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If you’re in Biglaw, chances are that not all of the first-year associates currently working at your firm are of the fresh-out-of-law-school-and-still-tan-from-post-bar-trip variety. With many firms just now welcoming back some Class of 2009 associates after a yearlong deferral, Class of 2010 associates have to wait their turn to start work in 2011 or 2012. But now that the great recession is over, surely business has picked up enough so that there is plenty of doc review and due diligence to go around for first-year associates, right? Or is work still so slow that the more senior associates have to hoard all the grunt work?

In this week’s survey, we want to know whether the first-year associates at your firm are being welcomed with open arms, or viewed as the competition…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey: How are the First-Year Associates Faring?”

The proverbial brass ring.

Even in the economic heyday of a few years ago, making partner at a law firm was never a guaranteed outcome for every associate.  But at large law firms today, partnership prospects look worse than ever. Whether you want to pursue that elusive partnership goal or opt out to work in-house, one thing is certain: you can’t just expect everything to fall into place; you have to take control of your career.

Last month, the Career Center’s Miami Professional Development Panel provided insider perspectives on how associates can increase their chances at making partner or landing an in-house job.  Panelists included:

  • Adolfo Jimenez – Partner, Holland & Knight
  • Tiffani Lee – Partner, Holland & Knight
  • Albert Dotson, Jr. – Partner, Bilzin Sumberg
  • Jonathan Jaffe – Director & Associate Counsel, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.

What did they have to say?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Do You Want to Make Partner? Or Go In-House?”

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!


We hear lots of stories about screamers — the abusive partners that all associates dread getting assignments from. But what about those partners that associates seek out — the ones who are good mentors, who give younger lawyers pointers about how to become better lawyers?

This week our ATL / Lateral Link survey asks you to take a minute to nominate the partner you most like to work for — and tell us why. Don’t worry, you won’t be asked for your name, so give your honest feedback. We’ll tally the data and in the coming weeks, we will present the top partners to work for throughout the country…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey: Who’s the best partner to work for?”

As we mentioned last week, Above the Law, in cooperation with our friends at ALI-ABA, will be assisting you with your Continuing Legal Education needs. We regularly review the comprehensive CLE offerings of ALI-ABA and pick out selected courses that look particularly interesting to us. Here are the two for this week:

  • Estate Planning 101: Practical Strategies for Estate and Gift Planning: Due to the demise of the estate tax in 2010 and the resulting complications, this area of law has gotten very tricky. Not every client has the impeccable estate planning sense of George Steinbrenner. If you’re new to estate planning, if you’re a seasoned attorney looking for a refresher, or if you just want a basic working knowledge of estate planning and related tax issues — perhaps you expect to come into an inheritance in the next few years? — you should check out this course.
  • Public Speaking and Oral Advocacy: How To Do It Well: Effective public speaking is a skill that every lawyer, regardless of practice area, needs to possess. This reasonably priced course will teach you what you need to know. And really, knocking off some CLE hours while also learning how to speak nicely — in a bar or at the bar — is a no-brainer.

Both of these courses are taking place this week, so don’t delay on registering. You can take them live, in New York City (Estate Planning) or Philadelphia (Public Speaking), or you can access them as live video webcasts. To learn more, click on the links below.

Estate Planning 101: Practical Strategies for Estate and Gift Planning [ALI-ABA]
Public Speaking and Oral Advocacy: How To Do It Well! [ALI-ABA]

Earlier: The Financial Services Regulatory Revolution: Are You Ready?

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

Vive la Révolution!

In cooperation with our friends at ALI-ABA, Above the Law will be helping you out with your Continuing Legal Education needs. We’ve combed through the extensive CLE offerings of ALI-ABA and picked out a few courses that struck us as particularly interesting, even sexy (at least by the standards of CLE). Today we bring you the inaugural offering; others will follow in future posts.

The new Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act has been described as “the biggest expansion of government power over banking and markets since the Depression.” It overhauls rules and regulations “touching every corner of finance, from ATM cards to Wall Street traders.”

How will the new law affect your broker-dealer and investment adviser clients? If you’re free this Thursday and Friday, you should take advantage of this course, offered by ALI-ABA in partnership with Above the Law: The Financial Services Regulatory Revolution: Navigating the New World.

Even if you do not specialize in financial services, this is the kind of information that makes lawyers look intelligent and educated at cocktail parties. It’ll give you something to talk about when your crazy uncle (played by Michael Moore) starts rambling about the evils of Wall Street during Thanksgiving dinner. And it’s a much better way to fulfill your CLE requirement than 90 minutes on seafaring tax law in the post whaling age.

This is a course that you won’t want to miss. You can take it live, in Washington, D.C., or you can access it as a live video webcast. To learn more and to sign up, click here.

The Financial Services Regulatory Revolution: Navigating the New World of Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Regulation, Supervision, and Sales Practices [ALI-ABA]
Law Remakes U.S. Financial Landscape [Wall Street Journal]

Go... Firm!

In part 1 of the results of the Associate Morale Survey, brought to you by Lateral Link, we revealed that 74% of respondents felt that associate morale was either the same or worse than last year. Though not entirely surprising, this result is troubling, given that low employee morale is not helpful to the economic recovery.

What, then, can firms do to boost struggling associate morale?  The top solution, according to 67% of survey respondents, is for firms to be more open and transparent about decisions that affect associates. The next most popular option is for firms to unfreeze salaries and/or reverse pay cuts, cited by 44% of respondents. So to our Biglaw partner readers, remember that a little candor can go a long way with associates, and salary cuts and freezes are so 2008.

What additional responses made the wish list?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Associate Morale Survey Results – Part 2″

This week we present part two of our series on using internal networking to advance your career within your law firm. Last week we discussed networking to make partner; this week’s focus is on how to get better assignments.

As we mentioned last week, in order to succeed and be truly satisfied with your Biglaw career, you will need to do more than to simply be a great attorney. There are thousands of talented and hardworking attorneys out there who leave the world of Biglaw jaded, unhappy, and unfulfilled. Yes, Biglaw may not be the be-all and end-all for everyone, but there are many attorneys who play the Biglaw game, and play it well. By utilizing networking skills and tactics while working at a Biglaw firm, a young associate can increase his or her chances of succeeding AND being satisfied.

So what can you do to get better assignments?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center: Tips on Networking Within Your Firm to Advance Your Career (Part 2)”

Thanks to this week’s advertisers on Above the Law:

If you’re interested in advertising on Above the Law or any other site in the Breaking Media network, download our media kits, or email advertising@breakingmedia.com. Thanks!

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