Thursday, December 22, 2011

Refresher for Job Applicants - 3 key tips

Three job search tips jumped out at me from Jay Goltz's article on tips for job applicants in yesterday's New York Times. They are critical to setting yourself apart, yet I know they are commonly overlooked by lawyers and law students seeking their first or next job. Doesn't that sound like an opportunity?

"7. Think about things you have done in school, in a previous job, in a volunteer position that speak to your commitment, your ability to solve problems, your ability to deal with difficult customer situations, your ability to get a job done. Work it into your résumé and your interview responses.

8. Ask questions, especially when interviewers ask if you have any questions. If you don’t, you look unengaged, afraid or uninterested. And make them good questions about what you’ll be doing on the job. Don’t ask how much vacation time you get. The primary goal of the questions you ask is to get the job, not to decide if you want the job. [emphasis supplied] * * *

10. Stay in touch. If you get to be a finalist for a position but don’t get it, suck it up. Don’t take it personally. The company clearly liked you, but you were edged out. It is not easy to pick between finalists, and many times it is very close. Ask if you can stay in touch. If you get an enthusiastic yes, be sure to do so. There is a good chance that the new hire won’t work out or that another position will open up. You are close!"

If you, or someone you know, want to make changes now for a more effective job search, please contact me to start coaching.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Practical Pointers on Everyday Persuasion - Part 2

2. Appeal to Their Interests, Values and Needs.

When trying to persuade someone, consider that person’s interests, values and needs. Stand in her shoes and see the subject from that point of view. Listen to and respect the other person. Then tailor your comments to appeal to her interests and needs, and so she sees the benefit to herself. Demonstrate how she will benefit. Provide real life examples.

Sales people and young children do this all the time. They align their position with the other person’s interests, appeal to what is important to her, and then communicate clearly and with compelling evidence how the matter is advantageous for her.

Sales people make small talk with a customer and then say something like “I can see quality is important to you” or “this vehicle has all the features a growing family like yours will need.” Many young children are very skilled at persuading their parents by appealing to their parents’ interest in avoiding a public scene.

To persuade your boss to give you a certain matter to handle, consider his concerns and what is important to him. Figure out how giving you the matter aligns with his interests and how it benefits him. Communicate clearly and provide evidence of your readiness and a plan that eliminates his concerns.

When persuading my colleagues to be guinea pigs in the e-newsletter, I appealed to their interests in marketing their legal services in a unique, personal way. Knowing that time is precious, I also made it very easy for them. Similarly, to persuade new members to join the association, we are focused on demonstrating how we meet their interests and needs.

3. Whose Idea

A last bit of advice comes from lawyers who are excellent brief writers. They advise new lawyers to let the judge follow the bread crumbs. Don’t force the conclusion on the judge. When you seek to persuade, let the other person think the idea was his.

If you are ready for coaching to help you get what you want in your career, please contact me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Practical Pointers on Everyday Persuasion - Part 1

Maybe you want to convince your boss to give you greater independence on a case or project. Perhaps you have to recruit new members for your organization. Today you might be trying to convince a judge. Tomorrow you might need to convince someone to change their behavior, give you a raise, buy something or support a cause.

We encounter situations daily in which we are trying to persuade someone else to hold a certain belief or act a certain way or in which someone is similarly trying to persuade us.

Instead of trying to win an argument or force something on someone, what can you do to polish your power of persuasion for these daily encounters?

Much has been written about the art of persuasion, including Dale Carnegie’s 1936 classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you have not read it, I recommend this little old book. But if your time is limited, here are a few pointers on everyday persuasion.

1. Trust and Credibility

I may sound like a broken record but people do business with people they know, like and trust. We use doctors, babysitters and hair dressers with whom we have experience or who are recommended to us because someone else we trust knows, likes and trusts them. We patronize franchises and buy brand name products because we know what to expect. They have credibility in our eyes.

Similarly, your relationships with the people you seek to persuade also play a key role in your ability to persuade them. The more trust and credibility you have with them, the easier it is to persuade them. Moreover, you may have found that you personally are more easily persuaded by people you like.

Therefore, even in brief persuasion encounters, try to establish trust as well as credibility and be positive, likeable, confident. Of course, this includes being sincere and knowledgeable about your subject.

You can use subconscious persuasion techniques like mirroring the person’s body language, getting them nodding, using reciprocity, or over-asking and making your second request the real one. But without trust and credibility, these techniques won’t get you far in winning someone over or inducing a particular action.

