JD Profiles: Amanda Ellis, Author, Attorney Recruiter/Search Consultant

In this new series, we are profiling legal professionals and J.D.s and asking them the hard questions that don’t always get answered in law school. For example, how did they find their job? What do they do on a day-to-day basis? And, was law school a worthwhile investment?

Of course, for this series, I had to interview one of my own mentors, Amanda Ellis, Author, Attorney Recruiter/Search Consultant, and Co-Founder of #LawJobChat (our joint project!). Amanda began her career as a bankruptcy attorney where she learned the benefits of waking up at 4:30 am to start work. She transitioned to a career at a large search firm where she found her niche – networking and recruiting. She decided to go off on her own. For the past two years, she’s continued her recruiting business and wrote a book entitled, The 6Ps of the BIG 3 for Job-Seeking JDs: 60+ Ways to Get Hired Using Social Networking. She now speaks at law firms and law schools on legal career topics.

RecruiterEsq: Hi Amanda! Thanks for speaking with us. What are the 6Ps of the Big 3?

The 6Ps are the components required to use the Big 3 social networking sites successfully in your job search (or in business development):  Purpose, Profile, Privacy, Performance, Practice and Protocol.

How did you decide to write this book?

When I started my own recruiting firm, I started writing a monthly e-newsletter.  I frequently wrote about using social networking in your job search.  An increasing number of law schools began to read my newsletter and some asked me to speak at their schools.  The more I spoke, the more I realized how many people were interested in this subject.  And, there was no guide or resource to teach law students how to use the sites.  I decided I had to write a book.

I’m glad you did! I’m so proud of you. Who do you think can benefit from this book?

While the examples in the book are from law students and lawyers using the sites, the book is helpful for anyone searching for a job or looking to develop business.  I’ve even had friends share the book with their grandparents who wanted to learn how to use Facebook.

That’s funny! You self-published the book. What did you learn from that experience?

Well, I can’t say that I would attempt to self-publish another book again while running a recruiting business.

Yeah, I have to admit, I didn’t envy you although I was impressed with your pursuit. What is the most common question you hear from law students across the country as you speak about getting hired through social networking?

“There are lawyers on Twitter?!”  I hear this statement after each presentation.  They are surprised that to learn that there is a legal community on Twitter.  The second question I get is, “Is it okay to connect with lawyers even though I’ve never met them?”  I refer them back to the “Purpose” of Twitter (hint: yes, it’s okay – the purpose of Twitter is to connect with people you want to get to know).

Are the tips in your book applicable to law firms that want to hire those JDs? Will it teach firms how to identify and recruit laterals or new lawyers?

Absolutely!  Law firms can take the same steps to attract candidates from their existing networks.  In my book, I discuss several free ways law firms can share job openings on social networking sites, including:

  1. Facebook Note (page. 126). The Facebook Note allows you to use more characters than a status update.  You can also tag friends who may be interested in the position you post in the Note.  And, your friends can share the Note so that it appears on their Facebook pages.
  2. Facebook Marketplace (p. 129). Firms can post job openings in the Facebook classifieds.
  3. Facebook Firm Page (p. 131). Firms can post job openings on their own Facebook page, and the posting can be shared by fans of the page.
  4. LinkedIn Group Job Posting (p. 171). Identify the LinkedIn Groups that will contain candidates you are seeking and post jobs in the relevant Groups.
  5. Facebook or LinkedIn Status Update (p. 174). Firm recruiters and hiring personnel can share job openings in their individual status updates on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  6. Tweet Job Openings (p. 201). Share your job openings on Twitter.

Great advice. How did you get into recruiting? Why did you decide to leave the practice of law?

I never wanted to be a lawyer – I went to law school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I always pictured myself in a consulting role of some type.  I hated law school but I loved practicing.  I loved practicing because I liked the “business” of practicing law.  I was very fortunate to have a section head who was a top rainmaker and mentored me about the business side.  I began to create a list of career options that would combine business plus law.  Recruiting was one of the options and the one I chose.

What were you like in law school? In which activities did you participate?

Ha!  One could probably look at my law school activities and tell I would eventually land in a creative role.  I was Editor of my law school’s yearbook, the Peregrinus.  I was also active on the Student Bar Association – Editor of The Writ, Secretary, ABA Representative.  I did not participate in traditional activities like moot court – did not interest me.

Did you get your first job through your law firm’s career services office or how did you get your first position?

I obtained a job offer through my law school’s OCI but ultimately turned the offer down to move to Boston (where I had no contacts or ties – but, thought it would be fun to live in a different part of the country).  I gained reciprocity with Boston University and Boston College.  Before moving, I applied for a position one of the schools posted.  I interviewed and received an offer about a month before taking the bar exam.

That’s important to remember that most schools offer reciprocity with their career services, especially if you move to another state or city. In regard to your recruiting business, do you only recruit locally or in specific practice areas?

My focus is (1) all practice areas in Texas and (2) bankruptcy attorneys nationwide.

What is the toughest aspect of being a recruiter?

The roller coaster effect.  As you know, you can go from an emotional high to an emotional low in one day.  Understanding this concept (and how it feels) is perhaps the hardest concept for new recruiters to grasp.

Do you set goals for yourself – like, “I want to connect with this type of person by X date” or “I’ll stay on Twitter for an hour today.”

A great boss once told me to create a “Top 7” list – the top 7 things you hope to accomplish each day.  I have to do this daily to be productive.

Top 7, eh? I think I may try this. What about rejection or people being mean on the phone? How do you handle that?

Honestly, I can probably count on one hand the number of “mean” people I’ve encountered either by phone or email.  I really don’t get many mean replies.  When I do, I may vent internally but my external reply is always polite and kind.

What websites to you visit on a daily basis?

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Above the Law.

What advice do you have for female business owners who want to start their own company?

Don’t lose focus of your core business.  It’s great to branch out and try new things, but make sure 80% of your time is spent on your core business.

Thank you very much for enlightening our readers on what you do!

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Amanda Ellis is the Owner of Amanda Ellis Legal Search. She is the author of The 6Ps of the BIG 3 for Job-Seeking JDs: 60+ Ways to Get Hired Using Social Networking and a frequent lecturer on these topics at law firms, law schools, and bar associations nationwide. You can find Amanda on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook and hear one of her presentations at Solo Practice University.

Lessons from #LawJobChat: @AttysCounsel on Legal Resumes

On September 30, 2010, we hosted our fourth #LawJobChat, a chat on Twitter that takes place the last Thursday of each month from 9 – 10 pm Eastern. The hour flew by as Jessica Silverstein, our guest host, answered questions about legal resumes.

Participants raised questions about formatting, job descriptions, whether to put blog URLs or social media profiles on resumes, and tips on making one’s resume stand out.  I’ve pasted the full transcript below.

About Jessica

Jessica Silverstein (@AttysCounsel) owns Attorney’s Counsel, a career counseling service for attorneys that specializes in resumes and interviewing skills. She is also a Member of the Committee on Career Advancement and Management for the New York City Bar Association.  The best way to contact her is via e-mail: info at AttorneysCounselNY dot com.  She’s happy to answer any questions or to follow up with more information.

5 Takeaway Tweets

  • AttysCounsel: NO OBJECTIVES!Your objective is to get the job! Summary can be helpful for someone switching practice areas.Transferable skills!
  • AttysCounsel: Subheadings will enable you to get what you want the ‘er to see on top and in a more targeted way. OK to list firm/title/dates (See also:  AttysCounsel:  Ok to shorten or merge summer positions if they were similar. Same for contract work. Again, think subheadings)
  • AttysCounsel: [LinkedIn] can have more info than resume, but what is the same should be the same. Plus, 1pg isn’t the max in all cases
  • AttysCounsel: …Good to read out loud to hear where there’s an error. Read out loud anyway but tenses esp r hard to miss when listening (See also:  AttysCounsel:  …If you are PRESENTLY working, that is in PRESENT tense. Old jobs, those w/an end date, are PAST tense)
  • AttysCounsel: Best 3 [resumes]: No formatting errors. Clear stmnt of accomplishment, not just job description. Focus on target position.

I’d also recommend Amanda’s post that highlights the important points that Jessica covered.

#LawJobChat #5: October 28th, 9-10 pm Eastern

Before I paste the full transcript, I’ll remind everyone that #LawJobChat #5 will take place on October 28th, 9-10 pm Eastern.  We’re finalizing the topic and guest host for next time but we’re also open to your suggestions and requests.  You can leave a comment and/or send me an e-mail at melissa at recruiteresq dot com.

