Summary: Never let your ego get in the way of your legal career. You need to learn how to not take rejection personally in your legal job search to be successful. READ MORE >
Question: I am a second-year associate at a New York-based boutique law firm. I am considering moving either to a large New York law firm, a large, regionally known Connecticut firm or the in-house legal department of a New York-based, Fortune 500 company.
What do you perceive to be the relative advantages or disadvantages of each of these types of opportunities for a junior attorney? READ MORE >
Question: Can too much experience be a bad thing? I recently interviewed with a large firm for an associate position. I met with 2 partners and an associate. The firm was interviewing quite a few candidates and told me I could expect to hear back from them in 4 weeks, at which time they would either make a written offer or send a rejection letter. I sent thank you letters to everyone with whom I interviewed and waited eagerly for their decision. I really believed that this firm was a great fit for me.
After the 4-week deadline passed, I called to follow up. The recruiting coordinator told me they would not be offering me a position because I had more experience than they were looking for and they had decided to go with someone with less experience. She asked me if the partners had indicated to me that they were looking for less experience. I said not really. (One partner had indicated that compensation was based on class year and asked where I saw myself. I indicated that I was flexible, that I believed in proving myself. He seemed satisfied with my response).
I was disappointed, but I asked her to keep me in mind for any future openings that might arise. I also indicated that I am flexible as far as class year and would always be willing to consider an offer whatever it may be. She indicated that she would pass this info on to the partners in charge. Is there anything else I can do? How could I have better handled this situation? Please help. READ MORE >
Question: What advice can you give to a senior associate or junior partner looking to make a move? I have been with my present firm for over seven years, but the practice is very narrow and the firm seems not to be doing as well as it once was.
I certainly do not want to be around if the business does disappear because then all of my colleagues will be on the market as well. How can I locate an appropriate search firm, and what would you advise me to tell potential employers about my reasons for leaving? What opportunities should I expect to find without a substantial book of business? READ MORE >
Question: I graduated from a top law school a few years ago. I accepted an offer from the firm that I worked at during my second summer and began working in the fall after my law school graduation. I left the firm a little over a year later due to medical complications related to my pregnancy. Now, after being home with my child for several years, I wish to return to work. How hopeless is my situation, and what should I do? READ MORE >
Question: I am three years out of law school (first-tier school, middle of the pack in terms of grades). I worked briefly as a clerk for a government agency and have spent the past year and a half at a small firm. I feel that I have gained all that I can from this firm and would like to move to a larger firm to get a wider range of experience.
How do I go about this without jeopardizing my position here, and how should I handle requests to speak to my current employer? The partners in the firm will react negatively if they learn that I intend to leave - it would make my time here a living hell. READ MORE >
Life presents many surprises and the unexpected can change everything overnight. An attorney's spouse can lose his job and seek another one in a different state, children are born, and loved ones become ill. While many of these situations are entirely out of one's control, or are blessings such as in the case of new life, they can present challenges to being able to continue to practice at the level required by a top law firm. As such, any one of these circumstances can lead a lawyer to take a hiatus from her firm. You must keep in mind, though, that returning to the practice can be a difficult feat. Your decision to take a break should not be made lightly, and you should consider the questions a firm will in the future when evaluating your viability as a candidate. READ MORE >
You're sitting in your office on a quiet random Tuesday afternoon when you receive a call from a partner in the Corporate Department. She says that they need two lateral associates - 'as soon as possible.' It goes without saying that the firm's usual Olympian standards must be adhered to. To determine what can be accomplished in a search you must ask a series of preliminary questions. READ MORE >
Your every move is a calculated step. These words may very well be those of a rapper and not an attorney but, as a legal recruiter, I can tell you they ring true (and loud!) in the legal field. Every day I speak with attorneys - many of whom are well-credentialed and with impressive academic and professional backgrounds - who, for any number of reasons, left one law firm for another. Indeed, if you visit the careers section of any law firm website, you will find a whole section dedicated to lateral hiring. Move more than once in the first three to five years of practice, however, and you might be signaling a problem to potential employers. As such, I counsel attorneys to think long and hard about how each move could be perceived by a hiring committee in the future. Once you've made a move, it is irreversible and will forever remain a critical part of your record. Thus, your every move should be a calculated step. READ MORE >
Article type: Legal Career Advice and Options
Practicing law is hard work. The hours are unpredictable, the clients can be demanding, and the push to partnership can be exhausting and stressful. Not surprisingly, lots of attorneys take some time off over the course of their career and do so for a multitude of reasons, whether to relocate, travel, have a child, care for an ailing loved one, or to earn an additional degree. READ MORE >
We are all holding our breath as we edge out of the recession and are optimistic for the return of the “golden age.” Unfortunately, firms have learned that they can and have to survive on a leaner staff and fewer associates. This is part of what the market is calling the “New Normal.” READ MORE >
Question: I am happy at my firm, but I’ve noticed that they recently laid off a sizeable number of staff and are cutting corners financially. The partners tell me that everything is fine, but should I be looking into other opportunities? READ MORE >