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Trends in California Law Firms

So many changes in the way firms do business during the last five years...some areas of practice that were dormant are now "hot", such as corporate law and real estate.  Labor and employment remains a very desirable area of practice for attorneys, given the rise of wage hour and class action matters.  The bottom line is, however, that law firms are businesses.  Therefore, what do the current trend and recent statistics tell us?  I believe they show caution, steadiness, and reflect much hope...

We expect developing trends in some of the following areas: classification(s) of Equity and Non-Equity partners, associates being encouraged (and required) to develop business at an earlier stage in their careers, and creative compensation structures at the partner level(s).  Each of these areas reflects a practical approach and will determine the future development and stability of a firm long-term.


Ten Steps to an Outstanding LinkedIn Profile

My esteemed colleague, Anabella Bonfa, is a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who writes and lectures on how to enhance your LinkedIn profile to maximize this marketing tool.  I have personally observed how Anabella works tirelessly to  help young lawyers achieve their "personal best".  She has a passion for assisting others, and with jumpstarting how to project themselves in the business world.  Can't help but to share this with you...

Special Note:
“This material is reproduced from the CEBblog™ entry, 10 Steps to an Outstanding LinkedIn Profile, (http://blog.ceb.com/2015/01/30/10-steps-to-an-outstanding-linkedin-profile/) copyright 2015 by the Regents of the University of California.  Reproduced with permission of Continuing Education of the Bar - California.  (For information about CEB publications, telephone toll free 1-800-CEB-3444 or visit our Web site, CEB.com).”

LinkedIn is an excellent marketing tool for lawyers. Here’s how to make your LinkedIn profile—your first impression there—as effective as it can be.

  1. Get a professional photo. Your photo is the first thing people see about you on LinkedIn—it will be seen every time you comment, make a recommendation, or write an update. Use a photo of your chest up that clearly shows your face. Dress professionally, as you would appear in court, and smile. Definitely don’t edit a wedding photo or have a distracting background.
  2. Use the “Professional Headline” to your advantage. Under your name, you can add a professional headline. Rather than a generic title, such as “Attorney,” use this section to your advantage by stating your practice area (e.g., “Family Law Attorney”). Let potential clients and professional connections immediately know your area of expertise.
  3. Complete the “Summary” background section. This is the most important part of your profile. You have about 10 seconds to capture the viewer’s attention and let them know who you are. Your summary section should state who your clients are and what you do for them. Make sure to describe the types of cases you handle in a way that nonlawyers can understand. A list of your specialties is also helpful. The summary is an excellent place to discuss past non-legal work that contributes to your law practice.
  4. Upload photos or videos. Below the summary section, add photos to make your profile visually interesting and make you more approachable. For example, include photos of you posing with clients, giving a professional presentation, or doing community service work. You can also add video from your website, interviews, etc.
  5. Request recommendations. Recommendations are the heart of your LinkedIn profile. Ask your past employers or clients for a personal recommendation discussing the quality of your work and service. Let past clients know that you don’t expect them to share their legal issue, just their thoughts on the level of service you provided. Remember to return the favor and recommend others who you hold in high esteem. Note that “recommendations” differ from “endorsements.” If you choose to have your skills listed and have people “endorse you,” keep the list of skills short and don’t accept endorsements from anyone you don’t know or for skills you didn’t list yourself.
  6. Invite people to connect. The quality of your contacts is far more important than the quantity. View others’ profiles and link with those with whom you intend to work in the future or who already know the quality of your past work. Personalize your invitation: “Hello: This is John Smith. We met at last night’s fundraiser. I would like you to join my LinkedIn network.” If you already know someone in common, this would be an ideal place to mention your shared connection.
  7. Complete the “Publications” section. List all articles and books you have written, as well as oral presentations you have made before professional groups.
  8. Complete the “Volunteer & Causes” section. This little-used section allows you to share the community service projects and non-profit activities in which you and your firm are involved. People enjoy working with attorneys who share their own personal causes.
  9. Join groups. There are many LinkedIn groups specifically geared toward attorneys and law practice, e.g., groups for law schools, bar associations, practice areas, legal marketing, etc. Find groups of interest and join the conversation there. Showing the groups you have joined on your profile helps others see your interests and leads to new connections.
  10. Write an update. Once you have a strong profile set up, you’re ready to start posting updates—and your interesting updates will likely bring people back to view your profile. Share updates about your law practice, changes in the law, and information of interest to your colleagues and clients. You can link to a blog post or article by inserting its URL in the update box. If you don’t have time to write a regular blog, this is an excellent way to provide relevant and insightful opinions on legal issues.

Although it’s tempting, don’t use your profile to directly ask for work. Not only might this run afoul of professional responsibility rules, it makes you sound desperate. Newer attorneys should focus on the skills they have to offer based on past work experience. For example, focus on why you excel at dealing with clients, problem solving, working in a stressful environment, and managing deadlines.

Put your best self forward in your LinkedIn profile and reap the professional benefits!
******************************************************************************

Anabella Q. Bonfa. Ms. Bonfa is a litigator with Wellman & Warren LLP, handling business and partnership disputes, theft of trade secrets, and unfair competition. She lectures extensively on trade secrets, networking, and using social media to develop business.


Get My Attention – Send a Respectable Cover Letter!

Recently I read an article by a recruiter who very straightforwardly acknowledged that she often receives unimpressive application materials from job-seekers.  This is often a non-starter and the result is…Delete.  Why?  I would not hire someone who either isn’t willing, able or savvy enough to realize how important this first stage of the screening process is.

When I say “unimpressive”, I’m referring to more than just the resume and academics – I am including and focusing on the cover letter here because the cover letter, which is typically the first impression a reviewer gets, is either poorly written or there is none. 

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH? The increasing use of email vs. snail mail has resulted in fewer cover letters than ever.  Frequently I receive email submissions with no cover letter – no introduction at all.  Attached is a resume with no explanation why the applicant is considering a job change or what position they seek.  Those that really make me shake my head address me as the employer, rather than a recruiter.  They clearly don’t know where they are even sending their resume!  Not only does it require extra effort on my part to obtain this necessary information, but their apparent lack of basic understanding about this process often leaves me feeling that the lack of attention to detail reflects a lack of professionalism…and that is a real turn-off.  Alternatively, perhaps the candidate has so much self-confidence that he believes that resume speaks for itself, but this is a huge assumption to make.

MATCH YOUR SKILLS TO THE JOB:  Stunningly, I get numerous resumes from applicants who aren’t even attorneys.  Anyone with basic internet skills and has visited our web site knows that we only work with attorneys.  This seems either lazy or desperate to me – and the resume is deleted.  What a waste of precious time on both our parts!  Wouldn’t they research an employer before an interview? Respect your own time, as well as mine.

