In this Webinar, Harrison offers a profound and transformative perspective on the dynamics of crafting a powerful resume. It's more than just another presentation; it's a pivotal opportunity that could be a game-changer in your legal career. Whether you're a law student on the cusp of entering the profession or an experienced attorney seeking to level up, Harrison's insights are a must.
Harrison delves deep into a topic that is often overlooked but is of paramount importance - the critical errors people frequently make on their resumes. These blunders are, unfortunately, the hidden stumbling blocks that can sabotage your job search efforts, keeping you from securing the coveted positions you aspire to attain.
One of the key takeaways from this webinar is the absolute necessity of a laser-focused resume. It's not just a suggestion but a legal employment mandate. Harrison passionately expounds on why your resume should convey your unwavering dedication to a particular practice area unequivocally. It's a revelation that could potentially redefine your entire job search strategy.
The crux of the matter is that an unfocused resume is costly. It squanders the precious time of potential employers, casting you as an indecisive candidate. It's a surefire way to miss out on opportunities and an express ticket to frustration in your job search. When Harrison reviews candidates at BCG, the primary criterion he evaluates is the resume's focus. A staggering 95% of resumes he reviews lack this essential trait. This statistic is a testament to the problem's pervasiveness, but it's also an immense opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd.
A focused resume is the linchpin of your legal career. It speaks volumes about your commitment more loudly and effectively than the name of your law school or the size of the firm you've worked for. Your focus is the trump card that can turn the tide in your favor, making you an irresistible choice for legal employers.
As you listen to Harrison's insights, you'll realize that your resume isn't just a document; it's your professional identity. Every word, every detail, and every choice you make on your resume holds the power to shape your future. Harrison's wisdom will give you a fresh perspective and a profound sense of clarity, equipping you with the tools you need to excel in the highly competitive legal field. It's not just a webinar; it's a compass to guide you toward your professional goals, ensuring you take advantage of the opportunities you deserve.
Okay, welcome this; by the way, I think it is probably for many people here. And in my opinion, 1 of the most essential webinars I could ever do for you. I'm going to, unfortunately; I do have to get a flight later this morning, but. I have to leave early this afternoon to take questions, but I won't be able to take as many questions as usual.
Last week, I think this webinar went almost four hours once you did it after the question, not the webinar itself, but this is a perfect topic. And I'm happy to present it this morning because I think it's something. It can help a tremendous amount of people in terms of your resume.
And it's a topic I plan to present and share with BCG candidates and others after I do it today. As it says, it's about selecting the proper practice here and positioning your resume for success in the job search. And this, by the way, is one of the biggest problems and things that people do wrong.
With their resumes and job search, they simply make huge mistakes, preventing people from getting jobs. Most of the time, many people who show up on resume workshops need to be corrected. And that's one reason that I'm. I'm very excited, and this could be one of the most essential webinars you will ever hear, regardless of whether you're a law student or an attorney or you've been practicing for many years.
This is about the biggest mistakes people tend to make on their resumes. And If you're making these mistakes, which many people are, or tons of people are, these are the mistakes that most often prevent people from getting positions. It hurts a legal career if your resume focuses entirely on one practice area.
I'll talk a lot about that today. If you're trying to get jobs in multiple practice areas, that will hurt you. And putting your resume on one side of a divisive social, political, or other issue will hurt you. The big thing to understand right off the bat is that if a law firm looks at your resume, it needs to look like someone doing that type of work.
And it has to have multiple clues. You will be a good fit for a perfect practice for the specific practice area. I would encourage you to take notes on this webinar because it's that important if you don't ask people to do that. But 1 of the notes I would ask you to take is there are many hours of resume reviews online that you can look at and see me reviewing people's resumes.
And I would recommend it. We are reviewing many of those reviews because this is precisely what we do. And almost every resume gets this wrong. So, your resume must look like you're interested in one practice area. And if your resume doesn't do this, you won't get interviewed for jobs hiring them for that practice area.
And if you are hired. And the law firm is a well-run business. It's probably not a well-run business if you're hired, and you're probably not going to have a real future there. It's probably going to be a little bit of a firm. And I'll explain that to you in more detail as we go on today.
It would help if you also did; you're taking a huge gamble. When you put stuff on your resume about things like your position on various social issues, and those social issues could be abortion, capital punishment, and things that two sides are radically opposed to. One side doesn't like the other, and vice versa; your political party can be divisive if you say you're a hardcore Republican.
A very hardcore Democrat or whatever that's going to upset people, and you may believe all this stuff is essential, but not everyone will like this. Think about it. These social issues are dividing the country, and maybe they always have.
Why would you, in a million years, want to alienate some people and put that in your resume? Because it will make it look like you're interested in something other than a law firm. So you can put things on like you spend all your time and your free time doing something that doesn't make it look like you're interested in working in a law firm or would prefer to do something else.
People make some of the dumbest mistakes. We'll list that they've done 200 hours of pro bono work at a major law firm. These things may hurt you, so again, if you want to list things about being a Republican or Democrat in your resume.
And if you insist on this, you will alienate certain employers or people in them. It will automatically disqualify you from jobs and many more things you list, and you can list all these things on your resume. If you like, it will hurt you most of the time.
You just can't do it. And you may think you're also helping yourself by talking about the fact that you do differently. You've done all this work and different practice areas. That's not going to hurt you. Any sane employer. It's going to hurt any sane employer that expects you to be committed to something.
If they're hiring you to do commercial litigation, They are not interested in the fact that you want to do real estate or trademark. They're hiring you to do one thing. And employers don't care about what you're interested in. They may, they, or they want you; they want you to be interested in one thing, and that's just how it works.
So they care about your experience, whether or not you can do their work. If you're interested in doing their work, and if you look like you want to do that, what you're doing, if you look like you're interested in doing something else. Why would any law firm hire you if they can hire other people who are?
Any law firm with relatively sophisticated clients will want somebody working on the matters who understands their practice area, is committed to it, and is more interested in their area than social or other causes. Anything else? Clients want to avoid dabblers.
Clients don't want lawyers who aren't committed to doing their type of work. If they're paying high billable hours or have a matter, they want someone who knows how to do it. And that's just not good. Interestingly, this is just an aside from some of the most marketable practice areas.
And there have been things like this for the past couple of years. Family law, trust in the States, or things you wouldn't consider. But they're so marketable because the people are committed to it. Also, the insurance defense is Mark. All these practice areas that you would think are something other than marketable.
Are more so than corporate attorneys and a market slowdown. I'm going to go into all of this today. This is an introduction, but once you understand this, it should change your resume and how you approach your job search forever because it's that important. Everyone who shows up to my resume workshops and often is making these mistakes.
When I talk to people. NBCG that are trying to get a position. They're often always making these mistakes. I don't know why this isn't taught more, but if you fix this stuff, you will get multiple jobs. Whether or not you're using a recruiter or searching on your own, it will transform your job search.
So, an unfocused resume. So, an unfocused resume will save you time on the job. It's going to waste the time of you seeking a job. It wastes the time of employers and anyone involved; the employer won't want to hire you. You're not going to be happy about not getting a job. And I estimate that when I review candidates at BCG, I only care about whether or not that candidate has.
A focused resume. So, 95 percent of the resumes that I review don't have their resumes not focused. They come to BCG; they apply for jobs. And I can see the jobs they are applying for in practice series that they don't even do. Why would I want to represent someone who is trying to switch practice areas or needs to know what type of work they do?
That's wild. 95% of people get jobs and are making mistakes. The law firms are probably making mistakes when they hire them. And then those 5 percent are resumes. Our focus is always on getting interviews and jobs. So, what do I mean by a focused resume? So you may be doing a corporate transactional law right now, but you may have been before law school.
You may have worked for an entertainment company. You may have been in the entertainment law journal and law school. You may have written some papers about it. You may be a member of an Entertainment lawyers group, and then you may be applying for a corporate transactional job. No one in their right mind is going to hire you.
You want to do entertainment law. So, if someone hires you for that, you will have a tough time. Getting a job. Why would someone hire you for that? Because you're going to leave and do something else. So, 5 percent with 5 percent of attorneys with focused resumes get more jobs and better jobs than the 95 percent that don't know what they want to do.
You may think that personal injury is an area you would never practice, and it could be a better practice here. Let me tell you something. Some of the most successful attorneys out there that I encounter, meaning people who have made millions of dollars a year, are doing practice areas that are very similar to things like personal injury because they can bring in many clients that do it.
They have a specialty, and no one else is like them with a specialty. They're just, and they get jobs. So I don't care as a recruiter where you went to law school. I don't care how big of a firm you worked in. The only thing that sells is anything in the market. It is being focused on something, meaning you have to be focused on practice here.
You can't say you do 15 different types of patent prosecution work. And also, you have to say you do something, and you have to be focused. Everybody wants a focus to resume. I can get an attorney focused on family law, immigration, trust in the States, workers' compensation, and personal injury.
The plaintiff's employment attorney barely graduated from a fourth law school. I can get them more interviews than someone who graduated from a top law school but needs to know what they want to do or has their resumes all over the map. Certain law schools create people like that. Yale Law School creates people like that.
They typically don't last in law firms; people who go into law firms that are unfocused despite their academic qualifications by not choosing a specialized practice area never amount to what they could be. If you're just focused, you can get into some firm and be much more successful than someone who may have attended Harvard Law School.
