Networking and Your Job Search

by J.J. on October 30, 2014

Networking and Your Job Search

Are you an attorney or law student who has just started your job search or is interested in transitioning to a new job? If you are, then don’t forget to include networking as part of your job search.

Some attorneys and law students feel that networking is not beneficial to their job search and career. However, networking is actually one of the most important and effective ways to land a job. It is also a skill that will help you long after you’ve obtained your new job (i.e., it will help you acquire and maintain relationships with clients). Other attorneys and law students feel that they just don’t have time to network. However, you should make time to network. After all, it is a great way to make connections that could possibly open up new opportunities and allow you to learn more about your areas of interest.

Preparing for Networking

Before you begin networking, you should think about what type of people you want to network with. Also, you should think about what type of job you’re interested in. Prepare answers to questions about your career and your interests. Also, make sure that you have business cards, resumes, cover letters, and references prepared. You want to be present yourself in a professional manner, and you want to be ready when the potential opportunity presents itself.

Ways to Network

1. One of the easiest ways to network is through local city, county, and state bar associations. If you are a law student, you can join the student membership section of the Bar association. Typically the different bar associations have meetings, seminars, and other gatherings where you can meet attorneys and other legal professionals in your areas of interest.

2. Another easy way to network is through your law school. Law schools have many social events and legal seminars that bring an array of legal professionals together. Additionally, ask your law school’s career counselor for a list of alumni who work in fields that interest you. While you’re at it check out the alumni from your undergraduate college too.

3. Also, don’t forget to network through those you interact with everyday, such as your friends, colleagues, and classmates. You’d be surprise of how resourceful your close associates can be.

4. Social networking sites are another great source for networking. It is the waive of the future. It allows you to display information about yourself and it allows you to learn about others. Some social sites many people are already members of are Myspace and Facebook. Myspace and Facebook are great for fun and social networking, but sites like Likedin and Lawlink.com are great for professional networking. Remember, when you become a member of these professional networking sites, to make sure all the information you display represents you in a professional manner. You don’t want to give the wrong impression.

Don’t Forget to Give Back

Once you’ve landed your job through networking, you should help others. Networking isn’t a one time event. It is a continual process. So, just like someone gave you a helping hand, you should give someone else a helping hand. Incidentally, by helping others, you will be building new relationships that could be beneficial to you in the future.

Remember, networking is a tool and skill that allows you to establish relationships where both you and your contacts benefit in some way. Just as the saying goes, “It’s not about what you know, but about who you know.” So, make sure you maximize your success by networking.

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Legal Authority Is Not for Everyone

by A. Harrison Barnes on October 9, 2014

Quite frankly, Legal Authority is not for everyone. And not everyone we speak with chooses to use Legal Authority. Legal Authority is the perfect example of the old adage, “You get what you pay for.”

For example, Legal Authority gives you the benefit of access to the largest database of legal employers in the world. Legal Authority actually GUARANTEES that they will reach every potential employer matching your interests. You are assigned your own personal attorney who will revise your resume and cover letter and provide you with as much personal attention as you require. A team of researchers will ensure that the hiring contacts inside each and every legal employer you are contacting are current before we even print a single letter for you.

An attorney will personally print and review each cover letter, resume, and envelope for you to ensure that they are perfectly formatted, that there are no typographical errors, and that you are making the best impression possible. We will then overnight mail these materials right to your front door. Included in these materials will be a list created especially for you containing the address and telephone number of each and every legal employer you are contacting so you can follow up with them.

After your targeted mailing, we will follow up with you to gauge your progress until you have found your perfect job. When you do begin receiving offers, we will be there to assist you in deciding which one to accept. In fact, throughout your relationship with Legal Authority, we will be here seven days a week to answer any questions you may have. We will literally be here for you seven days a week.

Obviously, a service like this is not for everyone and it is not something everyone can afford or can see the benefit in using. If you do not use Legal Authority, you could spend the next several months applying for attorney jobs in classified sections of legal newspapers, surfing Internet job posting boards, and maybe even researching the thousands of employers we investigate every day to make sure we have current and accurate information.

