From the monthly archives:

December 2013

View Count: 1433

What Legal Authority Does For You

by A. Harrison Barnes on December 25, 2013

Who We Are

Legal Authority confidentially services both individual attorneys and legal hiring organizations. We firmly believe there is no more cost effective means than Legal Authority for either (1) attorneys to find a new position, or (2) employers to conduct outplacement. With a full time staff of 10 researchers, five attorneys, and a database updated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Legal Authority is the largest portal of legal employment opportunities in the world, seamlessly bringing attorneys and employers together throughout their career cycle. With the largest database of legal employers anywhere, Legal Authority has contacts for over 750,000 legal employers in all 50 states and over 150 countries. We are an excellent source for individuals to take charge of their job search and employers to ensure that their attorneys and staff experience success in their outplacement.

We help law students, practicing attorneys, and legal staff apply directly to almost any legal employer anywhere, including law firms, corporations, judges, public interest organizations, public defender’s offices, prosecutor’s offices, state or federal governmental agencies, law schools — you name it. Our services are profoundly cost effective and, compared to most job search methods, we do not believe there is a better bargain anywhere.

What We Do

We work directly for attorneys and law students as their advocates in the legal marketplace.

The Short Story

Using our contacts, we provide you with customized letters, envelopes, and resumes for legal jobs, in every area of practice, in every city and every country any legal professional could ever want to work — whether they are interested in one employer or a thousand employers. Whether you want to go in-house, to a law firm, to a public interest organization, work for the federal or state government, be a prosecutor, a court clerk, or even a law professor, we can help you find the perfect employer.

Using what is arguably the world’s most sophisticated database of legal employers, we penetrate markets, enhance attorneys’ lives, and get you the exposure to employers that you need. No recruiters, no job posting boards, or classified ads can do what we do. The beauty of what we do is that we put you in control of your own destiny.

According to Bob Gerber, the author of An Easier Way to Change Jobs, “Job hunting success depends 70% on marketing and interviews and 30% on background and ability.” This translates into: (1) knowing where to direct your mailing and (2) mailing sufficient volume to achieve your desired results. Even the National Association of Law Placement is clear that most attorneys obtain jobs by directly contacting employers who do not solicit applications.

With facilities in both the United States and abroad, Legal Authority operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, updating information about legal employers throughout the world. You would be surprised at the number of law students, practicing attorneys, and legal professionals who use our service. They do so because it works. Our service is extremely effective due to the fact that very few legal employers ever advertise positions, most headhunters and job posting boards have a limited number of positions, and we have the resources to help legal professionals find any employer they want.

The Long Story

About Our Database

Our database contains more hiring department contacts than any database of which we are aware. Legal Authority maintains a database of more than 750,000 legal employers. This includes virtually every law firm, corporation, city, county, judge, public interest organization, prosecutor, public defender, law school, association, embassy, representative, congressman, or other organization that employs legal professionals in the United States. We also have several thousand international legal employers!

Our Relationship with You

A relationship with Legal Authority generally follows the following processes:

Step One: Initial Contact
Call us at our toll-free phone number, 1-800-283-3860, or fill out our online Sign Up form. This communication with Legal Authority, as well as all future communication with Legal Authority, is totally confidential. If you fill out our online form, we will contact you within the same business day (if possible) via the phone number you provide, to answer questions and discuss your options. If you call us directly, we can assist you immediately.

Step Two: Free Resume Critique and Market Evaluation
One of our consultants will interview you in depth to understand what type of legal employment you are seeking. We will provide a resume and cover letter critique, and provide you with suggestions to improve the impact of both. In addition, we will provide a market evaluation and give you an assessment of your overall marketability. The critique and market evaluation are absolutely free, and there is no obligation to continue to the application material preparation stage. We are committed to helping you find a job, whether you use our full services or not.

Step Three: Preparing Application Materials
After an interview with one of our consultants, we will prepare cover letters, resumes, and envelopes for the number of legal employers you specify. Most cover letters will be addressed to the hiring authority or department for each legal employer you are approaching. There are situations where the name of the Hiring Partner or General Counsel may be transitory or unclear, and the letters will be addressed directly to the Human Resources Department Head or Hiring Department Head. Legal Authority will laser print your resume, cover letter, and envelopes (with your return address) on high-quality bond paper and high-quality envelopes. Because you are applying for jobs – not us – we want you to sign each cover letter we prepare on your behalf.