Full Transcript

#lawjobchat

wthashtag.com/lawjobchat

aellislegal: Welcome to the 4th #LawJobChat with @AttysCounsel! I know several participants have checked in – @pag2010 @brihoffman @t10nbaum #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: @t10nbaum @aellislegal I’m on a train and will follow #lawjobchat on my @BlackBerry.
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel why don’t you tell us about your background and what you do now #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @DavidCohenEsq Great, David!! We talked about you at the tweetup tonight – all wonderful things!! #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Happy to be here! I am a lawyer. I practiced Holocaust Restitution and Prod Liab prior to escaping practice. #lawjobchat
t10nbaum: @DavidCohenEsq on a train? that’s #lawjobchat dedication.
AttysCounsel: I started Attorney’s Counsel after years of legal placement work and frequent speaking at the NYCBar on resumes #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Worked with lawyers all over the word and focus on legal resumes but have helped prof’s in finance, health care and biz dev too #lawjobchat
BriHoffman: #lawjobchat – question- had mock interview (w/ employer for critique) who suggested adding personal touch to resume. this common/desirable?
t10nbaum: I second @BriHoffman ‘s question. Interest line or no? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Knew I didn’t want to practice so I also specialize in career transitions, other lawyers trying to decide what to do next. #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: @aellislegal My ears were ringing for a reason. Sorry I missed it. Let me know when you will have one in SoCal! #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Let’s start with @pag2010‘s question re law student who had a non-legal summer job + clinic experience – how does he state this #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @attyscounsel feel free to answer @brihoffman‘s question first #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Clinic = legal exp and that should be listed with the rest of their LEGAL EXPERIENCE. Sub headings R gr8 #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Can always say Legal Experience, since that’s what they want to show, and Non-Legal or another designation… #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @BriHoffman “Interests” is always up for debate. Don’t waste space. Unless you r a ranked tennis player, we dont care. #lawjobchat
BriHoffman: #lawjobchat – the types of things the mock interviewer suggested were hobbies, interests, my “musical talent” (former jazz major), etc.
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel I think the student did some volunteer legal work, too – include under Legal? Include non-legal summer job or omit #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Re: Interests – If you r a recent grad and you need to differentiate yourself, or a 2L, ONLY incl things that r actually unique. #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Legal work, volunteer or otherwise, is legal experience. Unless they r trying to focus on volunteering keep legal #lawjobchat
pag2010: That’s correct, Amanda, she didn’t know how to state the volunteer wrk when she had a non legal main job #LawJobChat
BriHoffman: @AttysCounsel it has surprisingly come up in every (ok ok, all 3 of them, this market is bad) interviews i’ve had. #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @pag2010 Focus on what she wants the ‘er to know. She did legal work to keep those skills fresh and to have somethng on her rez #lawjobchat
j_lavalley: Belov’d denizens of Tweepville?I’ll B jumping in+out of #LawJobChat till 10pm; so, giving advance notice: potential hi-vol #Law tweeting! :D
aellislegal: @pag2010 I’ll defer to @attyscounsel but I think I’d be inclined to omit the non-legal summer work. I typically tell laterals #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @pag2010 that an “other professional experience” is required for non-legal prof jobs but sounds like this was just a PT job #lawjobchat
pag2010: Thank you, both #LawJobChat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Sorry if I’m not ans the Q. Yes, if she was doing simultaneous LEGAL work, not need to incl NON-legal #lawjobchat
aellislegal: We covered interests – a non-essential area – what about other non-essential areas like summary, obj. I usually advise against #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @BriHoffman At this point in your career, include interests, ESP if U R hearing from interviewers that you shld. Just BE UNIQUE. #lawjobchat
mjsq: @aellislegal @pag2010 @AttysCounsel, I’d include the non-legal job if she learned *marketable* skills… & if there was space. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel no, you are great!! I think I forgot to throw that part in until I re-read phil’s question #lawjobchat
pag2010: One more and it’s bed time for my son: Always looking for good action words 4 student research asst’ 4 prof who only did . . #LawJobChat
t10nbaum: #lawjobchat How do you choose which law jobs to leave on the resume if having them all makes it more than a page?
aellislegal: @mjsq good point re marketable skills in the non-legal job!! #lawjobchat
BriHoffman: @AttysCounsel they love the vocal jazz thing, one asked if i would sing a few bars… it was awkward… ;-) #lawjobchat
pag2010: . . a limited amount of research and not much writing. thanks #LawJobChat
jcasalmir: is eavesdropping on tonight’s #LawJobChat while her son are literally running under foot.
AttysCounsel: NO OBJECTIVES!Your objective is to get the job! Summary can be helpful for someone switching practice areas.Transferable skills! #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @jcasalmir welcome!! #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @j_lavalley welcome!! #lawjobchat
BriHoffman: i second this question from @pag2010 … buzz words for research assistant? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @mjsq definitely! Marketable and Transferable Skills shld always be incl. BUT be clear what is what and from where. #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: @aellislegal @AttysCounsel The skills one learns in some non legal jobs can be huge. Cross trained lawyers have a lot to offer! #lawjobchat
aellislegal: RT @brihoffman i second this question from @pag2010 … buzz words for research assistant? #lawjobchat
stone239: @jcasalmir @aellislegal @j_lavalley can I watch? #LawJobChat
aellislegal: good pt! RT @davidcohenesq The skills one learns in some non legal jobs can be huge. Cross trained lawyers have a lot to offer! #lawjobchat
j_lavalley: @aellislegal Thank you! Glad I could join in?& not least, b/c this is a topic of particular relevance to me at the moment! :D #LawJobChat
AttysCounsel: Think about what you were doing. What were you researching? use the words u used to describe what you did. #lawjobchat
yalechk: Hi all will be monitoring this while I am working, happy to offer my perspective as employer interviewer #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: I tell clients to translate their legal skills into English. Then translate that into lang of the industry they r targeting #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @yalechk did u see last quest re which buzz words for law student to include for a research position description? Thoughts? #lawjobchat
jjlaustex: Worked 5yrs before law school. now part time and summer legal stuff is pushing everything off the resume, should I let them go? #lawjobchat
t10nbaum: #lawjobchat I asked this to @aellislegal b4, links to linkedin, facebook, twitter on the resume under contact info? Yes or no?
aellislegal: @t10nbaum My thoughts: Yes to LI, NO NO NO to Facebook (it’s personal) Twitter is a maybe depends on how using it #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Buzz words: Depends on the target position. Research in one industry is useful for diff reasons in another. #lawjobchat
j_lavalley: @AttysCounsel Agree 100% re Objective?OUT! Might as well put “Taxidermy” and “Discreet Polaroid photography” as “Interests”! ;P #LawJobChat
jcasalmir: per @DavidCohenEsq‘s point, non-legal responsibilities that demonstrate learning about business needs on your resume = good. #LawJobChat
aellislegal: @j_lavalley LOL!! #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: @AttysCounsel Agree. Lawyer that can speak language of another profession can understand & explain across professional lines #lawjobchat
yalechk: I suggest being very specific about the questions you researched and what resources you used to research @aellislegal #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Not trying to duck Q, but if you aren’t specifically answrng job posting or job description buzz words may hurt. #lawjobchat
yalechk: bad description is “Research assistant to Professor X–research into civil procedure issues” @aellislegal #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal I agree, NO FB, I also say no LI, and no Twitter. They’ll find it anyway but it does depend what you want to be. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: RT @jjlaustex Worked 5yrs bf law school. now PT, summer legal stuff is pushing everything off the resume, should I let them go? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: NYSBA just wrote opinion on social media and job searching. WATCH OUT! #lawjobchat
mjsq: @t10nbaum my take re: urls, ppl include in e-mail signatures & if you e-mail resume…. I don’t think they need to be on there #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @yalechk good example! #lawjobchat
BriHoffman: @yalechk @aellislegal – went slightly further, maybe one sentence “deeper” such as topics (distressed debt investment & bkrptcy) #lawjobchat
yalechk: Good=Researched class action certification and collective actions in California using Lexis, BNA, & decisions reported on PACER #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal OK to shorten or merge summer positions if they were similar. Same for contract work. Again, think subheadings #lawjobchat
mjsq: @AttysCounsel could you tell us how we could find a link to that NYSBA opinion re: social media and/or link to more info? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Subheadings will enable you to get what you want the ‘er to see on top and in a more targeted way. OK to list firm/title/dates #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @mjsq working on that…I’ll get it to you after the chat. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @jjlaustex I think you def should keep your prior prof experience on there – esp if relevant to pract area you seek #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: @jjlaustex depends on the job. If it’s related to the practice job you want to be in or unique go ahead and include. #LawJobChat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Agreed. Do not remove relevant information! #lawjobchat
mjsq: awesome! RT @AttysCounsel @mjsq working on that…I’ll get it to you after the chat. #lawjobchat
jerry_levine: Oops. Just realized it was #lawjobchat day. And I’m writing an amicus brief for the DE Supreme Court. ;) I’ll read the replay later!
j_lavalley: #LawJobChat Possible buzz words 4 research: analyzed?compiled?condensed?digested?synthesized? #FTW?”designed & operationalized model study?”
aellislegal: Including blogs link on resume? similar topic to including LI so my take is yes b/c display of your writing, a skill of attys #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: @jjlaustex and all-have 2 apologize for my tweets not making sense. I’m trying to get a rowdy 9 year old to get ready for bed. #LawJobChat
jjlaustex: @jcasalmir #lawjobchat was an accountant; want to do tax law
aellislegal: LOVE! RT @j_lavalley Possible buzz words 4 research: analyzed?compiled?condensed?digested?synthesized? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @j_lavalley All good options.It’s difficult bc you don’t want your resume to be a thesaurus:wrote/drafted/scribbled/threw on ppr #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal You are the expert on social media and lawyers. Now I defer to you. Again tho, ONLY IF RELEVANT! #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: a big YES to including. Definitely! RT @jjlaustex #lawjobchat was an accountant; want to do tax law
aellislegal: @jjlaustex @jcasalmir Def sounds relevant!! Just make sure it’s in a separate section like “other professional experience” #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal @jjlaustex @jcasalmir Sorry, I missed a tweet back there… #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel I’ve seen blog links HELP get candidates hired – several times b/c firm wanted learn HOW to blog!! #lawjobchat
j_lavalley: @AttysCounsel :) GR8 point; agree 100%! (Agree too w/ @yalechk‘s excellent point re specificity?which applies across board, no?) #lawjobchat
jjlaustex: @aellislegal #lawjobchat so don’t use the word “researched” on your resume?
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal That’s a great success story. Like including vocal jazz on your interests… #lawjobchat
BriHoffman: i keep the internet out of my resume, i feel the employers are gonna find it if they want it anyways. #lawjobchat
yalechk: yes! the more specific the better! RT @j_lavalley: @AttysCounsel specificity?which applies across board, no?) #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Following up on when to remove positions – let’s discuss when laterals should remove summer clerkship/associate positions #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @j_lavalley Specificity, Relevancy, Consistency a few of my favorite things…CONSISTENCY, in case anyone missed that one… #lawjobchat
GamingCounsel: All cool kids want to be tax lawyers/accts when they grow up RT @jcasalmir RT @jjlaustex#lawjobchat was an accountant; want to do taxlaw
t10nbaum: #lawjobchat Yes, but you can put MORE stuff on linkedin, and still have the one page resume @brihoffman
yalechk: BIG yes. Husband is tax lawyer. Tax depts LOVE people w/accounting backgrounds RT @jcasalmir@jjlaustex #lawjobchat
yalechk: Yes, good points RT @aellislegal: LOVE! RT @j_lavalley Possible buzz words 4 research: analyzed?compiled?condensed?digested? #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @jjlaustex Phil’s question was about beefing up a research assistant position description, so what words in add’n to research #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Depends on #yrs out. But if there are at least 5-7 years of solid/relevant experience, consider removing #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal If they still need the good firm names, list names/title/dates. otherwise, focus on new skills and future success. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @jjlaustex Think you were referencing @pag2010‘s original tweet, let me know if was another tweet in the stream I overlooked #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: True! “@t10nbaum: #lawjobchat Yes, but you can put MORE stuff on linkedin, and still have the one page resume @brihoffman
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel Agree re 5 yrs out #lawjobchat
mjsq: @AttysCounsel, speaking of descriptions, what verb tense should ppl use on resumes? #lawjobchat
t10nbaum: @attyscounsel #lawjobchat, what about law student who did legal work in college?
AttysCounsel: @DavidCohenEsq LI can have more info than resume, but what is the same should be the same. Plus, 1pg isn’t the max in all cases #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Let’s look at a lateral atty (litigator) who wants to transition in-house – anything specific for resume? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @mjsq LOVE THIS Q! If you are PRESENTLY working, that is in PRESENT tense. Old jobs, those w/an end date, are PAST tense #lawjobchat
BriHoffman: i’ve got a hyper puppy… time for walk in this baltimore monsoon. i’ll read rest of chat later. thank you @attyscounsel et al.! #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Great question! RT @mjsq @AttysCounsel, speaking of descriptions, what verb tense should ppl use on resumes? #lawjobchat
j_lavalley: @aellislegal Blog posts=publications?even have a BB-cite format. So IMO why not include them? (But only “appropriate” subjects!) #LawJobChat
AttysCounsel: @mjsq Good to read out loud to hear where there’s an error. Read out loud anyway but tenses esp r hard to miss when listening #lawjobchat
Neil_Lemons: RT @aellislegal: Great question! RT @mjsq @AttysCounsel, speaking of descriptions, what verb tense should ppl use on resumes? #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @j_lavalley Great point re BB-cite format!! #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: @yalechk @jcasalmir @jjlaustex If you have dual credentials, do continuing ed, keep both & showcase. It shows rounding. #lawjobchat
yalechk: http://bit.ly/cTHMvT RT @mjsq: @AttysCounsel NYSBA opinion re: social media and/or link to more info? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @yalechk THANKS! #lawjobchat
mjsq: Big ups, thx! RT @yalechkhttp://bit.ly/cTHMvT RT @mjsq: @AttysCounsel NYSBA opinion re: social media &/or link to more info? #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: @aellislegal not a litigator myself, but indications of regular interface with client biz teams or executives = good #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: @AttysCounsel Agree, but someone should have a good bit of experience before going to page 2. Thoughts? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @jcasalmir 100% agree, beat me to “update” Anything showing client interaction, esp longer term. Also, clear focus on the indstr #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @jjlaustex (prior acct career) good ex when 1pg NOT max? RT @attyscounsel Plus, 1pg isn’t the max in all cases cc @davidcohenesq #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @DavidCohenEsq Yes, 2 pgs must be warranted. Not a recent grad w/a big font and no prior career. #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: RT @aellislegal: @j_lavalley Great point re BB-cite format!! #lawjobchat
yalechk: We make fun of kids out of college with 2 page resumes (or gasp–3!) RT @AttysCounsel: @DavidCohenEsq #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Have u seen lawyers use video resumes or online resumes like visualCV? ? arose in panel last wk cc @worklawyer @lawyerstraining #lawjobchat
j2_whittington: wait – you guys are saying resumes should only be one pg?!? OK so what are the fundamentals that need to be on that one pg #lawjobchat
t10nbaum: RT @yalechk: We make fun of kids out of college with 2 page resumes (or gasp–3!) RT @AttysCounsel: @DavidCohenEsq #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal I have seen them and I’m not a fan. I know things R changing but lots of lawyers still aren’t ready. #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @j2_whittington Traditionally resumes are only 1 pg, but if you have enough experience 2 pgs is OK. #lawjobchat
DavidCohenEsq: @yalechk @AttysCounsel I have seen them too. Size should be appropriate for education and experience. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel And, how do firms view them (video resumes, VisualCV)? @yalechk may have thoughts cc @worklawyer @lawyerstraining #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal What was the opinion of the panel? Wonder also abt geographic location and firm size and practice area… #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: @aellislegal and @AttysCounsel should laterals list specific speaking engagements in their resumes or provide upon request? #lawjobchat
lancegodard: RT @yalechkhttp://bit.ly/cTHMvT RT @mjsq: @AttysCounsel NYSBA opinion re: social media #lawjobchat
yalechk: Never seen one, but do not expect it would go over well in BigLaw RT @aellislegal: @AttysCounselAnd, how do firms view them #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @jcasalmir Yes, list relevant speaking engagements on your resume, unless there are many in which case consider addendum #lawjobchat
GamingCounsel: @jcasalmir You’re doing great, by the way! #lawjobchat
mjsq: @jcasalmir, I think listing speaking engagements is smart. #lawjobchat imo, shows initiative, public speaking skills, expertise, etc.
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel no one had seen it – but thought potentially effective 2 show other skills (speaking skills if applying 4 lit pos) #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Making the ppl who “read” your resume life easier is a good goal. If they r used to video, then great, if not… #lawjobchat
squirrelpants: Does a well-designed resume help someone stand out or should you try to be conservative/all-business? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @mjsq @aellislegal 100%. Speaking and Video clearly show additional skills not every other lawyer has. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Final Q to wind down – think of 3 best resumes you’ve seen – what made them stand out? #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @squirrelpants Well-designed and conservative need not be exclusive. #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: @aellislegal Best 3: No formatting errors. Clear stmnt of accomplishment, not just job description. Focus on target position. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: @AttysCounsel Awesome!! Thank you so much – I think this chat has been the most interactive – lots of participation!! #lawjobchat
mjsq: RT @AttysCounsel: Best 3 resumes: No formatting errors. Clear accomplishments not just job description.Focus on target position. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Next #LawJobChat is Oct. 28 at 9pm Eastern! Let us know if you want to guest host a chat or have a topic you’d like discussed! #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Resumes are so personal, I am not surprised everyone has an opinion! It has been my pleasure! #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: resumes that provided a very specific picture of a person’s past work experiences jumped to the top of the pile. #lawjobchat
mjsq: @aellislegal, I agree. Great job, @AttysCounsel. Legal resumes = huge topic to tackle in 1 hr. You rocked it. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: If you missed any of tonight’s chat, I’ll post the transcript and summary either later tonight or tomorrow morning #lawjobchat
mjsq: For anyone who has further questions, what’s the best way to contact you @AttysCounsel? #LawJobChat
aellislegal: @mjsq @attyscounsel agree – we could have a part 2 on this topic! #lawjobchat
AttysCounsel: Count me in for part 2!!! I just wrote (then deleted) “is it wrong that I don’t want this to end?” #lawjobchat
medialawcounsel: @aellislegal specific accomplishments, e.g. “Negotiated 6 asset purchase agreements”–not just a recount of areas of proficency. #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: great job once again by @aellislegal @mjsq and @AttysCounsel and thank you for letting me hog some of the discussion! #lawjobchat
j_lavalley: #lawjobchat @AttysCounsel & @aellislegal: Thanx! On #citations?some cool stuff re “vendor-neutral” / “universal” formats: http://is.gd/fDjkq
AttysCounsel: @mjsq To contact me, please email me at Info@AttorneysCounselNY.com #lawjobchat
jcasalmir: also, they “told” me a great–and professional-story of that person’s life as a lawyer. #lawjobchat
aellislegal: Great point, Evan – QUANTIFY! RT @medialawcounsel specific accomplishments, e.g. “Negotiated 6 asset purchase agreements” #lawjobchat
econwriter5: RT @aellislegal: If you missed any of tonight’s chat, I’ll post the transcript and summary either later tonight or tomorrow morning #lawjobchat