Or you can achieve everything this would accomplish — and much more — by choosing Legal Authority today. We don’t want to be dramatic and say, “If you do not use Legal Authority you will not find the perfect job.” We have found, however, that the people who choose to “think about it” are most often the same people who will still be looking for their perfect position a few months from now. By using Legal Authority, you will ensure that you (1) reach every employer matching your interests as quickly as possible, (2) get the best possible offer at the highest possible salary, and (3) find the best cultural “fit” for you. This is our job and something we can help you do!

Smart attorneys are naturally skeptical—and we sense you are. However, we’re afraid that you have passed up a very good opportunity to potentially make a meaningful difference in your career by not choosing Legal Authority for your job search. We are really hoping to make a significant difference in your future career prospects.

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What Legal Authority Does

by A. Harrison Barnes on September 18, 2014

Legal Authority assists more law students, at more law schools, get jobs than any other source.”

We’re How Attorneys Get Jobs

At Legal Authority, we are proud to say that our targeted mailing service helps more law students, recent law school graduates, and attorneys find employment than any other service in the world. Legal Authority was designed with you, the job seeker, in mind, and we are constantly evolving to meet every challenge that may be presented and present solutions to those hardest questions about your job search.

What Exactly Does Legal Authority Do?

Simply put, we grant you access to the largest legal employer database in the world. When you use Legal Authority, you will be interviewed by one of our attorneys who will take as long as it takes to understand exactly what you are seeking to do with your legal career. Legal Authority will perform searches for you based on your criteria (What practice areas interest you? What type of employer do you want to work for? Do you want a clerkship? How about in-house opportunities? Where do you want to live? What size firm would like to work for?), and develop a list that is targeted to your particular job search. We can even help you go abroad if you want to.

“The most common means of obtaining a job was a letter or other ‘self initiated contact’ with the employer.”

-National Association of Law Placement

Legal Authority’s professional writers will review and revise your resume and create a cover letter for you that is tailored and created from scratch specifically for you. You will work with the writer — as a counselor, guide, and expert — to come up with a letter and resume that are perfect for you.

After we have a final resume and cover letter, Legal Authority will prepare a package of resumes, cover letters and envelopes, addressed to the hiring contact person inside each specific employer (not “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Hiring Partner”), with your return address and name on them. We Federal Express the package to you, and all you have to do is sign each letter, stuff each envelope, and put a stamp on each envelope.

Can I Do What Legal Authority Does Myself?

True. You could get subscriptions to over 50 legal directories, make over 500,000 inquiries per year, hire over 40 people to update your database 24 hours a day, hire a crew of attorneys to counsel and advise you of the most appropriate employers to apply to, hire a crew of professional writers to review and revise your resume and cover letter, and spend far in excess of $1,000,000 (just to maintain a database each year). This is what we do at Legal Authority. Because thousands of law students use our service, the cost is profoundly cheaper than it would be if you were to do the work yourself. Theoretically, this is something you could do yourself.

We speak with attorneys on a daily basis who believe they can do all of the work themselves. A lot of law students think they are smarter than us or somehow have everything figured out. Legal Authority is an expert at finding jobs for law students. It’s what we do all day, every day.

Most of the law students who use Legal Authority are spending far in excess of $100,000 to attend law school for three years. Presumably, one of the reasons for going to law school is to get the best job possible. Conversely, most law students who use Legal Authority spend less than $500 for our service. In most instances, the cost of using Legal Authority is around $2.00 per employer we help you contact and our search can be as expansive or as narrow as you choose. When you consider that thousands of law students each year get summer and permanent jobs paying several times more per week than our service costs, not using Legal Authority could be expensive.

“Legal Authority is, quite simply, the most effective way for law students to get the precise legal job they are seeking. Your first attorney job is already in our database.”

It is no secret that following the crowd and trying to find a job through your Career Services Office, networking, or applying sporadically to jobs on posting boards can be “hit or miss”. You can compete with every other student, at every other law school, trying the same tired old methods, going after the same job listings, or you can take action and call Legal Authority. Legal Authority is the only way to find and apply to every single employer that might be interested in you.

At Legal Authority, we have the resources to help more students find jobs than any other single organization we are aware of in the United States.

Our database contains contacts for virtually every law firm, corporation, and public interest organization in the United States (we can even help you go abroad). We will review and revise your resume and help you apply to any employer you choose—anywhere. Our service is also extremely inexpensive. Contact Legal Authority today and let our Attorney Employment Advocates speak with you about your job search and how we can get you your first job.