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 basic research fee that decreases depending on the expansiveness of your job hunt. The research fee allows us to continually update and expand our sophisticated database and covers the costs of our research time. The only other charge is a small charge to cover the production costs for every employer for whom we prepare resumes, cover letters, and envelopes. This charge also decreases depending on how expansive your job search will be. When you consider that each interview you receive will have an individual cost of less than the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you can see that our service is worth every penny.

Step Four: Distribution Logistics
Once we have produced the product, your cover letters, resumes, and envelopes are assembled, packaged, and sent to you for your final review and local postmark. Confidentiality is a serious concern for any job seeker. That’s why we will provide you with the actual letters ready to be mailed but for your signature and a stamp. Accordingly, you will never be contacting a firm you do not want to contact — or worse — your own firm. We will provide you with the contacts and you can run your job search with the advice, letters, resumes, and envelopes we prepare on your behalf.

Step Five: Follow Up
Over the three months after your mailing, we will follow up with you frequently to gauge your progress. You need to remember that the numbers can work for or against your favor. The more employers you approach, the more likely you will be to receive interviews, and the better chance you will have at getting a position.

Because hiring personnel change frequently, companies and law firms move, any mass mailing of your resume may potentially result in some returned letters. If any of your letters are returned, we reissue you corrected letters or refund any fees you pay for the individual letter returned if we are unable to do so. In addition, if within thirty days after we send you your letters, you are not 100% satisfied with our services – if you feel that we did not try our best to give you the most exhaustive legal job search ever – we will refund 100% of your money less the cost of shipping. This is how confident we are that our services provide the best legal job search in the world.

Why It Works

In a given city, if a job exists that matches your interests, there is only one way to be sure that you find that opportunity. You must contact the specific employers that match your interests, and you will find every existent job. It is as simple as that. No job boards, classified sections, legal recruiters, on-campus interviewing programs, or job fairs have all of the jobs. In today’s job market, it is estimated that over 85% of all legal jobs are not advertised and recruiters fill less than 3% of all available positions. When jobs are advertised or when recruiters get involved, a legal employer may receive well over 1,000 applicants for one position. The fact is that many employers do not have jobs until they are presented with a candidate that is attractive to them. This is why self-initiated targeted mailing is the most effective means for finding a legal job.

If you are serious about getting the type of legal job you want, you have come to the right source. Legal Authority has the largest database of legal employers anywhere. In the 1996 edition of What Color is Your Parachute?, the author states that over 1,400 resumes are mailed for every one job secured. While a legal job can generally be found by mailing far fewer resumes, if you are sporadically applying to the occasional job via the Internet, classified ads, or through a recruiter, it may take you a long, long time to find the position you are seeking. Legal Authority can help you ferret out and apply to the legal hiring organizations you want. It is your choice: Either you can remain unhappy with your current employment situation, or you can find the job you want today.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1250

2014 IS COMING! ARE YOU PREPARED?

by writer on December 18, 2013

By Gordon K. Sattro, Esq.

It is official, we are currently in the middle of the holiday season and many of us have our minds elsewhere. Whether we are enjoying the presents we received during Hanukkah, buying presents for loved ones this Christmas, or merely planning a New Year’s vacation, there is a lot to concern ourselves with at this time. There is also something else that you may not be thinking about, the upcoming hiring season.

It is well-known that firms, corporations, and non-profits begin acting on their plans for the New Year at the beginning of the year. With this in mind, it also means that hiring is going to ramp-up at this time of the year too. This should act as your cue to start preparing your application materials to secure that new role.

If you are simply locked in a job that you are no longer enjoying or if you are still on the job hunt, now is the time to get your house in order and solidify your plan for securing the employment you WANT in 2014. But how do you do this? Where to start? Well, here’s a helpful list of tasks to get your 2014 job search started on the right foot:

  1. REFINE THAT RESUME:You have gained more experience over the course of the past year, and you need to make sure that all your experience from this year is included in your resume. Here are a few overlooked portions of your resume that you should include as well:

    a. CLE Classes:These classes are especially helpful to put on your resume when you are transitioning between practice areas. By highlighting your “Entertainment Law” CLE class when you are trying to transition into entertainment law, you are showing that you are committed to the field of law and are looking to pursue a position in it. It’s all about marketing yourself.

    b. Volunteering/Law Clinics: Have you volunteered somewhere and provided legal services to those you were working with? Then include it! It is quality experience that shows your dedication towards your community. Stability and personal investment in the community are two things employers are always looking for.