Lessons from #LawJobChat: @richard_russeth on Landing In-House Counsel Jobs

On August 26, 2010, we hosted our third #LawJobChat, a chat on Twitter that takes place the last Thursday of each month from 9 – 10 pm Eastern. We welcomed our guest host, Richard Russeth.  I’ve pasted the full transcript below.

About Richard

Richard Russeth (@richard_russeth) serves as Vice President and General Counsel for Leprino Foods.  Directly after law school, he went in-house serving as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for The Pillsbury Company.  Since then, he’s continued to work in general counsel positions for major corporations or their subsidiaries.   He offers his advice about moving in-house and what in-house lawyers need to know.  He also shares with us the benefits of being The Last Generalist.

5 Takeaway Tweets

  • richard_russeth: GENERALIST credentials are helpful in going in-house. SEC experience is amazingly helpful.
  • richard_russeth: Try to get an internship with a company after 1L – then firm after 2L.
  • richard_russeth: I think transferable skills are most important. Also many corps hire their outside counsel when they are impressed! case
  • richard_russeth: Early on I think salaries are about 70% of private practice. But get close to parity at about 7-10 years.
  • richard_russeth: Not all boards are created equal. Avoid “general” boards. Stick to reputable. Don’t “overexpose”. Desperate is bad.

I’d also recommend Amanda’s post that highlights the important points that Richard covered.

