04.21 - Cannot Stop Practicing
[00:00:00] Today we're going to talk about this is a topic that a lot of people don't like to hear about never stopping the practice of law once you start. And a lot of people believe that you can actually stop the practice law. And for the most part, once you stop the practice a lot becomes very difficult to get back into the The practice of law.
[00:00:18] Now this has a few weeks and certainly people can stop longer than that even months. But the longer you stop practicing law, but the harder it is to get into it and in most, and get back into it. And most instances I've seen when someone stops practicing law or any length of time, longer than a month or two they generally have a very difficult time getting back in for life.
[00:00:40] And if they do get back to it, they're typically not hired at the same caliber of jobs they could have been hired and they not left. So it's, this is a fairly important topic. It's just a rule in the legal profession. It was something that I learned when I was. W someone, taught me fairly quickly when I started when I was after a clerkship when I took some time off someone told me about this [00:01:00] and it is a important topic.
[00:01:01] And so after this presentation, I'll also be taking questions, which is my favorite part of the week. And I'll ask, I answer questions about any topics that anyone has related to practicing law or finding a position and so forth. Okay. So a lot of people, a lot of attorneys really dream about taking time off from the practice law, as a matter of fact most of them do.
[00:01:22] And especially when you're in the thick and the grind, and you're working very hard. And you may think about going somewhere and decompress and get your perspective, then. Taking a break and then coming back often just on your own terms. And and I've seen a lot of attorneys do this leave, but very few of them ended up coming back and and law lawyers often do quit their jobs.
[00:01:42] And many times they do so from coming from very prestigious law firms and they do things so I could become ski instructor, jurors, they travel they start bakeries, write novels and. And do all those sorts of things. And several attorneys that have actually worked for me have done that.
[00:01:57] And and I see resumes of attorneys that [00:02:00] do these sorts of things almost on a daily basis. And it's it's often the. The ones that it's most surprising who do it are the ones that have the best backgrounds. So it's most often the people with the best backgrounds that will have the confidence when they can do this.
[00:02:13]And that's often also the ones I'm most concerned about because they, there are frequently making a serious career mistake. And, if you follow this idea and I hate to be the one to break this news it could, it can be very risky and it can hurt you quite a bit.
[00:02:28] And while you may have a lot of fun and actually become a better person The the problem is that the legal profession for whatever reason, and I don't, and I'll talk about some of the reasons today that the legal profession doesn't respect people that take too much time off. And I think it should, I know lots of people that have gone on retreats and for, month or two longer and had really great experiences made them better people.
[00:02:51] But unfortunately the legal profession does not look that kindly upon this. And they they actually it's a negative thing and your odds of getting back into a [00:03:00] really good firm once you do something like this are pretty slim. There are reasons that you can leave.
[00:03:05] Of course people have illnesses and there's no people, obviously firms do not have a lot of issues with, if you have to take care of a relative some people take time off to have children and even several years off and are welcome back. Sometimes there's a death of a family member and you may need to take care of your family.
[00:03:23]For the most part, just qualifying that if you do leave for more than your, a lot of vacation time, then you're be in a little bit of trouble and you just, you can't do it. And and the problem is the you'll you, if you're, especially if you're leaving a very prestigious firm it's very difficult to come back and I hate being the one to tell you this.
[00:03:41] Cause I, I think that it's unfair cause it makes you feel like almost like you're a slave and you can't leave. And if you do leave, and there's, but this is just the way it is. And and I do want to say right at the start that, this is what I'm talking about today is, there are people that are at the end of their ropes and I'll probably hear some [00:04:00] questions from some people like that this week.
[00:04:01] And there's people that just are, I've had it. They they they really need to they have health issues from working all the time in office buildings and, having to be in an office or working crazy hours, they they're dealing with very unhealthy people.
[00:04:15] They're not. Happy practicing law, and there's no reason that anybody should be in that situation. And sometimes you can get a different perspective on things and but with therapy and with talking to people and mentors and things with coming to webinars like this consistently is a very good thing to do and listening and reading the things that I've written.
[00:04:37] But at the most part, if you are at the end of your rope and you do need to think about doing something else oftentimes, and that's just the way it is. And and it doesn't necessarily mean change in your practice setting. Sometimes it just means, working in a different type of firm in a different area of the country.
[00:04:51]So what I'm talking about is. Today, I'm really talking to people that, believe that they're entitled to a break. They've worked really hard in their law firms and [00:05:00] they're exhausted. And a they just feel like they need to do something else for a while and take some time off.
[00:05:06] And this is, unfortunately, this sort of thinking process is not something that is respected by most firms. And it's not something that partners in major firms do. It's not, it just doesn't happen. It may happen, but not very often. And it's not something that can help you get ahead.
[00:05:21] So I want you to think about some of the reasons. Why it's a bad idea to take an extended leave absent a major life event. And then and then I'm gonna tell you how law firms will evaluate you if you're in the middle of a leave if you've lost a job and you've been unemployed for awhile and and how they think about that and and what you should do.
[00:05:40] So I hope this is a very important topic because a lot of people don't necessarily think about this and they make very rash decisions. And there's just all these rules in the legal profession that people don't understand. And this is on a month. So I'm going to talk today about middle-class value and how they relate to this law firm hiatus [00:06:00] issue.
[00:06:00] And I people hate it. Like when you talk about class issues, I don't know why it is. But every time I write about the police class issues or talk about them, people always try take it out of the things I write, but this one, I guess it made it in. And one of the things is that the law really is a middle-class institution and the values are very middle class.
[00:06:19]And in, in it's one, one of the reasons because that, people really think it's a bad thing many times to take a leave of absence and basically, people that are middle-class or believe that they need to work. That's, I guess that's one of the ideas and that, not working, this is a bad thing.
[00:06:36] And I'll talk a little bit more about that in the future, but almost all attorneys from middle class. There's nothing wrong with being middle class. So some of them are operable to us, but very few. And but the idea of being middle-class is the kind of thing that liars do. They have mortgages and car payments and and th they're expected to families have support and they're six expected to consistently work hard, their entire career.
