JD Profiles: A Recap

Law BooksWe’ve heard some feedback that our readers love the JD Profiles but they almost wish the profiles came out less frequently so each profile would get more attention. They mentioned that this isn’t the type of stuff you hear about in law school and there’s only so much time to read in a given day.

So, dear Readers, thank you! We’re listening. Every so often, we’ll return to our archives and remind you what you missed along the way.

JD Profiles: Matt Emmer, Writer, Editor, and Former Communications Attorney

Our first profile is about Matthew Emmer, J.D. turned writer and editor. Matt’s experience in media dates back more than 25 years, including stints at CNN and the Federal Communications Commission. After law school, he worked as a communications lawyer/lobbyist in DC, mainly representing cable companies. He stayed at the same firm throughout his legal career, first as an associate, then as a partner.

JD Profiles: Gyi Tsakalakis, Executive Director, AttorneySync

Today, we are profiling Gyi Tsakalakis, a former Michigan attorney who is taking a break from legal practice to help attorneys build their professional reputations online.  After practicing at a small firm in the suburbs of Detroit, Gyi decided to follow his entrepreneurial instinct and started AttorneySync with a friend from undergrad.  AttorneySync helps law firms build their online presence.

JD Profiles: Kevin Noonan, PhD, Patent Attorney, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

Kevin Noonan, Ph.D., is a partner at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, an intellectual property boutique with offices in Chicago and Washington State. With a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University, Kevin specializes on biotechnology clients, including hot topics such as gene cloning and gene patenting. Kevin also co-founded the blog Patent Docs, which he manages with Donald Zuhn, Jr. Ph.D., his colleague at MBHB. Kevin talks to us about how a cab driver in New York City decides to become a patent attorney and how teaching and blogging about biotechnology patent law keeps him updated with the current issues affecting his clients.

JD Profiles: Nicole Gesher, Mediator and Owner, Gesher Mediation

Nicole Gesher is a San Francisco based mediator and attorney. She founded Gesher Mediation in February of 2010, where she happily helps resolve conflicts for her clients throughout the Bay Area. While relatively new to the ADR scene (she’s not even 30 years old!), Gesher tied for 2nd place in the Individual Mediator/Arbitrator category in the Recorder’s Best Poll (San Francisco based Legal newspaper – results published 12/6) (PDF). She is currently a panelist for the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the Contra Costa County Superior Court. She is also a volunteer mediator for Community Boards, a local non-profit.

JD Profiles: Megan M. McKeon, Marketing Director, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

Megan M. McKeon worked her way through the evening J.D. program at The John Marshall School of Law and graduated in 2004. By day, she worked as a Marketing Magician for Schiff Hardin, an Am Law 200 firm, where she assisted with the firms marketing and recruiting efforts, including handling media relations, drafting external and internal communications, and promoting firm-hosted events. Rather than use her law degree to practice law on a daily basis, Megan continued to work in the marketing department of law firms. Eventually, Megan returned to school and achieved her M.B.A. in Marketing Management and Leadership and Change Management from DePaul University’s Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Today, she applies her legal and business background as Marketing Director for McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff.

JD Profiles: Richard Russeth, Vice President + General Counsel, Leprino Foods Company

Richard Russeth has worked in-house at various multi-national companies in the food industry since his graduation from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1982. In his roles as Assistant General Counsel and General Counsel, his clients may ask him questions relating to employment, intellectual property, or international tax law on any given day. Rather than focusing on one area of the law, Richard has become a rare entity – a self-proclaimed generalist. The Last Generalist talks with us once again about his career path, networking philosophies, technology, and the implications of the Food Safety Modernization Act for FDA lawyers.

JD Profiles: Philip Guzman, Director of Public Service Programs, North Carolina Central University School of Law

Philip Guzman worked in government and private practice before he became the Director of Public Service Programs at North Carolina Central University School of Law. He talks to us about his day-to-day responsibilities in the career services office as well as his career path to his ideal job or, as he calls it, “The Persistent Dream.” (Published in NALP Bulletin, Vol.22, September 2010.)