Full Transcript


1:00 am
aellislegal: Welcome to the 3rd #LawJobChat! Our topic tonight is finding in-house law jobs and our guest co-host is @richard_russeth. #lawjobchat
1:01 am aellislegal: Just a friendly reminder that I’ll start the discussion with some questions. I’ll assign a # to them – Q1, Q2, etc. #lawjobchat
1:01 am aellislegal: Please include the question number in your subsequent questions/replies/etc. Helps when reading transcript from chat. #lawjobchat
1:02 am aellislegal: To get started, I’ll let @richard_russeth introduce himself! #lawjobchat
1:02 am richard_russeth: @aellislegal Glad to be here and thanks for inviting! #lawjobchat
1:03 am mjsq: Thanks for joining us, @richard_russeth! #lawjobchat
1:03 am richard_russeth: @aellislegal I’m GC at Leprino Foods. Have been practicing for 28 yrs. Everyone of them in-house. #lawjobchat
1:04 am aellislegal: Q1: how many yrs experience does an atty need before looking for in-house positions? #lawjobchat
1:06 am aellislegal: Q1 cont: or, how easy is it to go in-house immediately after law school like you did? #lawjobchat
1:06 am richard_russeth: @aellislegal I think it depends on the position they are seeking in-house. #lawjobchat
1:07 am richard_russeth: Q1: But I think at a minimum one should have 5 years in private practice before trying to go in-house. #lawjobchat
1:08 am richard_russeth: Q1: I think I was pretty unusual in my career path. Very few go straight to in-house. It works if its a large corp. #lawjobchat
1:08 am aellislegal: Q1 cont: any particular type position that typically requires less experience? more experience? #lawjobchat
1:09 am richard_russeth: Q1: I was lucky to find a large company like The Pillsbury Company with a GC willing to take a chance! #lawjobchat
1:09 am richard_russeth: Q1: I think specialized roles such as IP are more demanding of experience. But positions in general contract work less so. #lawjobchat
1:10 am aellislegal: Q2: Assume a 5th year atty begins an in-house search. Is there a particular time of the calendar yr that’s best to look? #lawjobchat
1:11 am richard_russeth: Q1: credentials are helpful in going in-house. SEC experience is amazingly helpful. #lawjobchat
1:11 am aellislegal: Q2 cont: for example, does in-house hiring slow during particular months? #lawjobchat
1:11 am t10nbaum: Q2: What would you say is the most important thing to do in law school if you want to end up as GC one day? Moot, Journal, etc.? #lawjobchat
1:12 am richard_russeth: Q1: GENERALIST credentials are helpful in going in-house. SEC experience is amazingly helpful. #lawjobchat
1:12 am richard_russeth: Q2: I don’t think there is a special time of year anymore. This used to be true. Its more dictated the economy. #lawjobchat
1:13 am richard_russeth: Q2: That said, fourth quarter is a bad quarter in which to look. #lawjobchat
1:13 am squirrelpants: How can one go from a staff attorney position to an in-house one? #lawjobchat
1:13 am richard_russeth: Q2: As for law school, I think the broader your course load the better. Don’t over specialize. #lawjobchat
1:14 am richard_russeth: @squirrelpants Not sure I get the “staff” vs. “in-house” #lawjobchat
1:14 am aellislegal: Q3: good question RT @squirrelpants: How can one go from a staff attorney position to an in-house one? #lawjobchat
1:14 am richard_russeth: Q2: Try to get an internship with a company after 1L – then firm after 2L. #lawjobchat
1:15 am aellislegal: @richard_russeth I think he’s referring to being a staff attorney in a law firm, but will let @squirrelpantsconfirm #lawjobchat
1:16 am aellislegal: Q4: How does your company hire in-house lawyers? recruiters, company website, job boards, social media, etc? #lawjobchat
1:16 am richard_russeth: Q3: I think transferable skills are most important. Also many corps hire their outside counsel when they are impressed! #lawjobchat
1:16 am richard_russeth: Q3: For example, my predecessor was hired out of private practice where he represented our company #lawjobchat
1:17 am aellislegal: Advice to law students looking to go in-house: RT @richard_russeth Try to get internship w/company after 1L – then firm after 2L #lawjobchat
1:17 am richard_russeth: Q4: rely a great deal on networks and recruiters. Interestingly company’s make the mistake of using executive recruiters. #lawjobchat
1:17 am t10nbaum: Q4: being as that GC work is for a company, is there a business bground required? Or do lawyers from any background have a shot? #lawjobchat
1:18 am richard_russeth: Q2: My company hires a 1L each summer! We like the new ideas and the opportunity to introduce folks to in-house practice #lawjobchat
1:18 am t10nbaum: RT @aellislegal: Advice to law students looking to go in-house: RT @richard_russeth Try to get internship w/company after 1L – then firm after 2L #lawjobchat
1:19 am squirrelpants: Q3: Yeah, from a staff attorney at a law firm to in-house counsel #lawjobchat
1:19 am richard_russeth: Q4: Business background helpful but not essential. I do think in-house need to have an aptitude for business. #lawjobchat
1:20 am aellislegal: Q5: What skills do you look for? For ex, do in-house lawyers have diff daily responsibilities (from firm lawyers) that you seek? #lawjobchat
1:20 am mpsever: @aellislegal Just took the bar. Waiting on results. All jobs say they want 3-5 yrs experience. OK. where’s that come from? #lawjobchat
1:20 am richard_russeth: Q3: I don’t think status in the firm is what drives hiring at the company. Fit on expertise and cultural fit are important #lawjobchat
1:21 am richard_russeth: Q5: 3-5. We all want experience in-house because usually in-house is not big enough to devote much time to training. #lawjobchat
1:22 am richard_russeth: Q5: in-house is about providing practical answers not memos #lawjobchat
1:22 am aellislegal: @richard_russeth “@mpsever Just took the bar. All jobs say they want 3-5 yrs experience. where’s that come from?” #lawjobchat
1:23 am richard_russeth: Q5: I haven’t written an “opinion” in many many years. Face to face helping the business succeed is the role of in-house #lawjobchat
1:23 am aellislegal: @mpsever I assume you’re referring to firm and in-house job-postings. I’ll defer to @richard_russeth re in-house #lawjobchat
1:24 am richard_russeth: Q5: The need to be able to interact with business folks is critical. As is need to provide answers in real time at the meeting. #lawjobchat
1:24 am aellislegal: @mpsever Re firm jobs, remember most jobs aren’t advertised. Market your experience to firms. Target smaller firms that don’t #lawjobchat
1:24 am richard_russeth: I’m guessing 3-5 is in-house criteria. I think its usually closer to 5. #lawjobchat
1:24 am t10nbaum: Q6: You say your job is to help the business succeed, what is your daily schedule like? #lawjobchat
1:25 am DWesterberg: Son=2yr Law S: Worked at AnheiserBusch GC office1.5yrs prior to Law School, at civil Lit law firm past yr. Strong resume? #lawjobchat
1:25 am aellislegal: @mpsever (cont) Target smaller firms that may need junior attys. Volunteer w/legal aid or bar groups to get experience #lawjobchat
1:26 am aellislegal: Q7: How can a litigator position herself to move to an in-house position? #lawjobchat
1:26 am richard_russeth: Today: pension issues, mexican tariff issues, employment law issues, global supply contract and mtg with Linkedin rep #lawjobchat
1:28 am richard_russeth: Q7: Some businesses need in-house litigators e.g., pharma But most firms farm it out. So the ability to manage lit is top. #lawjobchat
1:28 am t10nbaum: good to know #linkedin is making its way to the GC office. It’s everywhere! #lawjobchat
1:28 am richard_russeth: @DWesterberg I think these are very good points on a CV and the AB connection is top. #lawjobchat
1:28 am richard_russeth: @t10nbaum and companies in general are really using Linkedin as a tool to find folks. #lawjobchat
1:29 am aellislegal: Q7 follow up: @richard_russeth any particular type companies litigators should target (more likely to hire 4 lit mgmt)? avoid? #lawjobchat
1:29 am richard_russeth: #linkedin is so key and network building from 1L forward. You never know who will end up where. #lawjobchat
1:30 am mjsq: @richard_russeth, to clarify, companies using linkedin to find outside litigators or to find GCs? #lawjobchat
1:30 am richard_russeth: Q7: Fun ? I’d do a westlaw search and see who’s drowning in lit! But also consumer intensive not B2B are more likely #lawjobchat
1:30 am aellislegal: LAW STUDENTS: @richard_russeth linkedin is so key and network building from 1L forward. You never know who will end up where. #lawjobchat
1:31 am richard_russeth: I think they are using linkedin across the spectrum but I’m not sure its reached the C-Suite yet. #lawjobchat
1:31 am aellislegal: @richard_russeth re Q7, I like the Westlaw search response!! #lawjobchat
1:31 am DWesterberg: Thank you RT @richard_russeth: @DWesterberg I think these are very good points on a CV and the AB connection is top. #lawjobchat
1:32 am aellislegal: Q8: Can you recommend job boards/websites helpful 4 attys seeking in-house jobs? #lawjobchat
1:33 am stone239: My background in accounting/finance helps tremendously as GC for RE Developer Q4: GC…is there a business bground required? #lawjobchat
1:33 am t10nbaum: @richard_russeth I sure hope so. Thanks to @aellislegal i’ve been working on my profile. Im a 2nd year law student #lawjobchat
1:33 am richard_russeth: Q8: I’ve looked for a job 3 times in my career and job boards are increasingly important. The ACC is tops! #lawjobchat
1:33 am t10nbaum: RT @aellislegal: LAW STUDENTS: @richard_russeth linkedin is so key and network building from 1L forward. You never know who will end up where. #lawjobchat
1:34 am richard_russeth: Q8: Not all boards are created equal. Avoid “general” boards. Stick to reputable. Don’t “overexpose”. Desperate is bad. #lawjobchat
1:34 am richard_russeth: NO Monster.com. Period. #lawjobchat
1:35 am aellislegal: Q9: how do in-house salaries compare 2 salaries @ BigLaw? What % salary reduction can BigLaw associate expect 2 move in-house? #lawjobchat
1:35 am aellislegal: RT @richard_russeth: NO Monster.com. Period. #lawjobchat
1:36 am richard_russeth: Q9: Early on I think salaries are about 70% of private practice. But get close to parity at about 7-10 years. #lawjobchat
1:36 am mjsq: Very true! RT @richard_russeth NO Monster.com. Period. #lawjobchat
1:36 am t10nbaum: RT @aellislegal: RT @richard_russeth: NO Monster.com. Period. #lawjobchat
1:36 am richard_russeth: Q8: You are not going to get rich going in-house, on the other hand you will have weekends free more often than not. #lawjobchat
1:37 am richard_russeth: Q8: In-house focuses on company performance so bonuses are tied to that. 30% is typical. #lawjobchat
1:37 am aellislegal: Q9 cont: how is comp structure diff from law firms? higher bonus opp, lower base? bonus tied to company performance? #lawjobchat
1:37 am aellislegal: @mjsq funny that we both RTd Richard’s commend re Monster! #lawjobchat
1:38 am richard_russeth: Q9: Base tends to be lower. Bonuses can range across the spectrum. Median is about 30% I think. #lawjobchat
1:38 am richard_russeth: Q9: If a company lists a in-house job on Monster, you don’t want to work there. #lawjobchat
1:38 am aellislegal: Q10: how does in-house hiring/recruiting process differ from firms? less formal? more interviews? slower/longer process? #lawjobchat
1:39 am aellislegal: RT @richard_russeth: Q9: If a company lists a in-house job on Monster, you dont want to work there. #lawjobchat
1:39 am stone239: weigh quality of life outside biglaw v lower salary RT @aellislegal Q9: how do in-house salaries compare 2 salaries @ BigLaw? #lawjobchat
1:39 am richard_russeth: Q10: I think the process can be much slower because you are an expense not a profit center in-house. #lawjobchat
1:40 am t10nbaum: RT @richard_russeth: Q9: If a company lists a in-house job on Monster, you don’t want to work there. #lawjobchat
