From the monthly archives:

August 2013

View Count: 1247

Major Practice Areas Analyzed

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 31, 2013

Major Practice Areas Analyzed

Litigation

Litigation is as American as apple pie. In our litigious society, it is never likely to fall out of fashion.

Many attorneys decided to enter the law as young people because they were entranced by the glamorous trial lawyers they saw on film and television. While the real world is of course very different from the Hollywood version, there is no doubt that the kind of high-stakes, win-lose competitiveness intrinsic to litigation work exerts a powerful pull for many attorneys. Litigation is a game of chess that requires endless diligence, inspired creativity, brilliant arguments, and excellent negotiating skills.

The reality is that the vast majority of cases never go to trial, and that most are won or lost during the months or years of plodding preparation. This means that litigation associates spend most of their time assisting their superiors with the vast quantity of work that goes into the discovery process. This includes reviewing volumes of correspondence, drafting motions, taking depositions, and filing interrogatories.

Litigation is another relatively recession-proof practice area, because when individuals and companies are losing money, they are more likely to seek redress through the courts. The demand for litigators is thus countercyclical, and healthy in the current climate.
In addition to general commercial litigation, there are a number of different sub-practice areas, including contract disputes, employment, IP, securities, and toxic torts, to name a few. Some attorneys spend all or most of their time in one area or another, while others are generalists.

Litigators work at firms of all sizes, from major American general practice firms to small boutiques. The cultures at these firms are as heterogeneous as the firms themselves, but litigators are generally known for competitiveness, smarts and

What Do Recruiters Want?

From a recruiting standpoint, there are several things for litigators and aspiring litigators to bear in mind. While the market for litigators is strong and healthy, the number of litigators available to make a lateral move at any one time is also relatively high. This means that competition can be fierce for individual positions.

Some of the things that can set you apart from the pack include top-notch academic qualifications, Law Review, and participation in Moot Court. A federal clerkship is an outstanding asset, not only for the knowledge and contacts it can yield, but also for the distinction it confers. Successful litigators are smart, aggressive, and work very hard to win, and they expect that these same qualities will manifest themselves on an attorney’s resume.

If you have good experience in a relatively unusual area at a solid law firm, this can overcome other weaknesses in your credentials. Examples include toxic torts, employment, . IP and securities litigators are also in high demand, and these practice areas require special skills and experience..

Research and writing skills are critical in a litigator. Taking depositions and preparing interrogatories are
IP

If “plastics” was the one-word career advice given to Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate over three decades ago, “intellectual property law” would have been a likely 90’s legal version of the same. While the “dot gone” companies have vanished — taking along with them many of the attorneys (including IP) who provided them with legal services — there is no doubt that IP law is here to stay for the long haul.

As the United States and other industrialized economies have migrated from industrial production through a service economy to what has been termed “intellectual capitalism,” IP law has increased dramatically in importance. The engine of the U.S. economy has become ideas, and “knowledge workers” have been their driving force. In short, ideas are king. And attorneys who help inventors, entrepreneurs and artists to protect intellectual property play a vital role in their capitalization.

IP law can be divided, like Gaul, into three parts: patent prosecution, litigation, and “soft” IP (trademarks and copywrite). The technology recession and collapse of the “new economy” have affected each of these areas of law quite differently. The softness in the economy has prompted a softness in the job market for soft IP attorneys.

Law firms have responded to the contraction in business by engaging in a ‘flight to quality.’ Whereas previously patent prosecutors did not necessarily require an advanced degree in a technical field, that requirement is now frequently the norm. The reason for this is quite simple: understanding the technology behind patents is as vital as understanding patent law in getting patents issued. Nothing is more exasperating to a client than having an attorney that is unable to understand their invention.

That said, patent law is one of the few practice areas in which it is possible to work at a prestigious firm without having attended a stellar law school, or made law review. Even so, opportunities for patent prosecutors are thin on the ground and very competitive.

Bankruptcy

While debtor’s prisons (such as the one that held Charles Dicken’s father) were abolished along ago in North America, the inability to fulfill financial obligations continues to send record numbers of companies and individuals into insolvency. Bankruptcies are at an all-time high.

In a land of failing and failed businesses, the bankruptcy attorney is king. In this sense, bankruptcy law is not only recession proof, but also strongly countercyclical. Demand for bankruptcy associates and partners are naturally also at an all-time high.