So, if your resume. Reflects a need for more commitment to your pros and practice area or setting. You'll be in a lot of trouble, and focus matters more than anything. It's the most essential qualification you can have in the legal market. It's more important than where you went to law school.
It's more important than anything. The more focused you are, the better off you will be. And it would help if you were focused. It's the only thing that matters. Your focus is the only thing that you have to offer the market. Suppose you need to be more focused. Then you're just going to get pushed along, and you're going to need to figure out what's going on.
The thing with focus, and I want to explain it to you, is I'm focused on making law firm placements. That's all I do. It's all I've been doing for a quarter of a century. Every day, I'm learning more and more things, and that's why I'm doing these webinars. If I had done 15 different types of placements, contract attorneys, and in-house attorneys, I wouldn't have that focus and be good at what I'm doing.
The longer you do something, the better off you get. So it's the same thing with attorneys. I can get a focused resume for attorneys. Interviews are anywhere. It doesn't matter. You could be practicing in a small town in Colorado and want to move to a big, big town in Wisconsin as a family law attorney, and you will get jobs.
If you're focused, the same goes for corporate and other types of attorneys, but focused resumes. Get interviews, and if someone needs to be more focused and someone's interested in them, they need to know what they're doing. Why would you, if you're a law firm and you have work for a residential transactional real estate attorney, why would you hire someone who's a corporate attorney?
A real estate attorney and also maybe does a little bit of litigation on the side. Is that going to help you if you're a law firm? It doesn't help anyone. So it's the same thing. You must understand how this works and why focus is essential. People put unfocused resumes together because they think wrongly that will help them.
They think having this different experience makes them more attractive to employers. No, if you don't know what you want to do, then you're dead. Why would an employer want to hire someone that doesn't know what they want to do? Because if they don't want to know what they want to do, they will continually not know what they want to do.
Do you know what a good resume is? A good resume is someone who may have, let's talk about this, majored in nursing in college, got a nursing degree, then worked as a nurse for a couple of years, then went into hospital administration for a couple of years. Then, I went to law school.
Then, when they were in law school, we were in the health law society. Then, they worked at a health law firm during their first year of law school as a health, and then they worked at another position doing health law as a second-year attorney. An excellent health law firm would be out of their mind not to hire that person because they know they will be a health law attorney.
If that person does that for a couple more years, and when they get out and specialize in another form of healthcare law, they will be pretty much set for life. They can go in-house in a law, comp hospital, or a health company. They can get jobs in health law firms or health law firms.
This is what you need to do. You need to be focused. Doesn't matter where you went to law school. I remember there was. I don't know if it still exists, but I used to get all these resumes. From this, we had another company called Legal Authority that would help people do mass mailings of their resumes and things.
And it was exciting what happened there. People would graduate from these LLM programs in obscure things like education law. And I remember some school or something down in Florida was doing it. People who were graduating from an education law program with these LLMs who were teachers or something before they went to law school were all getting jobs.
They just, because that's what they wanted to do. So they would approach this legal authority company, and the legal authority would apply for jobs for them or help them send out resumes, and they would get jobs. So if you, all of them, and it wasn't great, I don't, it wasn't a top. Fifty schools or anything like that.
It was just what it was, and people who need to be more focused never last long. They're horrible investments for employers. They're horrible investments for clients because they're just going in 15 different directions. They always sound good at everything. They need to be better investments. The average attorney.
I Think that this is how most people think, and it's wrong. It's wrong. If you're a law student, it's wrong. If you're an attorney, it's wrong. The most prominent people who make this mistake, a lot of times, are military attorneys. I don't. They always need jobs with their resumes and think listing everything is essential.
They were a marksman and did this on their resume, but the average attorney thinks the most crucial aspect of getting a position is. The quality of their qualifications. They went to a great law school. Congratulations. They have worked for some good employers in the past. They think that's important.
And people will buy into that and hire them because they have high SAT or LSAT scores. Maybe they also went to a great college and did well there. And then, they got a job as a summer associate and a first-year attorney in a big law firm. They think they got there and went to one practice area; they maybe worked a little in another.
They think that even the best attorneys often do this, but it's more familiar with other types of attorneys that could be better. The best attorneys typically go to large law firms most of the time. Many attorneys need to do that where they're taught to focus early in their career.
They go to other types of firms, and when they get there, they believe they should focus on something that gives them experience and different types of things. And then employers will be very impressed that they have this varied experience.
That's wild. So some attorneys think that they're. Commitment to social causes and politics is more important than their interest in practicing law. Suppose you could hire someone for a corporate law or commercial litigation position involved in pro-environmental groups or anti-environmental groups pro. In that case, I don't know different types of social causes, and it was all over their resume.
And that's obviously what they're interested in. I just can't imagine that you would think if you're an employer that you think that's a good idea. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing these things, but a big law firm or most law firms have to work for clients who are paying or need this skill.
It doesn't help them. So here's the truth about getting hired by 95 percent of the law firms. And here's the truth about what 95 percent of resumes do wrong. So just imagine me. So, I review resumes all day long. I review the resumes of people who are applying to BCG. I review resumes of people I'm trying to recruit for different jobs.
Every day, I review resumes; people who work for me review resumes, and only one in 20 is doing the right thing. So, one in 20 attorneys is almost intentional, or 19 out of 20 attorneys is almost intentional. Railroading their career by doing these things wrong in their resumes, they're holding themselves back in a way that makes it that they'll never get the sort of job they want.
It's just not going to happen. They'll never advance in the legal profession the way they want. It's just wild. And I'm sorry to be so direct about it. Almost everyone's doing it. It hurts my company because it hurts. I can't work for those people. It helps them hurt their marketability because they will need to hire someone at the level they should be.
Here's something to understand. The first thing is that law firms have different prestige levels, and there's something for everyone. You can't, of course, walk in. Expect to get a job at a major law firm with the right background, and you want to; if you have it, why would you compete with people who are? I'm not trying to say this negatively. Still, for people with different skill sets or the ability to analyze problems, it doesn't; it's just how it is.
And one thing is again, some of the most successful lawyers are more successful than others. Partners in most giant law firms are people who do things like personal injury and may have their firms. They do very well. Anybody can get a position with a firm appropriate to their qualifications, meaning their ability to do the work.
If your resume is focused, law firms only care about it. Certain law firms, like your very best law firms, will care about if you were somewhere associated with a big firm and you went to a particular law school or any law school and did very well, and you have experience, so they care about that.
But the most important thing is they care about it. You're focused on the focus of your resume. The more types of legal experience you have, the worse off you will be. It's a liability. I see resumes all the time. It's just been crazy. So someone may have been like, I only knew a corporate attorney for six years.
And then suddenly, they go to a new firm and are there for six months practicing real estate law. And then, they want to apply for real estate law. Jobs at BCG or get jobs at another real estate law firm, even though they last did it six months ago. It's just wild.
Who would want to hire someone like that now? Maybe after four or five years, they will. But if you have experience doing other things than your practice here, that's a liability. And also, the less you look like you're interested in practicing law. And the more interested you are in social issues, the less law firms will interest you.
So again, I've been going over this ad nauseam for a quarter of a century, and I place people all the time who know how to do this and do it correctly so you can. You will change based on what I'm saying if you care about this. And you should also review all the webinars I've done where I mark up people's resumes and go over this.
You should also review all of the webinars that I've done about resumes. But this is the most important one you can ever listen to because this is where we're focusing on this. But You just have to understand that nothing whatsoever messes people up more than putting the lack of focus into their resumes and their job searches; it's going to limit you, it's going to limit your career, and it's going to hold you back.
So, nothing benefits an employer less than hiring someone who is unfocused, does not know what they want to do, or is more interested in social issues than practicing law. A law firm would have to be insane to hire someone like this, and almost none of them do. Now, sometimes they make mistakes.
Sometimes, they have people in the law firm who also support these social causes, but more is needed to help the firm grow. And so it will hurt your career if you do these things. The other thing I've gone over is that your resume needs to look like you're a committed specialist if you want to get hired.
So it's the same thing I was talking about earlier. I'm going to go into a little more depth here, but unless it's a small law firm in a rural area or a small law firm that will take whatever matter, I'm there is someone that walks in the door. Most law firms hire specialists, not generalists. So, what do I mean by that?
What I mean is if you're a law firm in a small geographic area, or if you're a law firm that wants to do any type of work for any type of client, then yes, you can, or you're in a solo practitioner, or you're with a three or four law firm, then yes, you can have a generalist resume.
But other than that, almost all law firms that can pay high salaries that give you many opportunities will want to hire a specialist. The law firm wants to hire specialists or generalists who will typically be in business for a short time or need help paying you.
They'll never get work at a higher billable hour and a repeat type of business because they'll never be an expert in something. People will go to firms that are experts in something. If you look at personal injury law firms, that's all they do. If you look at law firms that do litigation for companies, that's often all they do. So, the more focused you are, The better off you will be. This is just how the business world works.
If you listen to the radio, you'll hear these law firms talking about doing tax resolution. That's all they do. The business world works this way. People hire people who know what they're doing, not those who do not. So this is an example I give quite a bit. You have a brain tumor. Will you go to your local general practitioner and ask them to fix it?
No, you'll go to your local practitioner when you get a terrible infected bug bite, or maybe you need stitches because you cut your finger while slicing a bagel. This is just how it works. People go, and people send their work. To specialists, especially when it's essential.