JD Profiles: Matt Podolnick, Litigation Associate, Aaronson, Rappaport, Feinstein, + Deutsch, LLP

Matt Podolnick graduated from an Ivy League law school. Like many of his classmates, he summered at a high-end litigation boutique in New York and accepted a job there post-graduation. After two years, he decided to head to a medical malpractice firm where he’d get more hands-on experience. He tells us why he never doubts taking a 40% salary cut and why he’s hesitant to want to be Superman.

JD Profiles: Susan Cartier Liebel, Owner, Solo Practice University

Susan Cartier Liebel worked in advertising then sales for ten (10) years before she decided to go to law school. As a law student, she realized there were hardly any resources for anyone who wanted to start their own law practice or learn the business side of running a law practice. She took the initiative, sought out mentors from her clinics and network of contacts, and opened her own law firm with friends from law school shortly after she graduated.  Since then, Susan has successfully practiced as a solo/small firm founder. Based on her own experiences, she started to teach others how to do the same. She served as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University’s School of Law and then opened her own consulting firm. About two years ago, Susan brought the idea to a larger scale and started Solo Practice University, the ‘practice of law’ school. Susan talks about her journey and the void SPU fills in legal education.

Lessons from #LawJobChat: @lancegodard on Legal Marketing

Way back in October, we hosted our 5th #LawJobChat and spoke with Lance Godard (@lancegodard), a legal marketing professional and business development consultant.

Lance is Principal at The Godard Group where he consults with lawyers and law firms on business development, B2B communications, strategic planning, and social media.  He’s also an active member of the Legal Marketing Association.  Finally, he is the force behind @22Tweets, a project through which lawyers may tell their stories over Twitter.  For those who are unfamiliar with the project, think of it this way: @22Tweets is Fresh Air and Lance Godard is Terry Gross (but male).

Lance spent over fifteen years at Jones Day, one of the world’s largest law firms, where he worked on international business development, communications, and management.  He specialized in helping the firm open new offices abroad.

When we spoke with him, we asked about how business development relates to one’s law career.  We asked when lawyers should start thinking about business development and how they should approach the subject at interviews.

It was interesting that this was the quietest #LawJobChat we hosted so far.  Perhaps it was due to Game 2 of the World Series.  Or, as Lance put it (liberally using quotations), “It’s like talking to a 7th grade class about sex.  Everyone has questions but no one wants to raise their hands.”  I think Lance’s characterization is pretty on point.


Business Development, Legal Marketing, When & How


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

Guest Co-Host

1.  Lance Godard (@lancegodard) – Principal at The Godard Group; Member at Large – Board of Directors, Legal Marketing Association – Ohio Chapter; Moderator/Founder @22Tweets

