Job Searches

From a student at Duke Law School:

I had to laugh out loud at Kramer Levin’s use of the daylight savings time maxim, “spring ahead/spring forward,” to suggest that we could do the same for our careers by coming to their firm. See the flyer below, which they seem to have sent to the entire 1L class.

Actually, we think it’s kinda cute! Check out those otherworldly tulips:
Kramer Levin Naftalis Frankel spring ahead daylight savings time Above the Law blog.jpg
And it’s a helpful reminder for overworked law firm associates. If you have a conference call scheduled for, say, this Sunday morning at 10, you don’t want to miss it.

opportunity knocks knocking on heaven's door Abovethelaw Above the Law legal blog.jpgA suggestion for a discussion topic, from the ATL mailbag:

I searched through the archives for a thread on this, but couldn’t find anything. As a second year law student headed to NYC Biglaw after graduation, I’m already assuming that I will work for the firm I start with for no more than three or four years. The idea of being a Biglaw partner does not sound like the life for me.

What really interests me is the possibility of moving to the business world to work for a big bank or a Fortune 500 company. Yet the qualifications and legal experience that an associate needs to get to make that sort of move are still very vague to me. It is a topic that I would be afraid to talk about at my firm as well.

So I was hoping you could start an open thread where people talk about their experience in moving from Big Law to Big Business, and how young associates should go about making the move. I hope this topic can be discussed on abovethelaw soon. Thanks.

We’re happy to oblige; here’s the requested open thread. Our general advice — which is, we admit, pretty obvious — would be: get your clients to like you as much as possible. Many of the lawyers we’ve known who have made the transition from law to business jumped over to a client who loved working with them. Some went to work for the client in a legal capacity, then moved over to the business side later; others went over directly to the business side.
In addition, to the (very persistent) commenter(s) seeking a place to talk about MBA degrees in Biglaw — special bonuses for business degree holders, enhanced job prospects, seniority credit, etc. — feel free to chime in as well.
(We previously posted an open thread on MBAs and Biglaw. But that was back in August 2007, so we figure it’s okay to revisit the subject now.)
Earlier: In Biglaw, Does It Pay To Have An MBA?

NALP rules guidelines law firm hiring Above the Law blog.jpgFrom an anxious first-year law student:

I saw this piece on Tax Prof Blog and thought your readers might have some interesting thoughts. NALP has decided next fall the 2Ls only get 45 days to hold an offer for a summer position. See here.

I have a job at a firm this summer that is part of NALP that I am happy about as a 1L but I definitely want to go through OCI. If I leave my job this year at the end of July, the firm will likely notify me by August 15th that I have an offer for the next summer. It would then expire by September 30th!

It seems possible that I could be in the middle of call-backs with other firms and have to decide whether to take a chance on getting a better offer or not. Yikes!

And what about firms that don’t do OCI at my school? I doubt that they will go through submitted resumes, conduct interviews and make offers by then.

So, ATL readers — any advice for our nervous 1L? Or any views on whether this rule change is a good or bad idea?
Update / Correction: According to the analysis of this commenter, the scenario outlined above would not come to pass. We’ve reviewed the NALP rules, which can be accessed in full over here, and we agree with the commenter. See Part V, Section C: “Employers offering positions for the following summer to candidates previously employed by them should leave those offers open until at least November 15.”
2Ls Now Must Respond to Summer Job Offers Within 45 Days [TaxProf Blog]
Full Text of NALP Principles & Standards [NALP]

Asia Asian law blogger blawg Above the Law blog.jpgIn light of the explosive economic growth of China and the Far East, many top U.S. and global law firms are trying to figure out how to enter Asia. And Above the Law is, too.
We’re looking for someone to write a weekly column for us about practicing law in Asia. It would be similar to ATL’s other columns — e.g., Legal Eagle Wedding Watch, Sports and the Law — but centered on what it’s like to be a lawyer in Asia.
The ideal candidate would be someone currently practicing in Asia. But former and future Asia practitioners would also be considered, as long as they can write knowledgeably about working in Asia, have a network of sources on the ground, etc.
The columnist can write under a pseudonym if desired. The gig comes with pay (a modest stipend). It’s an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to do some fun, non-legal writing, or to share their expat experience with ATL’s large and growing readership.
If you might be interested, please email us (subject line: “Asia column”). Please include a brief bio and a discussion of your vision for the column, including possible topics to write about if you have some in mind.
Thanks! We look forward to reviewing your applications.