1:40 am DavidCohenEsq: So true. Creative problem solving is a must. “@richard_russeth: Q5: in-house is about providing practical answers not memos #lawjobchat
1:40 am richard_russeth: Quality of life and interesting practice are big reasons to go in-house #lawjobchat
1:40 am jcasalmir: RT @richard_russeth: Q8: I’ve looked for a job 3 times in my career and job boards are increasingly important. The ACC is tops! #lawjobchat
1:40 am aellislegal: RT @stone239: My background in accounting/finance helps tremendously as GC for RE Developer #lawjobchat
1:41 am richard_russeth: Lots of responsibility early on in-house. Seeing a project from beginning to end and not just the paper. Impact outcomes! #lawjobchat
1:42 am aellislegal: Q11 any other adv to going in-house besides quality of life, interesting practice? #lawjobchat
1:42 am richard_russeth: @aellislegal @stone239 Absolutely finance can be a good background #lawjobchat
1:42 am stone239: Amen! RT @richard_russeth Quality of life and interesting practice are big reasons to go in-house #lawjobchat
1:42 am t10nbaum: RT @richard_russeth: Lots of responsibility early on in-house. Seeing a project from beginning to end and not just the paper. Impact outcomes! #lawjobchat
1:43 am aellislegal: Q11 related: Any disadvantages to going in-house? #lawjobchat
1:43 am richard_russeth: Q11: Instead of answering to a BigPartner you r part of business team making it happen. #lawjobchat
1:43 am lawyerkm: how should law firms connect with GCs? #lawjobchat
1:44 am richard_russeth: Q11: Disadvantages: you won’t get rich with some exceptions. It can be hard to transition back to private practice… #lawjobchat
1:44 am jcasalmir: 3-5 years =shorthand for “I can provide at least an initial “take” on clients’ question while on the phone with them.” #lawjobchat
1:44 am aellislegal: Good question! RT @lawyerkm: how should law firms connect with GCs? #lawjobchat
1:46 am richard_russeth: I’m a fan of the slow sell myself. Demonstrate worth. Provide solutions. Don’t “sell.” You’re not a car dealer. #lawjobchat
1:46 am richard_russeth: @jcasalmir #truth #lawjobchat
1:46 am t10nbaum: RT @richard_russeth: I’m a fan of the slow sell myself. Demonstrate worth. Provide solutions. Don’t “sell.” You’re not a car dealer. #lawjobchat
1:46 am aellislegal: @richard_russeth re transitioning from in-house to private practice, I was going to ask how easy it is to make the transition? #lawjobchat
1:47 am richard_russeth: Big fan of free seminars as way to get to know your firm. One hour. Lunch or breakfast. Webinar! #lawjobchat
1:47 am DavidCohenEsq: I connect w many law firms at local ACC events. @aellislegal Good question! RT @lawyerkm: how should law firms connect with GCs?#lawjobchat
1:47 am aellislegal: @richard_russeth Is it easier for certain types of in-house counsel to transition into private practice? #lawjobchat
1:47 am richard_russeth: Since I have never “transitioned” I don’t have first hand, but the longer in-house the tougher I think #lawjobchat
1:47 am aellislegal: LAWYERS: RT @richard_russeth: Big fan of free seminars as way to get to know your firm. One hour. Lunch or breakfast. Webinar! #lawjobchat
1:48 am richard_russeth: I think litigators and IP folks have a much easier time of transitioning back to private practice #lawjobchat
1:48 am jcasalmir: Q1: in contrast to @richard_russeth and @DavidCohenEsq I went in-house after 2 yrs govt. + 3 private practice. #lawjobchat
1:48 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat more than just not knowing where people will end up; you never know who they will meet along the way who can help u
1:48 am aellislegal: RT @DavidCohenEsq: I connect w many law firms at local ACC events. RT @lawyerkm: how should law firms connect with GCs? #lawjobchat
1:48 am richard_russeth: @DavidCohenEsq I like the ACC events as well. #lawjobchat
1:50 am changesq: RT @richard_russeth: Q8: You are not going to get rich going in-house, on the other hand you will have weekends free more often than not. #lawjobchat
1:51 am t10nbaum: RT @richard_russeth: Q8: You are not going to get rich going in-house, on the other hand you will have weekends free more often than not. #lawjobchat
1:51 am t10nbaum: RT @reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat more than just not knowing where people will end up; you never know who they will meet along the way who can help u
1:51 am reneefishman: @aellislegal re #lawjobchat Q8: When I was practicing I found best in-house jobs came thru connections, recruiters & co’s law firms
1:51 am richard_russeth: To prep to be a GC someday I tried to practice in every conceivable field of law for at least a bit for the 1st ten years #lawjobchat
1:52 am t10nbaum: Can law students go to ACC events? #lawjobchat
1:52 am richard_russeth: A generalist with a strong SEC practice would be a killer combo for in-house public company #lawjobchat
1:52 am mjsq: Q12. In yr Rainmaking post, you say lawyers who spend time on social media should spend time on follow-up. Tips? #lawjobchat
1:53 am richard_russeth: I’m afraid I don’t know how the ACC and students work? It would be a clever idea in my book. #lawjobchat
1:53 am aellislegal: Provide 1 tip to junior associates in their 1st or 2nd yr of practice who want to go in-house in their 5th yr or so #lawjobchat
1:53 am stone239: For me, the sheer volume of issues. A GC really is a generalist (cont) Q: Any disadvantages to in-house? #lawjobchat
1:53 am aellislegal: RT @t10nbaum: Can law students go to ACC events? #lawjobchat
1:53 am TechSavvyLaw: RT @richard_russeth To prep to be a GC someday I tried to practice in every conceivable field of law… for the 1st 10 years #lawJobchat
1:53 am stone239: #lawjobchat certain issues require specialized knowledge from outside counsel
1:54 am richard_russeth: Q12: If you put it out there, be willing to spend time, for free, talking to people who are interested. the hours will follow. #lawjobchat
1:54 am richard_russeth: RT @stone239: #lawjobchat certain issues require specialized knowledge from outside counsel // very true. No law dept knows everything.
1:55 am aellislegal: @eicdocket may be able to answer this question or point u in right direction RT @t10nbaum: Can law students go to ACC events? #lawjobchat
1:55 am mjsq: Q13. You blog about how companies should pick GC, are these same Qs associates should ask themselves if they want to be a GC? #lawjobchat
1:55 am changesq: Took our legal interns to as many ACC events as they were allowed @richard_russeth @t10nbaum: Can law students go to ACC events? #lawjobchat
1:56 am richard_russeth: Q13: I think that post applies in lots of fields not just law but yes I think they are worth applying as an associate. #lawjobchat
1:56 am richard_russeth: @changesq thnks for the clarification #lawjobchat
1:57 am t10nbaum: I live in NY and am a full time student. Any events in NYC or LI are an attractive option. Please forward any info my way #lawjobchat
1:59 am DavidCohenEsq: I bring my interns as a learning & networking opportunity. “@t10nbaum: Can law students go to ACC events? #lawjobchat
2:00 am aellislegal: Final Q: what about using Twitter to build relationships? Would u hire an in-house lawyer after developing relationship on here? #lawjobchat
2:00 am richard_russeth: 1Ls – broaden your horizons – make yourself interesting to work with – watch #ted talks. #lawjobchat
2:00 am DavidCohenEsq: If you want to attend, call your local chapter administrator & ask if you can. “@t10nbaum: Can law students go to ACC events? #lawjobchat
2:01 am mjsq: One more blog Q, Q14. Your post ‘top 10 rules for job search success’ = A+ Any specific rules for in-house job search success? #lawjobchat
2:01 am t10nbaum: Or intern? @aellislegal #lawjobchat
2:01 am changesq: RT @richard_russeth: 1Ls – broaden your horizons – make yourself interesting to work with – watch #tedtalks. #lawjobchat
2:02 am richard_russeth: Final Q: I think twitter great place to find out about people. Their temperments and so on. Real time. So yes. It’s a start! #lawjobchat
2:02 am t10nbaum: RT @richard_russeth: 1Ls – broaden your horizons – make yourself interesting to work with – watch #tedtalks. #lawjobchat
2:02 am jcasalmir: 1. get a full understanding of an in-demand practice area. 2. demonstrate practical understanding of client’s biz needs. #lawjobchat
2:02 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat Q11: in- house can get monotonous, w/same type of work or projects & not much variety
2:03 am mjsq: RT @richard_russeth I think twitter great place to find out about people. Their temperments… Real time. So yes. It’s a start! #lawjobchat
2:03 am richard_russeth: Q11: I have never found in-house to be monotonous. Crazy sometimes but not monotonous. #lawjobchat
2:03 am richard_russeth: I think Top 10 rules are universal. #lawjobchat
2:04 am aellislegal: @richard_russeth THANK YOU 4 co-hosting!! Fabulous insight. I’ll post chat transcript tonight and summary over the wkd. #lawjobchat
2:04 am mjsq: @richard_russeth I agree. :-) #lawjobchat
2:04 am mjsq: Yes, thank you so much @richard_russeth for your insights. #lawjobchat
2:05 am richard_russeth: Thanks for having me. Lots of fun! Good luck to all the job seekers! #lawjobchat
2:05 am aellislegal: @richard_russeth Keep the discussion rolling if u have time and people have questions. this just ends official #LawJobChat hour #lawjobchat
2:06 am richard_russeth: @aellislegal Happy to stay on another 15 minutes! #lawjobchat
2:07 am aellislegal: Woo hoo!! Continue to ask questions if you wish RT @richard_russeth: @aellislegal Happy to stay on another 15 minutes! #lawjobchat
2:08 am jcasalmir: Q11: Even w/in my discrete practice area (advertising law), it NEVER gets monotonous. Hectic, nuts, crazy–yes (but I love it). #lawjobchat
2:09 am richard_russeth: @jcasalmir I suppose in a really big dept there could be some monotony but just hasn’t been my experience. #lawjobchat
2:09 am BriHoffman: Sorry I missed #lawjobchat tonight, interesting stuff, especially since I just became intern w/ in-house/cco of major investment company!
2:10 am BriHoffman: I will try to catch it next time! #lawjobchat
2:10 am richard_russeth: @BriHoffman I bet we’d learn a lot from your situation!! #lawjobchat
2:10 am richard_russeth: @BriHoffman Sounds like a very interesting position. #lawjobchat
2:11 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat tip to Jr associates: give at least 5 min to every recruiter who calls. Build rltnshps now & they will pay off
2:12 am richard_russeth: @reneefishman @aellislegal I say talk to them as long as they want to stay on the line… #lawjobchat
2:12 am tweetmcg: @aellislegal @richard_russeth @jcasalmir thanks for the great #lawjobchat #ff
2:13 am BriHoffman: @richard_russeth thanks. i’m excited, i start next week. working at Legg Mason for their CCO in mutual fund compliance! #lawjobchat #inhouse
2:14 am richard_russeth: Signing off here. Have a great night everyone. #goodnightmoon #lawjobchat
2:14 am jcasalmir: @richard_russeth true, but if you’re bored, it’s a win-win to proactively seek out interesting work since budgets are tight. #lawjobchat
2:16 am drewcarls: @richard_russeth @aellislegal enjoyed the convo tonight. great stuff to pass along to @utexaslawstudents & @utlawcso #lawjobchat
2:19 am t10nbaum: RT @reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat tip to Jr associates: give at least 5 min to every recruiter who calls. Build rltnshps now & they will pay off
2:25 am BriHoffman: @richard_russeth thanks for the follow! i’ll try to catch the next #lawjobchat
2:29 am aellislegal: @jcasalmir THANK YOU for participating in #LawJobChat tonight! I’m now following you – would love to include you as guest in future chat
2:34 am aellislegal: Transcript from 8/26 #LawJobChat w/@richard_russeth re landing in-house law jobs!http://bit.ly/9NneJA