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

All times are Pacific Time

1:00 am aellislegal: Welcome to #LawJobChat! Tonight we’re discussing the intersection of business development & your job search. #lawjobchat
1:01 am aellislegal: We selected this topic because we are seeing more firms look to hire attorneys (including associates) with portable business #lawjobchat
1:02 am aellislegal: We decided to invite a business dev expert to offer tips about how, when associates should dev business, including biz plan #lawjobchat
1:02 am aellislegal: Our guest co-host/expert is @lancegodard! Lance, thanks for joining us! Tell us a bit about your background #lawjobchat
1:04 am lancegodard: Thank you very much @aellislegal @mjsq for having me! #lawjobchat
1:04 am lancegodard: I did international business development & marketing for an AmLaw 10 firm for 18 years (Paris, Hong Kong, US) #lawjobchat
1:04 am lancegodard: Consulting for past 2 (as of next Mon), working w/ lawyers & firms to set BD / mktg objectives & develop plans for meeting them #lawjobchat
1:05 am mjsq: @lancegodard congratulations on your 2 year mark! #lawjobchat #lawjobchat
1:06 am aellislegal: and, I bet many of our chat participants have read your @22twts! Can you tell others what @22twtsis? #lawjobchat
1:07 am lancegodard: For those of you who don?t know, 22 Tweets (@22Twts on Twitter) are live interviews of lawyers I do on Twitter #lawjobchat
1:07 am lancegodard: It started as an experiment to explore Twitter as a comms channel, and really took off. I?ve talked to more than 80 lawyers now #lawjobchat
1:08 am lancegodard: They?re great fun to do and (I hope) a great way for lawyers to tell their stories on Twitter, stories that clients like to hear #lawjobchat
1:08 am OreLawPracMgmt: RT @mjsq: 30 minutes until #LawJobChat re: legal marketing & business development w/ @lancegodard! It’s going to be a good one!!
1:09 am aellislegal: I think @22twts is a great way to find lawyers to follow – esp if a lawyer or law student is new to Twitter, looking to connect #lawjobchat
1:10 am aellislegal: Follow @22twts for updates on @lancegodard‘s upcoming interviews with lawyers #lawjobchat
1:11 am aellislegal: Q1 @lancegodard, when stating your background, you mentioned “business development” and “marketing” – is there a difference? #lawjobchat
1:12 am lancegodard: Next week we interview @PriyaLawyer and the week after @paulrubell #22Twts #Lawjobchat
1:12 am lancegodard: Q1 Absolutely. Biz dev=identifying your targets: people / companies / etc in a position to give you business or help you get it #lawjobchat
1:13 am UTLawCSO: RT @aellislegal: …@22twts is a great way to find lawyers to follow-esp if…law student is new to Twitter, looking to connect #lawjobchat
1:13 am lancegodard: Q1 Marketing = tactics for reaching with those targets: publications, websites, meetings, social events, etc. #lawjobchat
1:16 am aellislegal: Q2 @lancegodard do lawyers need a biz dev plan AND mktg strategies? Are these separate “documents”? #lawjobchat
1:18 am lancegodard: Q2 Yes and yes. Biz plan is ?who what why?: who are potential clients, what are opps for work, why you best candidate for work #lawjobchat
1:19 am lancegodard: Q2 Mktg plan is the how: the way you’re going to communicate with those potential clients so they know what you bring to table. #lawjobchat
1:20 am aellislegal: Q3 @lancegodard Excellent! So, lawyers need (1) biz plan and (2) mktg plan. Which should come first or does it matter? #lawjobchat
1:20 am lancegodard: Q2 But doesn’t have to be formal. ID your potential clients, why they should be, and how you will reach them. Write it down #lawjobchat
1:21 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Good info – Biz Plan and Mktg Plan don’t have to be formal but should be in writing #lawjobchat
1:22 am lancegodard: Q3 Biz plan needs to come first: you need to set goals / objectives / targets before you decide which tactics work best for each #lawjobchat
1:23 am aellislegal: Q4 @lancegodard When should a lawyer create a biz plan? i.e., 1st year of practice, 3rd year of practice? #lawjobchat
1:25 am lancegodard: Q4 As soon as they can?. It?s a question of not waiting for good things to come your way, of being responsible for your success #lawjobchat
1:25 am lancegodard: Q4 If you know what you want, why not go thru discipline of figuring out who will buy your services & how you will reach them? #lawjobchat
1:27 am lancegodard: Q4 Although things may change at start of career, writing down a plan doesn’t mean it’s written in stone. So earlier is better #lawjobchat
1:27 am reneefishman: @aellislegal chiming in to #lawjobchat: biz plan comes 1st; mktg plan is part of biz plan
1:28 am aellislegal: Q4 cont @lancegodard So, a 1st year construction lit associate could identify industry orgs to join, key contacts n constrn ind? #lawjobchat
1:30 am aellislegal: Q4 cont @lancegodard And, then const lit assoc could outline key mtgs for the orgs, lunch dates w/developers, etc as mktg plan? #lawjobchat