  2. NETWORK NOW:You have been out of the networking world for a while now, and as the holidays are upon us there aren’t many opportunities to kick into high gear, but January is just around the corner. So schedule those coffees, lunches, and cocktail hours for January! There is no better way to secure a job than through a great networking connection. Here are a couple of sources to look toward for networking:

    a. Local Bar Associations:Only you know if you have actually networked consistently. In order to network properly you don’t merely show up once, you attend the meetings consistently and make an impact. Be charismatic, confident, and ready to mingle.

    b. Your Law Fraternity: Speaking from personal experience, Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) has been one of the best networking tools in my arsenal. PAD has a list of attorneys on their site that are open to networking with other alums and I am certain the other fraternities do as well. Be sure you are putting that investment to good use. Not a part of a law fraternity? It might not be too late! Look into it now.

  3. FIND A MENTOR: Beyond networking, and above all else, you need a mentor. A great mentor is someone who can provide you with the right guidance required to navigate the legal employment market. If you cannot find an attorney who is in practice, refer to a professor. If you can’t find a professor, turn to a professional.

  4. UTILIZE LinkedIn: You are marketing yourself and you don’t even know it. LinkedIn® is a great way to introduce yourself to other professionals online. If you have been neglecting your profile then check back next week, as I will be speaking directly about your LinkedIn profile.

  5. KEEP APPLYING: I know what you are thinking. Among the hundreds of submissions you’ve made, you have only heard back from a handful. This is frustrating and at times deeply upsetting, but you have to keep at it. If you continue to apply at least you are putting your name out there, and you never know if the next submission might be your last. Even though postings are slower, there are still great opportunities out there if your materials are well prepared.

  6. ENJOY THE NEW YEAR: Most importantly, this is a time of celebration NOT remorse. If you feel that your job search did not give you the expected results last year, then it’s the perfect time of the year to move on as you come to a new year. You need to enjoy your New Year’s celebration and hit the ground running come January 1.

So there you have it, a brief overview of what you need to work on over the course of the next 15 days. If you haven’t started already, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start. If you need any further guidance on your job search or you want to speak with me about your2014 job search agenda, schedule an appointment with me at www.legalauthority.com and I will help you find the right approach to kick-start your career in 2014.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1262

A LESSON ON LIFE FROM NELSON MANDELA

by writer on December 11, 2013

By Gordon K. Sattro, Esq.

As the world reflects on the passing of a man who truly changed the hearts and minds of millions the world over, I believe that this is an opportune time to speak about what matters most for you, as an individual and as an attorney.

It is difficult to sum up the story of Nelson Mandela, and it is interesting to see what many news outlets are saying about this great man. The New York Times headline stated, “A Giant Among Men Has Passed Away”. The Washington Post wrote, “He belongs to the ages”. The LA Times simply displayed the headline, “Mandela: A life devoted to liberty”. It would be interesting to see what President Mandela would say about these headlines, but I think most would venture to say that he would have been humbled by the kind words. I think that most would then go on to say that quite simply he was a “servant of the people”.

When Nelson Mandela first emerged from prison after 27 years of struggle and heartache, he stood before a roaring crowd on the balcony of Cape Town’s City Hall on Sunday February 11, 1990 and said,

“I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.”

He could have said many things, words of hate toward his captors, or that of revolution, but he was humble, he was stoic, and committed to being a man of the people.

This brings me to my point. Nelson Mandela pursued his dream, and this is one of the many lessons from this man’s life that you should take to heart.

Nelson Mandela was an attorney in his younger years and he could have continued to practice whileignoring the injustices that were occurring daily, but he took a different path, a path of his own choosing. It is the fact that he was willing to give up so much for something that he believed in that you should take to heart when you are thinking about your career and your goals.

Mandela said it best,

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

With that, I ask you to think about this: Are you passionate about what you are doing? Or are you merely settling for something less?

This is normally the part where I discuss Legal Authority and how we can help you in achieving that dream, but I believe that venturing into such territory would be in bad taste. So let me say this: Pursue your passion and never settle for anything less. As is made painfully clear to each of us daily, we only have a finite amount of time on this planet and we must always strive to do more.