For example, without an underlying relationship built on trust and credibility, I never could have persuaded three members in my bar association to be guinea pigs in a new e-newsletter last month. They agreed to be the first featured members, in part, because they trusted that the association and I would produce a quality publication.

Part 2 tomorrow.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Should Lawyers Have a Personal Brand?

Until I facilitated and spoke about branding at two different lawyer events last week, I wasn't convinced the word "brand" was a relevant concept for lawyers. I didn't even think it worked very well for law firms. While the word reputation seemed more accessible, brand seemed a very amorphous concept that marketing consultants push, with law firms re-branding by changing their logo, colors, tag line and web design. Working through preparation and discussions last week, however, persuaded me that the concept of a "brand" has relevance and value for lawyers.

Brand and branding have hundreds of different definitions. It's easiest for me to think of a brand as the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced.


Lawyers shoud have a personal brand in the sense that you should figure out what the consistent experiences and expectations are that people have with you as a lawyer and what you want them to be. Ideally you want them aligned.

Lawyers don't need to have a personal brand in the sense of something you describe to someone else. You don't have to be able to tell a prospective client your "brand identity." It isn't a question people ask each other.

For example, Nike doesn't say action, athleticism, performance, excellence and success are its brand. But those are words that capture the essence of Nike athletic apparel and the image that Nike conveys in its marketing. By making sure that its products live up to this image, Nike maintains its brand and the consumer knows what he or she will receive every single time he or she purchases a Nike product.

Capture the Essence

Like Nike, Apple or McDonald's, consider what words capture the essence of you as a lawyer and the consistent experience you want people to have with you as their lawyer. Those words won't necessarily appear in your tag line, elevator speech, website bio, LinkedIn profile, introductions when you speak or author notes when you write an article. But self-reflection will better focus you on your strengths and core values as a lawyer, the services you offer, your reputation, image, style, real interests and fit with your best clients. You will have more clarity on who you are as a lawyer and the consistent experience you provide for your clients.

The Compelling You

With this clarity you can create a more compelling website or website bio instead of using the same buzz words as every other law firm. You can rework your self-introduction to sound more like you. You can write a better personal business plan for 2012 or speak more confidently and directly during your next evaluation.

The clarity and focus will help because you will realize what you do well, what is important to you, how you connect with your clients and colleagues and why they keep coming back to you.

After you identify your brand, you can build brand awareness by raising your visibility and name recognition. Become known by your target market and potential referral sources for the consistency of the services and experiences you provide.


Getting focused and clear on your brand helps you attract more business, advance professionally and have more control over your day, practice and career. Regardless of whether you are in a law firm, corporation, government or elsewhere, a new lawyer or an experienced one, identifying your brand is time well spent.

If you are ready for coaching on branding, please contact me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

One Innovative Campaign to Get a Job....

Actions speak louder than words. This young woman put her social media skills into action in her bid to land a job as the University of Michigan's first Director of Social Media.

Dear Lisa Rudgers....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Public Speaking Tips From Recent Lawyer Meetings

Last week at state bar annual meeting events I observed lawyers as public speakers in various roles and thought about a few tips that go beyond being prepared, varying your pace, making eye contact, etc. It was a good wake up call for me as a frequent public speaker.

Regardless of whether you are introducing a speaker, running a meeting, giving a report, interjecting in a forum, presenting an award, receiving an award or giving the key note address, remember this bottom line:

  • Be respectful of your audience's time and interest. Know why they are there and what they want to hear. Know what is most valuable to them and present it. Don't overstay your welcome.

    For example:

  • Have humility.
  • Don't fall in love with the microphone. Leave your audience wanting more.
  • Don't say I'll be brief. Just BE brief.
  • Bonus tip: if you are going to refer to someone previously at the podium, make a note of his or her name and use it. Project the image of a good listener.

    If you would like coaching to help you improve as a public speaker, please contact me.

  • Monday, September 12, 2011

    College Football Blog: Imagine Bob Ufer calling the Michigan-Notre Dame g...

    College Football Blog: Imagine Bob Ufer calling the Michigan-Notre Dame g...: About the only thing that could have possibly made the Michigan-Notre Dame game last Saturday night any better would have been to hear legen...

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Inside Look At One Prosecutor's Life

    For those of you interested in becoming a prosecutor, here is an interesting profile of a very experienced female prosecutor in Washtenaw County, MI.

    Dianna Collins, Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor

    Written by Frank Weir of the Washtenaw County Legal News and published August 18, 2011.

