Career Center

Whether you’re a junior associate just barely surviving Biglaw, thriving in Biglaw, or somewhere in between, this Career Center Tip of the Day series is for you.

For many of you junior associates, the extent of your experience with Biglaw layoffs was reading about them on Above the Law from the safety of your law school classroom.  But now that you can call yourself a cog in the Biglaw wheel, perhaps you’ve wondered what you can practically do to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, just in case the economy takes another turn for the worse.

Or maybe you’re the superstar of your class, and you never worry about getting the ax. These tips are for you, too. The more valuable you become to your firm, the more control you will have over the direction of your career.

Now, on to the first tip….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “How to Become an (Almost) Indispensable Junior Associate (Part 1)”

Last month, we reported that 66% of survey respondents had to work on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, with 32% of respondents’ firms not even recognizing it as an official firm holiday.  In today’s Career Center survey, brought to you by Lateral Link, we want to find out whether you were on or off the clock on Presidents Day.

Check back later this week for the survey results.

In Part 1 of the Career Center survey results on debt, we reported that 85% of the 3,700 survey respondents have outstanding student loan debt, with more than half of them owing $100,000 or more. We also found that 75% of respondents considered their debt at least as much as other factors when deciding on where to work.  Today, we’ll take a look at a further breakdown of these numbers by job sector and amount of debt.

But first, let’s examine the extremes: respondents with the most debt, and respondents with no debt….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey Results: A Generation of Debtors (Part 2)”


We received an overwhelming number of responses – 3,700 – to last week’s Career Center survey on debt and how it contributes to your decision on where to work.  We will introduce an overview of the results today, and present a more detailed analysis later in the week.

Overall, 93% of respondents report being in some kind of debt.  And for the vast majority of them, that debt plays a role in their decision on where to work:

  • 38% of respondents said they considered debt about as much as other factors.
  • 37% said they considered debt more than any other factor.
  • 24% said debt contributed very little or did not contribute at all.

Exactly how much debt are we talking about here?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey Results: A Generation of Debtors (Part 1)”

Not too long ago – you know, when Biglaw firms were begging law students to work for them, no one cared about law school transparency, and having a J.D. guaranteed you a long and prosperous career – signing yourself up for six figures of crushing law school debt didn’t seem like such a big deal.  Nor was it unheard of back then for first-year associates to buy nice big houses.  But in the aftermath of the recession, many attorneys have to face the now onerous consequences of decisions they made in better economic times.

In today’s Career Center survey, brought to you by Lateral Link, we want to know how your debt currently affects your decision on where you work or want to work.  Is it Biglaw or bust?  Or are you able to turn a blind eye to your debt and find more compelling reasons to work where you want to? 

Please take our short survey and then check in next week for the results.

The color of spring: GREEN.

In Tuesday’s survey, we asked whether you left your firm after collecting your 2010 year-end bonus (paid in December for 43% of respondents).

About 14% of respondents reported jumping ship after their bonus checks cleared, while another 8% were in such a hurry to leave that they couldn’t bother waiting around for their bonus money.

That means the vast majority of respondents, 77%, are staying put — at least for now.  About 9% are sticking around a little longer in the hope that their firms up the ante with a spring bonus payment.  Another 18% say they aren’t leaving, but sure wish they could.  Finally, 50% of all respondents report that they are staying at their firms because they are actually quite content at the moment.

Which class years and practice groups are most likely to see post-bonus departures?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey Results: Get Your Bonus … And Stay”

Earlier this month, we surveyed you to find out how satisfied you were with your 2010 year-end bonus. Half of all associates whose firms had announced bonus payments reported dissatisfaction with their year-end bonuses.

In today’s survey, we want to find out how many of you are actually going to put your money where your mouth is and leave your firm after collecting your bonus (whether due to dissatisfaction with your bonus or just general unhappiness with your firm). Or has all the recent buzz about springtime bonuses encouraged you to stick around for a while? As always, your responses are kept completely confidential.

For all the latest bonus news, check out the updated law firm profiles at the Career Center, hosted by Lateral Link.

We received over 1,300 responses to this week’s Career Center survey on whether you made MLK Day “A Day On, Not A Day Off” — for your employer. The majority of respondents, 66 percent, reported working on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Not surprisingly, the top reason for putting in extra billable hours was that people just had work that needed to get done, even though no one specifically asked them to work.  But it likely also had something to do with the fact that 32% of respondents who worked said their firm does not recognize MLK Day as an official firm holiday.  Instead, some of these firms consider it a “floating holiday,” meaning that attorneys can either choose to take a day off on MLK Day or on another floating holiday.

What were some other reasons given for working on MLK Day?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey Results: A Working Holiday”

When it comes to working on holidays, we all know that Biglaw attorneys are some of the worst offenders. In today’s Career Center survey, brought to you by Lateral Link, tell us if you were off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or if it was just business as usual. Then check back later this week for the survey results.

It’s the new year – time to dust off that résumé.  Even if you are happy with your 2010 bonus and not ready to jump ship just yet, you never know when you might get a call about a job opportunity that you simply can’t pass up.  Or maybe you have been searching for a new job for a while now, with no luck.

With recruiting departments receiving hundreds or even thousands of résumés for a single job opening, your résumé only has a 30- to 60-second window to be reviewed before it gets forwarded to the hiring attorney or ends up in the trash.  Is your résumé ready to land you an interview?

This week’s Expert Insights article, brought to you by Lateral Link, gives you advice to help you re-evaluate your résumé to make it an effective marketing tool in your job search….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Your New Year’s Résumé Checkup”

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