RECRUITERS ARE THE “GATEKEEPERS”.  Candidates must pass our scrutiny in order to get in front of our employer clients.  If your cover letter and accompanying materials don’t show thought, clarity, and relevant details at a glance, they just won’t make the cut.  We want to help you get a job – that’s why we are in this business.  Take the time to do a thorough and professional job if you truly expect to be taken seriously.


Make Yourself Memorable!

Summertime is almost here and numerous law students will begin jobs, many in law firms.  These are probably the lucky ones, because they will have an edge over colleagues who were unable to secure a position.    Our previous blogs discussed various strategies for these unemployed students to use to find jobs in order to avoid the summertime blues.  But how about a few pointers for those who will be working in a law firm?  Of course, you are required to do excellent work. What else do we suggest?  Make yourself memorable!

How can you make yourself memorable?

Millennials are often viewed as self-absorbed with unreasonable expectations and a sense of entitlement.  Sorry folks, it doesn’t sound pretty, and that’s the short version!  But we know they also have technological skills that previous generations don’t.  Everyone is replaceable, but position yourself such that the firm would really miss your contributions if you weren’t around.  You may wish to consider:

   - Tech Advantage: Use your special technological abilities not only to produce high quality work in a timely manner, but also to consider developing or contributing to your firm’s social networking sites.  Go beyond the standard Blog and suggest topics that are cutting edge or may be unique for a multi-generational audience - but always ensure that you have your employer’s approval prior to publication.

   - Dress Like A Professional:  while it may be acceptable to dress in jeans and Birkenstocks, it’s just not professional.  That is not the image that your firm wants intra-firm or with clients.  It’s sort of like when you had your interview and sat at lunch with several attorneys…do you think they took you out merely to feed you and ask questions? Of course not, they also observed your manner and presence, thinking about how you might appear when taking a client to lunch.  While “dress like a professional” does not necessarily mean wearing a suit or tie, dress the part.  Ask yourself this “if the partner spontaneously asked me to go to court with him, how would I want to look to represent the firm and myself to the judge?”  When in doubt, consider the three “C’s”: current, classic, conservative.  [No, these are not contradictory, you can do it!]

   - Social Abilities; Demonstrate that you can hold your own in a conversation with colleagues and clients. Maintain self-control at firm functions where alcohol is served, just as you (hopefully) would at a business lunch. Future employers are often part of a generation that wants to believe that you know how to communicate beyond the keyboard.

   - Show Respect for Generational Differences:  You’ll be working with people from several different generations.  It’s very important to recognize that you must show respect for them and their ways of doing things, even though your own opinions may differ.

   - Learn About the Firm Culture; understanding the firm’s environment will be an advantage towards determining how to best become memorable. 

Congratulations on obtaining a summer associate position….now go make yourself memorable!


Women vs. Men, Is There a Confidence Gap?

Today I read an article “The Confidence Gap”, espousing the premise that more women lack confidence than men.  If true, why is this and can this be overcome?  Is the stereotype true that, traditionally, women feel less confident in business situations than men?  Is it still a “man’s world”, whether women do or don’t exude confidence?

As a teen of the 60’s, I’ve seen – and experienced - great changes and significant advances for women in the workplace.  Hey – it used to be (in the olden days) that a stay-at-home mom had no legal way of even funding her own Roth IRA! 

I did not develop my business experience in the larger corporate world, so I can only speak about this from the perspective of friends who have.  These women felt strong and competent during those years, but had to learn to maneuver in a man’s world.  Did they have to adapt to how men “operated” in order to get ahead?  I am told that they often did.  However, many women today believe that they are better off, long term, if they appreciate the differences and utilize them to their advantage. 

Why would women WANT to be like men?  If equal compensation is the issue, then we have laws to deal with these issues.   Respect?  Our behavior, actions and reputation should engender respect, as this is not a “given”.  Women tend to have a sensitivity that men do not and, if not to the level of emotionality, it can be a true benefit in dealing with others in the workplace. 

Do women have to be tough to be effective?   If tough implies “strong”, “resilient”, and “stable”, I think the answer is probably yes.  However, if “tough” is interpreted as “rough”, “harsh” or “hard-hitting”, then I doubt such women will be viewed positively.  Even those of us outside the large corporate world know that there is much to be gained from strength through diplomacy, respect through integrity, resilience through a positive attitude, focus and forthrightness.

Should a woman behave differently during a job interview?  Does the generational classification of the interviewer affect the outcome when it comes to stereotypes?  I believe that we always have to have a healthy respect for, even if we don't agree withor feel in control of, the human element. 

It is important to note that I believe young women today often view this issue as a nonstarter, expecting to be treated with a certain degree of respect out of the gate.  I applaud this frame of mind so long as they behave in a way that deserves such respect.

Many folks might disagree with me, but I believe a woman has to find her confidence not only through results, but also by operating from within – and at times pushing the boundaries of - her comfort zone.  The result can engender such a level of self-respect that it actually gives her the courage to ‘lean in” and accomplish whatever she wants to.


What An Employer Looks For in an Applicant: The Basics

Part 3;   How to Start Networking and Get a Job

  • Submissions of application materials: Make it personal. Submissions should always be addressed to an individual – not “To Whom It May Concern”.  Methods of delivery; adhere to any requirements. Don’t use first names unless you know the recipient.  Follow up in 10 days if you have not heard from the firm.  Stay professional, and remember that they have many other responsibilities on their plates besides considering your application.  Don’t be a pest.

  • Impeccably-drafted resume; avoid flourishes and designs, excessive bolding or underlining, and pay attention to the nature of personal interests listed.  It’s preferable to keep interests off unless you have particular accomplishments that set you apart.  Examples might be language fluency, international travel or managerial positions.

  • Writing sample: If you include a writing sample, make sure that it contains absolutely no inaccuracies or misspellings.

  • Transcript: include with initial submission only if required by the firm, unless you have stellar grades.

  • Cover letters:  Covers must be concise and address why you are interested in THAT firm, and how your interest and skills can BENEFIT that firm.  They will not consider you just because you need a job.  Take the time to get to know people and their needs, because the only reason they would hire you is if you can fill those needs anyway.  Thank them for their consideration – not their time.  Tell them, primarily, some things of interest that are NOT on your resume – or you can also emphasize items of significance.  Limit the use of the word “I” – employers want to know what you can do for them NOW!

  • Activities: Keep them relevant, or that show leadership and/or managerial skills.

  • Show confidence, but not arrogance. You can accomplish this by being familiar with the firm, and comfortable with who you are. Be prepared to express your goal(s) articulately and concisely.

  • You must have a reasonable understanding of what the attorney and firm does - do your homework!