1:30 am lancegodard: Q4 Absolutely. And the people in the orgs to meet. And maybe what she hopes to gain from knowing those pple & being in that org #lawjobchat
1:31 am aellislegal: Nice thought – biz plan as objectives and mktg = to do steps RT reneefishman biz plan comes 1st; mktg plan is part of biz plan #lawjobchat
1:32 am lancegodard: Q4 (slow fingers) yes, but before mktg plan she needs to think about the “who what why”: who to meet, what they bring her (cont) #lawjobchat
1:33 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Ha! No worries, Tweetchat is sometimes slow refreshing!! #lawjobchat
1:34 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Q4 – got it, biz plan obj first, then marketing steps #lawjobchat
1:34 am lancegodard: Q4 and why it makes sense for them to meet her, ie why they should talk to her and ultimately help her out #lawjobchat
1:34 am lawmgtguru: RT @aellislegal: We decided to invite a business dev expert to offer tips about how, when associates should dev business, including biz plan #lawjobchat
1:35 am aellislegal: Q5 @lancegodard How often should an associate review/revise objectives in biz plan? Monthly? Quarterly? Annually? #lawjobchat
1:38 am lancegodard: Q5 Regularly…. Obviously depends on how much they hope to achieve. Ideally they’d spend some time looking at it every week #lawjobchat
1:39 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Excellent! #lawjobchat
1:39 am lancegodard: Q5 But that may not be realistic. I’ve seen lawyers with very detailed plans that drive much of their non-legal work time #lawjobchat
1:40 am aellislegal: Q6 @lancegodard What if the assoc is interviewing, firm doesn’t ask for biz plan, should assoc offer it? does firm size matter? #lawjobchat
1:40 am lancegodard: Q5 and others that have vague plans they check in on from time to time. But if there’s too much to do, it won’t get done #lawjobchat
1:41 am lancegodard: Q5 likewise, if there’s not much to do, it’s probably not really a biz dev and marketing plan…. #lawjobchat
1:42 am aellislegal: Q6 cont @lancegodard i.e., is it appropriate to offer biz plan to mid-small firm but not to large firm (or vice versa)? #lawjobchat
1:44 am lancegodard: Q6 I think the mid to small firms much more interested in the biz plan since those associates need to hit the ground running #lawjobchat
1:45 am lancegodard: Q6 but in all cases, whether or not associate brings out the plan, the discipline of having done the plan will improve interview #lawjobchat
1:46 am aellislegal: RT @lancegodard: the discipline of having done the plan will improve interview #lawjobchat
1:46 am aellislegal: @lancegodard I like that … having a plan improves the interview! #lawjobchat
1:46 am lancegodard: Q6 Being able to talk about law you want to practice, market for it, clients that need it etc will make you stand out #lawjobchat
1:48 am aellislegal: Q7 @lancegodard What’s the best way for associates to get started with creating a biz plan? what if firm doesn’t offer training? #lawjobchat
1:49 am PriyaLawyer: Looking forward to it RT @lancegodard: Next week we interview @PriyaLawyer and the week after @paulrubell #22Twts #Lawjobchat
1:49 am aellislegal: RT @lancegodard: Being able to talk about law you want to practice, market for it, clients that need it will make you stand out #lawjobchat
1:50 am lancegodard: Q7 Firms should include marketing and biz dev training in their associate dev programs (it?s in their best interest)…. #lawjobchat
1:52 am aellislegal: @lancegodard If firms don’t offer formal training, should associate find rainmaker ptr in firm/section and talk to him/her? #lawjobchat
1:52 am squirrelpants: On the marketing side, how do you find publications that fit your practice area & determine which ones to focus on? #lawjobchat
1:52 am lancegodard: Q7 But if no program associates can start by sharpening effective mktg skills, eg asking questions, listening to answers, etc #lawjobchat
1:53 am lancegodard: Q7 Doesn?t have to be in formal situations, but in everyday conversations they have with clients / peers / colleagues #lawjobchat
1:53 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Or, should the associate look outside the firm? Coach/trainer, publications to read for guidance? #lawjobchat
1:54 am lancegodard: Q7 If they need extra help, there are many things they can do. First, there exist a lot of good materials online now #lawjobchat
1:55 am lancegodard: Q7 eg templates, plans, articles, etc. Hiring a marketing coach / trainer always a possibility. Investing now will pay off later #lawjobchat
1:55 am aellislegal: @squirrelpants clarification – publication where you want to publish or publication to read? #lawjobchat
1:56 am aellislegal: Q7 @lancegodard Can you recommend any online sites as a starting point? #lawjobchat
1:59 am aellislegal: Finally, back to @22twts – is there a site where ppl can read past interviews? What if someone wants to be interviewed? #lawjobchat
2:00 am lancegodard: Q7 JD Supra law practice section is good, Larry Bodine’s Law Marketing Portal, I have blog of mktg / BD reading recommendations #lawjobchat