    For law students and new grads, remember you have to be ready to answer: Why did you decide to go to law school? Why do you want to be a [trial lawyer][prosecutor][employment lawyer]...?

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Tips 2 & 3 on Doing Things Differently

    2. Take responsibility for your practice and career.

    Many lawyers in firms see themselves as “service partners” working on other partners’ clients without any control over or time for the development of their own practice. It is a self-perpetuating reality until they take big steps to change it.

    One partner finally realized it was up to her to assert herself and act more like an owner than an associate. She knew if she wanted to take her practice in a particular direction, she had to put a plan together and get started. She did. Result: her senior partners noticed and initiated the discussion about supporting a workable plan.

    A partner at another firm wanted to develop his own book of business but needed time for it. He set parameters for the scope of his involvement on other partners’ matters, managed his time better and let his partners know he was developing a niche. Result: he is steadily building a book of business through referrals and presentations and doing more of the sophisticated work he likes.

    3. Timing is rarely right.

    “The economy is bad right now." "My kids are little." "My parents need me." "Work is crazy lately." "Maybe when things slow down a bit." "We want to have another child.”

    Face it, timing is rarely right. When was the last time you thought “this is a good time to ….?”

    Stop waiting for the perfect time. Marketing/business development, time management and career management are never ending processes. Name your fear(s) and make a list of what you will give up if you don’t take action now. People have done it and you can too.

    Please contact me if you are ready to start.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Doing Things Differently

    Most lawyers are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to time management, business development and career planning. They repeatedly do and say the same old things while hoping for a different result.

    “I wish I had time to do marketing." "I apply online for in house jobs but I never hear back." "I don’t like talking about myself." "I don’t have any control over my work day.”

    Lawyers rarely look objectively at what they are doing, how they are doing it and what they can do differently to improve their results. When they do take a look and start doing things differently, results are often immediate and noticeable.

    1. Be intentional. For a different result, stop doing the same old thing.

    A lawyer heeded some advice. She responded to a LinkedIn invitation by sending back a message with a coffee invitation to get to know the other person’s practice better. She received a resounding yes and “you’re the first person to ever send back a note in response to a LinkedIn invitation.” Instead of mindlessly accepting the invitation to link in, the lawyer had acted intentionally. Result: within a week coffee was consumed and the door for mutual referrals was opened.

    A lawyer wanting a better fit decided to stop hiding in the woodwork. In her firm she always shined the light on her colleagues. She shrank from talking about herself and minimized everything she did. Yet she realized hiding her interests and experience wouldn’t get her closer to her dream job.

    So she changed her perspective on talking about herself. Now she shares more about herself with her close contacts and has found appropriate ways to ask for help. Result: after two months of this change, she received a call from a contact about a position that was being held for her. Her ideal contacts list is growing and a firm client requested she take over as its lead lawyer.

    What can you be more intentional about?

    Next Post: Tips 2 and 3.

    If you are ready for coaching to make changes, please contact me.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Job Search Tip #4 for Lawyers: Develop a Web Presence

    You are searching for your first or next job as a lawyer. Google your own name. What comes up? If little information comes up, at a minimum you should build a LinkedIn and Google profile. They are free and no spam is involved.

    Build these profiles so that when people want to know something about you professionally, they can search online and find you. Even if you are looking for your first lawyer job, having a presence on the web gives you more credibility and visibility.

    In addition, eventually when your profile is strong enough, people will find you when they search for someone with your qualifications, experience or other characteristics. Recruiters definitely use LinkedIn, even in the legal profession.

    A LinkedIn profile is an easily updated online resume that allows you to share more information and recommendations. In your profile, you can easily ask for and display recommendations for any and all positions and activities. For that reason if for no other, build a profile and put a hot link to it on your resume. Potential employers will have immediate access to your recommendations.

    LinkedIn helps you quickly expand your network of contacts during your job search without the common fear of being annoying or a “stalker”. It is perfectly acceptable to send someone a LinkedIn invitation with a few personal sentences a day after you meet them. After all, this is a professional online networking tool. Many people find sending a personalized LinkedIn invitation much easier and more natural than drafting a “nice to meet you, please keep me in mind….” email from scratch that they hope will lead to something further.

    LinkedIn helps you stay visible to your contacts. By using the update/status bar you can stay on your contacts’ radar screens without anxiety about being intrusive or a bother.

    Last but certainly not least, in addition to using LinkedIn to showcase yourself as part of your job search, you can also use LinkedIn in your job search to look for information on and contacts with firms, companies and people. Do not underestimate this resource.