  THE BIGGEST MISTAKES STUDENTS MAKE; THE SHORT LIST

  • There is no second chance to make a first impression!  Arrive prepared for the interview.  Don’t be late.   Dress appropriately; wear a suit unless otherwise instructed (professional dress shows a potential employer how you would present to a client).

  • Prepare for questions about your skills and goals and offer examples.  Don’t embellish or get defensive, as no one expects a law student or entry level attorney to have a lot of experience.

  • Tell me what you can do for me right now!  Show initiative, be prepared to discuss your strengths, but do so in the context of examples.

  • It’s not all about YOU, or what YOU want.  Focus primarily on their needs and goals, so that you can make a more informed decision about whether that firm is a fit for you. For example, ask what the ideal candidate looks like to them.

  • Don’t talk too much! Learn to listen – listen to learn!

  • GRADES: Don’t make the mistake if thinking that achieving a J.D. is enough to get a good job.  Grades will almost always matter for approximately 7-10+ years, as well as your accomplishments.

  • Be aware of verbal and non-verbal behavior – these are both important parts of your personal presence.

  • Don’t underestimating the importance of generational differences; realize that the person interviewing you is likely from a different generation and has worked many years to achieve what he/she has, including long hours and many sacrifices.  Millennials are considered to want to achieve things quickly and want work/life balance from the start.  

REMEMBER - You are smart and have the technological savvy – but THEY have the jobs.  Educate yourself about these differences, and show respect for them.

THE FOLLOWING ARE SOME QUESTIONS FOLLOWING THE PRESENTATION

1. What are small and medium sized law firms looking for in applicants?  Applicants who have the experience in the job description, and with a personality that will mesh in a smaller firm environment.

2. What is the hiring process like for small and mid-size law firms when they hire associates or law students?  Typically 1-3 interviews, where you’ll meet main partners and associates.  If the firm extends an offer, you will typically have 48 hours to 1 week to accept.

3. How can a student stand out from the rest? Personal presence and message, consistency of brand, impressively-drafted resume, LinkedIn profile, quality of developed relationships (references).

4.  If grades are not your strongest asset, what can you do to make yourself competitive? See above, plus a professional Blog can prove valuable in many ways.

5. While in law school, what are some things I can do now that will help me later in my career? Develop an online presence, and start laying groundwork with individuals and at events.  See networking tips, above.

6. What areas of law are growing and employing more lawyers? Labor and employment, IP Patent litigation (particularly with an EE or CS degree), some corporate and real estate positions are opening up. What areas of the law are tightening and hiring less? Litigation, Bankruptcy.

6. How did networking influence the job you have (or any jobs that you've had)?  I was introduced to attorney recruiting by my brother – who had used a recruiter years before.  During law school, we were not educated about the services of recruiters, so I was unfamiliar with the benefits of working with one. We had a good synergy and I joined her business.  In 2005, I incorporated Rifkin Consulting.

Another example is that a professional colleague introduced to a journalist at a renowned legal publication.  We get together regularly, have developed a really positive personal and professional relationship, and I’ve had significant opportunities to get meaningful PR exposure as a result. 

7. After meeting someone at a networking event, what is the best way to cultivate that relationship?  Pay attention to that person’s business card, and comment on it when possible.  Too often people just discard business cards, but in Asian culture this is considered disrespectful.   Send a nice note afterwards to people with whom you wish to remain in contact – calendar follow ups.  Show value. 

8. What is the #1 thing you should and should not do at a networking event?  Ask for a job.

9. Any general tips for anyone that has not been to a networking event?

  • Choose events with intention and purpose.  Your time is valuable.
  • See if you can obtain the attendance list, and research people on the list. You can make efforts to introduce yourself to targeted attendees at the event.
  • Be genuine, smile, use direct eye contact, and develop a good handshake.  Learn how to walk up to strangers and introduce yourself.  Practice how to creatively ask about them about themselves.  An example might be to avoid saying “what do you do”, but consider something a bit more personal such as “What is the nature of your business (practice”, or “What do you enjoy most about your specialty”.
  • Have a business card made that is professional and represents your brand.  This is a wonderful tool to provide to someone who asks for your contact information.  It need not include your address. Share it with intention.
  • When it’s time to move on and talk to someone else, you need a graceful way to accomplish this.  For example, “It’s really been a pleasure speaking with you.” 
  • Follow up with a short note after the event.

I hope this information has been helpful.  Please check back for additions and modifications, and visit our Professional Resources page at www.rifkinconsulting.com .


How to Start Networking and Get a Job

PART 2; HOW TO GET STARTED NETWORKING 
 
MAKE CONNECTIONS, DEVELOP THE RELATIONSHIPS

  • Approach: Network with Intention; implement an intentional and strategic approach, both (a) online and (b) in person.
  • Lay the groundwork.  If you avail yourself of too many venues and events you will likely end up  feeling scattered, exhausted and ineffective.  Narrow your scope, set incremental goals, and strategize about methods of implementation to achieve them.


I. SOCIAL NETWORKING AND RELATED VENUES

LinkedIn: enjoy a 360 degree resume – for free!

  • Employers and other professionals view these; they often act as a preliminary “screen” 
  • Complete your profile; provide the information of a resume, yet with a slightly personal/individual touch
  • Ask for – and give - recommendations (better than endorsements). Get clients and advocates to tell your story!  
  • Take a seminar on how to make your profile very searchable, be specific in your summary
  • Develop a professional Blog and link to it
  • Get involved with Groups and participate in the discussions
  • Post relevant and appropriate photos (i.e., professional activities, charitable activities) 


TWITTER & FACEBOOK

  • Be cautious about postings, despite your privacy settings
  • Be clear with yourself and others (in the nature of the content) about the purpose of the postings/use of the site (keep it appropriately personal or professional – best not to combine these). 
     

II. IN PERSON NETWORKING

  • Personal networking has become paramount.  WHY?   The connections students might make early on can really help when it comes time to fill a position. It's never too late to start.
  • Take the time to get to know people and their needs, because the only reason they would hire you is if you can fill those needs anyway. 
  • Make it manageable!  Network with Intention – Narrow your Scope to Start: Find 10 people in the professional space that are doing something you want to do, meet them and ask how they got there. If you earn that group’s trust person by person, you’ll be well on your way to a reputation as someone with a clear purpose in the job market.
  • Practice asking meaningful questions – including with people you know, like family members.  You might be surprised at what you learn
  • Informational interviews: Contact someone whose specialty interests you and request a coffee, lunch or brief office informational meeting.  Be clear about your intention, for example, “Mr. Smith, as a student at Loyola Law School who is interested in learning more about the practice of employment law, would you be willing to meet me briefly for coffee to discuss the profession?  I am interested in learning more about the nuances, recent trends and your opinion of the future of this practice area.”  Attorneys like to talk about what they do and they'll probably take you up on it.
  • Research the person and be familiar with recent news in order to have a meaningful discussion.  Once you have their attention, you can show the value you would bring to them – regardless of whether or not you work for them in the future.
  • DO NOT ASK FOR A JOB!  Instead, ask what they would suggest for someone entering their field.  
     