Bankruptcy law comes from the US Bankruptcy Code, which itself stemmed from a provision in the US Constitution.

Within bankruptcy, there a number of sub-practice areas that it is possible to specialize in, including creditor’s rights,

What Do Recruiters Want?

Given the strong demand for bankruptcy associates at present, candidates with somewhat average credentials are currently able to land solid jobs. The top firms still require top law schools and good grades. But additional assets include a spell as an extern or clerk in a bankruptcy court, and working for a well-known bankruptcy practice, regardless of size.
People are at the heart of every enterprise. It should come as no surprise that labor and employment law are a vital

Corporate

Overview

Since the charter of the Jamestown Company was first drawn up in 1607, attorneys have been responsible for helping form, advising, and representing the companies that have played a significant role in shaping, and maintaining the wealth and prosperity of, the modern world. While many early “joint stock” companies merely required the imprimatur of a king or queen to authorize the scope of their operations, the vastly more complex regulatory, legislative, and legal requirements of the present day mean that virtually every commercial enterprise from the largest multinational to the humblest start-up needs a competent attorney to help them navigate the minefield of owning and/or operating a business.

Corporate attorneys are the trusted advisors who assist them in almost every sphere of their commercial activity, and in every stage of their life cycle. This entails addressing both tactical and strategic issues, from company formation to corporate governance, from startup and ongoing finance to possible liquidation or change in control (including private equity, M&A, and initial and subsequent public offerings), from employment agreements and “non-competes” to regulatory and tax compliance, among others.

The work of a corporate attorney is often more varied than in other areas of the law, and this can mean it is more interesting and rewarding. Furthermore, whether you are working at a law firm or at an in-house position, you are constantly interacting with other lawyers (both within other practice areas of your firm and opposing counsel), as well as non-lawyers at the companies you counsel. The best corporate attorneys have excellent communication skills, and are able to understand and anticipate client needs by wearing a business hat as well as a legal hat. Corporate attorneys help companies solve problems, from day-to-day issues to life-or-death transactions, and this can be as challenging as it is rewarding.

The Crisis in Corporate Practices

The current predicament of many corporate attorneys with dwindling billables, or worse, present or threatened unemployment, mirrors the macroeconomic trends of the last two years. While a “rising tide lifted all boats,” boosting associate and partner compensation to the stratosphere at many firms, the crash of the New Economy has brought pain and retrenchment with the massive falloff in business, like a neap tide suctioning jobs and money back from whence they came. Once eminent firms have shuttered, layoffs are legion, and virtually no corporate practice has been unscathed by the fallout. What is more, a classic supply and demand problem has made the market for corporate associates without portables a challenging one indeed: there are simply more corporate attorneys than there is demand for them. The law firm economics that once made hiring corporate associates so attractive — and profitable – before the crash in the summer of 2000, has reversed with the decline in billable hours. Once high-performing assets, recently minted corporate associates are now in many cases liabilities at firms that are struggling to break even, or better, turn a profit. The inflationary price wars that caused salaries to skyrocket have collapsed into stagnation and, in many cases, deflation.

From a recruiting standpoint, the situation is even direr for the corporate attorneys who chose to go “in-house” at the companies they were advising, and who are now seeking to rejoin law firms. Many of the companies they joined have either gone under or are going nowhere, and the options they were granted that once promised quick riches have transformed, Cindarella-like, back into worthless scraps of paper (and even worse, in many cases, tax liabilities where no monetary gain was ever realized). Rightly or wrongly, law firms take a dim view of this migration to in-house positions or solo practice, in part because they see it as a negative predictor of future “stickability.”

The same slogan “differentiate or die” that applies to businesses can also apply to corporate associates in a down economy. Without a unique or compelling competitive advantage, in the form of knowledge, skills, impeccable credentials or portable business, corporate associates are left to the vagaries of the job market. Being “jack of all trades” is not an attractive proposition when trade itself is down and you are competing with others with very specialized skill sets. There are, of course, many niches in which a corporate attorney can specialize, from securities and M&A to contracts to employment and litigation management.