You don't get heart surgery from a generalist. You don't go to see a psychiatrist for an infected foot. You just go to people who know what they're doing, not those who do not. Law firms are the same if you want to make money as an attorney or have a career as an attorney.
To repeat business as an attorney, you must specialize in something. I'm sorry. You may think you're doing the right thing by doing a lot of different types of things. But the only way you'll have the type of career you want is to specialize in something. If you look like you'd rather be doing something else, you do too many things. That's not good. If your resume looks like you have experience doing many different things, anybody looking for an attorney to be a specialist is willing to hire you.
Being a specialist pays more, and getting more clients, being a specialist makes you better and better at something as time goes by. It would help if you were a specialist. I don't know what else I can say again; if you want to work in a small town or a small market or don't want to, you don't need to Advance and get outside your comfort zone.
Then, yes, you can undoubtedly be a generalist and talk to people as they come in. But those people will only pay you a little because they will see a specialist if they have the money. That's just how it works. So, I have made thousands of placements. And again, it's not just me that's made those places.
That's people on my team. And I think I need help remembering. Okay. Every place is a journalist. I may have done it initially, but I don't recall it. Every placement I can recall, and I don't have perfect recall, has been a generalist. People get hired and do one thing.
It doesn't matter what. So when people come to BCG, they can select a primary practice area out of 300 plus practice areas and then a secondary practice area out of 300 plus practice areas. The best candidates generally can select one or two related primary practice areas.
So it might be real estate, commercial transactions, and real estate general transactions, or it might be. It's just real estate finance. So, you have to be very focused on something that needs to be specific. And the more specific it is, the better. And the more expertise you have, almost always, the better off you are.
If you go to big law firms in places like New York, LA, and Chicago, all the attorneys there are specialists in the big firms, and in the midsize firms, legal jobs go to specialists. And there's always. If you're a specialist, people will always be willing to hire you.
Again, I've worked with tens of thousands of attorneys, and they insisted; when I say work with, I've advised them on their resumes and looked at the review of the resumes. And they've insisted on calling themselves generalists and crafted their resumes this way.
And I've told them what I'm telling you now. And I've told them this: you must focus on your resume. If you want to, work in a law firm where you'll have a future and where they'll get repeat clients. It would help if you focused your resume on one practice area. You must remove all references to work that has nothing to do with your focus.
So what does that mean? So, Imagine your first-year summer associate working in a law firm doing ERISA work. During your second summer of law school, you worked in a law firm doing intellectual property work. Then, in your third in your first job, you worked in a government office doing social security-related work.
And then, in your third job. You decided to move from a law to a government office doing social security work, and now you're at a law firm doing corporate work, and you've been there for six months, and now you want a new corporate job. No, you are all over the place. And no one who knows what they're doing for a corporate job will hire you because they need to know you have no focus.
What do you do in that situation? You say you work someplace and don't put much description down. You just say I'm a summer associate 1st year, 2nd year, but you need to have. The resume needs to be focused again. Watch webinars where I review people's resumes and show up to webinars where I review your resume.
You just need to do that. You must also choose a practice area, visit the BCG website, and look at practice areas. That is more closely related to the type of work that you do; you need to do that. You don't try to apply for jobs or need much experience. You stick to your focus.
You have to have a focus again. Every person who wants to succeed has a focus. There's a famous book. It is called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. And if you still need to read it, I would reread it. And then I would reread it. I remember Tony Robbins said I heard him say once at a seminar.
He said that this particular book. He'd read it a few times, but he knew people who read it at least once a year. And everybody that read this book became much more; it was wealthier and better off the more they read it than those that didn't. But one of the things about that book Is it talks about a whole chapter about the importance of specialized knowledge.
So, the more specialized your knowledge is, the better off you will be. And that's just how it works. This is what this book was talking about whenever it was written in the 1920s, but it's a very famous book and something I would recommend reading. You will have a tough time if you want to be a generalist.
Getting hired and you're probably shortchanging yourself too. I know this because most attorneys do. If you're a trademark attorney, no one cares if you once worked as a corporate transactional attorney. Belisting this on your resume will make you look uncommitted And like you're not a trademark attorney; if you have done four different practice areas in the past three years and are currently doing family law, no one cares what you did in the past.
They only want to speak to what you're doing now and will hold your past against you because you will look like a flake. You can do whatever you want and will. Again, people do their resumes and think, Oh, it is remarkable that I do this work. Are people going to be impressed with me?
No, no, they're not. Your resume needs to talk about one practice area and only if you get a job if you look like you've been committed to whatever that area is about since you started your career. That's great. I know a woman. It's exciting. She yeah.
Her father was sued for trademark infringement and got this substantial multimillion-dollar judgment against him. Because of that, they had to move out of their house and all this stuff. And she decided right then that she was going to help him. And when she grew up and became a trademark attorney. She worked as a summer associate doing trademark law her first summer.
She got one her second summer at a slightly bigger firm despite needing a better job. And then, because of all that focus, she wound up in one of the best firms ever doing trademark law. And even though she didn't have the grades to get in there, she was focused on it.
She had a story. She was focused and got a So you can talk about whatever you want. In terms of your practice areas and your resume, pretty much every practice area you list that's not your current practice area in focus will automatically take you down one letter grade, and A will become a B.
The first time you do it, a B will come to see the second time you do it because you're just basically downgrading yourself. Law firms with the type of work you want to do want to hire people with a consistent interest and focus on a particular practice. Suppose you start doing many things or have experience with different firms and need a long-term commitment.
Any law firm in the world will avoid you. What happens, by the way, is one thing that any good law firm will avoid. Many things people do on their resume that they don't realize are their careers permanently hurt them. So, if you go into an in-house position, what is in-house other than working out different matters and showing you're not committed to a law firm?
When you go in-house, law firms start avoiding you. They will not hire you. Most of the time, you can get into a small law firm, but the law firms will almost always avoid you if you go in-house. And you would do the same for someone who's not committed to a law firm and is suddenly doing many different practice areas.
It could be a better hire. Would you hire someone to operate in your brain? Who's worked as a brain surgeon for six months said, Hey, I'm committed to this. But formerly, we're foot doctors, eye doctors, and radiologists. Come on, just think about what you would think if you were this person.
This doesn't make any sense. It would be a train wreck for a hospital to hire such a person to be a brain surgeon. No hospital would hire them. No. No person would want to see that person for help if they knew what kind of patient would trust their brain to someone like that.
You'd have to be crazy, but people always do the stuff on their legal resumes. No one is interested that if you're trying to get a job in a competitive firm, you did some pro bono work. After getting your law degree for some people in the Brazilian jungle for the last year of your last year, no one cares about that.
That's going to show you need to be more focused. They're not going to like that. You may think it's cool. You may think this is cool because this is the exact thing. Your professors and colleagues said it was noble and something you should be doing. Because of that, you may think it's cool, but law firms are a business.
They have to make money. They make money when you're committed to what they're doing, not something else. And if they see that, they will want to hire you. They want someone to sit at a desk and work, make money, and make other people their money. That's what they do.
So do you expect someone, after you've spent a year doing pro bono work in the jungle of Brazil, to hire you for a job to work on a merger between a few Fortune 500, 100 companies? Are you out of your mind? And I'm not trying to be rude here. Does that help you? Does that help the client? Does that help the law firm?
Do you think law firms are going to be impressed by this? And attorneys are often, again, very proud that they got experience doing different things. The litigator is proud they got experience working on a corporate-related contract, and they list that on their resume. The corporate attorneys, excited that they got It's a pit, they got into pitch in on some intellectual property issue.
And you will need more than this to get a job in another practice area. Suppose you have yet to gain prior experience doing this. In that case, people chronicle their experience working on disparate and unrelated matters As if it would help them when it does the opposite. It's going to mess you up. No one will pay attention to you after they figure out This isn't what you want.
Or it would help if you had more focus. Who would you be? And so, let's compare getting a position in a law firm to dating. And I bring this kind of example up because it hits home. One person says I like dating men. Another says, I also like women. I also like dating young people and older adults.
So a person likes dating men, they like dating women, they like the old, they like the young. Sometimes, they like to date men and women and other couples. So they're dating three, a couple of one person at the same time. They talk about how they like to date married people and single ones, too.
They date them like dating rich people and poor people. And they don't; they don't care if the person uses hard drugs. But if they do drugs, they're okay with that as well. Would anybody in the market be avant-garde and open to this thing? And I'm not criticizing anybody if they do this.
But most people aren't interested in that because they have yet to learn what they want. How will you know how you fit in with that person's plans and how you're special? How are you going to know if you're unique? Or will you just constantly be having it hung over your head? The person that person meets could be it doesn't matter what you are.
They just and the law firm really if the law firm can't figure out what you stand for and put you in a bucket, they're likely going to do the same thing, and the person is going to be very tormented. And a problematic dating life.
It's just no one is interested. Most people are interested in something other than someone who, that is, identifies with them as unique. So it's not about life lifestyle choices. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with these choices, but most people, meaning 99. 5 percent of the population want to see some sort of focus and clarity at least a little bit.
In terms of the people that they are involved with. It's the same thing with dabbling in different things and not knowing what you want to do. Imagine if you were 18 years old and your friends were seniors in their nineties and people in another country.
You just, you, and also people your age, but then also. Young Children that were 12 and 13. And these were the people you spent your time with. This is just different from how it works. And so in your lot, in terms of your law firm, in trying to get a job, you absolutely cannot look like you're dabbling in different things and need to know what you want to do.