FOLLOWING UP:  While you learn what those tips are, you can mention some of the things you’ve done, your skills, and other things that would show you’re a smart person working hard to accomplish your goal.

  • Follow up with a sincere thank you note. 
  • Calendar to follow up with that person periodically.
  • Keep them in mind!  For example, occasionally send them a relevant article or even a referral when possible.  Do not expect anything in return.
  • It’s crucial to remember that others have a circle of influence.  You never know when they might mention you to someone they know who can make a meaningful difference in your life.
  • Consider keeping a chart, such as Excel, with your networking efforts and status
     

VENUES FOR NETWORKING

  • Take advantage of any OCS programming, career fairs, mock interviews, etc. that are offered. This is another way to meet people and to sharpen skills in the process.
  • Often local bar organizations have a reduced (or free) rate for students to attend (usually) monthly events. This is a great way to meet attorneys and figure out what firms and practice areas might be busy/hiring.
  • Volunteer positions could lead to paying jobs... positions like a judicial externship are quite  valuable because the judge will often serve as a reference in helping to secure the next job.
  • Don't ignore public interest (and government, though they usually aren't hiring straight out of law school) because of fear of student loans.
  • Educate yourself on flexible (and generous) loan payback options such as the IBR (income based repayment) which pegs your monthly payment to a fixed percent of discretionary income and you can qualify for loan forgiveness (of federal loans) after 10 years of repayment (doesn't have to be in the same job). 
  • Don't forget to check the job postings in the Daily Journal, they often have positions that are not posted online
  • Mine the school's alumni network. Meeting with alumni could lead to a job, or if an alumni member hears of a job they might think of the student who reached out to them
 
To Be Continued In Part 3; What an Employer Looks For In an Applicant

 


How to Start Networking and Get a Job

Part One; Why You Must Network

Based on a presentation at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles on 2/12/14. 

INTRODUCTION

In 1988, I graduated from Villanova School of Law outside Philadelphia.  Villanova is viewed very much back east like Loyola is here in Los Angeles – a highly-regarded regional law school.  I worked for a large law firm, and subsequently for small firms.  When I relocated to California, I knew no one but a couple of family members.

Since I started attorney recruiting 14 years ago, more than half of those years were during a recession.

 What does this information have to do with you?  Well, in real estate you always hear the phrase “location, location, location”.  What I want you to remember is “connections, connections, connections”.  This realization changed my professional life – and I’m confident that it can change yours.

Connections, as well as hard work and a lot of patience, have contributed tremendously to my success in business.  On a similar note, developing relationships after I moved to California was critical, and it took years of effort to develop friendships and acquaintances like I had back East for so many years.  I mention this because developing connections is, in many ways, like making friends. But like friends, connections and relationships should be chosen carefully.  Therefore, it’s important that you network with intention.

Developing personal networking habits and skills will always be essential to your professional success, as there is no replacement for the human connection.  What about the importance and efficiency of social media connections and exposure, you ask? Our world is inextricably linked with Social Media.  Therefore, it’s hard to separate what you need to know to interview well and/or land a job, versus [personal] networking advice.

You want to know how to get a job, how to keep a job, and how to become secure to weather a recession in the future…b/c the only thing you can really be sure of is…there will be change.  Recession will happen again, and technology is rapidly evolving. 

Competition may seem greater than ever, with more candidates having access to information about available jobs.  However… the GOOD news is that, thanks to technology, you have more information and other resources at your fingertips than previous generations – so what are you going to do now that you are armed with these tools?
 

 NETWORK WITH INTENTION; 3 PARTS TO THIS PRESENTATION 

  • Why You Must Network
  • How Do You Get Started?
  • What an Employer Seeks in an Applicant; Do’s and Don’ts 
     

WHY YOU MUST NETWORK; THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
 

1. Networking is crucial for your career. Effective networking leads to relationships, and people tend to hire other people who they know and like. 


2. You are unique – but look to your right and to your left – those people are also unique.  You must distinguish yourself with a personal brand.

3. Brand vs. Reputation: Both your brand and reputation are important to your success

  • Your “brand’ is what people think of when they hear your name (or company) – it’s an intangible business asset that distinguishes you from others.  It can be hard to define, but until you do it’s hard to clearly articulate to others “who” you are. 

  • Your “reputation” is what they think about you as a person, such as having integrity and being reliable. 

  • How do you hone your message and how do you communicate it to those you meet?

  • I suggest working with a trusted friend or colleague to develop a brief introduction that is clear and compelling, and

  • Be patient, as this takes time and regular re-evaluation.  [More on developing your message in a future article].

  • You must provide value; the law firm world has changed.  Gone are the days when you worked for a firm, did good work, and made partner in 6 years…and remained there happily ever after.  More than ever, however, law firms are viewed as a business and so you need to provide VALUE if you want to be hired – and remain employed. The new “reality” is that your “value” will be closely connected with the clients/business that you bring to a firm.  This is achieved by networking, and developing relationships with people who will hire or refer you based on their perception of your brand and reputation.

  • Start planning now to be a business generator, by making connections and nurturing them. Doing so will not only help you now – but also in the future by enhancing your job security.  Once you have a client base that generates business, you gain independence and freedom – to make choices based on your personal needs and desires.

  • Utilize your Millennial Edge to your Advantage!  Law School students and young attorneys are typically referred to as “Millennials”.  The Millennial generation is known for being technologically savvy – it’s vital that you make sure you are also “people-savvy” if you want to succeed.

  • Learn the proper way to make a referral, and to accept a referral
  • Learn to listen – listen to learn
  • Practice following up with connections
  • Adopt an attitude of not expecting immediate results, or receiving anything in return
     

To be continued in Part 2:  How To Get Started


Secrets To Getting Recruiters To Work With You

If you are having trouble getting attorney recruiters to work on your behalf to find a job, there could be a variety of reasons.  It is important to identify the reasons and take steps to correct them.  Rifkin Consulting often works with those attorneys who are having trouble getting a job and can give sound advice on making yourself more attractive to employers.

What Can I Do To Get A Recruiter's Attention?

Attorney recruiters are like any other professionals; they want the most employable attorneys on their books.  They have the best chance of placing these attorneys to big law firms and therefore making larger commissions.  Recruiters often have parameters, i.e., some attorney recruiters do not accept attorneys who are looking for jobs in small firms, who are unemployed, or seeking employment in certain practice areas.

However, that does not mean that all recruiters feel this way or that there are no recruiters who will work with you.  It may be that you are looking in the wrong places.