The Road Ahead

The “supply overhang” that is responsible for so much suffering and economic loss is likely to persist beyond 2009. While it does, the opportunities for lateral moves are few and far between. Firms are now able to “cherry pick” young associates with outstanding credentials they once would have had no hope of courting. Even many capable young attorneys with stellar credentials are finding it difficult to get new jobs. Some, sadly, are abandoning the practice of law altogether, out of frustration or financial necessity.

But the prognosis is not dire over the medium to long term. While corporate associates are hostage to the same business cycle as the firms they advise, their fortunes will improve with economic expansion and the inevitable recovery that has followed every recession in American history. The day will not be long coming when the same cycle repeats itself, and many eager law school students are drawn by opportunity and financial gain into corporate practices across the land. Come hell or high water, corporate practices will continue to be the core revenue-driver at major American law firms.

As long as private enterprise continues to drive economic growth around the world, corporate attorneys will be needed to help them.

Early Years

Corporate associates cut their teeth drafting, revising, and in some cases negotiating boilerplate agreements. In addition to the tedium of practicing “form law,” and the bad habits this can encourage, the nature of this work means that writing, reading and revising stacks of generic documents are the initiation rites that young corporate associates must endure. To many, this work is neither intellectually arresting, nor particularly fulfilling, but the pleasure of working closely with clients makes it well worth the effort. The prospect of dealmaking later on, the job mobility in a good economy, and the financial rewards of working for a thriving practice are additional incentive to practice corporate law.

A Typical Day

Corporate attorneys spend most of their day on the telephone advising clients. Unlike litigators, who are shaped by the win-lose, binary nature of trials and settlements, successful corporate attorneys are masters of compromise and problem avoidance. Because large amounts of their business hours are spent on the phone, it is not unusual for corporate attorneys to work late hours, and pull all-nighters if crunch time has arrived in the form of a pending deal. With the recent decline in business, however, the more frequent reality today is of a collapse in billable hours. We have seen associates who billed in excess of 2300 hours at the height of the boom see their workloads fall to 1500 hours and under. This is a lose-lose, for the associate and their firm.

Flavors of Corporate Law

Corporate practice is not a monolith; there are, in fact, numerous niches within corporate practice that require different skills, backgrounds, and credentials. Likewise, these sub-practice areas are more or less attractive to law firms depending on the state of the economy and on the needs of their clients at any point in time. While defining these areas in great detail goes beyond the scope of this article, it is worth briefly mentioning a few: M&A, securities, and project finance.

Mergers and acquisitions are what happen when one company acquires, or is merged with, another. Because of the onerous reporting requirements and the many pitfalls that characterize such deals (including the potential of bankrupting the acquiring company in a bet-the-farm transaction), M&A activities require the assistance of M&A attorneys, as well as the investment bankers and executives on both sides of a deal. The devil is in the details, and the time to discover it is during due diligence. Due diligence is a laborious process that usually requires many weeks or months of frantic auditing activity, in which every single legal agreement and liability of the company being acquired must be gone over with a fine-toothed comb (often in conference rooms, and frequently late at night, the closer it gets to the deal date.) Since finance is the lifeblood of these deals, and in fact the key to a profitable return on both sides, an understanding of finance and accounting is the sine qua non of an M&A attorney. Many young M&A attorneys will have finance and accounting degrees, or even MBA’s. At the more senior levels, negotiating skills take over as a core skill.

The current state of the economy has caused some corporate associates with M&A backgrounds to increase their billable hours because of the number of failing businesses that must be sold, or that don’t have a realistic prospect of raising capital in the public markets in the near term. In these cases, corporate associates are engaged in extended negotiation and due diligence sessions that can still come to naught after months of work. Nevertheless, M&A is one area of specialization that is relatively desirable because it requires a special skill, and has favorable economics. As in other areas of the law, it helps to be mentored by a rainmaking partner – in this case, to teach the vital negotiation skills and black magic required to shepherd a desirable deal to fruition.

Corporate attorneys with a strong background in securities law are also in a more defensible position than those of the “garden variety.” These attorneys are expert at securities law, including the disclosure requirements of the 1934 Securities Act.
Access to the capital markets is the lifeblood of continued operations and shareholder value for all publicly held companies, as well as many privately held ones that hope — at some stage — to have an initial public offering. Many corporate associates who specialize in securities law will spend valuable time at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unfortunately, the collapse in IPO activity in the last twenty-four months has caused a number of promising young securities attorneys to lose their jobs. Over the long term, this trend is likely to reverse. With high-profile scandals like Enron and Worldcom, and the new legislation that has been pushed through Congress, the onerous disclosure requirements companies whose sell securities face are sure to wax rather than wane, and so, therefore, will the workload of their corporate counsel.