A Different Kind of Company

Legal Authority is different. We are specialists in getting attorneys and law students jobs. It is the only thing we do. Once you make the decision to work with Legal Authority, we will serve you with the enthusiasm, integrity and insight you are entitled to. We are proud to make that promise to each of the law students who work with Legal Authority.

Law students who have used Legal Authority know that we take our jobs extremely seriously. We are truly passionate about our work. It is not uncommon for many of our Employment Advocates and researchers to work as many as 16 hours a day, all week long. Sound familiar? As an organization founded by high-level attorneys, we know what it takes to succeed. Our firm has earned its reputation for decisive thinking and vigorous action. Legal Authority clients appreciate our honesty and upfront approach to assisting them with their job search. They realize that we live in a winner-takes-all environment where the stakes are always high.

Our goal is to help start careers that will lead to meaningful lives for our clients. We always give the law students who use Legal Authority an honest assessment of their prospects.

“With meaningful experience in virtually every facet of the legal industry, Legal Authority brings an unrivaled level of understanding to the job search requirements of law students.”

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Why I Started Legal Authority

by A. Harrison Barnes on September 11, 2014

I Started Legal Authority to Get More Attorneys Jobs.

One day I was sitting in front of my computer at BCG Attorney Search office and a resume came over email from a student of mine who I had taught law. While the law school I had taught at was ABA-approved, it was fourth tier and not considered the best law school in the United States. This student was at the top of his class and, like many other students in his law school, had been unsuccessful in securing a position with a law firm when he graduated. I was frustrated because, as a legal recruiter, I knew I could not help him. I was also frustrated because I knew that he had worked hard in law school, showed potential to be a good attorney, and deserved a chance. If someone does well enough in college to get into law school, completes law school, and wants to work as an attorney, he/she deserves a chance.

I called this student and invited him in anyway. I rewrote his resume for him and helped him write a cover letter. Then I allowed him to send his documents out to the 300 or so law firms in the BCG Attorney Search database that were in Los Angeles. Prior to this point, this student had simply applied to the law firms in the NALP guide and also had applied to the occasional listing in his law school’s career services office. All that had ever resulted from this was an interview with a two-person law firm.

Out of the 300 applications he sent out, this student got several interviews and secured a position with a mid-sized law firm where he made close to $100,000 in his first year. I am sure his salary was among the highest of any student in his graduating class. He is enjoying an excellent career today.

Around this same time, the economy was beginning to go into a tailspin. Many of the corporate attorneys I had placed during the boom began to get laid off and, remembering the lesson of the law student, I started inviting them into my office and helping them redo their resumes and cover letters as well. Because there were so few corporate openings (and law firms simply would not pay recruiting fees for corporate attorneys), I helped these same attorneys send out their documents to the firms in the BCG database at no cost.

All of these attorneys got jobs.

Word soon spread that I was helping corporate attorneys do this and corporate attorneys and others sought out my service to such an extent that I soon had no time for legal recruiting. We ran a “war room” of sorts out of BCG’s Los Angeles offices and attorneys came in and assisted each other in building a massive database of every legal employer in California. Things were really crazy and we were operating 24 hours a day out of that office helping attorneys get jobs. The printers were going like crazy all the time.

What ended up happening, though, was that it all became too much, a lot of it due to the overwhelming costs involved. Soon, this mailing service was getting calls for help even though no formal business had been organized. In fact, I was spending thousands of dollars each week out of my own pocket to support this effort.

With the help of some really dedicated people, I soon started Legal Authority. Legal Authority is the embodiment of my goal to get the most attorneys jobs. To date, Legal Authority has gotten thousands of attorneys and law students jobs and gets more attorneys jobs than any other similar service in the United States.

Unlike job boards or legal recruiters, Legal Authority helps attorneys find both open positions and jobs where none may exist. Firms often actually create jobs for attorneys once the attorney has expressed interest in potential employment by simply sending a resume and well crafted letter. Legal Authority is truly an outstanding service and if there is one thing I have done in my life to “make a difference,” this is it. The success stories from this business are nothing less than remarkable.