The 6Ps of the Big 3 Available for Pre-Sale

Just in time for #LawJobChat #3 (this Thursday, August 26th from 9-10 pm EDT!), Amanda Ellis’s book is now available for pre-sale on Amazon.  The book, 6Ps of the Big 3 for Job-Seeking JDs: 60+ Ways to Get Hired Using Social Networking, costs $27.95 and is eligible for free shipping.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m more than a little biased when I say that Amanda Ellis is an expert on social networking and the legal job search.  After all, she and I have collaborated on a number of projects and we co-moderate #LawJobChat, a legal job search-themed chat on Twitter.  FN1.  At best, my endorsement may seem like expected support of a friend.  At worst, it may seem like back-handed promotion of my own work.

However, let me also fill you in on our back story:

Amanda and I both practiced law for a bit before becoming legal recruiters.  In late 2008, before we had met, we both recognized the potential of social networking sites in legal job searches, the changing nature of the legal industry, and decided to start our own firms with these new philosophies in mind.  We also both became active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

In other words, it is not a coincidence that Amanda and I met on Twitter in early 2009.  Whereas traditional legal recruiting is even more cut throat than law school – hard to believe, I know – when Amanda and I met on Twitter, we immediately began collaborating on projects and bouncing ideas back and forth on how we could best help lawyers find jobs they love.  It was a natural partnership made in the clouds.

In addition to her lateral recruiting, over the past few months, Amanda has dedicated her time and energy to her book and a supplemental talk that she presents at law schools around the country.  I’m extremely proud of her and can’t wait to read the tips she offers.  If her free newsletter is any indication, I’m sure I’ll learn new tips and tricks even I may have missed.

With that disclaimer, I highly recommend that all JDs, recent and future, check out Amanda Ellis’s book when they embark on their job search.  I know I will.

FN1. ^ #LawJobChat is a monthly live chat on Twitter (“tweetchat”). On the last Thursday of every month from 9 pm – 10 pm Eastern, we invite guests hosts to chat about legal career paths and moderate incoming questions on Twitter.

Lessons from #LawJobChat: @LisaSolomon on Freelancing as an Attorney

On July 29, 2010, we hosted our second #LawJobChat.  Our host, Lisa Solomon, has thrived as a freelance legal research and writing attorney and coaches/consults with others to do the same.  She shares some of her experience and tips about freelancing as an attorney.  The chat was such a success, Lisa has agreed to host another #LawJobChat follow-up session soon!

Topic

Attorneys & Freelancing

Moderators

Amanda Ellis (@aellislegal) & Melissa Sachs (@mjsq)

Guest Co-Host

1.  Lisa Solomon (@lisasolomon) -Legal research & writing attorney; Coach/Consultant for other legal research and writing attorneys; Entrepreneur, specializing in fun gifts for legal professionals.

Transcript (copied & pasted from What the hashtag?!)