Project finance associates are corporate attorneys who help facilitate major infrastructure deals, often in the international arena. Corporate attorneys who wish to work abroad at some stage of their career often seek opportunities in project finance, because many of these projects occur in Asia, and in developing countries, which are chronically short of infrastructure. Roads, bridges, dams, and power-generation plants are some of the types of projects that require project finance expertise. Because of the sheer scale of these multi-year projects, and the political uncertainties that sometimes accompany them, the risk and cost are spread among a number of financial institutions and investors. This means that project finance associates must be fluent in both finance and, in many cases, the local laws and regulations that constrain the methods by which such projects are effected.

In sum, while corporate attorneys can be generally characterized as attorneys who help companies to survive and thrive despite the many legal, regulatory, and business strategy challenges that they face – and many are, in fact, generalists firmly connected to their clients’ needs – there is in fact a wide variety of sub-practice areas. of specialties, that corporate attorneys can pursue.

IP

According to Peter Drucker, businesses (and for that matter, individuals who are engaged in commerce of some kind) are primarily concerned with marketing and innovation. IP attorneys help build, maintain and sustain a competitive advantage in the area of innovation, without which sustained economic development would be impossible. The reason that companies invest billions of dollars in research and development (R&D) each year is that they hope to capitalize on those inventions, be they in the area of biotechnology or pharmaceuticals, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering. Without IP law, this would be impossible: inventions would simply be stolen in a free-for-all that would rapidly lessen the returns, and therefore the incentive, to innovate. The productivity gains that society relies on to become richer and more efficient with each passing year would likewise, in time, vanish. Before IP law, the world had a relatively stagnant economy for millenia. Then along came the US Constitution.

The three kinds of IP attorney are patent prosecutors, IP litigators, and trademark and copyrights attorneys. The areas of IP law include patents, copyrights, trademarks, unfair competition, and trade secrets.

Patents grant 20-year exclusive licenses (from the date of the patent application) to make, use, sell or license an innovation. In order to obtain a patent, the US Patent and Trademark Office needs to be convinced that the invention is new, useful, and not obvious in light of “prior art.” In one recent controversial case, this included the granting of a patent to Amazon for its “1-click” shopping (as a business process). A rash of recent litigation in this arena continues to prove the limits of patent law.

Patent prosecutors research, prepare, and apply for patents on behalf of their clients. In most cases, because of the technical nature of the work, it is necessary for the patent prosecutor to have one or more undergraduate or advanced degrees in engineering. Given the esoteric and often abstruse subject matter, patent prosecutors must be able to keep up with their clients, and stay one step ahead of the USPTO. Surprisingly, a strong technical degree will be a compensating factor in the job market for those who did not attend Top Twenty law schools. A strong scientific background opens doors at top firms that would otherwise be closed. The job market for patent prosecutors is currently fairly soft, although there is always room for the best. One of the additional requirements besides having an engineering degree is to have one or more patents issued, a process which usually takes several years.

Patent litigators help companies enforce, and thus secure the profitability of, their patents. As the number of patents increases tremendously by the year, the amount of litigation naturally rises as well. Some individual multinational companies will apply for many thousands of patents in a single year.

“Soft IP” lawyers are currently facing a recession. This phenomenon, like the glacial slowdown in general corporate work, will likely last throughout the present recession. The skills needed to be a soft IP lawyer are less rigorous. In effect, there are lower barriers to entry and many more young attorneys joined the party while the drinks were flowing. Now the hangover has set in.

Not all of the controversies regarding protecting intellectual property are as recent as they may appear; Hollywood itself was allegedly founded by men who crossed the country to avoid paying Thomas Edison the royalties due him for his invention, the movie projector.

Tax

Death and taxes being the only certainties in life, tax attorneys will be around until one or both are conquered, which might take a while.

Tax is an abstruse, technical subject that can reap significant rewards for individuals and corporations who

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1240

The Interviewing Process: A Survival Guide for Recent Law School Graduates

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 30, 2013

Graduating from law school is certainly a job in itself… now it’s time to take the next step–landing that dream position! The interviewing process can be an extremely daunting task; while being able to sell yourself to a particular firm is, of course, the primary goal; there lies a plethora of guidelines every recent law school graduate should follow.