In order to run a business like Legal Authority, you need a lot of people. There are currently over 40 people working here, updating our data literally 24 hours a day. Legal Authority has contact information (we know exactly who is in charge of hiring) for virtually every American legal employer.

While personal stories may not have a role in my discussion of Legal Authority, I can tell you that starting this business almost destroyed me financially and personally. For over the first year Legal Authority was in existence, I worked 15+ hours a day on it virtually every day of the week. My wife divorced me and I came very close to going out of business for financial reasons several times. The debt I accumulated to start the business was nothing short of astonishing. In the first year of running Legal Authority, I was often losing in excess of $20,000 per week in order to do something I believed was a higher calling.

I do not resent starting Legal Authority at all. Everything that is good in this world and every positive change is not easy. Each new challenge with Legal Authority has only motivated me further. I know that there are numerous, numerous lives of people everywhere that have been bettered through our efforts. I am sure you can say the same for your work. This is something that gives both of us lives of substance and meaning.

I gave Legal Authority everything I had because I knew I was doing something meaningful for the world.

The problem with Legal Authority, though, is that the cost is expensive; and it is therefore quite exclusive and high end. While the attorneys who counsel people on their job search consider their work to be like public interest work (and are paid similarly), the costs of gathering data, rewriting resumes and cover letters, printing, shipping, and so forth are substantial. Accordingly, from an attorney and law student’s perspective, the cost of Legal Authority can be expensive. In most cases, attorneys spend over $500 (often more) to get a position through the service. It is not a lot of money to get several jobs; however, it is still a lot of money to most people.

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Using Legal Authority for Law Student Jobs

by A. Harrison Barnes on September 4, 2014

I am writing to tell you a secret you may not know. Thousands of law students just like you use Legal Authority to find positions each year. In fact, at some law schools, over 20% of the class uses Legal Authority to find positions. Your friends may not tell you about Legal Authority simply because law students are competitive by nature. Career services offices often do not talk about us that much either. If every law student used Legal Authority, then many career services offices would have very little to do.

The reason Legal Authority is so successful is simple. First, we will assist you in identifying every single employer that meets your specific interests in the area(s) of the United States you want to work in. Our database contains over 98% of all legal employers in the United States — over 750,000 legal employers. We employ over 25 people who do nothing but identify legal employers and hiring contacts inside these employers. They then classify this information based on type, size, and geographic location. Developed at a cost of several million dollars, no law school or other organization has a database that comes close.

Second, we will assist you in crafting a perfect resume and cover letter for the type(s) of summer or permanent positions you are seeking. We employ extremely skilled and trained professional resume writers who will spend the time to work with you personally to create for you a resume that makes you stand out. A good resume can make a tremendous difference in your job search. We craft more law student resumes than anyone in the world.

Third, we will provide you with complete printed and customized application materials to apply to the employers you select. All you will need to do is sign and stamp your application materials. The result of using Legal Authority is that your job search is as thorough, professional, and focused as it can be. There is nothing that can compare with our effectiveness. Some law students who have tried other job search methods without success and then used Legal Authority have gotten in excess of 20 interviews.

Legal Authority is the top means in the United States for law students like you to get jobs. If you use Legal Authority, you could be interviewing within the next few weeks.

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Another Success Story in the Bay Area

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 28, 2014

“THE BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF SUCCESS”

“Another corporate attorney comes through in the Bay Area”

Phil*, a graduate of a top law school, had little more than a year of experience as a corporate attorney with a major Silicon Valley firm. Phil was in a particularly dire circumstance because (1) he was a corporate attorney, and (2) had failed the California Bar Exam not once—but twice. Like most major law firms in California, Phil’s was no exception: If you failed the bar exam more than once you were out. Nevertheless, the week the California Bar Exam results came out many of the other corporate associates at Phil’s class year were also being let go.

Like many of the other corporate attorneys who were laid off, Phil tried numerous methods for getting a position. Phil scanned online job boards, contacted recruiters and asked his law school for recommendations of alumni he should contact. Phil did all of these things and conducted his job search for a few hours every day. By December, Phil had not received a single interview. After contacting several recruiting firms, one recruiting firm rejected him and in the rejection recommended he contact Legal Authority.