Sit down and make two lists:  one of your experience and skills in a short, condensed form and one of your career preferences.  Type these up in a concise, one-page letter that you can include with your resume.  This will help you talk to recruiters about your skills and your career goals quickly and weed out recruiters that simply cannot help you.

Now is also a good time to see if there may be glaring problems with your CV.   Were you disciplined by a bar association or denied licensure for some reason?  If so, you may find that recruiters are shying away but could promote your resume to a law firm with a good explanation of what happened.  Never be afraid to tell the truth; most recruiters have seen various problems with attorneys and may have unique ways of handling your issues.

The Keys To Finding a Good Recruiter

It is very possible that recruiters simply do not know that you are looking for a job, especially if you are unemployed.  Contacting a recruiter with your resume may be the easiest way to get your name and face out to potential employers, particularly the decision-makers in the firm.  Finding a good recruiter can be difficult; you could rely on the recommendations of those who have successfully worked with recruiters or research the web to review recruiting firms' web sites and reviews.

A good attorney recruiter will help you find employment by matching you with existing law firm jobs.  Many recruiters have access to information about jobs that are not necessarily available through normal channels.  By helping aspiring attorneys find jobs with top firms as well as "boutique" law practices, attorney recruiters can be a valuable resource, especially for attorneys who are just beginning a job search and are not sure where to look for the right type of employment.

Rifkin Consulting is proud to work with attorneys who face many types of challenges in finding the perfect jobs.  For many years, Rifkin Consulting has helped California attorneys find the right jobs with the best law firms and has helped employers identify legal talent.  Rifkin Consulting also works with attorneys who are currently employed in order to help them make lateral moves and improve their career prospects. 


I Was Promised a Position in the Litigation Department But Now They Stuck Me in Corporate. What Should I Do? Can I Switch Practice Areas?

You finally found a position that you thought would be your "dream job."  The partners liked you and promised to put you right to work in litigation, an area in which you are desperate to gain experience.  However, it has been six months and you have yet to touch your first case.  Instead, they have you in the corporate department, spending your days up to your elbows in mind-numbing paperwork and boring meetings.

This scenario is not as uncommon as you might think.  The only way to "compel" a law firm to allow you to do the work you want to do is to have in hand a written contract specifying that you will be allowed to perform certain tasks, and most law firms are simply not going to give you this when you are hired.  Far more firms rely on a "gentlemen's" (or ladies') agreement and a handshake to specify your job duties.

Do you have any recourse when you find that your dream job is not what you thought it would be?  There is, of course, the possibility of quitting, but most lawyers these days are just glad they have found work and are reluctant to give up their jobs.  Should you suffer in silence?  Actually, there are ways you may change practice areas, but they require you to understand a few basic rules about working in a law firm.

  • Your skills are a commodity for which the partners are willing to pay.  The best way to change practice areas is to show that you are a valuable commodity in the area in which you want to work.  Of course, you cannot get trial experience if you are in corporate, but this may be a time when you can "volunteer" to do some of the "dirty work" for large cases in exchange for sitting in on some trials.  It is not litigation, but it is a foot in the door and will often attract the attention of the partners.
  • Talk to your boss.  The partner to whom you answer most may have some power to help you change practice areas, but it is unlikely that this will happen.  However, what you can do is to agree to do the work already assigned to you plus some extra assignments.  This shows the partners that you are willing to help where needed but do want to gain experience in other areas.  Your good attitude will go a long way to solving the problem.
  • Make no threats.  Lawyers, like most people, do not like threats.  The fastest way to be sure that you are denied what you want is to take a threatening stance, such as threatening to quit if you do not get your way.  Weigh the value of having a job against the value of doing what you want to do before you decide to resign.

While it is important to get experience in the areas in which you want to specialize, it is also important to maintain your integrity while job seeking.  If you do decide to leave, be sure to give plenty of notice and finish the cases to which you are assigned.

Rifkin Consulting can help you when the time comes to change jobs by finding the right law firm and position to match your skills and preferences.




Help! I Hate My New Job!

Sometimes the dream job you thought you would love turns out to be a nightmare position from which you feel you may never escape.  This is especially distressing when you have just started a new job and decide in a very short time that you despise the people or the position or both.  How soon is too soon to start looking for another job?  Will changing a job too quickly look bad on your resume?

The Dilemma of A Bad Job

Bad jobs create their own terrible dilemma.  If you quit the job, you risk being earmarked as a quitter or a “job hopper”; however, if you do not quit, you risk not only being miserable but perhaps being fired by the boss who likes you no better than you like him or her.

Generally, your happiness and mental health are worth more than any job.  However, you also have to be able to balance your own needs against the danger of moving from job to job whimsically.

A few things to consider when choosing whether or not to leave a job you just started:

  • Do you have another job waiting?  In some cases, attorneys take jobs only to receive a much better offer.  If you have another firm that has extended you an offer, it is much easier to jump ship with fewer negative consequences than if you simply quit abruptly with no prospects.
  • Are you being discriminated against?  There are some actions that can be construed as illegal discrimination such as sexual harassment.  If you are experiencing illegal harassment or discrimination, talk to another attorney immediately who specializes in these cases.  Never attempt to handle a situation such as this on your own.
  • Is there a chance of changing your job assignments?  Perhaps what is bothering you about your job is not the people you work with but the work itself.  Talk to your supervisor to see if your talents are being utilized fully.  If not, make suggestions for changes and be prepared to do some extra work to show your bosses where your talents lie.
  • Have you changed jobs suddenly in the past?  When it comes to a rapid job change, establishing a pattern is far more damaging than one “do over.”  While there will always be employers who will eye you askance if you quit a job after only a few weeks, most understand that anyone can get into one bad situation.  However, if you change jobs routinely, you are letting everyone know that you would rather leave than work out any problems you may have with a firm, its members or your job duties.

How Unhappy Are You?

The biggest question to answer when you are considering leaving a job you just started is:  how unhappy are you?  You may honestly have given the job a fair chance, but it is also possible that you are allowing your dislike to color your viewpoint.  One way to measure how reasonable your dislike of a job really is could be to talk with someone you trust and who is willing to give you an objective opinion of your situation.

If you find that you simply cannot stand to keep a job, of course you must move on.  However, be sure that you are making the right decision and that you are willing to accept the consequences of making a sudden job change before you turn in your notice.


Top 10 Reasons to Work with a Recruiter

There are very good reasons to work with an attorney recruiter when searching for attorney jobs in CA or when law firms have positions to fill.  Here are the top ten reasons an attorney recruiter in CA can help match the right candidate with the right job.