In order to attain that first interview, your resume and cover letter will be the first impression a hiring authority will have of you; these documents need to be flawless, as there is no room for error. Once the interview date has been set, intense preparation should follow. This includes researching the firm’s area of expertise, its well-established track record and gathering as much information about the person you will be interviewing with are all key factors a candidate should gather beforehand. Being prepared with detailed questions to ask the hiring authority is vital to a successful interview. The specificity and detail of these questions should be given a great amount of thought and, in turn, will demonstrate to the firm that you have done your homework. The day has finally arrived… the interview is only a few hours away. You have completed the needed preparation and are beaming with confidence.

Dress for Success-this cannot be overemphasized enough. This will be the first time you will be meeting your potential employer and you want to make a lasting impression. From your enthusiasm about the opportunity to what you wear on the interview are all taking into account and analyzed by the interviewer. Making sure your suit is neatly pressed and your tie is stain-free is just as important as what you say during this time. Other non-verbal communication such as your posture, handshake and maintaining eye contact are crucial as well. Nervous gestures, although understandable given the situation, need to be curtailed too.

Once the series of questions have begun, your answers need to be well-defined and thorough in order to demonstrate how you will be an asset to the firm. Although saying you pay close attention to detail and have a strong work-ethic are important, it is recommended that you apply these qualities to experiences you’ve had in the past (i.e. summer internships, clerkships, etc.). This will allow the firm to see how you handle different situations and obstacles when they do arise. By doing so, the firm is able to gain more insight into your character and abilities to successfully get the job done.

The interview is coming to an end and you have eloquently articulated why you deserve the position. Although many law firms require multiple interviews before an offer is made, you should always close the interview by asking for the job. This simply reiterates your strong desire towards the firm, while demonstrating a certain level of confidence on your part. The last step, and one that is commonly overlooked, is sending a thank you note to the firm for their time and consideration. This simple gesture adds a personal touch and distinguishes you among those other candidates.

By following these guidelines, your odds of a successful interviewing campaign may greatly increase.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1352

What Is Legal Authority?

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 25, 2013

 

 

Legal Authority helps attorneys and law students manage their career moves more effectively and successfully. We are not a recruiting firm retained by a law firm or company to screen candidates for positions. Legal Authority is working on your behalf, helping you contact employers that meet your needs. By making more quality contacts, you can produce more phone calls, interviews, and job offers than you can by reaching employers through a recruiter and risking a price tag of 25%-50% of your salary affecting your chances negatively. This is accomplished through the design of high impact resumes and their targeted distribution in the marketplace.

Free Resume Critique and Marketability Assessment

If you would like to increase the impact of your resume and increase the effectiveness of your overall career marketing, let our Attorney Employment Advocates answer your questions about your career goals. We will also explain how Legal Authority’s services will be able to assist you in your search. You can call us at 1-800-283-3860 or wait for us to contact you to schedule your free critique. DELAY IS EXPENSIVE. Each month you remain under-employed or unemployed can cost you thousands of dollars. In addition, under-marketing yourself is the single most expensive thing you will do in your life. Put our resources to work for you. Just by registering, you have made a giant step in that direction. We look forward to helping you meet your career objectives.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1185

Myth versus Reality: Prosecutor Jobs

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 24, 2013

There are thousands and thousands of prosecutor jobs and the courts are jammed.What a super way to get actual courtroom experience and uphold the Constitution.There are prosecutors in virtually every city in the United States.You too can uphold the law.

LEGALMYTH:Only the top students can get jobs as prosecutors.

LEGALAUTHORITY:There are thousands and thousands of prosecutor jobs. Certainly, some prosecutor jobs are harder to get than others.Nevertheless, if you want to be a prosecutor the chances are strong you may be able to be.