2:01 am lancegodard: Q7 and there an ever-increasing number of LinkedIn groups that deal with law marketing and biz dev #lawjobchat
2:01 am aellislegal: Excellent! RT @lancegodard: JD Supra law practice sect is good, Larry Bodines Law Marketing Portal, my blog BD reading recs #lawjobchat
2:02 am lancegodard: Q7 Finally, I think that lawyers need to look to other industries for help and ideas, esp professional services but not only #lawjobchat
2:03 am mjsq: Q7 cont. I’d add on re: LinkedIn to join groups related to practice areas that may not be legally-oriented. #lawjobchat
2:03 am aellislegal: @lancegodard Thank you for chatting w/us! You’ve provided excellent biz dev tips to help associates stand out in interviews! #lawjobchat
2:04 am mjsq: Q7. e.g., an group related to energy but not only for energy lawyers #lawjobchat
2:05 am aellislegal: FYI, all – our Nov chat will be the 3rd Thurs (instead of last Thurs) b/c of T’giving — next chat is 11/18 at 9pm Eastern #lawjobchat
2:05 am lancegodard: @aellislegal you’re very welcome, it’s been a lot of fun! I could have gone on for another hour (or two)! #lawjobchat
2:06 am aellislegal: RT @squirrelpants: On the mktg side, how do you find publications that fit practice area & determine which ones to focus on? #lawjobchat
2:09 am lancegodard: I think it depends to a certain degree on the practice area, @squirrelpants, but Google search and blog search are very helpful #lawjobchat
2:11 am lancegodard: Once you find the universe of titles, it’s probably pretty easy to tell which are serious and can help you market & which cannot #lawjobchat
2:12 am lancegodard: You should also talk to clients and peers to see what they read; that can be a good guide #lawjobchat
2:13 am lancegodard: If you want to discuss further @squirrelpants, please feel free to DM me #lawjobchat
2:14 am lancegodard: I think there were a couple more unanswered #lawjobchat questions. First, you can read the 22 Tweets interviews at 22Tweets.com
2:15 am mjsq: @lancegodard, thank you for joining us. Take away point: Many job-seeking attys (entry & lats) would benefit w/ biz or mkt plan! #lawjobchat
2:16 am BetsyMunnell: #lawstudents/#lawyers–New to Twitter? @lancegodard has your back..RT @aellislegal: @22twts-great way 2 find lawyers to follow #lawjobchat
2:17 am lancegodard: The “DM me” goes for anyone who wants to discuss these points further. Biz dev & mktg can be daunting but they don’t have to be #lawjobchat
2:17 am BetsyMunnell: RT @lancegodard: First: Biz dev=identifying your targets: people/companies in position to give you business or help get it #lawjobchat
2:18 am BetsyMunnell: RT @lancegodard: AND..Marketing = tactics for reaching with those targets: publications, websites, meetings, social events, etc. #lawjobchat
2:20 am lancegodard: Thank you again to @mjsq and @aellislegal for having me on #lawjobchat. It’s a great forum for job-seeking lawyers!
2:21 am BetsyMunnell: More clarity! @lancegodard: Biz plan= ?who/what/why?: potential clients, work opps, why hire you & Mktg Plan=how to reach them #lawjobchat
2:24 am BetsyMunnell: Finding the right publications to read? RT @lancegodard: .depends ..degree on practice area but Google/blog search helpful #lawjobchat
2:25 am BaranCLE: Good stuff! RT @lancegodard Thank you again to @mjsq and @aellislegal for having me on #lawjobchat a great forum for job-seeking lawyers
2:26 am AdvertisingLaw: RT @BaranCLE: Good stuff! RT @lancegodard Thank you again to @mjsq and @aellislegal for having me on #lawjobchat a great forum for job-seeking lawyers
2:31 am BetsyMunnell: @aellislegal @lancegodard What a great #lawjobchat. You hit all the key points for young lawyers. Look forward to RT’ing Amanda’s summary!
2:32 am adrianlurssen: RT @BetsyMunnell @aellislegal @lancegodard What a great #lawjobchat. You hit all the key points for young lawyers…
2:36 am BetsyMunnell: Including JD Supra–critical resource! @adrianlurssen: RT @BetsyMunnell @aellislegal @lancegodardGreat #lawjobchat hit all the key points
2:42 am AdvertisingLaw: Thank you @mjsq for the invite! This is a great forum for job-seeking lawyers & lawyers generally. #LawJobChat // @lancegodard @aellislegal
3:02 am lancegodard: Thanks @BetsyMunnell @AdrianLurssen @BaranCLE for your kind words re tonight’s #lawjobchat. I’m not often in the hot seat (but enjoyed it)
3:06 am paulrubell: RT @PriyaLawyer: Looking forward to it RT @lancegodard: Next week we interview @PriyaLawyerand the week after @paulrubell #22Twts #Lawjobchat
3:35 am econwriter5: Looks like #lawjobchat was good tonight. Will have to catch up.
3:48 am aellislegal: @econwriter5 I’ll post summary + transcript tomorrow afternoon! #lawjobchat
4:17 am AdvertisingLaw: @lancegodard Lance, I appreciate the invitation from Melissa @mjsq to join in! It was a lot of fun – you did a great job! #lawjobchat
4:20 am AdvertisingLaw: RT @aellislegal @econwriter5 I’ll post summary + transcript tomorrow afternoon! #lawjobchat