  1. A legal recruiter works with a select group of candidates.  Part of the screening process is already done by the time a recruiter submits a resume to a law firm.  This prevents the law firm from spending unnecessary time reviewing unsuitable candidates and avoids the problem of candidates applying for inappropriate law jobs in CA.
  2. Recruiters have networks.  Recruiters know the senior-level partners at law firms and have already established a relationship with them.  This works in both the candidate’s favor and that of the law firm seeking to fill an important position.
  3. A recruiter’s success depends on yours.  A recruiter only gets paid if a candidate is hired.  Therefore, the recruiter’s goals are the same as the law firm’s:  to find the right candidate for the job.
  4. Recruiters do more than cheerlead.  Recruiters also provide career guidance, information on law firm history and particular job criteria, resume analysis and interview tips.
  5. A legal recruiter specializes in the legal industry.  A legal recruiter focuses only on legal jobs.  Therefore, a legal recruiter is intimately connected with all the workings of both law firms in general and particular organizations.
  6. Recruiters provide interview assistance.  Recruiters have dealt with particular law firms and may know questions that are likely to be asked in the interview process as well as information on the firm itself.
  7. Recruiters have access to unpublished job openings.  Legal recruiters are often the first to hear about potential job openings and may be the only source of information on some jobs.  Law firms may choose not to publish their job openings on the Internet or in other sources and may rely solely on the services of a recruiter to fill various jobs.
  8. Recruiters know staff as well as attorneys.  A good legal recruiter has formed relationships with members of a law firm at every level.  Sometimes the staff has great influence on hiring decisions.
  9. A good recruiter can provide insights.  Legal recruiters study trends in the legal field and can provide an overall view of the hiring prospects in a given location or particular legal field.
  10. Recruiters take confidentiality seriously.  A good recruiter keeps your resume and job-seeking information private.  In today’s technologically-advanced world, this is difficult to do when you use various social media or other venues to look for jobs.

A legal recruiter can be a wonderful benefit in your legal job search.  Rifkin Consulting has many years of experience helping legal candidates look for jobs and helping law firms connect with the right candidates for their various positions.  With the help of Rifkin Consulting, quality attorneys can come together with the right law firms to benefit both.


What to Ask Your Attorney Recruiter

Hiring an attorney recruiter is a process, in some ways, similar to a job interview.  You must be sure that the attorney recruiter is a good match for your needs, and the recruiter must be sure that you are the type of candidate he or she wants to represent.  The process of “interviewing” a legal recruiter should be taken every bit as seriously as your job interviews and may well have even more lasting ramifications. 

An attorney recruiter in CA such as Rifkin Consulting serves a very important purpose.  Finding the right attorney jobs in CA is not a simple task, and hiring an attorney recruiter is one of the best ways to weed through the hundreds of law jobs in CA and find the one that best suits your goals and talents.

Therefore, there are several things you should ask your attorney recruiter before agreeing to representation.  Here are a few questions you should ask to learn the important information you need to make the right choice in legal recruiting firms from among those available.

  • How long have you been working as an attorney recruiter?  Ask to see the credentials of the person you are hiring to represent you to law firms throughout the state.  A professional attorney recruiting firm has usually been in business for years, offering you a chance to review their success stories and see their development as a key player in the legal field.

  • How do you go about choosing the right jobs for me?  This is a crucial question and is really the key to the success or failure of an attorney recruiter in terms of finding the right positions for you.  The attorney recruiter should use a verifiable method of weeding out job possibilities so that he or she focuses only on those that will fit your demands.  You do not want a recruiter who simply passes your resume to any law firm that is hiring.

  • Do you offer support services?  An attorney recruiter should offer other services such as resume editing, interview preparation and advice on choosing the right job.  Simply brokering your resume to law firms is not enough.

  • Do you have references to whom I can speak?  The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” can also be applied to references.  No matter how good a firm tells you it is, hearing it from someone who has used the firm successfully means much more.  You should also search the Internet for possible bad references; while one or two do not mean much, a number of bad reviews may signal trouble.

  • How do you calculate your fees?  An attorney recruiting firm is paid by the employer when a candidate is hired and begins employment.

It is also important to consider the necessity of maintaining confidentiality and discretion in this process. You may have other questions to ask a potential attorney recruiter.  Do not be afraid to ask for clarification or information; after all, this may be one of the most important relationships of your life. 


What to Put on the Front of a Business Card

As an attorney recruiter, I have seen a variety of business cards slide across my desk.  Some have been good, some have been bad, and some have been downright ugly.  It seems trite, but your business card truly is your own personal form of marketing.  What you put on your business card should reflect your brand as an attorney candidate. 

The front of a business card is the first thing many people see when you introduce yourself.  Therefore, the front of your business card, along with your appearance, can make or break your chances for a job or to retain a client.  As a legal recruiter, I have heard law firms exclaim in surprise that they thought the business card did not inspire confidence in the candidate before them.  It is worth the effort to examine the front of your business card and determine the most important information to include as well as the placement of that information in the most eye-catching manner.

Having an effective business card means more than just printing your name and telephone number on the front.  Not only should you have certain information on your card, you should also include this information in way that immediately draws the eye to the important points and makes a statement about your professionalism and organizational skills.

Here are a few rules to follow when designing the front of your business card.

  • Do not cram.  It is tempting to put all of your information on the front of your card, but resist the temptation.  A “busy” card turns off prospective clients and employers with sensory overload.  Include only vital contact information; save the bios and other non-essentials for a resume or your web site. Legal candidates intent on impressing law firms can do so with their professional business card backed by a resume and portfolio which offer the pertinent details.

  • Do not use funky fonts.  Cute fonts are appropriate for bake sale posters, not a business card.  Use clear, legible fonts and add an interesting logo for art value.  Be sure the font is large enough to be read easily.

  • Leave some white space.  Many people jot notes on business cards, so leave a little white space to accommodate this habit.

  • Consider a “call to action.”  If you include any statement on your business card other than your contact information, make it short and sweet and make it a call to action.  A call to action suggests and action someone can take following their perusal of your information.  Think about how to work your call to action in a very short statement and include it at the bottom of the card.

  • Avoid too many colors.  While professionally-printed cards give you the option to include colors, avoid using more than two or three.  A little color adds interest; too much dazzles the eyes and causes confusion.  Keep all your printed information a single color in groups; for example, all your contact information should be one color while your call to action could be a second color and your logo a third.

When it comes to obtaining a lawyer job in California, your business card could be the first step in or out of the door. Rather than leaving it to chance, attorney candidates should give it the careful review it deserves.



Resume Prepping

As attorney recruiters, we see hundreds of resumes slide across our desks. Unfortunately, although this is an incredibly important part of your overall image, many people are unaware of how to craft a resume that screams hire me, not file me in the waste basket. 