Confidentiality is a serious concern for any job seeker.That’s why we will provide you with the actual letters, for your signature, for you to send out your materials to.Accordingly, you will never be contacting a law school you do not want to contact—or worse—your own law school.This is the way it should be.We will provide you with the contacts and you can run your job search with the letters, resumes and so forth we prepare on your behalf.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1388

The Three Step Process to Finding a Legal Job

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 23, 2013

Legal Authority has developed a three-part method to help lawyers just like you get their ideal jobs quickly. Here’s how it works:

1. They find the perfect employer for you.

Legal Authority’s database contains more than 98 percent of all legal employers in the United States — altogether, more than half a million legal employers. Developed at a cost of several million dollars, our database is monumental in scale, with a degree of accuracy that is unmatched by any other source, including law schools and job-search companies.

2. They create the perfect legal resume for you.

Once you have selected the types of positions and employers that you deem ideal, Legal Authority’s resume writers will assist you in crafting a flawless resume and cover letter to your specification that will show potential employers how you’re the perfect fit for their organization.

3. They give you all the resources you need to apply to every position that fits.

Once you’re fully satisfied with your new resume and cover letter, Legal Authority will mail you as many copies as you need to forward to the employers you select. All you will need to do is sign your cover letters and stamp your envelopes.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1166

Your Job Search Is All about the Numbers

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 21, 2013

Have you ever heard of Legal Authority? Think hard. You may have seen it somewhere in a magazine or on a website or on a billboard. Did you every wonder what Legal Authority is?

It’s the best kept secret of job seekers nationwide. More attorneys and law students find jobs using Legal Authority than any other source in the world. Most legal professionals are aware of the fact that over 75% of legal jobs are filled by word-of-mouth, not by job openings. Using Legal Authority’s aggressive career marketing program, they are able to dominate a job market and generate interviews while friends and colleagues are unable to even get a phone call.

You can tap into the hidden job market. Legal Authority has the world’s most sophisticated database of legal employers, containing up-to-date hiring contacts and classifications for specific criteria such as size, revenue, industry/practice area, and location. With your input, we will use this database to identify every single legal employer that meets your specific interests and search criteria. Somewhere in that market, your next job awaits. We just have to find it.

A good resume and cover letter can make a difference. Our skilled writers will craft a perfect resume and cover letter for the market you are approaching. You get the final say over the documents, of course, and our writers will work with you until we have an exemplary set of documents that will highlight your skills and illustrate your marketability. One of the most frequent comments our clients hear from employers nationwide is how impressed each employer was with the resume and cover letter. This level of perfection never goes unnoticed.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Legal Authority will print out the completed, addressed application materials that we send to your door. All you do is sign each letter and stamp each envelope. As a result, mailing out hundreds of letters to employers and getting interviews by the handful only takes minimal effort on your part. And, with hundreds of thousands of legal employers nationwide, hundreds of letters are necessary for you to get your foot in the door. Legal Authority’s aggressive strategy is marketing at its purest, and we always win when playing the numbers game.

There’s always a catch. Except with Legal Authority. There is no catch. You are our client, and we will go to the greatest effort possible to give you the best chance you have at finding your next (or first) legal job. We know that you’re discouraged or disappointed in your job prospects, and we make it our goal to make your job search painless.

Think about your job search. Are you 100% confident that you’re doing everything you can to find the best job out there for you? Now that you have the answer, get in touch and start putting us to work for you. Visit our website at www.legalauthority.com, or call us at 1-800-283-3860 to find out more about what we can do for you.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1144

Some Things You Probably Did Not Know About Legal Authority

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 19, 2013

Does this work?
Many attorneys who have used self-initiated targeted mailing originally tried the other ways to find a job that you may have. It did not work for them either. Beyond even compensating for ineffective methods for location a position, however, Legal Authority provides you with the exposure to the most opportunities. Having the most options is simply a good strategy for your job search. Would you rather have one job offer, or several?

We believe the methods we use to give attorneys exposure to the largest possible market of employers are the most effective means to an interview and potential job. When you conduct your job search through Legal Authority, you have the luxury of approaching every legal employer that matches your interest in every area of the world where you are interested in working. The services we provide empower you to perform a more pro-active, expansive job search that will greatly increase your chances of finding the job that you want. If you use a job posting board, recruiter, or other method, you will have reduced your exposure to a fraction of the employers available through Legal Authority.

How many legal employers are in Legal Authority’s database?
We have over 500,000 legal employers in our database. This includes law firms, corporations, public interest groups, private associations, law schools, municipal, state and federal offices, state representatives, United States politicians, foreign ambassadors, and many other miscellaneous types of legal employers. If there is an organization that employs attorneys in the United States, the chances are extremely good they are in our database.