Phil was fortunate because he did pass the bar on his third attempt. Phil also had performed well in all school and graduated in approximately the top 60 percent of his class. In addition, Phil was not entirely committed to doing corporate work. In fact, Phil had become so disillusioned with the practice of law after his series of unfortunate events, that he was not sure he even wanted to practice law at all. Nevertheless, Phil believed he owed it to himself to push forward. With almost $100,000 in student loans from law school, Phil felt a need to continue working. In addition, although he did not have children, Phil was married and felt an obligation to provide for his family.

Phil was initially skeptical about the use of a service like Legal Authority. According to his Legal Authority Employment Advocate at Legal Authority. His Employment Advocate needed to spend a great deal of time with Phil educating him about Legal Authority and the process of locating a position.

“Phil’s search was complicated by the fact that I really sensed he wanted to change practice areas and he was conducting his search in one of the worst areas of the United States from an employment perspective. Phil believed that if a firm does not advertise a position or hire a recruiter to track down a candidate for an opening that they are worth contacting.” His Employment Advocate also knew that Phil’s search was not going to be an easy one: “Here, in Phil, was a super candidate who had both found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and had not passed the bar after two attempts. He was also in the virtual epicenter of what was wrong with the economy. He was a junior corporate associate and had not worked in over six months. I knew that Legal Authority could help Phil; however, the prognosis was not good.”

Phil and his Employment Advocate spent approximately two hours on the phone strategizing options. Phil, for one, was eager to move out of corporate law and into something he felt would be more stable, like litigation. As a summer associate at both a major New York and San Francisco law firm, Phil had been exposed to litigation work. In addition, Phil spent one year as a paralegal prior to enrolling in law school. During his year as a paralegal Phil had enjoyed the litigation side of his work.

“When I was a second and third year in law school, all anyone was talking about was corporate, corporate, corporate,” Phil told Legal Authority. “Everyone knew that being a corporate associate could be a ticket to a super in-house position and stock options. When I was a corporate associate I gradually came to realize that being a litigator was probably more suited to my personality.”

Phil and his Employment Advocate spoke about the best methods for Phil to conduct his search and Phil believed that he would be best off if he followed his heart and tried to get a litigation position. In the San Francisco legal market, like most legal markets, there are far more firms that do litigation work than corporate work. In addition, the corporate market at the time was, as Phil and his Employment Advocate knew, in poor shape. Phil and his Employment Advocate ultimately decided that the best course would be for Phil to approach approximately 450 large and medium-sized law firms in an effort to secure a position as a litigator.

Phil and resume specialist worked over several versions of a resume and cover letter. According to the Resume Specialist, the largest challenge with Phil’s cover letter was dealing with the fact that Phil would basically take any position offered.

“Phil did not want to put all his marbles in one basket. Essentially, he was hoping that there was a possibility that a corporate position would open up for him if all else failed. This is the type of position I deal with all the time and Phil and I handled this quite well.”

Because Phil had done litigation work during his time as a summer associate at the firm he was let go from, he was able to describe this experience in addition to the small amount of corporate work he had done as an associate while waiting his bar results. Phil’s final cover letter and resume reflected that he had done both types of work. In addition, the cover letter was geared more heavily towards Phil’s interest in litigation but also described his corporate experience in enough detail that it would stick out to employers.

Phil received his package from Legal Authority on a Saturday. On Sunday he signed his cover letters and mailed them out on Monday. What happened next surprised Chris. By Wednesday he had already received 5 interviews. While 4 of the 5 interviews were with medium sized firms, the fifth interview was with the San Francisco office of a major New York City based law firm. By Friday, Chris had received over 10 interviews and by the middle of the following week he had received over 15 interviews.

Chris called his Employment Advocate immediately the day he received his first interviews. Two weeks later, he called his Employment Advocate again to tell her he had accepted a litigation position with a mid-sized San Francisco firm at a salary that was identical to what he was formerly making with the major San Francisco firm. And about the major New York law firm?

Phil was quite clear: “I do not think I am ever going to want to work for a big firm again. I expect to be a partner in five years at my present firm. If there is anything I would recommend to attorneys searching for a job it is this: Don’t use Legal Authority as a last resort. I could have been employed more than four months ago if I had used it as my first resort.”

*Names have been changed to maintain our level of inviolable secrecy, but this is a 100% true success story.