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1186

Apply to Boutique Firms with Legal Authority

by A. Harrison Barnes on December 11, 2013

{ 0 comments }

View Count: 1407

Legal Authority Can Get You Your Next Law Firm Job

by A. Harrison Barnes on December 4, 2013

Are you looking for the perfect law firm position? Legal Authority’s database contains the hiring contacts of practically every law firm in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Updated hundreds of times each day, the Legal Authority database contains thousands of firms not even listed in Martindale Hubbell, NALP, or other traditional sources. If you want to practice law in a law firm, we can help you get the job you want. In fact, every day of the week numerous attorneys throughout the United States get law firm jobs through Legal Authority. Legal Authority’s law firm database literally gets thousands of attorneys and law students jobs inside law firms each year.

Precise, Current Data to Drive Your Career Forward

Most importantly, for each law firm in our database we have researched who the precise individual in charge of hiring is and our researchers verify this information at least once every four months — hiring information can change quite frequently inside law firms. The work we do on an ongoing basis in compiling and maintaining our law firm database provides you with a level of focus that daily enhances the lives and careers of attorneys all over the country.

Comprising hundreds of thousands of law firms, our database is a world all unto itself. Each day we make hundreds of inquiries and are literally working on our law firm database 24 hours a day. We have organized our information in a way that allows you to target firms with profound precision. We can locate law firms based on your practice area, combinations of practice areas, size, geographic locations — even a particular zip code, county, or street if you like.

Legal Authority Allows You to Approach Only the Law Firms Likely to Be Interested in You

Legal Authority’s objective is to provide you with the ability to target only the firms that are most likely to be interested in you. For example, if you are a litigator you might be surprised to know that there are over 4,000 law firms doing litigation in certain counties of the United States. Certainly you would never want to apply to all these law firms. Nevertheless, by narrowing this list down based upon the size of the firm you want to work in, the area of the county you want to work in and the other practice areas you would like the firm to have you could come up with a highly targeted list. Accordingly, if you were a realtor before attending law school and are interested in real estate litigation you would likely target firms with real estate and litigation practices). Here, in a market with as many as 4,000 law firms doing litigation you might conceivably have the ability to target as little as 50 law firms. This nature of our database means that we permit you to contact only those firms likely to be most interested in you.

Case Studies

For many attorneys, the law firm path turns out to be an exceptional choice due to the wide variety of characteristics and firm cultures that are available. Law firms most often offer generous salaries and comfortable environments. Many attorneys practicing in law firms also find the work interesting and are satisfied with the challenges and successes. The hours can be demanding in some firms, but may be very relaxed or unimportant in others.

The fact is that by tailoring and customizing your approach to various law firms, you can ensure that you get the type of working conditions and job you want. We have outlined several case studies below. These illustrations prove our point that no matter where you are in your career, we can help you find the job you want.

Case Study: Fourth-year associate with an “AmLaw 100” law firm desiring to work in a smaller firm and get more trial experience
Kevin was a third year associate with one of the most prestigious firms in the United States practicing law in New York City. Despite having excellent credentials, the only positions any legal recruiter could tell him about were at other major law firms. Kevin was hoping to get more litigation experience and do trials. In addition, Kevin did not like the hours of his current firm and wanted to be in a more collegial environment. After having had several excellent years of training, he believed he was ready for the increased responsibility of a smaller firm.

Legal Authority: Solution
Legal Authority was able to identify over 250 law firms in New York City of fewer than 30 attorneys with litigation practices. Legal Authority assisted Kevin in creating a compelling cover letter and resume that explained his desire for increased responsibility and additional reasons he wanted to work in a smaller firm. Kevin ultimately chose to approach just over 200 firms. Kevin received over 20 interviews within two weeks of mailing his letters and accepted a position with a small-but high powered -securities litigation boutique in Manhattan. Although he was prepared to take a major salary cut to join a smaller firm, he actually ended up making close to what he made when working for a larger firm at the end of his first year with the securities firm. In addition, Kevin participated in two trials during his first year with the new firm. Kevin had actually never heard of the firm he accepted position with before he interviewed with them.

Case Study: Law student from first tier California law school desiring a position in either Chicago or Texas
Evan was law student attending a top law school in the University of California system. Evan had attended an Ivy League college (where he majored in Chemistry) and had enrolled in law school directly out of college. Evan was entering his second year of law school and was interested in working as a summer associate with a firm that did patent prosecution work in both Chicago (where he was from) and also Texas (where his father had moved after getting divorced). While approximately 15 law firms from Chicago interviewed at his school and another 10 or so did from Texas, most of these firms did not have patent prosecution practices. Evan did not believe that using his school’s career services office was the best option due to the limited number of firms interviewing at his school for summer associates in the patent prosecution field.