[00:06:57] And and then they're expected to be dependent [00:07:00] upon their paychecks, save part of their paycheck for retirement in order to maintain a certain lifestyle. And and that's just how lawyers operate and they try to, do the best they can in terms of the neighborhoods they live in cars, they drive in the schools, they're sick.
[00:07:15] They send their kids to, and the vacations they take every year and so forth. So it's not, there's nothing wrong with that. And it's just the way it is, but the idea is most attorneys do not have the luxury of simply picking up and leaving the profession even partners in major firms many from doubt.
[00:07:29]And it's just the way it is. Give me one second. Sorry.
[00:07:32]Okay. The idea is when you're paying off student loans, for example a lot of the student loans that attorneys have these days are $200,000 more when you're paying off student loans and so forth like that it's clear that that a lot of attorneys, when you combine that with houses and car payments and so forth, that most attorneys are pretty highly leveraged and and they need to work and an additional an additional thing is that, the whole idea of being middle-class is, going, and it's not, this is not a criticism in any [00:08:00] form of the way.
[00:08:00] It's just the way it works in our country is that people are trying to work harder and go, and do more than people that became ahead of that before them. And and they don't rest as much. They work harder. They want to work hard and get ahead.
[00:08:11] And so the idea that, someone would choose not to work is something that most attorneys and law firm managers often can't wrap their heads around. The people that don't work are typically, you're very lower-class people that, you know yeah. Get government, whatever.
[00:08:26]And then your upper class people that are just independently wealthy and are hotspots some money and stuff. So the idea that, if you would walk away and that you can do things differently and you don't need to work. Is is something that I think a lot of people inside of law firms don't necessarily understand.
[00:08:43] And and they, and you, when you take it time off like that, you need to really show that you're not part of that, that their group and you're different. And yeah, I'm just looking for explanations here of why that is. And I think this is one of them, but and the thing is because people look at the, you should be [00:09:00] working and they all work, and they've always worked and not taken a lot of time off.
[00:09:03] Most of the reasons that people give for taking time off don't work for them. The way that most law firms think about you, if you've taken a lot of time off as you either have or fired you couldn't get a job. You have psychological issues. The big one is you're just not committed.
[00:09:17]You took the practice are these kind of values and say you have to work all the time or you're unskilled or unmotivated and that sort of thing. And and I'm just, I don't like saying this stuff because it's not nice, but I'm just parroting back. The way that law firms in my experience of typically I believe, think about this and the idea of the middle-class value is the idea that working for others and working hard for others, confers value on the person in the eyes of the world.
[00:09:45] And and now if you take time off and you're not doing, you're no longer as valuable and because attorneys don't want to be judged poorly by others most would never Cigna, take significant time off on the practice. And and I, frankly, this kind of class-based [00:10:00] analysis also makes me uncomfortable because it's not, these are not things.
[00:10:04]That are necessary. Nessarily the nicest things to say to people. And, if you point out where you are in the system, but it's just how people associate taking time off and in, if you take the upper and lower classes, the upper and lower classes are typically, they always say that they're very much more like the the middle class is like the upper class or the upper class, or the middle class is like lower class.
[00:10:26]The upper class and lower class often don't work upper and lower classes typically don't care as much about what other people think of them. There, this is where, when you have the hardest drugs, they're often, confined to the upper middle lower classes when it starts.
[00:10:40]And then the middle-class, which most attorneys myself included are part of this. They're concerned with, Lowe's think of that. They're concerned with where they went to college or law school, their cars, their, their neighborhoods and where their kids are doing and all that sort of thing.
[00:10:54] And that's just as a certain type of thought process they have. And and then lawyers are. [00:11:00] For the most part middle-class, they work for people that are, have big businesses and they, they're almost like they, they, that's what they do and most of them. And they have a lot of concern for doing that.
[00:11:11] And and so the last thing in the world someone would expect of them is to take, just to get up and leave the practice a loss, or you're as an attorney expected to buy into this whole idea that, you're working you're trying to, support yourself.
[00:11:24] You're trying to do the best you can and you're relying upon the firm. And if you show that and you show that you're dependent on that for your self-worth and also for money and so forth, then law firms are much more likely to like you, if you. Are opposite of that and you are too independent and you don't care and you don't buy into that.
[00:11:43] Then that means the law firm can't necessarily control. You're not controlled by their value system. Now I'm not saying that's a good thing to be controlled by that value system, by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm just telling you the thought process and why it can hurt you. So here's some of the reasons that you [00:12:00] shouldn't leave.
[00:12:00]And this is the meat of the presentation. Now. The first thing is future firms are going to think you probably got fired. Soon, sooner or later, you're going to want to also return to the practice of law. And if you take time off and you're going to want to do something, and you're going to think that you missed a respectability or the perks, or you want to start a family, or you want to provide better for your family than you've been doing and you have time off.
[00:12:23] And the problem is, and I see people like this all the time. I see people sometimes that, have been major firms and then. They go home for some reason or another, and they stay there two or three years and and don't work and then they want to go back. I was talking to God the other day that he'd been at a a major firm for six or seven years.
[00:12:41] And then he got the opportunity to go back and run some business for his family. And somewhere in the. But, and I don't know, Vermont or Maine or something, some, very successful business doing, I dunno, like a giant hotel or something. And and then he wanted to go back to the practice a lot.
[00:12:57] And people were just no, you're, you have [00:13:00] this, giant business, why would you possibly want to do that? And he was just helping his family with the business or close it down or something. But he didn't have a lot of luck. The problem is law firms have a lot of people that are coming in for most jobs.
[00:13:12] And they have a lot of people to choose from. So if you're not working currently, then the law firm is generally going to assume that you must have gotten fired or or even if they don't think that they're going to be more likely to hire someone that's currently employed, all things considered.
[00:13:28] That doesn't mean you can't get employed, but it does mean when. You're looking at major markets, especially like if the thing that I always think about is when you're taking time off is if you want to go back and get a job in a market Los Angeles or New York or Chicago, or, one of these bigger texting on Houston most of those law firms, when they have openings are going to have, lots of applicants.