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As I sit before my computer monitor writing this short article, the window for my document is minimized so as to maximize my view of my desktop background—a view of our beloved, blue planet from two hundred miles above its surface. The stunning vista of creamy, white-blue clouds and indigo sea against a black, starless sky reminds me of the amazing richness of opportunities constantly before us…and of our regrettable inability to take advantage of all of them. Fortunately, leading full and joyful lives does not require that we take advantage of all opportunities but, rather, that we carefully choose the precious few possibilities that we can and will pursue. What a difference it will make in your law career if you seize those few opportunities and take full advantage of the doors they open!

Candidates ask me all the time, “Which firms are making partners now?” I always respond, “None of them!” The dead silence is usually followed by nervous laughter. “Not, really,” candidates say. “I know it seems like that, but where are associates really making partners?”

At this juncture, I usually let them in on a little secret: things have changed in the practice of law since the 1950s. Here’s the bottom line: there are no more firms where associates simply “make partner.” Instead, associates grow up, get clients, create practices, and only then are awarded partnership status.

What this means is that attorneys must know how to create thriving practices while maintaining heavy workloads, and most firms cannot or will not expend resources to teach lawyers how to do this. They are on their own. Well, almost.

Here are some pointers that will help you develop the personal and professional clout you will need to build your own book of business.

Start Building Partner Skills Now

Associates who are ultimately invited to join their firms’ partnerships are not created equally, yet there are several “types” of attorneys who possess skills that increase their likelihood of making partner. I once sat in on a lecture given by the chairman of a prominent law firm, in which he discussed three types of partnership-bound associates.

First, there is the “rainmaker” who spends all (or most) of his or her time networking, having lunches, meeting people, and bringing in business. Second, the “service partner” adds value to a firm by providing niche expertise in a specialized area of the law, thus meeting the needs of sophisticated clients in ways that a partner with general legal skills cannot. Finally, the “hybrid” brings good leadership skills, strong connections to the firm and within the local community, and the ability to supervise projects and associates with aplomb.

While I respect these distinctions, I see things a little more simply. The only kind of person who can make and remain a partner is a person who has developed and continues to nurture a large, quality network of friends, colleagues, experts, and clients with whom he or she is involved on a professional level. This means that a potential partner must be able to call upon the people within his or her network to meet the needs of existing clients, to refer and generate new clients, and to keep abreast of developments in his or her industry.

No matter what level of practice you may now enjoy, the levels of ability and interest you exhibit in maintaining such a network may well mean the difference between professional and remunerative success or failure.

The Core Competency of a Partner

The ability to develop successful professional relationships is one of the core competencies of a partner. Almost anyone can practice law, but only a few develop law practices. I always try to emphasize to younger lawyers that it is never too early to start the process of building a network of strong relationships. The fundamental difference between a partner and any other lawyer is leadership ability. Partners lead. That means that partners assume responsibilities, delegate tasks, and are accountable for meeting the needs of their clients. These leadership traits are not innate; they must be learned, and to be learned, they must be practiced.

The only way to become a leader is to practice leadership in a thousand small ways. Sets of small acts tend to grow, of their own accord, into larger sets of responsibilities that eventually can develop into leadership over an entire case, with a large client, or in a 3,000-member law firm.

Furthermore, leadership does not begin with a “lucky break,” such as when, for instance, the senior associate on a matter calls in sick and you are named the lead attorney…or when the lead partner suddenly realizes that you are brilliant…or even if a client suddenly prefers that you take the reins. Rather, leadership begins with relationship management. In essence, every legal task can be broken down into a series of relationships that need managing. For example, an attorney must exhibit leadership in order to assign the appropriate people within a law firm to answer interrogatories, to find critical documents, to communicate key information about deals to clients, or to manage support staff and other associates in preparing filings or coordinating nationwide document collections and reviews.

Thus, to build the confidence, credibility, and leadership skills necessary to fulfill these responsibilities, attorneys must begin by cultivating as many meaningful relationships as possible. To do this, they must actually meet people.

Get Out There, Meet People, and Make Friends

Networking is just a fancy way of describing the process of intentionally making friends. Every lawyer in the country should be a member of at least three organizations and should contribute to each of them. It is often the case that the most effective, highest-functioning attorneys are those who are members of scores of organizations that they have joined over the courses of their careers.