Why should I spend money on Legal Authority when I can do all this myself?
You can do it yourself. You can go the library, subscribe to over 50 legal directories and newspapers, call each employer and get the name of the people in charge of making decisions, and write it all down. Then you can input all this information into a database and then you can update that information on a daily basis seven days a week. If you think this is easy, think again: We have over forty people doing this for us on a daily basis in both the United States and abroad.

Then, while trying to hold down a full time job, you can create and revise an effective cover letter and resume that will draw any employer’s attention. Don’t forget to have your friends (are they experts on cover letters and resumes?) proofread your resume and give you editing suggestions. After you have perfected your resume, you can print out hundreds of cover letters, resumes, and envelopes on a laser printer, and then, finally sign, stamp and mail all of those letters. Hopefully, you will have reached every possible employer that matches your interests. This could take you a week, it could take you four months, or you might never finish the task.

Or you could call us.

How much will this cost me?
The cost is up to you and it depends on how expansive you want your job search to be. There are no hidden charges. We charge a Membership Fee that allows us to continually update and expand our sophisticated database and covers the cost of us preparing your resume and cover letter from scratch. The only other charge is a small charge for every employer for whom we prepare resumes, cover letters, and envelopes on your behalf. This charge also decreases depending on how expansive your job search will be. When you consider that each interview you receive will have cost you less than a coffee at Starbucks, you can see that our service is worth every penny. Click here for the details about the pricing.

What about getting a job through a job posting board on the Internet?
In our job, we speak with hundreds of legal professionals each month. The number of these professionals who have found legal employments from a posting on the Internet is dismally small.

There are several reasons the Internet is not the best sources for jobs.

1. Law firms are known as “dinosaurs” for a reason.
Job posting boards like Monster.com are effective for companies that are comfortable with online job hunting and recruiting. As a rule, law firms, law schools, remain most comfortable with “snail mail” – cover letters and resumes they receive from the post office, not from the Internet. Writing professional cover letters on good stationary that show you have taken time to contact the employer by writing a letter, addressing an envelope, stamping it and putting it in the mailbox is far more effective than simply hitting the “send” button on your email program.

In addition, government offices, hiring partners, and recruiting coordinators rarely advertise, and they have the luxury of waiting for the resumes to come in the door. Unless they are doing proactive recruiting with legal search firms or law schools, there is little “resume searching” that is done.

2. The Internet allows for overwhelming responses to every job posting.
If an employer is posting a job online, they will likely receive hundreds, or even thousands, of responses. You will be competing with every attorney with a computer who can email their resume.

3. A high number of the jobs on many posting boards online are outdated.
The legal employers who use the Internet as a source to find resumes generally use it as a secondary tool to hands-on, offline recruiting and resume searching. Consequently, when a job is filled, many employers forget to remove or delete the jobs they have posted throughout the many posting boards.

4. No single source of jobs on the Internet is complete.
You may need to review more than 50 job websites just to find 1/10th of all the jobs out there. Simply put, this is an ineffective way to search for a job. By using Legal Authority, you can approach all of the employers in a given market very quickly and cost-effectively. Alternatively, you can keep checking job-posting boards for weeks or months until a job that looks good comes along and then hope you stand out among the numerous resumes sent to the employer.

What Makes Legal Authority So Unique?
We give you the tools to perform the most effective job search, but you remain in control of every aspect. With the use of our database of employers and our team of experts reviewing your resumes and cover letters, you will be able to realize your full job hunt potential.

How expansive should my job search be?
In a market as small as the San Francisco Bay Area, we have well over 1000 legal employers. Should you approach them all? It will ultimately be your decision. You would think that if you wanted to work in a market as small as the San Francisco, you would not need to approach 1000 employers. The problem is that getting a position is very numbers driven. The more employers you approach, the more likely you are to get an interview, and the more likely you are to get a job offer. This does not mean that you need to send out such a high volume of letters in your specific job search. In some cases, we may recommend you only send out 25 or less. However, the more options you have, the more likely you are to find a great position that matches your qualifications and skills. And that is really the essence of becoming a client of Legal Authority: You are in charge of determining your career destiny.