[00:13:49] And so there, what they do is they weed through all those applicants. And if they find things wrong with them, then they eliminate them and they choose the ones that don't have things that are suspicious. And so if you have [00:14:00] time off, that's one of the things that's going to hurt you compared to other applicants.
[00:14:03] And so you're more likely to be eliminated because you're look like you're not buying into this whole system, but you can certainly work in smaller markets where there's a lot of demand for people like you. The idea of also is that sometimes law firms will think you might've had psychological issues.
[00:14:17] If you left. And I think that's crazy, but it's actually often true. People often do leave because of psychological reasons. And and th this kind of middle-class value of expecting you to work and things is so ingrained and law lawyers inside of law firms take their jobs so seriously that they really do believe that there must be something wrong with you.
[00:14:37]If you've left and and gone and just taken time off and done nothing. So they do often suspect you have psychological issues and many times in my experience and it's not. By any stretch of the imagination, even, 25% of the people, but a good percentage, probably 15% of the people that are maybe even 20, that take you 10 a time off.
[00:14:56] We're having kind of psychological issues. And sometimes it's usually it's [00:15:00] caused by the firm. Sometimes it's because of other things, but it's almost always caused by the firm. And then that's obviously not a good fit. And then the other thing is liars. We'll assume that that, practicing law is not your kind of all consuming focus and not what you want to do.
[00:15:13] And lawyers are just very competitive by nature. They're, they compete from, the they're trying to get it at the best schools to getting the best grades, to, getting the best jobs are very concerned about who gets the best jobs and who makes the most money. And then they get the jobs and they want to get the best assignments.
[00:15:27] And then they want to get the biggest clients when they become partners. And then they want to compete to get a bigger share of the profits. So there's this whole kind of very competitive nature that they're built into the way attorneys think about things. And in order to thrive in these environments a law, a lawyer really needs to care and they need to, they want, they should be positioning to themselves about, how other people see them, which again is something I hate saying.
[00:15:52] Cause it just sounds so stupid. But it's true. And and so if you drop out of the race, this is going to show others that you really don't care about [00:16:00] winning anymore. And and then this lack of a competitive edge is considered a detriment by firms. And one thing I'll say is I'm always amazed.
[00:16:07] Cause I talked to. Attorneys, all day, every day. And and when I talk to attorneys, I'm always very astonished at the things that they get in trouble for. I it's, the liars are so competitive with each other and they're looking to discredit each other so much that the reasons, I'm just, I'll just give you three examples from very big firms, a very big firm, an a M.
[00:16:31]And a conservative state and the Northeast and market fired a partner because he came to work with rips in his chains or jeans, his jeans were ripped and you could see his underpants, I guess some, it's just insane.
[00:16:43]But that's that, that got him in trouble. I know another firm that fired a partner because they said he drank too much at a Christmas party or no, they didn't fire him, but they basically stopped giving him work. He was a service party cause they said he drank too much at a Christmas party.
[00:16:58] And he was just too [00:17:00] jovial and friendly with some people. Which, that's fine. But that was in New York. And then I know another from, I'm just trying to think of some other examples here. But I'm just telling you this kind of stuff, just, Oh, another woman that when she tried to make partner in a law firm or when she was up for partner, if they told her they weren't making partner, because she told someone she didn't have time to do her an assignment a couple of years ago.
[00:17:18]This is how competitive wires are with each other. So if you take too much time off, it's it, it's just, it's, that's just, one other thing that, in this super competitive environment and not all law firms are just competitive by the way. But a lot of them are w where the stakes are very high, it can hurt you.
[00:17:34]If you eliminate yourself from competition and you're not playing by these rules then you're sending the message that the law is not your number one priority. And and you're not, you don't care as much, and it may not be, and there's no reason it shouldn't be a amendment.
[00:17:46] Advocating for this one way or another, but the reason that the lawyers think this way with each other, I think is that, the most, the best law firms want attorneys that are really, always on the ball for their clients, always very concerned about what the client [00:18:00] needs and providing the absolute best client service.
[00:18:02] So everything that you do and the way you react to the legal profession, the way you react, or your law firm and so forth will often show the kind of attorney you would be with your clients. And and so there's just, the higher up you go in the legal profession, the more, a lot of this stuff is often emphasized.
[00:18:19] And it's not like that in every great firm. It's not, certainly saying it, but that, but many times it is. And many, most times it is. And then, a law firm may talk about how an environment is collegial and it's got a great quality of life. At the same time, those are often the most competitive environments.
[00:18:36] The ones that have the reduced hours are often the ones that you know, were when you're working your work better, be really fricking good. And the ones who that are collegial environments, where everyone's really nice to each other, oftentimes, there's a lot of hostility and stuff beneath the surface.
[00:18:49] That's not spoken, it's, I dunno what it's called passive aggressiveness and stuff. So it's just, you have to be very careful. But law firms really want to hire people that are that are [00:19:00] dedicated and and if you don't look dedicated, that can hurt you. Another thing is That and this is, there's actually a lot of truth to this.
[00:19:06]But if you ate too much time off the law firms will assume that your skills have deteriorated and and having a really good legal mind is much like being an athlete. If you don't maintain your legal mind, it could atrophy and wither away. It needs to be constantly utilized and challenged and and so whatever you're doing, Y when you take time off, if it's not the same kind of work you left behind and it could be darling and not sharpening your mind and, attorneys, continue developing.
[00:19:35]Every, every day you're at work, you're becoming a better and better attorney than if you walk away from that dependent, then a lot of those skills will go away. And and and law firms will just see it. I'm sure that. You've met people that you may have known in the past when you were in different, parts of your life and you go back and you meet them.
[00:19:53] And and you you realize that, that they're just not up to par. And I had that experience not too long ago. It's actually not a [00:20:00] funny story, but I, when I was in I went to a small town In the Midwest and I went into a grocery store and I couldn't believe just how slowly everybody was moving.
