are an attorney and ever contemplate being “in the market” for a new job—for whatever reason—you need to read this article. You will take yourself out of consideration for almost all positions at large, prestigious law firms if you make the mistake of stopping the practice of law for even a few weeks. This means you cannot take a “hiatus” from law and think you can return to the most prestigious legal venues later. Read this article to find out more, as well as how this issue relates to the middle-class values on which the legal profession is based.
18 How to Not Fail, Die or Go Crazy Practicing Law
Despite the stories you may have heard about lawyers going crazy (or even if you have felt this way yourself), there are ways to practice law without failing, dying or going crazy in the process. Read this article to find out why having the right priorities—(1) Health, (2) Work/Career, and (3) Personal Life—is the way to practice law in a healthy and happy manner.
19 Top 20 Mistakes Attorneys Make When Choosing to Look for and Accept New Jobs
This article explores the 20 mistakes attorneys make when choosing to look for and accept new jobs. Attorneys make mistakes when they leave law firms because they received poor reviews, feel unfairly criticized, or because they think leaving would be fun. Another mistake is taking a lateral position based on prestige as opposed to comfort or opportunity. Find out more in this article.
20 The Real Reason Why Most Attorneys’ Careers Are Out of Control
So many attorneys feel that their careers are out of control. But you do not have to be one of them. As this article discusses, the way to be in control of your career is to always be finding and cultivating work to do. Read this article to learn why the most dangerous thing any attorney can do is rely on others to give him or her work and how the best attorneys know how to constantly create work.