{ 2 comments }

View Count: 1269

Why I Believe Legal Authority Is a Transformative Company

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 17, 2013

Legal Authority was built on the belief that there is no point in doing something if it is not done at its very highest level and better than anyone else. I can say that we are the undisputed world leader in the attorney mass mailing service. And our efforts will only continue to improve. The reasons we are the undisputed world leader, and will continue to dominate the market are described below:

First, we have more potential legal jobs and hiring contacts than any single source on Earth. There is no one with more hiring contacts—anywhere. When we started, we knew that there was no reason to do what we were doing unless we did it all. This was a massive goal—and still is on a daily basis. But it is one we have achieved and continue to achieve.

Second, we are aggressively using technology. Recent changes, such as the compact search, and the ability to upload thousands of corrected records in seconds, have improved efficiencies of our workforce by over 2.5 times. We need to continue aggressively using technology to experience the levels of market domination we should.

Third, we stress an outstanding work product in all we do. While our review and revision of cover letters and resumes may seem like and unnecessarily time consuming task—and one that detracts from our profits—it should be noted that we are committed to doing exceptional work. To this end, we have almost from day one had a professional writer on staff to ensure this work is done in a timely manner. In addition, our production department consistently keeps stressing a quality and first-rate work product that is error free. To date, we have done an exceptional job with this.

Fourth, we are a team. There is little doubt that we are a team here! In fact, I would question any organization to try and be more of a team than us. Work can be fun and we can do excellent work at the same time. We are proving this on a daily basis with all we do. Our weekly Attorney Employment Advocate and Production Department meetings have proven an outstanding tool to ensuring we are all in the same team.

Fifth, we exist because we want to help those who have proven they are worthy of help. This organization was founded simply because there was no source in existence which would do all they could to assist attorneys. Our work is noble and has profound significance. We are helping people who deserve our help because they are people who have taken efforts to help themselves by attending law school and completing a rigorous curriculum.

We need to constantly be aware that our goal is to make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives and that we can do this. We are often people’s last stop in their job search; however, we are without a doubt the most potentially effective stop. There is no more effective way for an attorney to get a job than by using our service—anywhere. In fact, there has never been. We are making history here and changing lives for the better on a daily basis.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1269

Your Job Search

by scott on August 16, 2013

The old cliché, ‘timing is everything’ is a phrase which relates to many of life’s situations.In an attorney’s job search, this statement cannot be overemphasized enough.Often times, I hear many misconceptions such as firms do not usually hire around this time of the year or the economy is just in too bad of shape.This is a big mistake.First and foremost, a successful job search requires that you be pro-active each and every day until you have found that ideal position.Those weeks and months you are unemployed, you are potentially losing thousands of dollars in income and this, of course, can be a strain on you and your family.

Within the infrastructure of a firm or corporation, positions are often created to fill the overwhelming amount of work that filters into the legal department.This is why it is imperative to expand your job search in each and every avenue possible.Reaching out to the largest pool of potential employers will allow you to realize all of the opportunities that do exist in the present market.There is no undesirable time to send a resume and remember timing is everything!

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1284

Legal Authority and Law Students

by A. Harrison Barnes on August 14, 2013

 

Quite frankly, Legal Authority is not something that every law student in the United States should be using.And not every law student Legal Authority works with gets a job using our service.

However, thousands of law students do get jobs using our service each year.We work with well over 100 law students per week who are seeking their first position.Our service is comprehensive: Our attorneys counsel law students about appropriate positions for them to apply to, rewrite their resume and cover letter, and provide them with professionally printed cover letters and envelopes to sign and mail.The average cost of our service is most often less than $500 for every law student we assist.

Our attorneys generally spend at least an hour talking with each individual law student and then several hours redoing their resumes and cover letters.In addition, we spend far in excess of $1 million each year maintaining a database that contains the information students need to apply for jobs:What type of practice areas is the student interested in? What type of employer does the student want to work for—a law firm, the federal or state government, a public interest organization, a corporation? Where does the student want to live? What size law firm does the student want to work for?

Certainly, on-campus interviewing, relationships with employers, and other means are good ways for students to get jobs—they always have been and always will be.However, we believe that our service is a profoundly effective way to ensure that law students find the precise job they are looking for when this job might not be available from more traditional sources.There is strength in numbers and because thousands of students use our service each year, we are able to offer a service far more effective than many law schools have the time, or the money, to offer.

{ 0 comments }