[00:20:08]It was like a, things for, calling it yeah. 15% speed or something. I just, and so it's just, you look at different environments and people move at different speeds and think at different speeds and people do things at different speeds. And and there's nothing wrong with that, you, you may, you will continue advancing when you're in a fit firm.
[00:20:25] And if you go away for a long period time your skills may deteriorate. Sending at home and watching television does not make you a better attorney. Time off and reflection and stuff certainly does, but but your intellectual skills can deteriorate and law firms take that seriously.
[00:20:40]And then here's some of the things that law firms will look at, so I'm assuming that, people that are watching this if you're not very upset at this point which I would be by what some of the stuff I've said would probably want to know how the law firms will, how they'll consider you because people, I get people jobs all the time they're taking extended leaves.
[00:20:59]Probably. I [00:21:00] don't know once a week or once every couple of weeks, so it's not as if you're unemployable, but it's, it makes it much more difficult. So the first thing that law firms are gonna think about is, whether or not they accept the reasons that you've given for leaving and the law always asked, they'll always want to know why you've taken time off and and and they'll be concerned, they'll be curious about that.
[00:21:21] And so generally the best reasons you can give are things that are beyond your control. And don't affect your your day to day commitment of being an attorney. An example would be, like I told him, we talked about earlier the death of someone in the family or and that sort of thing.
[00:21:37]You have to be able to address those. You'll have to explain to the, from New York fired you'll have to come across as looking very focused and that you're committed. You'll have a law firm will have to believe that your skills are fresh and up-to-date, and and then, if you pass that test, then you'll be back in the legal profession.
[00:21:53] The thing is that, partners have family members die all the time. Partners have things that happen and they don't [00:22:00] always leave. So you have to ask yourself, if I was. A if I was a partner in a law firm, when I do the same thing, would I take all this time off?
[00:22:06] And in most cases partners wouldn't so you have to think about, really what happened at that point and did you not want to practice law and so forth? And what w what are these reasons? And so you have to come up with reasons that many times are good. And sometimes, th there's two, sometimes there's great reasons.
[00:22:23] Like I know people that have had to move to, very small markets where you couldn't necessarily work remotely because because of a family member or something happening and and couldn't work, I've known I don't know people that had to move overseas for whatever reason.
[00:22:39] And there's all sorts of things that can happen. And then of course, serious illnesses and sicknesses and stuff can, you can definitely be something as well. And then the next thing is that law firms will always ask if you're going to be likely to be stable in your next job.
[00:22:52]They're gonna, they're gonna want to think about, what's your, how are you likely to be stable and and if you just left your firm and then [00:23:00] you're not going back to the same firm that indicates that there may be some instability and at the same time, if you practice for a long time and mass and a strong record of, very consistent achievement, meaning you work for someplace for several years and and did very well there then then then a law firm would be smart hiring because, sometimes people just make mistakes.
[00:23:19]I've been in situations where. Yeah, all the time where, you know, people that have worked for me who have made very serious mistakes and, and you have to decide if you're gonna look the other way sometimes, and there's nothing wrong with looking the other way and giving people a free pass now, and then but but at the same time you base those passes on on the existence of a strong record prior to the mistake.
[00:23:40] So you can just just, demonstrate civilian other ways. You can show that you've never changed jobs and that's one way you can also demonstrate a commitment to the legal profession by having done legal related work while you've been out, like writing about your practice area and that sort of thing.
[00:23:55]Taking classes and CLS and th those could all be helpful. One of the other [00:24:00] things I just wanted to bring up. And I really have, I don't know why I haven't at this point, but it's taken time off to have kids and I want to go back. That almost always welcome. And I would say that women that do that actually have all things considered a better chance of getting a job than even they're just as employable as someone that's currently working.
[00:24:20]So I don't, I think that law firms respect that and they are willing to This is a sign of stability because, and they know that hiring women that have taken time off to have children is a smart move because they're likely to alter, they need to raise their children or take care of them and they need a job and all those sorts of things.
[00:24:38] So it's, that's one thing where I don't see a lot of problems and how much time is too much time. There's all sorts of schools of thought on that, but, even a couple of years is generally fine. And and sometimes people have been wait until their kids are, five or six, in school.
[00:24:53]But but other, from things she'll be stable in the future, and then the odds you can get another chance. And then the other thing is your experience. The. The [00:25:00] legal market is it's about supply and demand. If you have if the law firm believes that you have very good experience then, and there's not a lot of people like you, then they're willing to overlook this stuff.
[00:25:10]They lost law firms or businesses. Right now there are certain practice areas that are very much in demand. If you were. For example trust in the States is in demand. So if you were trusting state's attorney two or three years ago and took time off and you still may want to come back, there's enough demand that law firms will be like, you know what?
[00:25:25] I don't care. Like I'm willing to bring this person back. So law firms are willing to take chances when. When they when they believe that you're likely to when they need someone like you because they just, their businesses and the overlook, it what I'm talking about in terms of most of the problems are when, you're in a very competitive practice area, like litigation or another one where there's a lot of people competing for the same jobs, then taking time off can be a problem.
[00:25:51] But sometimes if you have very specialized skills, when you take the time off, but law firm literally will not care because because they they need you and and [00:26:00] and there's the way it goes. And and then the other thing is, your past experience that the quality of the, from your out, before can make a big, can make a big difference.
[00:26:08]Litigators train to the best firms are municipal finance and corporate, and are gonna, even after extended periods of absence could, can often get a lot of interest in different markets. And and the big thing though, is the market you're looking at. So yeah. When you look at very sophisticated and well-developed markets where there's a lot of competition for the same jobs.
[00:26:32] So markets like, again, like I said, for New York and Los Angeles and Bay area, San Francisco in particular and and Miami and other kind of markets like that, that a lot of people want to work in Austin, Texas, then law firms can afford to be very discriminating in those markets.
[00:26:48] They have the ability to to say, you know what, like we're getting all these applicants for this job. And we're gonna, we'd prefer to stick with this person because they don't have this gap. And but if you look at smaller markets, [00:27:00] like if you decide, I'm going to look at in a smaller market would be maybe Las Vegas or salt Lake city or I'm just, Phoenix and, then law firms are going to be like, wow, this person looks great.