Your resume is the most important thing you send out when you are looking for a job.  Preparing a resume should not be something you do the night before a job interview; in fact, your resume is an asset just as money in a bank account is an asset.  It is also organic, changing, and growing as you gain experience.  Updating your resume should be an ongoing activity, and there are specific rules you should follow as you work on perfecting this important document.

When seeking law jobs in CA, it's important for attorney candidates to understand the necessary elements to preparing a successful attorney resume.  Our attorney recruitment firm offers editing services for attorney candidates as a standard service, but candidates can benefit from these necessary components.

  • Your resume must be perfect.  No ifs, ands or buts—your resume is not allowed to have errors.  This is the cardinal rule of resume writing.  You are not allowed to have spelling errors, grammatical problems, or anything else that could be construed as a mistake.  This may seem harsh, but jobs have been lost over a single spelling error in a resume.  Remember, in many cases people will be looking at your resume long before they meet you, so this is your only chance to make a good first impression.  If you're seeking placement at a top tier law firm, your resume must be impeccable.

  • Edit, edit, edit.  The way to avoid costly errors in your resume is to edit more than once and through different channels.  Start by writing out your resume “warts and all” and then begin trimming, tweaking and fixing it until you believe it is perfect.  It would not be at all remiss to edit your resume ten different times before finally settling on the perfect draft, and you may have to edit even more often. 

  • Get help.  The more eyes that see your resume, the better.  After you have edited, ask for help from others.  Start with a friend or relative.  Ask him or her to read it carefully with pen in hand and circle any areas that are unclear or seem to contain errors.  Re-read your resume with the edits; you will be surprised at how a fresh set of eyes finds mistakes you missed or points out things that are unclear.  Edit with these changes in mind, then have another person read it, then another until you are satisfied that the changes you have made are the right ones.

  • Use professionals.  Paying for help in writing your resume is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom.  Professionals can help you determine the best way to phrase information, what to include and exclude and can give your final resume draft the editing it needs to ensure perfection. If you pay professionals, be sure they have experience in the legal field.  Our legal recruitment firm is happy to help candidates edit their resumes to land the perfect job.  If you land the perfect job as a result of your resume, it is well worth seeking professional help.

If a candidate is self-submitting, he or she should be very aware of how impersonal these systems are.  Although efficient, they do not “feel” the person with a cover letter or resume that has had professional guidance, and are less likely to make it to the next level.  They are very key word driven, and every effort must be taken to have your submissions materials be impeccable.  This is where a skilled attorney recruiter can offer help to a candidate that is invaluable.



How to Follow Up After an Interview

You may have heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  This also applies to a well-written follow-up to an interview. Our attorney recruiters often advise attorney candidates that while once considered unique, a follow up is now just good manners.  These days, it is expected that attorney candidates can and will follow up with interviewers to show a deeper understanding of items mentioned and an appreciation for meeting the busy members of the firm.

Even experts sometimes neglect the crucial time just after an interview, but this is a time when, psychologically, many things may hang in the balance of choosing a candidate for hire.  The more you can do to make yourself stand out to the partners or hiring committee, the better your chances of securing the job. Our legal recruitment firm has compiled some great tips to follow up   well after a good interview.

  • Send requested information immediately.  It is not unusual for firms to request information you do not have available at an interview.  It is better if you prepare in advance:  bring extra copies of your resume, bring your law school portfolio, or bring anything else you might need.  However, you cannot plan for every contingency.  If a partner requests a copy of a brief you wrote, for example, you may have to send it after the interview.  Be sure you do so immediately—as soon as you walk in the door from the interview, in fact.  Email makes this easy to do.  As legal recruiters, we recommend making this a priority when you get home from an interview.  There is a current trend of law school career centers advising candidates not to send emails, as they are saying there is a chance to make errors and ruin your chances for receiving an offer.  I completely disagree with this, as it continues to be seen as good manners.  There is no excuse for an error if you have someone (that you trust and respect) proof-read it.  We all make errors at times – but that is not a good reason to avoid action.

  • Send a short follow-up thank-you note.  Good manners may seem to have become a lost art, but the impact of a short “thank you” often goes underestimated.  Sending a short letter by “snail mail” will reach the hiring partners around the time they are considering who to hire.  The letter should not overdo your qualifications, but should definitely remind the partners that you hope to be considered for the position and feel you would be a good fit for the firm.

  • What do I do if I hear nothing?  This is a perennial problem for job seekers: what seems like a long time to you may seem short to busy employers who have not even met to discuss who to hire while you sit at home on pins and needles.  The rule of thumb is:  if the partners tell you to expect an answer in ten days, it is okay to contact the firm after two weeks if you have not heard.  On the other hand, if the partners do not give you a firm date, wait two weeks, make a short contact and then wait another two weeks to follow up.  Unfortunately, some firms are guilty of failing to tell candidates who were not chosen for the job that they were not hired, leading them to wait in vain.  You are entitled to know whether you got the job, but do not “bug” the partners with daily calls or emails. You might want to instead rely upon your attorney recruiter to make inquiries into whether or not you got the job.

Choosing Between Jobs

One problem that everyone wants to have is deciding between two or more job offers.  However, this can actually be a very emotionally challenging problem.  Agonizing over two equally good jobs is difficult; it helps to “make a list” of the pros and cons of each job, but what factors should be important in choosing the right position?

As an experienced attorney recruiter, I often see how this choice plays out for attorney candidates.  When candidates are torn between positions, there are often some factors which may provide the answer.  Not all law jobs in California are created equally, so attorney candidates can use the following information to decide between the right position and a position that may just be ok.

  • Location, location, location.  Remember that the location of your job offer is just as important, if not more so, than the salary.  What looks like a large salary in Washington, D.C., or New York City will not go as far as the small salary you are offered in Topeka, Kansas.  However, if you want to work in a Wall Street firm or for an international law firm in the nation’s capital, a job in Topeka will not meet your goals.  You must decide where you want to work and narrow your choices based on your preferences.
  • Salary.  Salary is actually composed of far more than money.  In order to get a true picture of the compensation you are being offered, you must include factors such as benefits and the number of hours you are expected to work.  If a firm offers a high salary but expects 120 hours of work per week, you should take a look at the quality of life you desire.  If you have a new baby at home you'd like to see, you may be better off accepting a job with a lower salary and more time off.  Similarly, jobs with no health insurance or retirement are likely to yield a much lower standard of living, even with higher salaries, than jobs that offer these benefits. As a skilled legal recruiter, I often advise candidates to consider this point carefully.
  • Climate.  You must determine your own temperament when it comes to corporate climate.  For example, you may wish to work in a large, high-energy firm where deadlines are always looming.  On the other hand, you may wish to work in a small, laid-back firm where people take their time.  Normally, larger firms are more eager to higher new talent but there is also great competition for promotion.  A smaller firm may offer better opportunity; however, some small firms are so stagnant that upward mobility is impossible.  Consider your goals carefully before you decide on the firm in which you are interested.
  • Purpose.  You might want to consider a position in a general law firm to gain valuable experience in many areas, but some attorneys want a job in a specific field.  You may have to make a decision between your “dream job” and a more pedestrian position using the other criteria for job evaluation.


