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Another Success Story in the Bay Area

by A. Harrison Barnes on September 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. Air Jordan 13 (XIII) 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. GS Air Jordan 6 Like many of the other corporate attorneys who were laid off, Phil tried numerous methods for getting a position. Canada Goose Westmount Parka albion silver 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. Veste Armani 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. Masterpiece Kodiak Doudoune 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. cheap albion silver 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. New Balance 530 femme compra mochilas kanken According to his Legal Authority Employment Advocate at Legal Authority. Maglie Portland Trail Blazers 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. cheap albion gold “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. nike air max 2017 goedkoop buy albion silver 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. A.J. Green Jerseys cheap albion gold La chaussure de running Asics 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. nike blazer uomo colori Phil, for one, was eager to move out of corporate law and into something he felt would be more stable, like litigation. Darian Thompson As a summer associate at both a major New York and San Francisco law firm, Phil had been exposed to litigation work. Canada Goose Paris 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. nike free 3.0 v5 ext leopard 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. albion gold Phil and resume specialist worked over several versions of a resume and cover letter. new balance store buenos aires Nike Italia Store 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. buy albion gold “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. Adidas ZX Flux Heren 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. adidas stan smith mid uomo Maglie Cleveland Cavaliers 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. Womens Air Jordan 14 Phil received his package from Legal Authority on a Saturday. On Sunday he signed his cover letters and mailed them out on Monday. air max 2017 goedkoop 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. nike pas cher 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. Northern Iowa Panthers adidas pure boost online sale 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. buy albion gold I expect to be a partner in five years at my present firm. NIKE AIR MAX THEA ULTRA FLYKNIT 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.

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Making the Switch from Corporate to Litigation?

by A. Harrison Barnes on September 17, 2013

Given recent economic conditions, many Legal Authority clients choose to make the switch from corporate to litigation each week. While this is not always the best choice if you believe that you are particularly suited to doing corporate work, it is an option that Legal Authority clients have chosen with increasing frequency. Conversely, a couple of years ago many attorneys were choosing to make the switch from litigation to corporate. To give you a sense of the mechanics involved with making a switch, we have profiled a recent Legal Authority client who successfully made the switch.

Mark*, a 2001 graduate of a top five law school, had little more than a year of experience as a corporate attorney with a major US law firm’s Silicon Valley office (the office closed in 2003). Mark’s circumstance was particularly dire because he (1) was a corporate attorney, and (2) had failed the California Bar Exam–not once, but twice. Mark’s law firm had the same policy as many other major law firms have: If you fail the bar exam more than once, you must leave the firm.

While Mark’s circumstance was unique, the situation in his particular legal market and practice area was not. In addition to having assisted numerous other associates from top Silicon Valley law firms land new jobs, Legal Authority was also already quite familiar with the events that were occurring inside Mark’s own law firm because we had already assisted numerous corporate associates from the same class at the same firm as Mark switch firms within the past several months. Indeed, we had even assisted a partner from the same firm move who informed us that he believed the firm’s office was in danger of closing. While we had assisted these individuals locate corporate or in-house positions, Mark’s situation was something that we believed required a far different approach.

Prior to contacting Legal Authority, Mark conducted his job search for a few hours every day, trying numerous methods for getting a position. Mark scanned online job boards, contacted recruiters, and asked his law school for alumni contacts. By January of 2003 — more than 7 months after being let go — Mark had not received a single interview. After unsuccessfully trying to get a job through a preeminent San Francisco recruiter, the same recruiting firm recommended that Mark contact Legal Authority.

Despite all of the gloom, there were some positives to Mark’s prospects by January of 2003. Fortunately, Mark ultimately did pass the bar on his third attempt. In addition, Mark graduated in the top 50 percent of his law school class. Having seen many of his fellow associates get laid off (several at his own firm were even let go while he was studying for the Bar Exam his third time), Mark was not entirely committed to doing corporate work. In fact, Mark had become so disillusioned with corporate practice, that he was not sure he even wanted to practice law at all. Nevertheless, Mark believed he owed it to himself to push forward. With almost $100,000 in student loans from law school, and a family to support, Mark felt a need to continue working as an attorney.