[00:27:08] I'm interested in them. And and they're hard to find in that they're more likely to bring you in. So one of my big pieces of job search advice to everybody and if you're one of my candidates on this call, I'm sure you even this week got texts from me and emails about the importance of looking at multiple markets.
[00:27:25] That's very important. And then sometimes your educational qualifications can make a difference to young attorneys. I always think their law school is very important, but honestly, when you get out. More than a few years there's a lot of things that are more important than your law school, meaning your practice area, the quality from your, whether you're, those sorts of things and the amount of business you get when you're a partner.
[00:27:46] But if you have really good qualifications, there's certain schools that just continue to open doors. Like Yale's one of them and Stanford and Chicago and Harvard and, different types of schools like that. So those can continue really open doors for people.
[00:28:00] [00:27:59] And if you have very good educational qualifications, then law firms may look at you a little bit differently. If you took time off and and because they're they want to get a return on their investment. And and frankly, having attorneys that went to certain law schools and it helps them it helps the law firm.
[00:28:18]It helps them. Other attorneys that have gone to similar law schools for those whole kind of cycle behind loss law firms will maybe bring people in, even if you didn't have necessarily the best record at the mom, because you took it a lot of time off a good law school committee, the difference when you're younger and and just another thing, I just wanted to bring up, cause I, I know that, Frank and I can go to the best law schools, but it's.
[00:28:43] I just think that a success net setting translates in six, seven from environment. I think that being very good at the problem, that's about all of these different things your motivation, your insight, your ability to assert yourself, all these things don't necessarily and that, but [00:29:00] at the same time with the act.
[00:29:01] You show your ability to understand complex problems and to write well and and those are skills that an attorney that, that can definitely help them. But one and I just have a funny thing I'm saying here, but it just says we often see the best and brightest attorneys come, academic institutions Jana establishing points of view, getting overshadowed by attorneys from second tier law schools.
[00:29:22] It may not be an intelligence, but I have a stint with legal practice and do not the arrogance that they somehow the growth of a law firm. And that's actually I liked that point and the reason I liked it, just because I see attorneys get into trouble because they think that the most important thing is their law school.
[00:29:42] When it's all about the, of the work you do, how hard you work your inside. And all these other things. And pick their law school, what a badge of honor that seriously can often put themselves in there. Okay. This is the inclusions here that, you're taking a risk, you leave the [00:30:00] practice of law period of time.
[00:30:01]It certainly can work and it's not always a bad, but it is something you need to think about. And and the OD the idea is that there's just no or it doesn't communicate the sort of commitment that most law firms want. If if you, if he you should definitely have very for doing it.
[00:30:18]Or if you do it, when you come back and realize if you pass jobs, you may not be able to in your existing market, Arch market, if it's a very calm and and that sort of thing, but frankly in time can be a really good thing. And for a lot of attorneys and and really make you a better attorney, but you have, there's a cost to it.
[00:30:40] And the cost of getting back in quality law firms. Okay. So I'm going to take a quick one minute, one half about 90 seconds, and then I will come back and answer her other questions.
[00:30:53]okay. Question. They're great questions. I love the system. I agree. I love hearing what people are thinking and [00:31:00] what is important for you? The things that you that are important, these are, but they're usually really good questions. And so I love questions since you have the better, really appreciate them.
[00:31:11]I'm a lower tier 14 student above median who struck out during the OCIO. Okay. I had a call backs and another handout this month. I finally managed to and a summer, a 15, 20 person law firm, smaller market. All right, great job outside my target market to pay us about half as much, but I'll other commercial or for smaller clients.
[00:31:31]I'm sorry. Okay.
[00:31:33]As be able to transition to. Composition, should I focus my search and getting a scholarship? Or could I possibly make transit during a three hour? Okay. Okay. That's a great question. So there's a, there's several questions here. So the first is the first thing I want to recommend you got to have some are so awesome.
[00:31:51] So great job getting a summer with such job. So that's and that's fantastic. What you need is, and this is my [00:32:00] advice for everyone that's on this call that, that has a associate job. As you need to go in to your summer associates con. And if you want to succeed there, you need to work the most hours and build the most hours of anyone in your class.
[00:32:14]You need to be enthusiastic need to be grateful.
[00:32:17]Elicit is for community, ask people for work and and then you need to proofread all work. You need to work, you need to work. No,
[00:32:27]basically the best job you can, if that summer job is with a firm that you don't think is that great, that's what you got. Don't worry about it. You need to just work the best you can, because now we'll have results later attorneys, you, there will be references, all sorts of things. So not worry that you're making half of what other people.
[00:32:49]The other thing I want to say that important is that as a young attorney, I think
[00:32:54] young attorney
[00:32:55]to get experience
[00:32:56]you like the money you're making now so if [00:33:00] you're 23, you will be practicing law. So three to 24 year old. Yes.
[00:33:05]Were you practicing into your eighties? This is how long most people have practiced. At least. So what on earth are you worried about a few thousand dollars a week or whatever at this point in your career, or that you do not worry about money when you're young, you will, you be thankful that you're getting an experience and that's the most important thing because you're learning a craft right now and you're learning.
[00:33:27]In, in these people are inviting you into their law firm to teach you something. So you should be very grateful that you have this opportunity. That's a major opportunity. And and you almost didn't get something, but you finally got it. And that's great. And you learn your lesson now, I would also think about what you did in your callbacks.
[00:33:45] I may not have worked. And then I would also think about what you could do in your next job that would make you more in your next interviews that would make you more effective. But your job is to get experienced. You shouldn't worry if you don't have the best paying job, that the legal career is a long [00:34:00] road.
[00:34:00]It's a long ride and you're going to be doing this for a long time. So just because you're not starting the race in the front doesn't mean you're not going to win. This is the, this, these thought processes. Oh, sorry. Here at my screens up right. I got that. The let me see here, let me fix my camera again.
[00:34:15]Let me see here.
[00:34:16]Anyway, so just because you're not winning, trying to find my camera name here, let's see Hudley. Just because you're not winning the race when you start does not mean that you're going to, you're not going to win over the longterm so that's what I would say.