Legal Authority: Solution
Evan contacted Legal Authority and we identified close to 200 firms in Chicago and Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth that had patent prosecution practices and were of the size that Evan wanted to contact. After having his resume and cover letter redone by Legal Authority, Evan contacted each of these firms. Evan received over 30 interviews, ended up going to 11 of these interviews and received six solid job offers for a summer associate position. Evan split his second summer between a firm in Dallas and one in Chicago. Each of the firms Evan received interviews with did not even interview at his school.

Case Study: Second-year insurance coverage associate relocating from Minneapolis to New York
James was an insurance coverage associate with a major Minneapolis law firm who was just entering his second year of law school. James had been dating a woman in law school who had moved to New York City directly following graduation and the two were eager to work and live together in the same city. For months, James had been checking the web sites of major law firms for openings, had sent out some resumes to the better known insurance coverage practices in New York and had also spent a good deal of time checking job boards. He had not received a single interview.

Legal Authority: Solution
Legal Authority was able to identify over 100 firms in New York City with insurance coverage practices. Legal Authority recommended that James approach them all. James received over 11 interviews within two weeks of sending his letters. James accepted a position with a well known national law firm that had only started an insurance coverage practice a few months before James contacting them. James now works and practices law in New York City.

Case Study: LL.M student with a background in education law
Liz, a student in an LL.M program at a third tier law school in Florida, has a background in Education Law. She was a teacher for several years before attending law school and enrolled in an education law LL.M program directly out of law school. In fact, her school in Florida offers the only LL.M. in Education Law in the United States. Unfortunately, very few firms recruit on campus for law students and no firms recruit for attorneys to do education law. Her law school did not have any suggestions for her as to how to get a job with a law firm. In fact, most of her classmates are simply applying to work for school systems throughout Florida.

Legal Authority: Solution
Liz was interested in working in 15 possible states. Although there were less than 40 firms fitting her criteria (i.e., a firm of more than 30 attorneys, with an education law practice) these geographic areas, Legal Authority was able to assist Liz in applying to them all. Working with Legal Authority, Liz received a well crafted cover letter that explained her interest in working in an area outside of Florida and how her experience prior to law school made her a good fit. Liz received 11 interviews in six separate states and accepted a position in California that paid over $100,000 per year.

Case Study: Part-time attorney who has been out of the job market
June, a 36 year old graduate of a fourth tier law school and recent mother, had been out of the job market for three years and was seeking a part time position in the Southwest as an attorney. She has already approached seven or eight top firms in this area, with no luck.

Legal Authority: Solution
In June’s case, we assisted her in preparing her cover letter and resume to effectively describe her desires and what she had to offer. By performing a completely expansive search in her area limited to smaller firms, we enabled her to find a smaller firm that was open to having a part time attorney. In addition, June received interview requests from three firms that were within a 20 minute drive of her home.

Case Study: Partner with no portable business
Ron, a 52 year old partner at a major law firm in Los Angeles, was being forced out because his firm was terminating partners without significant portable business. Ron wanted to stay in the same area, and had inflexible salary requirements. In fact, in order to even pay his current expenses he needed to take home a salary of at least $200,000 per year.

Legal Authority: Solution
We assisted Ron in contacting just over 100 Los Angeles law firms. With our research and subsequent mailing (Ron did not want to sign or stamp the envelopes himself), we were able to connect Ron with over 15 law firms that were interested in speaking with him. Within four weeks of us assisting him with his mailing, Ron had received a job offer from a mid-sized Los Angeles law firm paying over $60,000 more than his present salary.

Case Study: Law Student from second-tier law school
Steven was a “B” student at a second-tier law school. His school’s Career Services Office had no resources to speak of and a very small on-campus interviewing program. In the fall of his third year, Steven sent out resumes to all 200 firms in the NALP directory that were in his state, but received a very poor response.

Legal Authority: Solution
The NALP directory represents less than 5% of the available firms in any given market. We were able to identify more than 6000 additional firms that Steven could approach. Steven ultimately approached approximately 300 employers and received several job offers.

{ 1 comment }