No one is impressed with this. It's repulsive to most law firms. And this is what happens anytime someone shows me a resume and says, I can't get a job. Almost always, this is what the person is doing. Very few law firms, for example, hire people to do plaintiff and defense work.
I've seen people Working in plaintiff's or defense firms trying to get jobs in plaintiff's firms doing employment, for example, and the employment firms doing one or the other aren't interested. They can't. They don't want them to do both. And that's the same practice here.
You have to choose one side. If you send a plaintiff's attorney to a defense firm, most of them will get mad at you. They hate each other. These are opposite sides, and this is just one practice here. So, a law firm will not hire you if it's a good law firm or a law firm with a decent amount of business.
If you're a corporate and litigation attorney, you must be one of the others. You're either a transactional attorney or a litigator. You cannot be both. Law firms will not hire you to be a patent attorney if you're a real estate attorney. You're either a real estate attorney or a real estate attorney, not a patent attorney.
Law firms will not hire you to be an employment attorney if you're a general commercial litigator. And, what, why am I saying this? I'm saying this because sometimes people think I don't want to do this practice area anymore. Is anybody going to hire me to do this new practice area I'm interested in?
Why would they do that? Why would you? If you have ten applicants and nine of them are from people committed to that practice area, but you have nothing to do with that area and want to switch, what makes you so unique that they would possibly have an interest in you? Because you went to a good law school or because this is something you want to do?
They don't care. Like, why would someone hire someone like that? If it just doesn't work that way. No one cares what you're interested in. They care about your experience, and they care about how your resume looks. This goes for law students. It goes for everyone.
It's practicing attorneys, and law firms are going to hire someone other than you to be a federal tax attorney, which is transactional in nature. If you're a tax controversy attorney, they're not the same type of thing. You will need someone to hire you. If you were formerly a litigator at a big firm, you were probably doing commercial litigation.
If you went in-house and now do litigation, corporate, and IP. And this is what happens, by the way, to attorneys that go in-house. This is why it becomes so difficult for them to get jobs later because they start doing multiple things. This is, again, if you want to go in-house. It's up to you. But it will hurt you if you start doing all these different things.
No one in their right mind will hire you to be a litigator for a law firm if you now do three different things. You're no longer a specialist. Your experience is different. You've watered down your focus. It's over. So you've abandoned your craft and the practice setting.
You're no longer someone working for paying clients. You're working for a paying client and your practice setting. Are you now a generalist? So that's just not marketable. The law firm can do better. They can find specialists, and they will find specialists. Again, if you've been a litigator or a tax attorney and now a corporate attorney with law firms, they can do better and will.
Unless they've lost their marbles again, why would you hire someone to do that? They're not going to hire you. Would you? You're not committed. And ideally, your resume should look like you've always done one thing and been interested in it. Now, you may wonder why I've been spending a lot of time on this, and I'm sure you get the message, but I will talk about this a bit more because so many people do this.
I don't know why. Again, 95 percent of all resumes are making this mistake. And because of that, people are not getting the jobs they want. You must review your resume carefully and decide what you will do. It would help if you committed to it. And then you need to meditate on it, mark it up, and look like you're going to; you've always been interested in one thing.
And if you have yet to do many different things, you need to water down whatever descriptions you have about your previous jobs and make it look like you're committed to something. It's exciting. Document review attorneys. So there are people that do e-discovery, and that's all they, and that's all they do.
And if they're committed to it, and they've always been committed to it, they make, in many cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year with that expertise. They don't have that luxury if they're just a contract attorney, and they'll do this or that or whatever they want.
They don't make that kind of money. And they just bounce around. You have to be interested in something. And if you have been one thing and now you're something else, most law firms will think that you're probably going to change your interest in this.
No one wants this. It benefits no one. I want to make some quick points because many people watching this may think I want to switch practice areas. You can switch practice areas, but most attorneys who switch practice areas are unhappy practicing law and go back to switching practice areas or going to another practice.
They don't know why they're unhappy but think serving and switching practice areas will change that. It often benefits no one. So here's. A typical situation for an attorney might be applying for jobs or a commercial litigator. They're doing commercial litigation. Their last job before that was a family law attorney.
Before that, there were tax law attorneys. And this is a bad situation. So how do you fix that? Again, I cover this in resume reviews, but their current job is a commercial litigation attorney. In theIn the following job, they talk about the draft of pleadings and things related to litigation.
And then the job before that, because it's not even related at all. They just list the firm and say they were an associate or whatever at the firm and only talk a little about their experience. Less is more. So you want to list only a little information on your experience.
You can have a transaction sheet if you're a corporate, al estate, or patent attorney who lists your patents, but you do not want to send people in many different directions when they look at your resume. They need to see one direction. All roads lead to one thing. And if they see multiple things, it will hurt you, and they will move on to someone focused; this is how employers view your resume.
They don't care. They're not looking at your school when you've been out a couple of years. They're looking at what your practice area is and how focused you are. And if your resume doesn't show. If your resume shows an interest in a bunch of different things and you look like you want to do something, and if your resume shows a few different things, you look like you've always wanted to do something and you've always done it.
That's enough. That will get you a job. So, I want to ensure everyone understands this because this is unbelievably important. Any resume that does as well typically will be able to get a job. You just need to look focused. And when I say get a job, your place will buy recruiters.
When applying for jobs, your resume will go to the top of the pile. You will find someone interested in you. If you're interested in many different things, people will need clarification. And they're going to think, what makes us unique? What makes this job special to you?
We're going to find someone that is. So this is, again, 1 of the most important things. If you have understood this and take notes, you will be ahead of 95 percent of attorneys making this mistake. The other thing you need to do is if you are choosing a practice area that you want to do and that you want to focus on, you need to choose a practice area that you have substantial and recent experience in and stick to that area.
So what does that mean? So sometimes your resume may Talk about how you practice workers' compensation law, and that's all you do. In that case, you have to realize that only one will hire you to be a corporate attorney if law schools start pumping out or stop pumping out tens of thousands of new attorneys for 10, 10, or more years.
If you're, or you're searching for a job in an area of the United States so remote and inhospitable to working there that the employer has no choice, it's just not going to happen. So the experience you talk about. Should match the jobs you're applying for, it has to you just can't you know You just can't do it any other way now, when a law firm hires an attorney but you know with experience they don't care what you want to do.
They don't. If you can't go to an interview for you can't go you don't want to interview someone for a position I don't know, taking care of your Children that comes in and says my real goal is to be an I don't know construction labor. I want to do that, but I'm taking this for now to get something else.
That's a horrible hire. I once hired someone who came in and said to clean my fish tank during the Recession of 2008 and 2009. And he said that he was taking this job because he'd been laid off from another job. And then he came in, and the first time he cleaned my fish tank, he destroyed it by scratching up the whole interior.
It's a bad hire. Like, why would I hire someone interested in something else? He did a horrible job. The law firms don't care about what you want to do when you're a lateral attorney. They care about what you're trained in. If you're a law student, they care about what your resume looks like you want to do.
If you apply to jobs that have nothing to do with your experience, the law firm will not go to work for that opening. Why would they be? Now, if they're not getting applications, it's okay. So here's an example. You're searching for someone to watch your child and maybe live in your house and take care of them full time while you're at work, or I don't know, or to help you get you a bunch of children.
You post an advertisement For someone to do that and a professional roofer, which is a tough job in the sun and roofs. It looks like he eats nails for breakfast. What are you going to think? If he says, I saw your household as a job opening for a babysitter.
I'm a roofer and interested in babysitting. I was thinking about doing something different, thinking about someone different. And then, and that's what you would think. And you wouldn't hire the person. Now, both jobs are similar, maybe. However, in terms of the responsibility level, they're different.
You wouldn't do that. So there's nothing; it's the same with someone with litigation experience applying for a corporate job. There's nothing different than someone with trademark experience applying for a plaintiff's litigation job. There's just no difference, this is wild to employers with a job opening.
Now, I will just go off-topic for a second. Say you want to be a trademark attorney and get a litigator or corporate attorney job. Is it possible for you to do that? Yes. Sometimes, you could join associations in that practice area that you want to do. You could network, meet someone, become a good acquaintance, and tell them what you want to do.
And maybe they give you a chance if they believe you. But if you're just cold applying to jobs and things and need to know people. And there's no reason for them to bring you on. That's wild. It would help if you considered the cost of an inability to select a matching practice era and what it will do compared to having a focused resume.
So, after 2 or 3 years of experience, a junior associate becomes a mid-level associate. If you are, if you're not focused, you simply will not get interviews or be hired. You also would only hire an attorney with the correct experience. If you're accused of murder, you wouldn't hire a patent attorney to help you through that.
You just need to understand that law firms hire attorneys professionally; if a law firm knows what they're doing and has clients willing to pay that, they won't hire you. Suppose your resume doesn't match what they're looking for. In that case, I wonder why most attorneys select practice areas for the rest that their resume says nothing about.
They don't get jobs if your company is going to hire an attorney whose Background talks about how they're interested in various social causes and brags about all the pro bono work that they've done with their political affiliations.
They're members of different groups, whether they be racial, religious, or different things. And their commitment to these groups and other statements on their resume. So much that you can't figure out. Why is the person possibly practicing corporate law? If they're interested in all these things, let me tell you how resumes of reasonable attorneys that advance and partners look like they're dry.