[00:34:28] And so your job is really to to get as much experience as you can when you start and not worry necessarily about the type of, w what's happening to you initially. And so many people make this mistake. They're bitter at a great summer associate job offer. They're better the best firm.
[00:34:46] It doesn't matter. This is a long race. So do the best you can. And then your job and kiss these peoples behind because you need to, they need to get an offer for that's even worse. And you can just keep in mind that you do [00:35:00] get, and you're going to get experience and other people will not necessarily have experience.
[00:35:04] And just because it's not the most prestigious firm doesn't mean there's not good things about it. They may be making millions of dollars a year in some sort of you don't know. There's all these people, it can help us. Next question is, should I do our show? And yes, you should try to do a clerkship.
[00:35:19] You should try. Can you still apply all over the country when you can, because a federal clerkships will lead up the drip court clerkship or trial work district court will lead to better jobs. So after you, your clerkship, you can certainly transition. To another firm or go back to your system, but do you want to clerkship is a very smart thing if you're not getting the job in BS clerkships also that our attorney, when you start, because work shift, you'll be working with a judge right when you, and and the judge will basically be teaching you, you'll be in a judgmental atmosphere where where you improve your writing skills and to [00:36:00] win all around better attorney.
[00:36:01]You could be a very smart thing from you and and I would recommend now, if you can't do it, you can always go back to your firm. And then the other question you asked is, should I, can I make a transition during this as a three hour, get another job you can't. So if you get an offer you can in, then law firms also interviewed, so you can still get an interview get interviews with large loft as a, pre-op not a problem, but you can do that.
[00:36:26]In, in, you can crank to get another job until you accept your existing job. Until you you start your new job, so you definitely have into that. My do the best you can, as a summer associate, then make sure you get and not care about the pay you're getting. Do you not care?
[00:36:44] Do not worry about it. Just soak up parents. Cause a lot of people are, so what you learn now will help you. Look at me. I've been, I can talk about my experience and I'm. On a long time. So you just you've experienced this useful [00:37:00] and he will be able to draw on at the rest of your career.
[00:37:03] So you need to do whatever you can and then yes, much better from if you do a federal clerkship now than you could, if you didn't and and then it's yes, you can still get an interview. Okay. As many questions as people have please ask them because I'm these are very helpful for other people.
[00:37:18] So even if you don't questions, Adam important someone that's on the call and often we benefit from this and if you're not nervous questions, if you've taken a practice from law, from a traditional legal environment for investigation, contract work for different pharmacy, Gotcha. Is this looked upon disfavorably.
[00:37:36]So the big thing with block just law firms there's, I come back to this, but they're looking they're always asking the phonics. Can you do the job
[00:37:45] these are the questions that ask. First one is, can you do the job and that, obviously even if working as a contract worker that you probably can do the job, they're going to be most concerned about. And if you're working successfully, actually you probably can be [00:38:00] managed.
[00:38:00] But the thing is they when they see things like you work in as a contract attorney that they think to themselves, does this person really work as a, in a full-time job as an attorney, the or do they want the flexibility that goes along with being an independent contractor and jumping in between and there's do they, are they going to stick around because they've had all these independent contractor in part of one group and and Are they able to take instruction from a long period of time?
[00:38:29] So you always win. Whenever you're looking for a position, you always seem to look at things from the law. And so law firms prefer to hire people, not to matching environments and not necessarily people that are working as people who come contractors for a lot of different points. I, that went to Yale law school and was very smart, worked at my firm.
[00:38:51]He'd been when I started at my first firm and and then he took some, and the law firm, I had to come back as a full-time [00:39:00] associate. They gave him a job as a contract attorney and but he stayed with, I, he worked for the same partners and everything, and he want her full time probably consider that.
[00:39:09] But a lot of times contract attorneys would do it because. That's ability. And you need to work around and and see how the law firms are going to respond to that.
[00:39:18]My question is how much non attorneys making pick terms, how much to recruit creating directors? I have been astonished. I know I talked. And the other day that was working for a big firm preparing pitches, just basically marketing pitches to to, for their clients making $280,000 a year.
[00:39:40]That's just a woman had no, I think she might've gone to college, but she definitely wasn't an attorney. And recruiting directors, the salaries are all over the place. Some recruiting directors can make a lot of money. They can make as much as attorneys some paralegals in law firms that whether if they're paid by the hour and get overtime can make as much money as [00:40:00] the attorney.
[00:40:00] So in big law firms it's pretty amazing how much many many non attorneys can make recruiting assistants same thing. But I don't know how much they make specifically. It depends on the firm though. Firms will often pay more than they should, and some will pay less than they should.
[00:40:17] And some it's in between it's really all over the map, but most professionals and large law firms Are making anywhere from, half to two thirds of what starting attorneys are making it at any point in time. The, whatever the starting salary is at any point in time most non-professionals are making between half and two thirds of that.
[00:40:38] And then the more senior ones are making more. And then if they're in the executive suite, meaning they're, they're, they may be like head of HR and stuff like that. Then their salaries are typically about 50% of what, are 50% more than a certain attorney. So in general essential staff about two thirds
[00:40:58]And then and [00:41:00] then, and that, that would include, recruiting directors, recruiting people. I don't know. I'm not even gonna say without input, but that's, central staff and then high level staff,
[00:41:09]HR make a, you can make anywhere from, if you don't make More, that's been what I've seen. And law firms have all sorts of people. They have COO is they have finance they have all sorts of roles there. So that's been my experience. It depends on the big firm, some law firms are very cheap, so some law firms will pay their, we'll keep, there can keep the salary of the partners and so forth up by paying the essential staff last.
[00:41:35]It's just, it really depends, but the point is they could the law firms can definitely make, you can definitely make a lot of money working in a law firm, not essential staff. I know people that are doing in recruiting roles, recruiting directors and large law firms that make very good livings.