For starters, however, any professional—and every lawyer—should join one organization within each of the following genres: professional, service-oriented, and fraternal or social. At the most basic level, every lawyer should be closely involved with some sort of professional organization of lawyers dedicated to furthering the practice of law. This might be a subcommittee within a state bar association, the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, or even your local Barristers Club. There is no substitute for meeting and interacting with new lawyers in settings devoted to their respective practices. Successful lawyers have hundreds of colleagues who are essentially professional acquaintances with whom they have developed familiarity. Although meeting people and getting to know colleagues is incredibly easy to do, many lawyers dread it. It doesn’t have to be painful. Go out and meet someone new today!

For the Socially Challenged: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Network

Here is a step-by-step primer for developing a network of professional colleagues that even a partner would envy:

  1. Join the “[fill in the blank]” club.
  2. Actually go to a meeting.
  3. Say, “Hello, how are you?” to five people. Be brave. Try to initiate some small talk. (For example, ask questions such as “Where do you practice?” or “What is your most interesting case right now?”)
  4. Give a business card to each person you talk to. Ask for a business card from each of them, or write their names and phone numbers down on one of your own cards and hang on to it!
  5. Once you get home or back to the office, enter their names in your Outlook folder (or some other location), and set up a reminder to call each person back in one week to follow up and say how much you enjoyed meeting him or her.
  6. Actually call each person back.
  7. Make it a practice to call each person on your list of contacts once every three months.
  8. Follow where this leads you.

There. That wasn’t so hard! These are simple but invaluable steps. Every lawyer has some basic social skills, or he or she would not have survived the first year of legal practice. Begin naturally—but begin—and see where these proto-relationships take you. The point is that, just like in sales, there are only so many solid opportunities per “X” number of contacts. The only way to “get lucky” is to make sure that you make lots of attempts to build and maintain your personal network. Not every person is going to become a client, but the greater the number of personal contacts you maintain, the greater the resulting synergy between their accumulated sums of interactions, relationships, and experiences and your own.

Bringing It All Together

Once you have started down the path of generating a network of diverse professionals, you will be surprised at how it starts to take on a life of its own. Telling one colleague about an amusing vignette may lead him or her to do a small favor for you, such as sending over a client as a referral. Over time, that client or that colleague may lead you to significant business opportunities. All the while, you should be continuing to grow these and other relationships.

The key point to remember is that becoming a responsible leader depends on your ability to manage relationships. In every interaction, follow through with whatever you promise to do. If you offer to provide a reference, provide it! If you agree to get the name of someone who can serve as an expert, do it—and promptly! Demonstrating this kind of courtesy builds reputations and relationships—one small, solid step at a time. I absolutely guarantee that if you follow these practices, you will eventually succeed. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. You just need to be reasonably careful, reasonably reliable, and reasonably friendly, and you will be ahead of the majority of the pack.

Conclusion

The world is full of opportunities, but we cannot take advantage of them all; we can only capitalize on a few. To the extent that you can internalize this powerful principle, you will find that the world—and, in particular, your own practice—is as full of opportunities as a path strewn with gems. The key is to determine which gems to pick up, carry, and ultimately safeguard…because you cannot take them all. If you follow this path, you may find that your biggest challenge lies not in finding opportunities, but in having sufficiently large pockets!

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How Do You Work With Employer Data at Legal Authority?

by A. Harrison Barnes on July 31, 2014

The process of working on client files at Legal Authority is quite complicated and works like this:

First, our clients generally sign up on our web site or call in.Once a client calls in or signs up on our web site, we call to schedule an appointment with them and they are assigned an Employment Advocate who will be their contact person throughout their search.With only one exception, all of our Employment Advocates are attorneys.Our Employment Advocates work with our clients through each step of the process.

Second, once an appointment is scheduled, a client speaks with one of our Employment Advocates about their job search and what they are seeking to do.During the phone call, a list of employers is generated which matches precisely what the client is seeking to do.The Employment Advocate will generally counsel the client about what they believe is the most appropriate steps for the candidate to follow in their job search.Employment Advocates are sort of like recruiters because their ultimate objective is to get you a job.The difference between an Employment Advocate and a traditional legal recruiter, however, is that Employment Advocates work with you.