All times are Pacific Time


1:01 am
aellislegal: Welcome to the 2nd #LawJobChat! Tonight we are discussing freelance lawyering with @lisasolomon#lawjobchat
1:01 am aellislegal: @lisasolomon if you are here, tell us about your background and current practice #lawjobchat
1:02 am lisasolomon: Hi, @aellislegal @mjsq. Thanks for inviting me to co-host tonight #LawJobChat
1:03 am lisasolomon: After law school, I worked for 2 yrs in a small NYC litigation firm, then 1 yr as a trainer 4 Lexis in local law schools. #lawjobchat
1:04 am lisasolomon: Now, I wear 3 hats. 1st, I practice as a freelance lawyer, assisting other attys w/lgl research & writing (LRW) projects. #lawjobchat
1:05 am lisasolomon: 3rd, I am a partner in www.TheBillableHour.com, which sells humorous gifts & greeting cards 4 lawyers & lgl prof?ls #lawjobchat
1:06 am aellislegal: When you answer a Q or ask a Q, try to ref the Q# (i.e., Q1) #lawjobchat
1:07 am aellislegal: Q1 how did you transition into the freelance research/writing? how did you know that was what you wanted do? #lawjobchat
1:08 am lisasolomon: Q1 My husb & I are both attys. We wanted kids & knew 1 of us shd B solo. LRW work is flex. re: time & location #lawjobchat
1:09 am lisasolomon: Q1 Plus, I <3 LRW #lawjobchat
1:10 am aellislegal: Q2 how is your work as a freelance atty diff from work of contract attys through staffing agencies? #lawjobchat
1:10 am lisasolomon: Q2 As a freelancer, I?m a biz owner. I set my hours & decide what I want 2 do (i.e., substantive LRW). K attys =/= much control #lawjobchat
1:11 am mjsq: As a follow-up to Q1, what does a typical day look like for you? re: flex schedule, time & location. #LawJobChat
1:11 am t10nbaum: Q3, when you work freelance, do you work out of your home? Do you operate out of an office? #lawjobchat
1:13 am aellislegal: I’ll let you answer @mjsq and @t10nbaum before I ask other questions #lawjobchat
1:13 am hdifranco: #lawjobchat Do hiring attys want lots of legal exp for freelancers? I practiced 1 yr., then 5 yrs. w/Westlaw. I worry no one would hire me.
1:14 am lisasolomon: Q1 & Q3 I may be working 9-5 some days; others are variable. I have a home office & also work elsewhere on my laptop #lawjobchat
1:14 am hdifranco: #lawjobchat I <3 LRW, too! Took every class my law school offered. Friends thought I was crazy.
1:15 am aellislegal: Q4 RT @hdifranco Do hiring attys want lots of legal exp for freelancers? #lawjobchat
1:16 am lisasolomon: Q$ If U don’t have lots of practice exp., focus on other qualifications (e.g., school performance/credentials, enthusiasm, etc. )#lawjobchat
1:17 am lisasolomon: Q4 As w/other practice areas, hiring attys will look for a mix of qualifications. Some will be willing to go w/less experience #lawjobchat
1:17 am lisasolomon: Q4 in exchange for lower rate #lawjobchat
1:17 am aellislegal: more on Q4 – so, could a recent grad work as a freelance lawyer? I would think they would have advantage since fresh LRW skills #lawjobchat
1:18 am aellislegal: More on Q4 have you seen recent grads go to work as freelance lawyers? #lawjobchat
1:19 am lisasolomon: As an experienced atty, I question fresh LRW skills. New grads need to understand reqs of legal briefs are diff than law rev #lawjobchat
1:19 am t10nbaum: #lawjobchat, to follow up to @aellislegal, can law students do this, focusing more on research and draft writing to be corrected l8r by atty
1:20 am hdifranco: #lawjobchat Thank you! What’s the best way to get started? Was thinking of direct outreach to some area solos and smaller firms.
1:20 am lisasolomon: .@Barrister1988 Less experience=lower rates/salary in any biz or type of law practice. Every1 has to start somewhere #lawjobchat
1:21 am aellislegal: Q4 good pt re fresh LRW skills #lawjobchat
1:21 am lisasolomon: .@t10nbaum Sure; there’s even a website called www.lawclerkconnection.com #lawjobchat
1:21 am aellislegal: Q5 RT @hdifranco What’s the best way to get started? Was thinking of direct outreach to some area solos and smaller firms #lawjobchat
1:22 am lisasolomon: .@hdifranco U R on right track. All my clients R small firms & solos. Larger firms have their own wage slaves, uh, associates #lawjobchat
1:24 am t10nbaum: #lawjobchat And by slaves, @lisasolomon, you mean law students like my self. We love working hard for even a chance at future employment
1:25 am aellislegal: Q6 Where should people who want to freelance put their marketing efforts – approach solos directly? #lawjobchat
1:25 am squirrelpants: How do other freelancers set their hourly rates? #lawjobchat
1:26 am aellislegal: Q6 more on marketing – approach solos/small firms through LI so attys can see your background/exp? #lawjobchat
1:26 am lisasolomon: .@t10nbaum Well, yes; also, in the olden days (i.e., until 2008) firms used to hire & pay associates & work them very hard #lawjobchat
1:26 am aellislegal: Q7 RT @squirrelpants How do other freelancers set their hourly rates? #lawjobchat
1:27 am lisasolomon: Q6 Go where the clients are. Join the litigation section of the bar ass?ns to which you belong. Definitely approach solos direct #lawjobchat
1:28 am t10nbaum: #lawjobchat, @lisasolomon. Shame i missed those days. I’m only going into my second year
1:28 am aellislegal: Q7 more on comp: charge by case or by hour or some other variation? #lawjobchat
1:29 am lisasolomon: Q7 Many factors go into setting rates, incl. ur yrs of experience, any special skills U have & going rate in locality #lawjobchat
1:30 am lisasolomon: Q6 I would do in-person networking rather than approach via LI (latter approach is like cold-calling, not likely 2 work) #lawjobchat
1:30 am t10nbaum: Q8, r there groups of freelance attorneys around in localities? I.e bar ass’n committees for freelancers? Or do u go it alone? #lawjobchat
1:31 am lisasolomon: Q7 U can use various types of fee structures, incl. hourly & flat fee #lawjobchat
1:33 am lisasolomon: Q8 Also, my blog (www.LegalResearchandWritingPro.com). Haven’t heard of local bar ass’n committees for freelancers #lawjobchat
1:33 am aellislegal: Following up to @t10nbaum Q9- what resources, organizations are avail for freelance attys? #lawjobchat
1:34 am lisasolomon: .@Barrister1988 Sorry, I can’t speak to salaries in teaching or journalism #lawjobchat
1:35 am LaLicenciada: Mayb research bt not likely perdiem work. RT @aellislegal: more on Q4 – so, could a recent grad work as a freelance lawyer? #lawjobchat
1:35 am aellislegal: Q10 Tell us more re Legal Research and Writing Pro – I noticed there are different memberships #lawjobchat
1:36 am lisasolomon: Q10 All memberships incl. my e-book (K Lawyering Success), Freelance Freedom teleseminar recording & sample services agmt. #lawjobchat
1:37 am lisasolomon: Q10 Gold includes 3 add’l recorded progs of ur choice. Platinum includes 6 prog recordings & 1 hr private coaching #lawjobchat
1:37 am lisasolomon: Q10 Platinum+ incl. everything in Platinum, plus opportunity to be LRWP certified & get on my referral list #lawjobchat
1:39 am lisasolomon: .@lalicenciada If you have some in-ct. experience, you may get per diem work even if a recent grad. Depends on your skills #lawjobchat
1:39 am aellislegal: Q11 Are there any ethical restrictions on working as freelance lawyer or can u do this in any state? #lawjobchat
1:41 am mjsq: @lisasolomon re: Q10 What does it mean to be LRWP certified? #LawJobChat
1:41 am lisasolomon: Q11 All States allow freelance lawyering. #lawjobchat
1:42 am lisasolomon: Q11 ABA Formal Op 08-451, which I analyze at http://tinyurl.com/6lcfl3, is the main ethics op re: freelance lawyering #lawjobchat
1:42 am LaLicenciada: @lisasolomon I agree. But @ least in Kings County, for per diem there’s a monopoly on it. its 1. who you know 2. Experience. #lawjobchat
1:43 am lisasolomon: Q10 LRWP certified=meeting my standards for writing skill & research & writing efficiency #lawjobchat
1:44 am aellislegal: Q12 What type technology do you use in your practice? #lawjobchat
1:45 am lisasolomon: .@LaLicenciada Success in many fields is based in large part on contacts & experience. Networking is key #lawjobchat
1:45 am aellislegal: More on Q12 – for ex, you blog – is that a skill a freelance lawyer should have? easy to learn? #lawjobchat
1:46 am lisasolomon: Q12 Full list of tech I use is in my Web Worker Daily profile at http://twurl.nl/xn8t1f #lawjobchat
1:47 am aellislegal: Excellent! RT @lisasolomon Q12 Full list of tech I use is in my Web Worker Daily profile athttp://twurl.nl/xn8t1f #lawjobchat
1:47 am lisasolomon: Q12 Freelance lawyer who wants to do LRW should definitely know how to write for various audiences (incl. blogging) #lawjobchat
1:48 am lisasolomon: Q12 I have my own blog & also have ghost-written blog posts & articles (though most of my writing is briefs) #lawjobchat
1:48 am medialawcounsel: @aellislegal: Q 12–your book of course. And so should everyone else. #lawjobchat #amandaellisrules
1:48 am aellislegal: Q13 Do freelance lawyers need their own malpractice insurance? #lawjobchat
1:52 am aellislegal: Q14 have you seen an increase in the use of freelance attys in the past year? #lawjobchat
1:53 am aellislegal: @medialawcounsel Hi, Evan! #lawjobchat
1:54 am lisasolomon: Q14 In past few years, entire profession is exploring ways to lower costs while still providing excellent service. #lawjobchat
1:54 am aellislegal: Q15 Do freelance lawyers need to form a business entity for their freelance practice? #lawjobchat
1:54 am lisasolomon: Q14 Freelance attys serve that role. #lawjobchat
1:56 am lisasolomon: Q15 Same considerations apply as w/any other type of law practice. Must weigh pros/cons (esp. re: taxes) of diff biz structures #lawjobchat
1:56 am aellislegal: RT @lisasolomon Q13 strongly recommend own malpract ins. Details re: why, download guide to K lawyering http://twurl.nl/h5ulxs #lawjobchat
1:58 am mjsq: @lisasolomon, what about Lexis/WestLaw? Do you pay for access out-of-pocket, does law firm, does it depend? #LawJobChat
1:59 am aellislegal: FINAL Q Any parting words, advice for lawyers considering the freelance path? #lawjobchat
2:00 am lisasolomon: Re: Lexis/Westlaw Does a surgeon ask to borrow scalpels? If UR serious re: being freelance lawyer, have ur own subscription #LawJobChat
2:02 am mjsq: @lisasolomon good point. (*blush*) #LawJobChat
2:02 am lisasolomon: I think there is amazing pent-up demand for high-quality outsourced services, esp. LRW. #lawjobchat
2:02 am t10nbaum: @lisasolomon thnx for all the info 2night #lawjobchat
2:04 am lisasolomon: As a freelance lawyer, I have it all: challenging career, flexibility & a comfortable living. U can, too. It’s a growing field #lawjobchat
2:04 am aellislegal: @lisasolomon THANK YOU, Lisa, for sharing your insights into freelance lawyering -thank you to all who participated, gr8 chat! #lawjobchat
2:05 am lisasolomon: .@aellislegal @mjsq Thanks for having me – it’s been fun! #LawJobChat
2:06 am aellislegal: Next #LawJobChat 8/26, 9pm EDT- let us know what you want to discuss – resumes, law firm economics, particular pract area, etc #lawjobchat
2:06 am mjsq: thanks, @lisasolomon. you shared great resources! http://bit.ly/XmtZ (ABA ethics rule),http://bit.ly/aay25k (profile), & sites! #LawJobChat
2:06 am aellislegal: I’ll post transcript from tonight’s chat at some point tomorrow on @LawJobChat #lawjobchat
2:09 am aellislegal: @Jon_Lewis #LawJobChat is the last Thursday of each month at 9pm EDT – join us next month!
2:10 am lisasolomon: Talk about work/life balance: the moment I finished #lawjobchat, my daughter came in room w/ (small) cut, dripping blood
2:10 am aellislegal: @Jon_Lewis and, you can follow #LawJobChat at @LawJobChat
2:11 am aellislegal: Did u follow #LawJobChat? @lisasolomon shared tips RT @bridgetzig @aellislegal I could really use freelance work asap. Any tips?
2:12 am aellislegal: cont. can search #LawJobChat in Twitter search bar RT @bridgetzig @aellislegal I could really use freelance work asap. Any tips?
2:30 am aellislegal: Transcript from tonight’s #LawJobChat http://bit.ly/9G4Fri
2:31 am LawJobChat: Transcript from tonight’s #LawJobChat http://bit.ly/9G4Fri
2:34 am richard_russeth: RT @lisasolomon: Lexis/Westlaw Does a surgeon borrow scalpels? Serious re being freelance lawyer? Have ur own subscription #LawJobChat
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Lessons from #LawJobChat: @doncruse @dtoddsmith @KiangaEllis + @reneefishman on Leaving BigLaw

On June 24, 2010, we hosted our inaugural #LawJobChat.  Our hosts were all formerly BigLaw attorneys who successfully transitioned to a new career or practice environment.  Thanks to all who made this inaugural chat a success!  I’ve pasted the full transcript below.