Amanda Ellis’s Recap

Business Plans in Your Associate Job Search

Checking In: Making Money, Am Law 200 Jobs, & AIIM Expo

Hey Folks, I apologize about my long absence.  Things have been a little hectic in my life.

Basically, I love what I do.  I love reading about the legal industry, keeping up-to-date with blogs and social media, passing on advice about job openings and reviewing resumes and cover letters.

…but I need to start making money.  (I have law student loans to pay!)

From the feedback I’ve heard, I think that I’m offering a useful service, especially with the Am Law listings.  Therefore, I’m putting the question out to you dear readers, how can I best monetize it?  What would be a fair price?  What would I need to change to charge?  (E.g., more consistent schedule, etc.)  Or, on the other side of things, how can I best market my job board?

Once I start taking on freelance clients, it’s hard for me to also maintain my own websites.  Unless I can figure out a way to crowdsource the funding for this site so that I can continue to produce and expand the content, I think the best option for me will be to dedicate my skills to one brand’s success (brand = law firm).

Your thoughts – in comments or in an e-mail (melissa at recruiteresq dot com) – are appreciated.

The Am Law 200 Jobs

I know that I’ve mentioned this before: I *am* working on them.  I’m also trying to figure out a better way to present them on the site without using Google Docs.  I figured out how to create a table with sorting capabilities on the front-end of my site.  No more logging in, going to external sites, etc.  With all of that work, however, I haven’t completely finished updating the Am Law 200 Jobs.  But maybe later tonight I’ll publish what I have – Am Law 200 Jobs (Firms beginning with A – H).

(Note*: I’ve also decided that I’ll post the Am Law job listings twice per year for the general public.  Registered users will have access to the archives of these public listings.)



I’m going to be blogging from the AIIM Expo over the next few days.  In case you haven’t checked it out, take a look at the site.  I’ll have a post later tonight about which talks I plan to see, which talks I want to see, and how I’m kinda bummed that I missed the pre-conference certificate sessions.  I went last year and I can highly recommend the Enterprise 2.0 certificate program and Hanns Kohler-Kruner as a teacher.  You can also take a look at when this course is offered other times through out the year at AIIM’s website.

For those in the Philly area, there’s a Tweetup this week.  You should all come out!

More later….