They don't contain the stuff. Now, they may leave a law firm and run for Congress or something, but for the most part, they don't contain this sort of stuff. No one cares. If you're interested in a practice area you're not doing, they just don't care. Law firms are only interested in hiring people who have experience doing the work, recent experience, and are committed to it.
Sometimes, people litter their resumes with more garbage and activities, making it even more confusing. So you look at this resume, and you, all you want to see, you have an opening for whatever, a corporate attorney, a personal injury attorney, a real estate attorney, and all of a sudden they're current job, for example, might be a litigation attorney doing commercial litigation.
But then they start talking about how they did a corporate non disclosure agreement and assisted with filing a trademark for an entertainment client. Then, in their last job, they were a family law attorney who helped a small-time celebrity draft an adoption order.
For that, there was a tax attorney to help an entertainer with tax issues work on a trust. And so, if you look at this, I want you to see the consistencies here. It's entertainment. It's entertainment. It's entertainment. This is what they think is essential on the resume. And this is all then they're listing all these things about entertainment.
This is pretty clear. The person wants to be an entertainment attorney. They could have listed other types of matters that they worked on, but they thought entertainment was the most important. This person cannot apply for entertainment jobs because it makes it look like they are for non entertainment jobs. After all, it makes it look good.
Doing exactly what they don't want to do if they're applying for those. So clearly, this attorney wants to be something other than a litigator, family law, or tax attorney, and it's a complete waste of money and time. This is the kind of stuff I see when I constantly review resumes. Whoever hires someone for one of these roles would have to be insane.
They're only going to gravitate towards your entertainment clients. They're, they don't know what they want to do. You need to have one practice area and commit to it. So look at all the practice areas on B c G. Read what's going on in these areas, like what. What is what is? What are the niches that you could put yourself in?
What are the niches that you could look like you're consistently doing? Because the more you put on your resume, the more practice areas and things, the further you'll get away from a job. This is the most I can say about this. I've said a lot; I want you to get a position.
I am still trying to figure out what else I can do to clarify this, but you need to focus on something. And if you're not doing it right now, you need to think about what I could do to make my resume focused on something. If you keep going in different directions, you'll always be someone other than the person you want to be.
There's a story. I don't need to tell a story, but most people are what's called dabblers. When the average 12-year-old or 10-year-old tries tennis for the first time, maybe they try tennis, and then they try football, and then they. Maybe they go back and do baseball, and maybe they go back and try a little tennis.
Those people who do that are dabblers and may never try tennis again. If you're going to be an outstanding tennis player, you need to focus on it. It would help if you did it as much as you can. It would help if you got a coach. You need to. Have that coach work with you. You need to improve your serve continually, and you need to improve your backhand continually, and your game on the net, and your volleys, and all of these things.
You need to continually improve because no one will be good at tennis if they're not. And then you need to enter tournaments and get better in the tournaments. And then learn from your mistakes and go back and fix them. This is what the best tennis players do.
You can only be a great tennis player if you're working harder and harder and focused on being a tennis player. Then, if you just do 15 different things, it will fail. Look at Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players ever. He was doing incredibly well.
He was the best basketball player in the world. And then he decides to do it. He's just this guy who can do anything he wants because he's such a great athlete. He decides to go and try to become a professional baseball player. That didn't work out. You have to be focused as much as you can.
As long as you can do one thing, and if you do that, you'll often do very well. And that's what you need to do. I want you to become successful. I want you to be the person you're capable of being. And I want you to be a reasonable attorney because you can if you start. At 25, you focused on one thing, and maybe you were even focused on one thing before 25. When you graduate from law school and continue to do that, people will seek you out and want your help.
So, the best attorneys do one thing. They focus on doing corporate M&A transactions with mid-sized companies in the Petroleum industry or private equity-backed technology companies. You focus on one thing, and that's who you get all the clients, and no one else has that experience.
I focus on one thing. I don't do any other type of placements because it is not that it wouldn't be lucrative. Maybe I can make money if I work on other things, but that's different. I will be better off focusing on one thing in the long run than doing multiple things. So here's another piece.
I've talked about this a lot before. I've alluded to it so far in this webinar. I'll talk about it a little bit more now. This is getting worse. Resumes are doing more of this than they used to, and I don't know why, but I guess it's just the state of the world that we're in right now, but you do not want to make your resume a social piece that has nothing to do with being a law firm attorney.
This country is in a socio-political war. All you need to do is review the news between competing people, between people trying to put their opponents in jail and vice versa presidents, and it's a war. The fact that Republicans and Democrats hate each other with a vengeance should be obvious.
People in the past were fighting about statues. They were fighting about having fewer or fewer police. People are rioting in the streets and... Breaking into groups breaking into stores of people are being ostracized and taken out of the job market and society for remarks made decades ago or misinterpreted.
Some people hate the Supreme Court. Television, movies, and entertainment are now suspect, and people are ensuring that everything's changed there. So they reflect the values of us, different people. As usual, people are mad about what has been going on forever.
Abortion, guns, political parties, police, all this sort of thing. And I look at resumes all day. And again, I'm not criticizing anybody for being on one side or the other because, frankly, this stuff is how society changes for the better or worse, but it's what it is. And you have to understand that an attorney.
Their job is to be able to take sides on both sides of an issue. You have to be able to argue for one day for what a prosecutor does? A prosecutor puts people in prison, then they come out, and then they decide to do a white-collar defense where they keep people out of prison.
This is just how it works. So, I've been looking at resumes all day, and here's what I've started to see. I see the education, and Then I see the person as a member of some group in law school. Then I see them list their being on a member group task force. Then I see them take classes in that member group for a group in Philly affiliation.
Then I saw their college; the same thing happened to a group. And then, they may list extensive coursework. And whatever this group is and their experience, they talk about how they were a group member and then about how they did pro bono for the group. And then, and sometimes, I'm starting to see resumes again.
These are resumes. I'm seeing unemployed people who can't understand why they're not getting their jobs. So they're just pushed out of these firms, and they think that. Yeah. They don't know why; sometimes, they're pushed out because they're not doing good work.
But then when they're, or maybe the firm's laying people off, they're not getting jobs and other people are, and what they do a lot of times is they start their resume talking about how they're the members of the firm. Association of gun rights or whatever, and they did pro bono work for people trying to carry guns.
And then and then they'll have one line about the fact that they're whatever type of attorney and did a little bit of work. Come on, that person will not get hired because all these social causes of being a gun rights advocate are much more important to them.
Then, whatever work they do in their interest, they'll talk about being a group member. They'll talk about being a member of another group. That's related to the same affiliated group. The publications will have all these papers about the group. Again, I look at these resumes.
All day, every day, and these people aren't getting jobs. So you want to list these papers about only some of these groups or affiliations you've written. You're very much on the side of these things, but it's not helping you. The only thing that will help you is if you do papers about your practice area.
Or that sort of thing, academic papers or what about a group, will be challenging for you. So I asked myself, what's going on here? If you're Republican and environmentalist or whatever, you don't need to tell me about your opinion repeatedly throughout your resume. All that's showing is that you're.
Your commitment to that opinion is more important than your commitment to their practice areas. I care. The only thing I care about is the sort of work that you do. That's it. That's the only thing an employer cares about. For me, I make money when people get hired. That's how it works.
And so, as a business person, I need to concentrate and look at what's getting people hired. And if I thought all this stuff would help you, I would tell you to go gung ho and list as many group affiliations and Your political stance on various issues. I would tell you to get it on your resume and do whatever you can.
But I know that people who do this need to be hired. That's all I care about. I don't know why they don't get hired. It's not my business to look into an employer's motivation, but they typically do not get law firm jobs. So regardless of your and sometimes they are out of school.
I'm not saying that if you go to Columbia Law School and you're at the top of their class, no one will hire you if you have this stuff. But ultimately, when looking for lateral attorneys, they want people to be committed to something. They just don't, and they don't want to; they want them to be committed to working in a law firm and enthusiastic about it.
Again, if you want to, do you think you'll be able to get a job in a major city? I saw this once. I saw a guy at the top of his class at Yale College who had been waitlisted at Yale Law School and had gone to the University of Virginia Law School, where I went.
Then, all he did was play polo and was part of these different groups that did things with polo. He listed that he was a Republican and a member of the Mayflower Society, which is, I guess, people whose relatives came over in the Mayflower. He thought that would help him get a job.
No, it didn't. He still needs to get a summer associate job. Then he didn't get a job after he graduated, even though he went to a good law school and did well listing that stuff on your resume that you're special, more special than others because he came over on the Mayflower, and now you play polo.
And it's not going to help you. And it's probably not good to list that you're a diehard Republican. If you're trying to get a job in New York City, it just doesn't work. Law firms hire people to be advocates for their clients. They hire people that want to do that type of work. So the more significant the law firm is, the more likely those clients will be powerful, wealthy groups and people.
And so as people in businesses become wealthier, more powerful. They want employees and attorneys whose politics don't interfere with the service they're getting. They can afford to act this way. They're paying because they want efficiency and meritocracy; they want loyalty and don't want attorneys who undermine them and serve their causes instead of the attorney's law firms.
This is what happens all the time. Young attorneys go to law firms, and when they go to the law firm, they decide they want to put people on the wrong side of whatever politics they believe don't deserve good representation. Therefore, they will try to undermine it or not give them that, or sometimes they just flat-out refuse to work on some issues.
And the fact of the matter is almost all employers and companies that they represent want to run businesses that make money and businesses that get behind. So we'll get behind social causes that benefit them, but to the extent it does not benefit them. They will not. I can't list the number of companies that have decided to get on the side of a social issue and how much it's hurt them.