About our Hosts

1.  Don Cruse (@doncruse) is a Texas appellate lawyer.  He publishes @scotxblog and he created of @docketdb and @blindcarbon;

2.  Todd Smith (@dtoddsmith) left BigLaw to start a solo practice that focuses on civil appeals and litigation support.  He also blogs at Texas Appellate Law Blog;

3.  Kianga Ellis (@KiangaEllis) became an Art Evangelist after she left BigLaw; and

4.  Renee Fishman (@reneefishman) who decided to become a NYC real estate broker after leaving BigLaw.

5 Takeaway Tweets

  • kiangaellis: It’s a great time to be less conventional. I strongly encourage it. Major shifts in biz + industry. Carve ur space.

  • dtoddsmith: Talk to people you trust, those who have taken paths similar to what you’re interested in.

  • reneefishman: always easy to leave BigLaw: lots of attrition. Real issue is how easy/hard is it to enter what u want to do.

  • dtoddsmith: Had saved some $. Main thing was to have pieces in place to start working on day 1 of new firm. Planned & planned some more.

  • doncruse: Don’t assume friends/classmates know about your venture. In retrospect, I could’ve announced mine much better.

I’d also recommend Amanda’s post that highlights the important points as well.

Full Transcript


1:00 am
aellislegal: Welcome to our 1st chat! We have 4 fmr BigLaw attys to chat about why, when and how they left & what they are doing now #lawjobchat
1:03 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat 2 years and 5 mos at Cravath, Swaine + More. Now an art evangelist using social media and other forums to connect ppl w art.
1:04 am aellislegal: Once we begin questions, anyone can comment, ask follow-up questions, etc. #lawjobchat
1:04 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Whoops, will watch the typos. That’s Cravath, Swaine + Moore LLP… 1998-2001
1:05 am aellislegal: @kristahiner Awesome! Welcome!! #lawjobchat
1:05 am doncruse: #lawjobchat Three years at Wachtell Lipton. Then four years at Texas AG’s version of OSG. Now a solo appellate lawyer in Austin. #lawjobchat
1:05 am dtoddsmith: About 9 years total at Fulbright & Jaworski in Dallas and Austin offices. Now have my own civil appellate boutique. #lawjobchat #lawjobchat
1:06 am aellislegal: Hi @doncruse @kiangaellis @dtoddsmith – thanks for your intros! #lawjobchat
1:07 am aellislegal: Not sure if @reneefishman is here yet – I’ll start the questions and let her introduce herself when she arrives #lawjobchat
1:08 am kiangaellis: @doncruse I spent the summer before law school as a paralegal at Wachtell. Mostly manual labor lifting tobacco litigation boxes #lawjobchat
1:09 am aellislegal: Q1: at what point in career did you realize you wanted to leave BigLaw to do something else? what factors motivated you? #lawjobchat
1:10 am reneefishman: @aellislegal thx. Columbia Law grad. 5+ yrs @ Weil Gotshal, then in-house @ startup. Now NYC Real Estate broker: VP @halstead #lawjobchat
1:11 am doncruse: @kiangaellis Small world! #lawjobchat
1:11 am aellislegal: Hi @reneefishman! Q1 (to all): at what pt in career did you realize you wanted to leave BigLaw, what factors motivated you? #lawjobchat
1:14 am reneefishman: #lawjobchat I studied communication & #marketing @UPenn. Wanted to use both sides of my brain: intellect + creativity
1:14 am aellislegal: RT @reneefishman I always knew BigLaw wasn’t my end game; I wanted to move to business side & also be able to use my creativity. #lawjobchat
1:14 am adamcollyer: @aellislegal The #lawjobchat is a great idea. I’m grateful to be employed in Sept, but am passing along advice to friends in need. Thank you
1:14 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Had a feeling 2nd summer in law school that it might not be what I’d been expecting since 13yrs old…
1:15 am dtoddsmith: @aellislegal Q1: Always wanted to have my own firm. Wasn’t handling kinds of cases I wanted & desired more client contact. #lawjobchat
1:16 am doncruse: #lawjobchat #Q1 It felt pretty natural. TxOSG offered a chance to be lead counsel on big appeals, which some firm partners didn’t get.
1:17 am doncruse: #lawjobchat #Q1 (cont’d) The cases at the firm were amazing, as were the people. But the opportunity for growth as an advocate was bounded.
1:18 am reneefishman: warning to my followers: I’ll be co-hosting #lawjobchat for next hour to answer questions about careers after BigLaw.
1:18 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat I should mention, after Big Law went in house at Goldman and Lehman dealing w derivatives + commodities (in between start ups).
1:19 am aellislegal: @kiangaellis @reneefishman Q2: did u know what u wanted to do when u left BL? @doncruse@dtoddsmith kind of answered this in Q1 #lawjobchat
1:20 am kristahiner: @kiangaellis That is how I’ve been feeling. (The expectation). Starting to look for a less conventional legal route. #lawjobchat
1:20 am reneefishman: @aellislegal Q1 cont’d: motivated to get into #realestate to help people & I <3 NYC. Plus I knew my legal skill would add value. #lawjobchat
1:20 am mjsq: @kiangaellis I’m sure many lawyers are in the same spot now. #lawjobchat
1:21 am dtoddsmith: @doncruse I’ve always admired TxOSG. Envy the experience young lawyers are able to get there. Extremely valuable, no doubt. #lawjobchat
1:22 am reneefishman: @KiangaEllis #lawjobchat small world! I did event planning on the side while @ WGM. Search for me + #Bizbash article from ~2003 ish
1:23 am reneefishman: @KiangaEllis #lawjobchat small world again. I was in-house @ Creditex (now part of ICE) – interdealer broker in derivatives
1:24 am j_lavalley: Everyone who’s left BigLaw knows it’s 1/2 meat-grinder, 1/2 boiler room & 1/2 laughing academy. How EZ/hard was it 4 ppl 2 exit? #LawJobChat
1:24 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat Q2: 1st went in-house after BigLaw – goal was to get to biz side but startup grew fast & too much legal work
1:26 am reneefishman: #lawjobchat Q2 cont: I always had entrepreneurial streak & knew I wanted to run my own biz. As RE Broker I’m an independent contractor
1:26 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Q2 cont. 1st tried 2 get a job in fashion. No go. I liked organizing events in college + law school so that’s what I started w/.
1:27 am kristahiner: @reneefishman how has your JD helped with RE?–Skills? Reputation? I’m considering a non-firm route and wonder how the JD helps. #lawjobchat
1:27 am aellislegal: Good question via @j_lavalley How EZ/hard was it 4 ppl 2 exit? #LawJobChat
1:28 am kiangaellis: @kristahiner #lawjobchat It’s a great time to be less conventional. I strongly encourage it. Major shifts in biz + industry. Carve ur space.
1:29 am doncruse: #lawjobchat #Q3 Wanting to leave a place is very different than wanting to be somewhere else. [fortune cookie version] Wait for the latter.
1:30 am aellislegal: Another great question RT @kristahiner @reneefishman how has your JD helped with RE?–Skills? Reputation? #lawjobchat
1:30 am reneefishman: @j_lavalley always easy to leave BigLaw: lots of attrition. Real issue is how easy/hard is it to enter what u want to do. #lawjobchat
1:30 am dtoddsmith: Q3: Talk to people you trust, those who have taken paths similar to what you’re interested in. #lawjobchat
1:31 am reneefishman: @aellislegal Q3: best #advice is don’t leave BigLaw til u figure out what u want to do next #lawjobchat. At least u need a game plan
1:32 am kiangaellis: @reneefishman #lawjobchat I was *so* into Bizbash!!! Also got very active in a prof assn can’t remember the name of and James Beard House.
1:32 am j_lavalley: @reneefishman Yes, precisely! I should’ve asked how EZ/hard it was 2 *transition* (i.e., effectively/successfully) to a new gig. #LawJobChat
1:33 am reneefishman: @kristahiner JD & legal experience can help w/everything. 4 me in RE I play “translator” b/w clients & RE attys #lawjobchat
1:34 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Q3 Tough! Current Big Law, I guess don’t get stuck looking 4 the perfect thing or feel you need to figure out the end game.
1:35 am aellislegal: Q4: did you begin saving $ before leaving BigLaw? how long? any other planning u did before leaving (e.g. special training)? #lawjobchat
1:35 am reneefishman: @kristahiner also I understand nuances of contracts & complex issues that clients & other brokers don’t get #lawjobchat
1:35 am j_lavalley: @kiangaellis LOL ~ I know that feeling all 2 well! Left Boies Schiller?w/no real prospects?but knew I had 2 do “something else.” #LawJobChat
1:36 am mjsq: re:Q2 I see lots of event planning/bus development positions in BigLaw. Was it an option to shift positions w/in firm? feasible? #lawjobchat
1:37 am reneefishman: @kristahiner JD & BigLaw legal experience helps differentiate me & shows I’m intelligent in a field w/low barrier to entry #lawjobchat
1:37 am aellislegal: RT @mjsq re:Q2 I see lots of event planning/bus development positions in BigLaw. Option to shift positions w/in firm? feasible? #lawjobchat
1:38 am reneefishman: @mjsq I know many people who stayed w/in BigLaw 2 do event planning/biz dev/recruiting/associate relations. not what I wanted #lawjobchat
1:38 am kiangaellis: @mjsq #lawjobchat Taking a non legal role in a firm sounds like a gr8 strategy 2 me. Gets u experience and results to bolster another move.
1:38 am mjsq: @doncruse, nicely put. #lawjobchat
1:39 am kristahiner: @reneefishman Fantastic way to distinguish yourself. #lawjobchat
1:40 am reneefishman: @aellislegal Q4 #lawjobchat saving $ is good idea. esp if u plan to start own biz. will tackle training next
1:40 am kiangaellis: @j_lavalley #lawjobchat Yeah, I took the leap right after major market crash. #brilliant. But law always helped me get back in2 a good job.
1:41 am reneefishman: #lawjobchat Q4 so crucial to get good experience so resume doesn’t read so “legal”; best way to do this is experience thru volunteer work
1:41 am dtoddsmith: Q4: Had saved some $. Main thing was to have pieces in place to start working on day 1 of new firm. Planned & planned some more. #lawjobchat
1:42 am jerry_levine: Well, I’m finally back home. Attended some job search strategy thing at NJ Law Center. Now time to pay attention to #lawjobchat for a bit.
1:42 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Q4 Aahh, saving $. I didn’t plan well or handle money very well for a long time. Learned/learning lots of lesson there…
1:42 am aellislegal: @dtoddsmith Q4: how many months prior to departure did u start planning? #lawjobchat
1:43 am reneefishman: #lawjobchat Q4 if u r involved in charities, committees, etc u can get biz dev, event plan & other non-legal expereince. Tout this on resume
1:43 am mjsq: @dtoddsmith and how long did it take for you to begin day 1 of new firm after departure? #lawjobchat
1:43 am aellislegal: @reneefishman Q4: how far in advance to start saving? from day 1 since reality is most ppl don’t stay in BigLaw? #lawjobchat
1:43 am doncruse: #lawjobchat #Q4 How much to save depends (obv.) on what you want to do. But if you’re reading this chat, you probably should be saving now.
1:44 am reneefishman: RT @KiangaEllis #lawjobchat Q4 I didn’t plan well or handle money very well for a long time. Learned/learning lots of lesson there | Ditto
1:44 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Q4 The truth? My planning was take a HLOC, shop like a nut in LON + Paris. Quit my job. Take out a Small Biz loan. #terriblemove
1:44 am j_lavalley: @kiangaellis @reneefishman In my experience, no matter how much $ U have saved it NEVER goes as far as U think/hope. #savemore! #LawJobChat
1:45 am reneefishman: @aellislegal hard 4 me 2 answer. I wasn’t great at it. NYC cost of living is high. I purchased my apt just b4 leaving BigLaw. #lawjobchat
1:46 am aellislegal: Q5: what BigLaw opportunities should current BL associates take advantage of while there?Anything u took for granted while there #lawjobchat
1:47 am allhomemortgage: RT @kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Q4 The truth? My planning was take a HLOC, shop like a nut in LON + Paris. Quit my job. Take out a Small …
1:47 am dtoddsmith: @aellislegal @mjsq Q4: Planned several months. Kind of practice, biz dev strategy, insurance, systems. No gap between firms. #lawjobchat
1:47 am j_lavalley: IMO networking is necessary (if not sufficient) 2 making an effective transition. Local Bar Ass’n involvement can B a HUGE help! #LawJobChat
1:48 am kiangaellis: @mjsq @toddsmith #lawjobchat When I started thinking I shld get a job after 2 yrs w startup, quickly linked w GS. Derivatives helped a lot.
1:48 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat best BigLaw perk: Free #CLE. I still keep my license current & CLE is $
1:48 am aellislegal: YES! what I tell associates when they call me! via @doncruse: “if you’re reading this chat, you probably should be saving now” #lawjobchat
1:49 am dtoddsmith: Q5: Training. Also, learn as much as firm will teach about biz development. On your own, work doesn’t just show up on your desk. #lawjobchat
1:50 am reneefishman: RT @j_lavalley IMO networking is necessary 2 making an effective transition. | Agree. But u should be networking no matter what #lawjobchat
1:50 am j_lavalley: @aellislegal Use it or lose it! Whether firm-paid CLEs, FSIA accts, or support for pro bono &/or Bar Committee work … take it! #LawJobChat
1:50 am doncruse: @aellislegal #lawjobchat #Q5 I’d say to take advantage of the networking opportunities a big firm presents.
1:51 am reneefishman: RT @doncruse: “if you’re reading this chat, you probably should be saving now” #lawjobchat | Save even if you’re not contemplating a move
1:52 am lisasolomon: @aellislegal A gr8 source for free CLE is Virtual LegalTech. ABA will also have a virtual CLE conf. in the fall 4 solos #lawjobchat
1:52 am aellislegal: Q6: share a networking tip, resource, or organization that has helped u in your entrepreneurial endeavor #lawjobchat
1:53 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat Q5 I still see & speak w/many of my colleagues from Weil Gotshal & co where I was in-house. Many are my RE clients
1:53 am lisasolomon: @reneefishman @aellislegal My husb transitioned 2 new career (sound design/engineering), but keeps up his license. Vry valuable #lawjobchat
1:53 am kiangaellis: RT @j_lavalley: @aellislegal Use it or lose it! Whether firm-paid CLEs, FSIA accts, or support for pro bono &/or Bar Committee work … take it! #LawJobChat
1:54 am reneefishman: @aellislegal I am a big fan of @lawline for CLE. Great online classes. #lawjobchat
1:55 am aellislegal: RT @lisasolomon: gr8 source for free CLE is Virtual LegalTech. ABA will have virtual CLE conf. in the fall 4 solos #lawjobchat #lawjobchat
1:56 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat #Q6 #networking tip always 2 talk 2 people even if u don’t think ur interested. I talked to recruiters from day 1
1:56 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Q6 Honestly, the best resource to help me as an entrepreneur has been the Bible! Wld lose my mind completely without it.
1:56 am Tartipants: RT @reneefishman RT @doncruse: “if you’re reading this chat, you probably should be saving now” #lawjobchat | Save eve… http://foook.com
1:56 am dtoddsmith: Q6: I think @doncruse would agree that blogging can be a difference-maker. Makes you visible. Good conversation-starter. #lawjobchat
1:56 am kiangaellis: RT @reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat #Q6 #networking tip always 2 talk 2 people even if u don’t think ur interested. I talked to recruiters from day 1
1:57 am aellislegal: Final Q (though welcome to keep chatting): would u ever return to BigLaw? Any other advice u haven’t shared but wanted to share? #lawjobchat
1:57 am reneefishman: RT @KiangaEllis #lawjobchat #Q5 The rigor, pressure and complexity of performing at Big Law is so valuable. | Agreed.
1:59 am reneefishman: @dtoddsmith @doncruse #lawjobchat I don’t blog b/c no time to do it consistently. But Twitter, LinkedIn & FB help me keep in touch w/pple
1:59 am doncruse: @aellislegal #lawjobchat #Q6 Don’t assume friends/classmates know about your venture. In retrospect, I could’ve announced mine much better.
1:59 am aellislegal: Agree – recruiters can be referral source, too RT @reneefishman #lawjobchat #Q6 always 2 talk 2 people, I talked to recruiters from day 1
2:00 am aellislegal: @mjsq @reneefishman and, recruiters often refer clients to attys! #lawjobchat
2:00 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat I <3 what I do now & am passionate about my biz. BigLaw not for me. But some people like BigLaw & security offered
2:01 am kristahiner: @doncruse That’s an excellent point. It is easy to forget how valuable classmates are when starting a new venture. #lawjobchat
2:01 am BetsyMunnell: True fact: @reneefishman JD/BigLaw experience helps differentiate me; shows I’m intelligent in field w/low barrier 2 entry #lawjobchat
2:02 am reneefishman: @aellislegal #lawjobchat biggest misconception is that life after BigLaw is easier. NOT SO. I work much harder & longer hours now.
2:02 am mjsq: @doncruse Def! Send an e-mail to your contacts, let ‘em know what yr up to, start a mailing list, ask ‘em to join #lawjobchat
2:03 am kiangaellis: #lawjobchat Final Q I wld not return 2 BigLaw + after 10 yrs of back + forth, no more practicing 4 me. It’s a personal journey 4 each one.
2:03 am kristahiner: @reneefishman Wow, I am glad you said that; I foolishly assumed that was the reason many people left. Great advice. #lawjobchat
2:03 am aellislegal: Next #lawjobchat 7/29 9pm EDT. Follow @LawJobChat for topic, let us know your suggestions, comments, etc – doing this for you! #lawjobchat
2:04 am kiangaellis: RT @doncruse: @aellislegal #lawjobchat #Q6 Don’t assume friends/classmates know about your venture. In retrospect, I could’ve announced mine much better.
2:04 am mjsq: We’re also going to set up a #LawJobChat wiki. We’ll link to bios of past guests & have a place for follow up discussion, topic requests.
2:04 am kiangaellis: RT @BetsyMunnell: True fact: @reneefishman JD/BigLaw experience helps differentiate me; shows I’m intelligent in field w/low barrier 2 entry #lawjobchat
2:04 am dtoddsmith: On going back, never say never. But I like what I’m doing now. Much more control and satisfying for me. #lawjobchat
2:05 am aellislegal: Gr8 pt!! RT @reneefishman #lawjobchat biggest misconception = life after BigLaw is easier. NOT SO. I work much harder & longer hours now.
2:05 am BetsyMunnell: I’d like to chime in on Q5 (former 25-yr Biglaw partner/now bizdev coach 4 lawyers/students)? @aellislegal It’s a key question #lawjobchat
2:05 am reneefishman: #lawjobchat When u finally determine what u want to do, have the courage to follow that path, even if it seems scary. You will be rewarded.
2:06 am aellislegal: RT @BetsyMunnell: I’d like to chime in on Q5 (former 25-yr Biglaw partner/now bizdev coach 4 lawyers/students)? @aellislegal It’s a key question #lawjobchat
2:06 am dtoddsmith: @reneefishman Couldn’t have said it better. #lawjobchat
2:07 am doncruse: @aellislegal #lawjobchat #Q6 I’d just echo what Todd said. There are real advantages to a bigger firm. But I like what I’m doing now.
2:07 am reneefishman: RT @doncruse #lawjobchat Don’t assume friends know about your venture. In retrospect, I could’ve announced mine much better. | Gr8 pt
2:08 am BetsyMunnell: @aellislegal Q5 Before you leave, learn about the real world-if the firm is teaching this…Can you read a financial statement? #lawjobchat
2:08 am j_lavalley: RT @reneefishman: When u finally determine what u want to do, have the courage 2 follow that path….You will B rewarded. #TRUTH #LawJobChat
2:09 am reneefishman: #lawjobchat Key is u have 2 determine what your skills r & what u like 2 do. Many lawyers do not want to be entrepreneurs. Too risky 4 them
2:09 am kiangaellis: @dtoddsmith and everyone behind #lawjobchat, this was really fun and I hope helped someone. Life is what you make it. No limits.
2:11 am aellislegal: HUGE THANKS to guest co-hosts @doncruse @dtoddsmith @kiangaellis @reneefishman – excellent info!! #lawjobchat
2:12 am mjsq: Yes, thank you to @kiangaellis @reneefishman @doncruse @dtoddsmith @aellislegal & participants – the 1st #LawJobChat rocked! #lawjobchat
2:12 am reneefishman: #lawjobchat #advice Most important is determine what u love 2 do. Understand what is involved – not just the glamour but also the grit.
2:14 am reneefishman: RT @aellislegal HUGE THANKS to guest co-hosts @doncruse @dtoddsmith @kiangaellis@reneefishman – excellent info!! #lawjobchat | Thx!
2:15 am reneefishman: @aellislegal & #lawjobchat participants THANKS for including me. Had a blast & hope I helped. Follow your passion & do what you love!
2:18 am kiangaellis: RT @reneefishman: #lawjobchat #advice Most important is determine what u love 2 do. Understand what is involved – not just the glamour but also the grit.