There have been some rumblings on this blog of a slowdown in judicial clerk hiring, even as firms raise clerkship bonuses to $50K.
Today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey digs a little deeper into who is (or isn’t) hiring judicial clerks, and what their bonuses look like.
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here or here for the results.

Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this survey.

We received 1,062 responses to our ATL / Lateral Link survey on in-house aspirations.
As shown in the charts below, over half of associates are satisfied or even “very satisfied” with their current positions, but about half would still like to go in-house.
Associate Responses: Are You Satisfied With Your Current Job?
associatesatisfaction.jpg
Associate Responses: Would You Like To Go In-House?
associateinhouse.jpg
Find out why and where associates want to move, and what in-house counsel are thinking themselves, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Featured Job Survey: Does the In-House Always Win?”

Thacher Proffitt Wood LLP Above the Law blog.jpgThis morning we’ve been hearing rumors of associate layoffs at Thacher Proffitt & Wood. As you may recall from ATL’s prior coverage (scroll down), TPW has reduced its ranks over the past few months, through voluntary departures. But those departures took place after the firm warned that it might have to resort to layoffs.
Apparently something went down at the firm yesterday afternoon. Some sources characterized what happened as layoffs, with affected associates given until May to leave. But we contacted the firm, which denied the rumors and issued this statement:

Thacher Proffitt has not done layoffs. We have increased our efforts to provide associates with outplacement in practice areas that have been most affected by current market conditions.

We take the firm at its word; they’ve been pretty candid in the past about their personnel decisions and how they’ve been affected by the credit crunch. If you have the inside scoop on what took place yesterday, please email us. Thanks.

bodybuilder weightlifter bodybuilding weightlifting Above the Law blog.jpgAn excerpt from an ad in the “legal jobs” section of the Denver craigslist:

The ideal candidate would be admitted to practice Colorado State Bar, and have at least 4 to 7 years experience. Experienced professional demeanor in client contact both in person and on the telephone is a must. Ability to work and adapt in a fast-paced environment is crucial. The candidate should have a very high level of proficiency with MS Word, Outlook, and Excel. Experience with TABS billing software is a plus. Must be able to lift up to 25 lbs. Compensation is commensurate with experience.

Are we witnessing the start of a trend, as the market for legal talent shifts from a sellers’ market to a buyers’ market? This isn’t the first law firm advertisement we’ve seen requiring the ability to engage in heavy lifting (quite literally). See also this ad (applicants must have the ability to “carry[] loads of up to 35 pounds”).
Associate for Litigation Group [Denver craigslist]
Earlier: Definitely Not the Job of the Week

Earlier this week, we told you about client contact, and asked you about your firm’s leave policies (that survey’s still live, by the way). In today’s ATL / Lateral Link survey, we explore whether you’d like to leave your firm to become a client:
Update: This survey is now closed. Click here for the results.

Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this survey.

Lateral Link Laterallink Above the Law blog.jpgCongratulations to our good friends over at Lateral Link, ATL’s career partner. They just got a great write-up in the Wall Street Journal, which identifies them as a Web 3.0 recruiting trendsetter. Reporter Sarah Needleman writes:

What’s so different: Lateral Link generally limits access to its job postings to graduates of top-tier law schools with a minimum of two years of work experience. About 5,000 applicants have been approved to date. Unlike most job sites, Lateral Link’s recruiters get in direct contact with members who apply for the positions it lists. Another distinction: Lateral Link pays a $10,000 bonus to members who land positions at law firms, though not corporations.

“Through our Web-based platform, we’re able to operate much more efficiently than a traditional recruiting firm, and therefore are able to pass along our cost savings to the job hunter,” says T.J. Duane, a principal at Lateral Link, which was founded by three Harvard Law School graduates. The reward is also consistent with the referral bonus that many law firms pay associates, he adds.

You can read the rest of the piece, which also includes testimonials from happy lawyers who landed jobs (and multiple job offers) after working with Lateral Link, by clicking here.
Members Only: LateralLink.com [Wall Street Journal]

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