Disney used to be tax-exempt. There's and now, so all these things hurt businesses when they do it. It also hurts the people who work there because they can't afford to pay them as much, and businesses and the people who own them. They don't want lower taxes.
They want easier business climates. They want fewer lawsuits against them and much more. And if you want to make your resume about social issues, go ahead and knock yourself out. But what's going to happen is people will avoid you. I'm trying to figure out how many different ways to say this. I'm not sure how much to stress it to you.
I'm still determining how it's going to help you. I'll give you a couple of examples. Just one. So, when I went to college, I started taking all of these because I liked them. As a freshman, I was exposed to them; I had to take these classes.
All of these classes were basically about sociology, how the government needed to step in and help all these different groups, how it was awful what was going on, how this is part of history, how history needed to change, and all these things.
So, I was very much on the side of people that needed help. And then I went and spent my summers. Created work for those people and wrote letters of recommendation, but the point of the matter was that I did all that on my resume and interviewed for positions to get a job before I went to law school with companies.
Mind you, no one in their right mind was interested in me because that's all I talked about. They knew that if I went to work there, that's what it would be. You just can't, so sometimes schools push you to go on to one side of the social cause and give you good grades. But in the real world, you must leave the stuff off if you want to.
In my case, I was trying to work in investment banks. I needed to get that stuff off my resume, and I look at resumes all the time, and it's getting worse. I looked at my resume, and this was someone working for us who couldn't get a job.
And I was talking with candidates at BCG. This person was highly qualified with great law schools and firms but needed help to get a job. And then I realized that. This person can get a job because they talked about being a member of this same social group over 27 times on their one-page resume, meaning you couldn't get an interview in New York City.
Twenty-seven times, he mentioned his affiliation with this group, and he'd been to resume coaching career counselors, and everyone was afraid to tell him what was wrong with their resume. I was, too. If I had told him what was wrong with his resume, I would have been branded someone on the wrong side of an issue and in trouble.
So why did I hire the person? I hired the person because they were generally interested in giving interview advice. Still, in this particular and had a specific niche doing that, this guy would only tell me what was right with their resume.
What was wrong was that he was trying to get a position in a law firm representing companies where he mentioned his social-political affiliation 27 times. He spent more time discussing that than his ten years of legal experience.
People do not care about this. The focus is your legal experience. He'd been a member of a social affinity group in law school and college, wrote for a social affinity group journal, and did social affinity work while practicing law. It was the first thing he listed, and then he worked for a judge.
Who was a member of the social-political group? He said that in his resume and wrote some law review articles for the society about the social affinity group. Then, he led us to a social affinity group of 2 law firms. I don't care if this person is proud of being a member of the social-political group.
I don't care if it's a right-wing, left-wing, centrist, or social-political group. I don't care. All I care about is getting the person a job. Instead of listing 27 times stuff about the social affinity group, the person should have listed 27 times their commitment to one practice area and had journals about that and memberships and all that stuff.
Just think about this. If I list that I'm a Christian 27 times on my resume, will that help me? Or if I list that I'm a member of Mensa 27 times on my resume, will that help me? If I list that I like guns 27 times on my resume, will this help me? If I list pro-life 27 times on my resume, will this help me?
And this is more common than you think. Now, 27 times, of course, is a lot of time, but a lot of times, but when people do this on their resume, it doesn't benefit them. So, if you make your resume a social-political document, you will immediately alienate many people, and you have no one to blame but yourself.
And if you make your resume for a law firm job, a social-political statement, here's what happens. Here's what people think. They think I hate pro-life people, or I hate pro-choice people, or I hate Democrats, or I hate Republicans. This looks like the sort of person. That may discriminate against me. Is this person going to expect me?
And again, I'm not criticizing these pronouns. I think it's vital that people are told or talked to if they need clarification on how they prefer to be talked to. I'm not. Judging this, see the purpose of it. It's, but at the same time, you have to be scared of things.
Now they're scared of it. Now. Someone I don't know, but there are people that I think are because I've heard of it. I've heard people not in my business but in other businesses make remarks about it. You have to tell yourself again, I'm not against this, but you're throwing.
Okay. You're throwing things in there that you may have to be careful of. If someone likes that, they like reading the New York Times on Sunday. The New York Times has turned into a very liberal publication. And so people know that editorials, the same thing with the Wall Street Journal, are very conservative, and people may not think the editorials are conservative.
But. And then people often will think if these various things are listed, they hope they won't get sued by this person, like the last person the group did. And they'll think they may be more interested in the group than their job.
So, law firms are risk-averse. They also need to hire people that are focused on something. And so these are just all things you need to understand. So you can do whatever you want on your resume. You can talk about all these things. You can talk about them as much as you want. I don't; I won't say anything to you on your resume.
I may hint at it, but I'm not going to say I don't think you should list that you like spending your weekends in the gun range. On your resume because that may be highly personal to you. And you may call me names if I tell you that and try to put me in some sort of box. But I will tell you that people who make the resumes of social and political documents get fewer interviews and often do not get hired.
It happens all the time. People who go to good law schools and start with good firms that decide to turn their resumes into that'll sit there and not know why they're not getting interviews and won't get hired. So I don't make the rules. It is what it is. It can be called discrimination. I'm assuming it is.
But again, someone in the Midwest who supports conservative causes will probably have whole towns that are that way. I might have relatives who live in a small town in Ohio, and it doesn't matter who the Republican candidate is; every Democrat lawn has signs.
For the presidential. And if you show up there and you're like far left, they won't like you. It is the same thing as if those people were to show up in New York or some other place; it's discrimination, whatever, but no one cares. No one cares about these things.
And I'm telling you this because I've just seen so many careers destroyed by this. And I don't like it any more than you do. But I know a guy who was entirely just; he looked white. He sounded white, and I'm not saying anything; there's nothing wrong with being white.
Some people would even call him white bread, but. But he was in the Federalist Society. He was at the top of his class at a top-ten law school. And he could not get a single interview in San Francisco because he made people uncomfortable there. It's just that it's different from how the climate is there.
If you heard about homelessness and that city's priorities, you would realize that it's a very level place, and he made people uncomfortable with his background. I worked with a woman who had experienced a traumatic event, meaning someone had done something terrible to her, and she told me what had happened to her.
She was a member of all these support groups, and things for what had happened to her multiple times on her resume. When I say something terrible happened to her, it involved traumatic violence, and she was in San Francisco and had gone to Stanford Law School, which means there are people there who would have been very sympathetic to her cause.
However, she wouldn't get an interview and couldn't get interviews later. So this social stuff is a landmine. I don't care. Like you, I don't care; you can go into politics and announce your social stuff, but let me tell you what happens when you don't put this stuff on there: you get more interviews.
People interview you for. Your strength in your practice area and how good you look for the firm and not; this stuff doesn't interfere, and you're in control. You can be selective about who you reveal the information to. You can make minor remarks if you see someone in the law firm interested in that and bond with them covertly based on that.
But you only want to alienate certain people if you want to. If you want to show up for interviews with firms, people will respect you for trying to stay within reach of this. But if you advertise on your resume, for example, that your father is like a considerable time.
A businessman with a lot of money, there's a lot of people that won't like this. They're going to resent you for using this to try to get ahead. Now, you can get into firms in other ways through networking and not bringing it up, for example, with people who may know your father, but that's different.
There's no difference between this and many times and identifying with the group. When you lead with social and political statements, you're asking for special treatment because of your membership there, and you're saying that you expect your application to move forward based on your leanings rather than your accomplishments.
Again, one of the reasons I bring this up is because certain schools will emphasize that people should be very gung-ho about it and will look better if they have this stuff on their resume. But it doesn't help you, is all I'm saying. You don't want to make any issues from your social and political views.
To succeed, you need to make your resume focused on a practice area, and only list competing areas a little, and stay away from them. Those competing statements should be based on merit and laser-focused on your experience. So that's the webinar for today. I will return in a few minutes, take a quick break, and answer questions.
I only have a little time for questions today. But what I do want to bring to your attention is next week, I will be doing a resume review, and the resume review will go into a lot of detail about resumes, so that I will give you the chat email to send your resume, so all of these issues that you may see in your resume I will try to review next week.
I will try to get to all the resumes in the resume review next week. What I'd appreciate you doing is you can send your existing resume. Still, after hearing this webinar, it would be good if you could make some changes to your resume based on the information we cover.
And that's going to, based on what we talked about today. I realized I went into much detail about this and said the same thing. Over and over. The reason that I did that, and I thought that was important, was because, unfortunately, most people, when they, you know, they do their resumes, don't realize this, and you just have to talk to them over and over about this.
And I've been seeing this for so long. I've been seeing it for a long time. For years, just, and it just doesn't stop. And then it keeps going over and over again. Now, I just want to say that I don't think there's anything. I think that's very positive.
If you're more interested in sometimes and as social related things, for example, people that went to Yale Law School and different law schools are very passionate about these social things. By the way, these people become influential politicians and change the world.
So, there's absolutely nothing wrong with any of this. These are perfect things and characteristics. I'm concerned that you are working in a law firm, doing well in a law firm, and advancing the law firm. And if you're, if you do this stuff well, that's precisely what's going to happen to you.