[00:41:53]I acknowledge a year. It just depends on the firm suggestions for how to come back a logical issue [00:42:00] that was largely from while the big way to come back to sometimes time is really a way to to come back. The more time goes by the more change and they and that may, you may have gotten in trouble with will have left or, you, you don't, you can use references of people that were your friends, the psychological issue caused by your firm.
[00:42:19]And typically just to find an environment where you believe you're not going to have those issues. So many times from it can be in a smaller marketing, different practice setting. It can be it could be a different fashion sometimes. It just depends, but. You can definitely come back if you've had psychological issues.
[00:42:37]In my opinion, there's the prejudice against psychological issues is definitely over my lifetime. No, it's no different than having a a physical illness where there, you get sick because of a virus or something issues. And but you need to be concerned about us.
[00:42:56]How that's framed when you back. Could you not want to talk about the fact you [00:43:00] had a psychological issue or a sickness, if you can avoid it? I just want to say that wanted to take time off. I wanted to get recentered I or whatever. And then and then, and then you just you, I think the big thing with any time off is you can always come back.
[00:43:15] You just can't come back, always you work. So if you leave like the best firms, it's very D. Math to the best firms, if you take too much time off. So come back to a permit. It's not as good. So you have to go down a few steps if you, and that's really and that's the same thing issues. The world can give you another chance, but it's not going to give you a chance.
[00:43:38] You're going to, you're going to have to get some credit and build up to affirm your out before and then you can do it. And people recover from all sorts of psychological, just, anything come back and do very well. Okay. But I will also tell you that from, I was out, there was one guy that's murdering his wife and other first, a couple others.
[00:44:00] [00:44:00] It was in some other bad stuff. And I don't know that you can come back from that, but no, they were just, so there's no way I could, I'm currently an MNA junior 10:00 PM. I'm in New York. All right. And several of my peers are looking to lateral ASAP now, better opportunities. I appreciate any insight.
[00:44:17] The corporate concept types to be experienced will be knowledgeable. Maybe in other words, I'm trying to check the box and if the thing's a good well-rounded M and a miss Margaret for leaving a firm. The big thing is to document all the deals that you work on. So I always recommend that that you have a transaction sheet where you keep track of everything you worked on the best corporate attorneys that they are very proud of the map worked on and they write, and that just communicates, just not communicates a lot.
[00:44:48] So that should always be. Is your resume and on there now for the most part law firms are not going to hire you just be, if you're hiring, being, looking for a new job doing M and [00:45:00] a, they're not going to hire you because of your experience. So that's one of the big mistakes that people make believe that, having one, being one, having one more type of deal or one more type of thing is going to make a marketable it's really these questions can you do the job?
[00:45:14] Can you be managed while you do the job? Long-term most, if you're at a really good firm like that, then you're going to have A lot of options I would recommend you will start, you're probably already getting a lot of calls from head hunters. We don't make those kinds of calls cause we're a legal placement firm.
[00:45:29]And so people tend to come to us as opposed to the other way, but I'm sure you're getting a lot of calls right now. I would not really, especially for your junior, I wouldn't, I would ignore those for at least a couple of years because you need to get a lot more experience and if you're at a good firm, it's not it does you no good to leave right now.
[00:45:47] And as a matter of fact, I have for example a relative that started at Skadden two years ago in New York and doing M and a, and I. I was very clear with him that that you just need to stay there for a long time. You don't want to leave. The more [00:46:00] experience you get the better.
[00:46:01] And so the more experience you get out working at the same firm it's going to show, the more experience you get is going to show you're going to do the job. Long-term wherever you go, it's going to show you can be managed. It's going to show you can do the job to kind of show. And then, after you've been, it shows it's going to show that the firm probably liked you, that you're at.
[00:46:17] And then and then if you know what you want over time then you're going to be much better off, but all this burnout and stuff is actually a good thing when you're young, because all this stuff is being pushed into your your, your kind of nervous system and your way of thinking about work.
[00:46:32] And it's just very helpful. So you definitely need to just stick with it in my opinion, and then and to be a well-rounded the biggest thing to be well rounded as to, especially if you're at that good of a firm would be one thing. If you're trying to move to. About 10 from about 50 from, or, if you're trying to move from about five, 10 to five or something, but all these things are gonna make you really good.
[00:46:54] The only thing that would be it could really help you there's different types of emanates. Some people do M and a, [00:47:00] in the healthcare field, others do it. And finance like in the emerge finance companies and, so if you had a specialty like that, then that would help you.
[00:47:07] But but I think you're probably in pretty good shape where you're at. My advice is to, ignore head hunters for a long time and opportunities and brass in the vise. I'll give you it's actually funny story. But yeah, sometimes people think the grass is always greener on the other side and are things going, are going to be different.
[00:47:27]And And I love the story. My mom told me to it and told it to me and she a friend and married I don't know, five or six times that the sixth person was his first wife and which is really funny. So it's the first person he married? It's actually, I guess the fifth person you married. So the sixth time he got married first wife.
[00:47:47] And she said God, why would you? And he said because after married four to five, I realized that everybody is basically the same. You get married and you have the same problems and [00:48:00] disagreements and and they just, everything's the same. I dunno if that's true, but interesting, cause work at a law firm, the problems you have, one firm it'd be similar in your gripes are going to be similar.
[00:48:09] They're just going to be, So you don't always mean to leave places there, I liked the guy that, it all those times, the last time he got married, I was the first person realized that every marriage is always the same. So I just, you don't necessarily need to look at things to, to be well-rounded and the burnout is good.
[00:48:24]The burnout means you're getting really good experience and becoming a much better attorney and you won't believe how much smarter you are after having that much experience at a firm that's demanding where you're doing that sort of work compared to other things I was talking to a girl that was Oh, the system when I placed, but she was a a corporate attorney at Solomon and chromo, which is a great firm.
[00:48:45] And and she was doing M and a and and then she relocated To the Bay area where she worked at a another firm. And she was very upset when she got there, because the, there just wasn't a, the work wasn't as sophisticated. And they, that they weren't doing, [00:49:00] they weren't as good at what they were doing.