5 Things To Do While Waiting For An Interview

When you're looking for lawyer jobs in California, it can sometimes seem like an eternity before you're called in for an interview.  Waiting to be called for an interview can be emotionally difficult.  It can mean hours of sitting by the phone or the computer, waiting for a call or an email. 

As skilled attorney recruiters, we see this frustration a lot.  Instead of suffering and putting yourself through stress, why not use this time to your advantage? Here are some tips to help you use the time between sending in your resume and your actual interview wisely.

  • Research the firms to which you have applied.  It is always wise to walk into an interview with some knowledge of the firm’s structure, purpose, partners and corporate climate.  With a little research on the Internet, you can find out a great deal of information about any law firm's corporate climate, including partner bios, large settlements or cases handled, how many attorneys are working in the firm and which lawyers work with which cases. As an attorney recruitment firm, we strongly advise doing your homework!
  • Make notes and study them.  If you have narrowed your choices down to a few law firms to which you have applied, it should be easy to construct a “cheat sheet” on each firm.  You can then study these sheets prior to your interview; this will help you feel more confident before you sit in with the partners.
  • If possible, talk to those who have worked in the firm before.  If you have any connections to any former or present employees of the firm, now would be a good time to talk to them about their experience with the partners, associates and case load. Try reaching out to former employees listed on LinkedIn. Many people are happy to give attorney candidates a realistic look at life in the firm. However, candidates should keep in mind that this person does not represent the firm and may offer a very subjective point of view about life at the firm. 
  • Brush up on recent cases in your area of expertise.  Just because you are out of law school does not mean you cannot continue to learn about new cases and precedents in your field.  It is also wise to brush up on current events that may impact your hoped-for job; for example, an attorney applying for a position in a real estate firm could definitely use some information on current housing market trends.
  • Make a list of questions and conduct mock interviews.  Partner with someone else who is job-seeking and hold mock interviews in which you both generate questions that you could be asked in the “real” interview.  You will be surprised how many questions you both can come up with in a short time and how much you learn from the mock interview experience.  If possible, video your mock interview; this may be painful but it will definitely give you a good look at how you present yourself and help you work on areas of weakness.  Since law firms often employ a three step process to interviewing, this can help to prepare a candidate for success. 


What’s on the Back of Your Business Card?

Part 1; What Does It Say About You As a Person?

Our business cards serve a variety of purposes, all relating to marketing.  In the United States, we typically use our business card(s) for introductory purposes – informative, if you will.  Its primary purpose is to inform the recipient about our name, nature of our business and contact information.   Sometimes it’s perused – but frequently it’s discarded once a meeting is completed.  Modern technology now offers a myriad of methods for scanning the information and adding it to a CMS.

I believe that it takes a good deal more thought – and is much more challenging – to be able to articulate what the back of your business card would say….WHO are you?  Although you’re unlikely to include this personal information on the back of your card, it is really fundamental to understanding:

  • Why you do what you do
  • How you do what you do
  • What people don’t know about you (that you might wish they did)

In fact, this level of self-awareness should be periodically evaluated because we change

Question: If you were drafting text for the back of your card, what might it reveal?  Are you a charitable soul who takes great pleasure in making others’ lives better?  Do you sing opera in the shower?  Are you enjoying writing poetry that no one will ever read, but doing so makes your soul sing?  Is gourmet cooking your favorite form of exercise?  Are you an avid reader of mystery novels?  Based on your answer(s), are you spiritual, philosophical, logical methodical, pragmatic, impulsive, athletic…?  Sometimes seeing our “personal profile” in black and white reminds us of what’s important to us – and also what makes us unique.  In a world where we frequently are over-extended in so many ways, this is truly a purposeful exercise!

The Next Step:  It’s often said that one’s personal life and business are a reflection of each other….is this true of you?  Do you do what you love – or what you need to do to get a paycheck (probably what most people do)?  If you are among the latter group, can you take this understanding and find ways to incorporate WHO you are into your work?  Will you set aside a day, an hour, an afternoon, or a commute to ponder what would enhance your daily routine to make you feel more complete?  It’s not selfish – it’s caring.  The more satisfied we are with our daily lives, the happier and more content those around us will be.  Enjoy the journey!


Benefits of Working With an Attorney Recruiter

Attorney Recruiting

With the economy in recession, it may be difficult to find career opportunities that match your criteria, experience, and academic achievement. The economic crisis has left few jobs on the market and even lawyers are having difficulty trying to find employment that matches their requirements. You may have considered working with an attorney recruiter, but are still uncertain whether or not you should. Here are several reasons why an attorney recruiter can assist you in building an enriching and successful career as an attorney:

Appearance and Presentation:

Often, applicants do not hear back from potential employers because their cover letters and resumes are unsuccessful and ineffective. Most attorneys are so busy applying to numerous jobs that they do not research each law firm’s background and goals. Ultimately, many attorneys make the awful mistake of sending out generic and plain cover letters and resumes. This usually leads to fruitless results.

Cover letters should be tailored to the law firm and used to create a connection with the firm's recruiting department. If you are not referencing your knowledge of the firm or engaging the reader within the first paragraph, your cover letter will likely be tossed.

Additionally, if your resume and cover letter contain typographical errors, you will most likely not hear back from them. Your first impression, even though on paper, needs to be completely flawless. Fortunately, an attorney recruiter can edit your resume and draft an impressive cover letter while also providing background on the law firm to ensure that your presentation catches the reader's attention.

Interview and Impression:

Numerous applicants find the interview process utterly challenging with multiple phone and in person interviews. The process can be stressful, nerve-wracking, and brutal. It is of the utmost importance that you appear to be the right candidate for the position, but most often interviewees become nervous and fail to create the right impression. An attorney recruiter can help you with the interview process by providing effective tips to guide you in selling your skills and experience.  

Networking:

Ever heard the expression: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well the statement rings completely true in searching for the right career opportunities. It is absolutely crucial to establish long-lasting connections and relationships in order to generate the best career opportunities. This may be a daunting task for a new or young attorney.  At Rifkin Consulting, we offer the benefit of more than 25 years of experience with the legal industry and have many well established relations with successful law firms and exceptional attorneys.

Contact Rifkin Consulting

Whether you are a young associate or longtime partner, we can help provide you with employment opportunities for a permanent and successful career. Our attorney recruiters have your best interest in mind and will search for top tier law firms that exceed your requirements.  Contact one of our consultants today so we can assist in achieving your long-term goals as an attorney.