So I will take a quick break. Then I will come back, and when I come back, I will answer questions. I only have a little time to answer questions today. So if I do ask questions, what I will do is I will try to keep those questions in mind for when we Do the resume review next week, and these resume reviews, by the way, are live.
And when I do the resume review, I will talk to everyone about the resume live. And if you pick in your questions this week, I will try to refer to them the following week when we do a resume review. And then in addition to that, I will help you. Your question in the following week.
And again, I apologize. This is not the longest webinar. I wish I had more time for questions, but I will answer as many as possible in the next few minutes when I return from a quick break. All right, so give me just one second. I'm going to pull up. Questions, just be a second.
The first one is in the past, I have taken on temporary positions in different practice areas. How should I address the short-term experiences on my resume to avoid giving the impression that I lack commitment? In my direction. Okay, so that's a good point. So, temporary positions typically mean you've been a contract attorney.
And that's sometimes. Okay. And there are different ways of approaching that. Now, sometimes, people are contract attorneys because they like the flexibility. So I've seen, and in my career, lots of people who became contract attorneys retire very early because they could save a lot of money.
And then, after doing that, I just went into other careers. I've seen others transition from contract attorneys to full-time attorneys and large law firms based on performing well as a contract attorney. But 1 of the issues you're talking about is you're trying to say you need more commitment or direction in your legal career.
So, one way I think I may have talked about this earlier in today's webinar would be to try to make yourself look like you have an e-discovery focus. So you can talk about everything you did with e-discovery and leave it at that. And so, having different varied experiences in something like self-discovery can help you.
And that's an actual practice area where people can do very well. I've seen people make hundreds of thousands of dollars in law firms doing that now. So you can focus on things that way. Another way to do that would be to talk about how you could sometimes list multiple firms on your resume that you may have done.
That type of work for and then listed under list this under your experience and just talk about, saying you were a discovery attorney or something along those lines, or what that experience was now; the most significant thing to understand, though, is once you become a contract attorney, it is, even though people do it because they want to earn money it is a little dangerous because you're suddenly.
You're not permanent. Even though freedom is something that you get, you're not permanent. The work is generally something other than stuff that requires a lot of training. That can hurt you to some extent if you do that. And I'm not saying that negatively, but you never develop an expertise that can hurt you, too.
And then you're put at a disadvantage Because it looks like you're willing to accept pay for a lower amount of money. So that's just how it works. But pay hourly and not a permanent position. So that's how that works. I'm not saying this can be overcome; I will show you what to do.
But that means that there are different categories of firms if you're working as a contract attorney. So I do this every week, but it's, it always, a lot of it comes back to this. So these are your most prestigious, almost impossible-to-get firms. Previous firms do bet the company work.
And that sort of thing. And so you, these places are just extremely difficult for any attorneys. Then you have your am law 100, 200 firms where most attorneys here could not get a job in a five-firm firm. So it's just something to keep in mind. And these are, obviously, the clients who have the most money,
These clients have a lot of money. These clients, then you have mid-sized firms. These clients need more money. And then these are smaller firms representing individuals and small, small, smaller businesses.
These firms represent individuals. So this is the good news. So the good news is even if you're a contract attorney, as a contract attorney, you'll probably be able to get the position if you're doing e-discovery. These firms are pretty much off-limits. But these firms. Or all within limits.
So, these firms pay less. They are, but they're good places to get experience. At these firms, you can get experience in a marketable practice area. So if you want to do company-related work, there's more money to be made working for large companies.
Or companies that have work so you can make more money working for these companies. For these types of firms, you would be able to make more money if you worked in these more prominent firms with big books that represent big companies, then you could make more than you could make working for companies representing individuals.
That's just how it works. If you're doing that, you will be much better off. In the long run, okay. Thank you. When you work for a company, people that have more money, so all you need to do. If you've been working as a contract attorney, and it will be challenging to get a job, one of these big firms is just to start lower.
And then this could be doing wills for individuals. This could be doing wills for wealthy individuals. This could be doing wills and for or trusting the state's work for even more prominent clients. And this is primarily companies. Really companies, a few individuals.
And this is the same thing as primarily individual or primary. Individuals, some companies, and individuals need more money. So, the more individuals you represent, the more you can do different types of work. So this is an excellent question. But if you have things on your resume that could be more focused, you have to take a much lower-paying job to start.
And when you take a lower-paying job, you can move your way up to five or even four firms as possible. You can move your way up. Suppose you can have different sorts of experiences. So let me go here. In a legal job search, are there specific strategies for candidates with nontraditional backgrounds, such as those transitioning from a different industry or coming from a diverse range of educational backgrounds, to craft their resume?
Okay. Yeah, that's a good point. So many times when you come from a nontraditional background, like you may have been doing something completely unrelated, sometimes you just leave that experience off, and you can go and just go into your resume.
Related to your legal experience, even if you have ten years of experience working in a corporation or something. You can just go on your resume based on legal experience. Other times, you can list what you did. And this is very good if you want to be in that practice area.
If you're doing it, patent law and you're an engineer. We're an engineer that could be helpful, and then you could list your engineering experience so that can be helpful. And now you're doing a patent, which is a move up. And you can do that.
You know you can do things like if you were in real estate, and I want to be a real estate attorney. So, if things are related, then that's good. And if it looks like you're moving up in something related. That's very good. So that can help you.
You probably need to be careful about it if it's completely unrelated. And you need to be careful what you need to ensure you do. It would help if you made sure that, being an attorney, this is a significant rule here. So I hope if you're in this situation and watching it, I hope you understand it.
It would help if you ensured that being an attorney looks like a move-up. So, if it doesn't look like a move-up, it will be a problem. Suppose you were in a position or in a position where you were giving orders to essential people.
That's not good. If you were in a position, so one example that I had is I was working not too long ago with someone that had gone to medical school and then had become a doctor and then was the dean of the law school and then decided to become, not a law school, of a medical school and then decided that they wanted to become a lawyer and people were like, No, it's like, why would we want someone that was formerly the head of a prominent medical school working for us.
And so that person had a tough time. The other person that had people that have a hard time. Entrepreneurs are people who started and run businesses and have been independent businesses. So that can hurt them. So you just have to understand.
If you've had other experience, you must ensure that being an attorney looks like a move up, not down. If it looks like a move down, the law firms will think you won't stick around. Law firms look for many things, but I will talk about this.
And most webinars and questions but a bunch of things that law firms look for they look at. Will you stick around? We do the job long-term, meaning we stick around. Stick around you. Can you be managed, and do you want the job? Do we like you?
And then, can you do the job? Meaning do you have the skills? The skills and actual skills. Motivation, skills, endurance, if you're someone expected to work 200 hours a month. Are you going to want to do that? If you've been having your own business for things.
Who knows? But it would help if you were very careful. To do that. Okay, so let's see here. Okay, so this next question. So, you mentioned the importance of aligning one's resume with the needs of a potential employer. What strategies can job seekers use to tailor their resumes for smaller niche firms that might not have a widely recognized brand?
So a smaller niche firm, and this question means there are a lot of firms that do only corporate transactional work for smaller businesses that only do there's firms that might do only appellate litigation and things like that. So, it doesn't matter if the firm has a recognized brand.
Niche firms have the same hiring standards. The same considerations are that large law firms have for being for, and for hiring people. People who are focused. So it's the same thing. And often more so, it's the same thing. So they still, but the large law firms want to focus. And so you need to be aware of that.
Okay. So you know, Lars, law firms want to focus, but niche law firms niche law firms want more focus. Firms want just as much focus. And sometimes even more want just as much focus, often more.
All right, so let's see. Okay, so this is a good question. How do I? These are excellent questions today. They're shorter than last week. They're perfect. How do I address potential employers' concerns who may view my specialization as limiting? Can I frame my specialization as an asset rather than a constraint?
So here's just how it works again. So I'll go down the thing. Three, two, five, four. Most specialized, very specialized, specialized, specialized, I'm sorry, specialized, less specialized. Somewhat specialized then, unique, maybe specialized. Some, possibly specialized.
So one of the problems is when you start working in the most sophisticated firms, most of the time, the specialization that you're going to need is going to be related to having to be, it's going to be related to being basically in a position where you're, you may have a practice area that is you're not going to have as many options as you might with a little bit more or less specialized area.
I remember there used to be a; it no longer exists. It merged with Sidley and Austin long ago, but it used to be called Brown and Wood. And it was this law firm in New York where people tended to, where there were different types of corporate attorneys, and some of them were so specialized, there were only a couple of other law firms in the world, in New York that did it.
Be the example of being too specialized. But most practice areas. If you're specialized, that's okay. The only thing you're doing when you're in a very specialized practice area, as you may be limiting yourself to, is having a little more difficulty working in firms.
Also, it is essential to understand that the larger the law firm, the more specialized it typically is, and the larger the law firm and market. Okay, meaning the most significant markets are going to be the most specialized. And then, the smaller markets will be less specialized because there are just a few attorneys.
So they need to do everything. So the attorney can do everything. So what I'm talking about is your midsize to larger markets. It would help if you were more specialized. Specialized. You need to do more than one. So that's what I'm talking about. In your smaller markets, they need to do more than one thing because there are just a few attorneys.
If you are a generalist, you're better off being a generalist in a smaller market where you want to live. Then, they do so in a larger market because, in larger markets, the clients typically go to large cities to find specialists. So it's just essential to understand that. Let me just see here.
Okay. Okay, I will talk about this quickly because this is very common on resumes. I've read conflicting advice about whether to include a career objective or summary statement on a resume when committing myself to a specialist. Should I use that statement? If so, no, absolutely not.