[00:49:02] And they and she would take these assignments and they wouldn't give her as much responsibility. And so she felt, almost like she was, back in training wheels when she'd be running these huge deals at Sullivan Cromwell. So the type of experience you're getting you may be amazed at what a good attorney you're becoming and the more that you get the better off I think of them.
[00:49:19]Okay. Let's see. This is a good question. I love these questions. Thank you for asking such good questions. Everyone. Not that last one was good when the farm was really good. Okay. So let's say new litigation associated. It turns out I hate litigation. I especially hate describer. Everybody hates discovery by the way.
[00:49:37]Squabbling the idea of going to court or taking a deposition makes me want to throw up or faint or both. Okay. That's good. I love research and that's a good sign. I love research and I'm a great writer, but what kind of attorney jobs are out there that allow, I researched piggy detailed towns without that, without the cat finding parts possible.
[00:49:57] Give me a go to, for, to know [00:50:00] position like this is that helps. I see some government jobs around and they're more three that they'll want more, have a no longer civil again, the more stuck I'll date. I think the most for you would be to be our research. Which we actually have a job company to work here, but I'm not trying to sell you on that, but if your research, but the, probably the smartest thing would be for the government So that's what the judge does, judge, will basically if you work for the permanent clerk or a district state court, judge you write opinions.
[00:50:31]That's what that's what they do. And a couple of things is all attorneys hate discovery, no one likes discovery. It's just it's just part of the job. So people do not like that when you're in deposition is something that's scary, but you don't necessarily need, there's attorneys that are partner firms that have maybe only take whatever.
[00:50:52]I hate it's true. And if hardly ever go to the people do that it sounds like you're a very good writer. So with that in the fee, if you liked [00:51:00] this research, And nitpicky tail. Again, we have a research attorney job that we're looking for someone to do that, but without cat fighting then I, and honestly that, what you think about things like work for a judge, you can also hand appeal appeals to go to, I guess you'd have to argue panel there and can do that anything to do with right now, there's also a lot of professional, a brief writer.
[00:51:24] So there's people that write briefs professionally, so they will do it for for different attorneys. They can they're sourced writers. There's there's research attorney jobs in firms. I've talked to numerous research attorneys inside of law and that's the job.
[00:51:37]And and you can very hiding and you can tell your law firm that I just, I don't like doing and see what happens. I know that's going to go over well, but, but you could do that. Discovery part of the whole thing is really about seeing the facts to be able to quite effectively.
[00:51:56] So you're just trying to get an agenda [00:52:00] and in order to write effectively. So that's that, but yeah, if you're going to quarter Tinder throw up something you can probably get over when you it's just because it's new, you could take trial advocacy classes and anything that's new, like that can be stressful, but Yeah, I would recommend being a research attorney.
[00:52:15]You could work for a judge. You can do a POS, you could be a professional Roughrider. You can also go into journalism. So a lot of attorneys like going into journalism there's a lot of journalists that are attorneys. We have jobs, of course, for that. At our company, we have a girl that used to be a litigator Gibson, Dunn that writes letters for us for attorney.
[00:52:34] So she writes letters that we send a law firm about how great an attorney is cheap and you can be a writer you can be an editor you can work for a magazine or an online news publication. All these sorts of things. But if you. Th the thing that I would say is if you have really good legal skills though, and you do you, you like the research and the writing and the finding the details and and then writing about that, then you're [00:53:00] probably going to be much better off doing something related to to, to the law as opposed to this other stuff.
[00:53:05] But, if you take a look at a lot of people with good writing and research skills are former attorneys. So like Geraldo Rivera, the former attorney he's a, obviously has a new show. The guy that runs a TMZ. So TMZ is in a Harvey Liban or whatever his name is.
[00:53:19] That's he started out I think as a reporter for court TV, or reporter for a judge, Judy or something like that. And then where he talked about I think that's what he did. I'm not a hundred percent sure, but he would talk about interview people that came out of court and then he started a celebrity news magazine, so there's just all sorts of things that you can do as a as a All right.
[00:53:41]If you have writing and research skills and like it, and hardly we, then, by the way, you went to university of Chicago law school. These are smart people. And another guy Michael , he used to be a former, he went to Yale law school. He was the I don't know, movie reviewer.
[00:53:54]You can write flux. There's just all sorts of job too. You can do a, you [00:54:00] can get into a legal placement. Like we do. Legal placement. What I do is, but it's not necessarily it's a lot of research and writing. What I'm doing now is I guess talking so you think there's just all sorts of positions at some of the sorts of skills can do and yeah, whatever makes you happiest is really You know what you should be doing, but a lot of this stuff like the discovery, I think, is something that you can, discovery is something that you just no attorney likes and you just have to plug for the people that do most of the discovery in law firms tend to be junior attorneys.
[00:54:32] So they're not always the senior attorneys. You find very few senior attorneys like drafting a interrogatories and stuff. You just don't see it. They may look at the choices documents, but they're not going to do that. And you don't find so that's just something that you learn when you're a junior attorney and then going to court, isn't something you always have to do.
[00:54:51]And most attorneys do, senior attorneys Going to court, they would prefer sometimes to send a, an associate. But if you don't like to quarter doing depositions, a lot of these things, you're probably just, [00:55:00] don't like, because they're afraid of them because you haven't done them yet.
[00:55:02] So anytime you haven't done something you can be afraid of it, but and you could turn out to be really good at this. So a lot of times this stuff is just getting over it these different types of fears. Okay. That was a great question, by the way. Thank you.
[00:55:14]Give me one second. Let me see here.
[00:55:17]A new litigate associate and it turns out I hate litigate. I especially hate discovery and the constant, Oh, wait, no, sorry. Just give me a second here. Tear 14, that's just junk out of big law for some personal reasons. My GPA during OCI with did a very low number, but it as much I was slow in the job search. So I'm currently just having a Passover.
[00:55:42]Okay. I'm a two out of lower tier 14 that just struck out a big law for some personal reasons. By JPA, during OCR reflected a very low number, but it was much higher. Now I was slow in the job search. So I'm either doing our in-house position of tech company, possibly a summer clerk [00:56:00] position with civil rights