Mark was initially skeptical about using a service like Legal Authority, according to Legal Authority Employment Advocate Melissa Zelada. Melissa, herself an attorney, had to spend a great deal of time with Mark educating him about Legal Authority and discussing his job search. According to Melissa, “Mark’s search was complicated by the fact that he really stood no chance of getting a corporate position. Not having the bar and competing with scores of other corporate attorneys who had not been fired for failing the bar twice made his prospects very dire. In addition, Mark was conducting his search in one of the worst areas of the United States from an employment perspective. Mark believed that if a firm did not advertise a position or hire a recruiter to track down a candidate for an opening, they were not worth contacting.”

Melissa also knew that Mark’s search was not going to be an easy one: “Here 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 the economic downturn. He was a junior corporate associate and had not worked in over six months. I knew that Legal Authority could help Mark despite his situation.”

Melissa and Mark spent over two hours on the phone strategizing options. Mark accepted the idea that it would be in his best interest to move out of corporate law and into a practice area that was currently more in demand and would be more stable, like litigation. As a summer associate at both a major New York and Silicon Valley law firm, Mark had been exposed to enough litigation work that Melissa knew that Legal Authority’s Resume and Cover Letter Division would be able to do an excellent job both highlighting his litigation skills and helping Mark make a plausible case that he really wanted to do litigation work. In addition, Mark spent one year as a litigation paralegal prior to enrolling in law school, and had enjoyed the litigation work there.

“When I was a first and second year student in law school, all anyone was talking about was corporate, corporate, corporate,” Mark 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. To me, corporate attorneys were just too uptight.”

While it may not sound all that significant, making the change from corporate to litigation was a major career decision for Mark. Melissa also felt there was a lot of strength in providing Mark with a rationale to do litigation work and that his decision was justified in his own mind. According to Melissa, “Mark wanted a job. He could have applied to scores of firms in the Bay Area for a corporate position and gotten another one-most likely at a firm of less than 20 attorneys that would not have cared about the Bar Exam, but it would have nevertheless been difficult with his particular circumstance. When I sensed he did not really enjoy corporate anyway, it was somewhat refreshing because I knew he would have a lot of choice in the litigation realm.”

Melissa and Mark believed that the best strategy was to follow his heart and go for a litigation position. In the San Francisco legal market, like virtually every legal market, far more firms do litigation work than corporate work. Finally, the corporate market at the time was in horrible shape. Mark ultimately decided to approach 300 large and medium-sized law firms with litigation departments to secure his litigation position.

Mark and resume specialist Christopher Dacus worked on several versions of his resume and cover letter with Legal Authority. Dacus, who received his Master’s Degree in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania, had counseled hundreds of attorneys in his time as a professional writer. According to Dacus, the largest challenge with Mark’s cover letter was that Mark really needed a job and would basically take any position offered, and he needed to portray strength while not appearing desperate.

According to Chris, “Mark didn’t want to put all his eggs in one basket. Essentially, he was hoping that a corporate position would open up for him if the litigation strategy failed. When I am working with our clients at Legal Authority, I am always cognizant that my goal is to ensure that they get a job.”

Mark’s final cover letter and resume reflected that he had litigation and corporate experience. While the cover letter emphasized Mark’s litigation interest but also mentioned his corporate experience in enough detail that employers would see it.

Mark received his Airborne Express package from Legal Authority on a Saturday. On Sunday he signed his cover letters and mailed them on Monday. What happened next surprised Mark. By Wednesday, Mark had 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, Mark had received 11 interviews, and by the middle of the following week he had received 16 interviews.

Mark called Melissa the day he received his first interviews. Two weeks later, he called Melissa again to tell her he had accepted a litigation position with a mid-sized San Francisco firm — at a salary identical to his former one. And what happened with the San Francisco office of the major New York law firm? Mark was quite clear: “When I got my call back after my screening interview, I stalled and ultimately never went back. I do not think I am ever going to want to work for a big firm again. Who needs that? 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 6 months ago if I had used Legal Authority in the first place.”

*Names have been changed to maintain privacy, but this is a 100% true success story.

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