In the third step of the process, the list of employers that the client and Employment Advocate agree upon is sent to our data review center and the resume is sent to our resume and cover letter department.

Our resume and cover letter department is also populated almost exclusively by attorneys.Two of our resume and cover letter personnel have worked in major New York law firms.Another holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.In our resume and cover letter department, with the input from what you are seeking to do gained from their discussions with you and your Employment Advocate a resume fitting exactly what you are seeking to do is crafted.

Our data center is extremely sophisticated, operates 24 hours a day seven days a week and is staffed by over twenty researchers.Our data center is populating our database with contact information every day of the week.Many of our candidates often ask us where we get our data and the answer is we get it from numerous sources.The least challenging aspect of our work is getting the data from printed sources.The problem with printed sources, however, is that a large percentage of law firms, corporations and other legal hiring organizations do not even list themselves in printed sources.A listing in Martindale Hubble, for example, costs firms several hundreds of dollars.At a cost exceeding $50,000 a month, our data center pulls information from other data sources making use of U.S. Government issued Standard Industry Classifications (SIC Codes) which classify businesses based upon the type of industry they are in.This information is constantly being double checked, reclassified and loaded into our database.

Once the candidate file is sent to the data center, the data center reviews the list of contacts put together by the Employment Advocate.Since each search is personal to everyone who uses our service, our list of contacts inside each legal hiring organization is never perfect.For example, we try to use contacts that are less than four months old.If a contact is less than four months old we do not use it and reinvestigate who the contact is.In addition, we very rarely have a full list of contacts within each hiring organization because each search our candidates performs is unique.Accordingly, the data center identifies which contacts on the Employment Advocates list either (1) need to be found, or (2) need to be updated and sends them to a researcher within the data center.This process of updating the information often takes less than a day. In some cases it has taken our data center over two weeks.Once the data center is happy with its information, it is sent to a data analyst.

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LEGAL MYTH:

 If I use the NALP Guide, Martindale, or my career services office, I will find my perfect job.

LEGAL AUTHORITY:

You can follow the crowd and the same old tired list of leads, or you can take action and contact us.Legal Authority is the leader in finding jobs for law students from over 200 law schools.

Legal Authority has more legal hiring contacts than any company on Earth—over 75,000 of them.We have more legal hiring contacts than Martindale, NALP or your career service office.We have a staff of over 35 attorneys and researchers updating our hiring contacts 24 hours a day.In addition, we have professional writers on staff who will review and revise your resume and cover letters so they have the greatest possible impact.You would be surprised to find out how many law students use Legal Authority to find jobs.Law students use Legal Authority because it works.

 It is no secret that following the crowd and finding a job through your career services office, networking, and applying sporadically to jobs on posting boards can be “hit or miss”.You can compete with everyone else at every other law school trying the same tired old methods of getting a job or you can take action and call us.No one but Legal Authority can help you apply to every specific type job you might be interested in.

At Legal Authority, we have the resources to get more law students jobs than any other single organization we are aware of in the United States.

Our database contains contacts for virtually every law firm, corporation, government office, and public interest organization in the United States (we can even help you go abroad).We will review and revise your resume and help you apply to any employer you want to—anywhere.And our service is also extremely inexpensive.Let our Attorney Employment Advocates speak with you about your job search and how they can get you your first job.

Find out how law students across the United States are getting their first job.Sounds easy?It is.Sounds smart?It is.

Now you’re thinking like a lawyer.

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Opportunity-An Immeasurable Resource

by A. Harrison Barnes on July 17, 2014

Opportunity—it’s one of life’s most invaluable assets and often under emphasized.It’s that hidden treasure that can change lives.While many spend countless hours in search of the perfect one, the most coveted opportunities are found where one usually would not look.

Many times, a successful job search requires opportunity.The ability to give yourself the best possible chance in life requires that you search all avenues, streets, roads and highways.By doing so, you will not only be able to uncover those positions you never thought existed, but you may find a new outlook on life as well.While one’s education, experience and community involvement certainly play a vital role in your search, the ability to present yourself to that firm or corporation begins with opportunity, first and foremost.

Legal Authority does just that.Our services provide you with endless opportunities.Each and every one is precious.In order to pursue all of your career goals, you must first be able to give yourself the best possible chance to succeed.Let us be part of your journey!

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