You want to use something other than these at the top of your resume. Most of the time when people do this, the reason they're doing it is because they went to a resume company when they lost their jobs in a company or corporation, generally, they go to them, or they're just. They're older, can't find jobs, cannot find jobs, and are bored. I don't know; I'm bored and thinking and thinking about a better resume.
I'll just tell you how I learn this? When I 1st saw it, I remembered. My mother had essentially taken retirement from her company when she became a recruiter; first, she took a job when she had taken a buyout from the state where she worked and decided to go back to work and kept going to resume companies. They kept writing all this stuff and trying to position it in a certain way.
And. In reality, what was going on was she was just older, and no one would hire her because she'd been doing a job of basically advocating for people who weren't hired because they were disabled and so forth for the state, and now she wanted to do something else.
You are going to be only some of the time. You need help with this. Most of the time, the people who have this done are older attorneys who think that summarizing all this will help them. These summaries and career objectives and so forth refrain from saying anything.
The only thing that talks, the only thing that makes that point is your experience. That's it. Nothing else. So that's all you need to worry about. It is what you do and how you show your experience, saying you're a committed generalist. It's capable of doing this, and you need help. Your experience is great, but your experience is presumed.
So someone who's a partner at a major law firm may just list, yeah. Partner for a corporate, corporate partner specializing in corporate m and a or something, specializing in corporate m and a. Or an early stage, I don't know, an early-stage technology company or something. That's it. They don't list the 50 different things they've done, and they're from when they were associated with a partner and just list a few; they just go like that.
That's it. You don't need the less is more many times. And the more stuff you list, the more it looks like you're trying to do things. The more you listen objectively, you better hope that like hell. Okay. You have an objective if you're 20 years old. Some of these resumes are like 30-plus years out of law school.
You better hope, like help, that you have an objective, but your objective will come through based on all your past experiences. And it's sad. I'm not trying to say. That I'm not empathetic because I am empathetic with everyone. This is what I am, but it is sad that people do this and are told to do this when they get older.
Sometimes, they think that machines pick up keywords, and that's going to, which is somewhat true and going to help them, but, I don't know that I've ever placed an attorney out of the thousands of attorneys I've placed, and I'm going to want to be very clear about this because of how important it is.
I wonder if I've ever placed an attorney that has put these summaries at the top of the resume to use, so if I'm saying don't use that, but where you should emphasize this, you emphasize your focus. In your experience, that's it.
You emphasize it there, and that's it. That's it. And then, if you need more focus, here's another thing you do. If you don't have a lot of focus, focus, say even less, even less. Don't draw people. Don't draw the law firms away. From your need for more focus. It'd be wild, right?
Why would you do that? So you are just listless. Okay. Let me see. Wow. These are great questions today. Thank you to everyone who's asking these. This is another excellent question.
My passion for a particular practice area sometimes must align with job market demand. I will talk to you about how to do that in a second. How can I balance between pursuing my passion and choosing a practice area that's more in demand to increase my job prospects? Okay. So, there are some risky practice areas.
And what are those practice areas? So, your riskiest practice areas are always risky. It's safe when the market's good. It's risky not at all when it's not at all risky when the market's good. When the market's good, it's excellent but risky.
When it's not, okay, so that's corporate, and then less risky practice areas are generally things like insurance. Depends. I'm just telling you, there are insurance people; insurance companies always represent people. Litigation patent. There are just some real estate and tax risks, but sometimes there are risky practice areas, and then you often will lack job market demand because of things.
So when a risky practice area. If the economy slows, corporations will get very bad, and sometimes, these less risky practice areas can make our trust in the States risky. Family law is safe.
There's just a bunch of these practice areas that are risky and less risky. So important to understand. So my point here is that, because of what's going on here with these practice areas, you need to understand that sometimes you may be in a practice area that may be in trouble.
So a better question here would be, what is, what do I do? When my practice area is not in demand, and this is not in demand. So this is a fundamental question. If you are on this cost, and you, this is worth the price of admission. Because there's not enough cost for that.
So what you do is you make sure. You start applying to different markets, if I'm sorry, different markets or smaller markets. Or larger markets. Wherever the larger, wherever the opportunity is, you need to start looking at different markets. You can figure out what you can do, whether it's a guide to bar reciprocity on BCG or whatever you need to start looking at different markets, and that's the smartest thing you can do.
The more markets you look at, The more likely you are to get a job. Suppose a corporation slows down in a big market like Chicago. Then you can start looking at suburbs of Chicago and jobs in other parts of Illinois, and then you can see where you can look at different markets, or you can start working looking at smaller firms, all that sort of stuff.
So, all you do when your practice area slows as you can look at other markets. That's what I recommend doing that works in all economies. And why does it work? It works because what happens is when a practice seriously slows down in a different market in a particular market.
Typically, the smaller law firms can pick up people who wouldn't work there. That can be good for their clients. The firms in smaller markets can pick up people who would only sometimes work there. But the big thing is that many companies still have work when the practice area is slowing down in big firms.
They're just going to send the work to smaller, less expensive firms. And that's good for you. You may go to a smaller firm and have a better chance of making a partner. When you can bring in clients and everything if you have excellent qualifications, you might otherwise; it's time for a couple more questions in another type of firm.
These questions are so good that I'm going. So this is a good question. I think it's probably the last question. I may take one after this. I'm tailoring and highlighting my skills and experience, but I still need to secure a job offer. Could you share a common strategy to make more resumes stand out?
Sure. So, 1 of the strategies I recommend, and it's a very easy 1, is to apply to firms that do not have openings. So, an example would be that you're trusting the state's attorney and attorney, and I need to find out when Quincy, Illinois. It's a small town. I don't know, Quincy.
I guess Quincy is okay. How about Indianapolis or about I don't know, or just Quincy or not? The idea is you would search for other attorneys, you can do Google, you could search for, Google and search for, those jobs search for jobs, search for firms doing that work and all your firms doing that work.
And around Quincy and or wherever you would want to live in Illinois. So that's going to help you. That's a specialty. You can do that. So that's one strategy. Another strategy. And then you apply to those places, regardless of whether or not they have those jobs. So you them.
So the big thing with applying to firms without jobs that's very important is when you apply to firms without jobs, you are the only applicant. So you're, that automatically helps you so automatically you're more likely to get a job. Because just because of that.
So it would help if you kept that in mind to be more likely to get a job. So if you do that, more firms are if you're the only applicant, making it one of the most essential things your resume automatically stands out. I had, I'll just tell you, I used to, not because I wanted to keep practicing law, but because I wanted to represent my company effectively in various legal disputes.
I used to have a law firm in a law firm, and then I would do all my recruiting in the entire history of that law firm. Three or four people over 15 years old have yet to submit their resumes with no jobs. Then, two of them walked into the firm and asked to work there.
One of them I hired, and out of the people who submitted their resumes without walking in, I hired another one. So think about that. One of the most brilliant things anyone can do is apply to firms in your practice area with our jobs; your resume will stick out. Very few attorneys are sitting there and get people to send their resumes.
It just doesn't happen. If you're doing that, you're going to get positions automatically. Now, some other uncommon strategies apply to firms in smaller markets. That only gets a few applicants. That's huge. If you do that, you'll also be much better able to get a job.
And hopefully those, hopefully, ones without firms or firms without openings. So that's going to help you as well. And doing that. So those are some of the best pieces of advice I can tell you, or the other one. Another uncommon one is applied to firms.
That is one more prestigious genius and focused on your press practice area or fewer procedures. That's it. So that's it. So if you do those. If you do those things, you're much more likely to stand out from the competition and get a job offer. It's just this work.
And so I don't know how else to say it. And when I say searching Google, the reason I say that is because Google Google finds every firm, and a lot of times, the job is on. The firms in different lists are just the ones that are paying that.
So, the firms in different lists are the ones that are paying, the ones paying to be there. So, I have a final suggestion, which is self-centered. I usually don't discuss this, but it's one of the best. We have a company or idea called LawCrossing.
What LawCrossing does is that it gathers jobs from employer websites from companies, law firms, government, whatever, and it gets firms from firms that do not have those that are not on Indeed or Google for Jobs and so forth.
And that. It is beneficial. So, having that ability to find those employers means that they're from firm websites. They're in places where indeed and all these other job sites are linked-in most of the time. Employers put their jobs there. And so, without charging employers and doing all that research for you, it's a perfect way to do that.
There's one other, and that's about it. By the way, if you stayed on here for this whole resume, you can send your resume. Let me just stop here real quickly. I just want to make sure I give you the correct email address. And this is a treat if you're still on this webinar.
I should have discussed it earlier, but you want to send a random email. One second. I'm not sharing, but if you want to have your resume reviewed next week, I will just put this up there quickly. And then I've got to roll here. So, if you want your resume reviewed next week, you can send it to Jared Bear. Jared Bear’s a consultant.
By the way, what. BCG stands for barristerconsulting.com. And then, we'll review your resume next week. And yeah, so that's it on the resume call next week. Thank you, everyone, for being at this meeting today. I think we covered a lot, and hopefully, just this piece of advice that we covered this week can make a massive difference in your success next week.
And please do send your resumes. I usually get to all of them on a call. I almost always do. If I don't, I will go to this next week, but I should be able to get through all the resumes by next week. Thanks again for everyone being on the call. And next week's webinar will be a resume review.