    Although there are more than 100 million people on LinkedIn, I am constantly surprised by the number of lawyers I know who are not on it or have only a bare bones profile.

    Being on LinkedIn no longer means you must be looking for a job. In fact, I recently read that a BTI survey showed that 70% of corporate counsel use LinkedIn as a tool and that 50% of corporate counsel stop and think a minute before hiring a lawyer who lacks a credible online presence in addition to their official law firm bio.

    Reality: You should develop an individual web presence regardless of whether you are looking for a job now or might be later, and regardless of whether you already have a website or are part of a law firm’s website.

    Job Search Tips # 1-4 Bottom Line: distinguish yourself by working, selling and continuing to learn, and by showcasing yourself online.

    If you are ready for coaching to improve your job search, please contact me.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Solo Lawyers: Build a Strategic Network

    If your network consists mostly of lawyers who offer the same legal services you offer, your network may not work for you, at least not for getting new clients.

    Look at the lawyers in your network and also where your work comes from. Are occasional referrals due to conflicts frequent enough to justify your time? Think about where you can get the greatest return on your time and provide the most value to others who might help you in return.

    I know hundreds of solo lawyers who know and hang out with lots of other lawyers who do exactly what they do. ie. criminal defense, family law, consumer bankruptcy, estate planning, probate, personal injury, plaintiffs' employment and immigration. They get to know each other through state and local bar sections, continuing legal education classes, etc. These lawyers have similar interests and common challenges but they don't have many opportunities or reasons to refer much business to each other.

    If the above sounds familiar and you would like more business from your network, here are three strategies for boosting your lawyer referrals:

    1. Develop meaningful relationships with lawyers who practice in a different area of the law. Get to know these lawyers, help them and become the lawyer to whom they refer all inquiries they receive in your niche practice area. You can start by seeking out and meeting these lawyers at networking events instead of standing around talking to your friends/competitors.

    2. Develop meaningful relationships with key lawyers and other people who frequently receive inquiries about lawyer referrals. How do you spot these people? They may be people seen as leaders in the local legal community or perceived as having a vast knowledge of it, and other people with extensive networks. They know lots of lawyers who practice in your niche. To receive their referrals you will have to stand out. You have to earn their trust and respect as a lawyer in your niche, and in general as a professional and personally. Knowing them is not enough.

    3. Develop meaningful relationships with lawyers outside of your geographic region and become their contact person for any legal issue in your region. You can then make referrals for these lawyers and they will always think of you regardless of the legal practice area involved. Sooner or later you will get clients through them and from the lawyers to whom you refer the other legal work.

    Networking is really relationship building and that takes time. Build your relationships more strategically and you will develop more business. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see results.

    If you are ready for coaching on building a more strategic network, please contact me.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Social Media, Stereotyping Strengths and Horn Blowing

    The ABA Journal published an article discussing whether Web 2.0 plays to women's "strengths" more than men's.

    Based on my 22 years in the legal profession, I agree that generally women are less comfortable blowing their own horn than some men seem to be. I don't agree with a view that women are better at building and nurturing relationships and that they are better at using social media to do so.

    In fact, I don't see a lot of lawyers using social media to build strong personal relationships. I see lawyers using it to raise their credibility and visibility which is wonderful, but this is not the same as actually establishing and maintaining personal relationships.

    Social media is a doorway to relationships but many lawyers stand on the threshold without ever saying hello. For example, if you typically send a LinkedIn request without a personalized message, you are doing exactly what I'm talking about.

    Using social media like LinkedIn, blogs and Twitter, plus websites, to provide value, stay in touch and demonstrate knowledge and expertise, increases your credibility and raises your visibility. Regardless of whether you are a female or male lawyer, using social media to do so is often a lower key, more comfortable way to stay visible and/or toot your own horn than sending personal success story emails or walking the halls pounding your own chest.

    Why not give it a try?

    If you are interested in coaching to enhance your credibility, raise your visibility, develop stronger relationships and bring in more business, please contact me.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Alternative Tracks in Law Firms - What Do You Think of Them?

    This week's Crain's Detroit Business has an article on staff attorney positions and other non partner track positions in area firms.

    What do you think about firms creating such positions?

    What do you want in your career and what's holding you back from attaining it? If you are ready to go for it, please contact me.

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Positioning For Your Future

    Several of my lawyer clients want to work as in-house counsel some day. A few others would like to be a judge. Most of my clients want to stay where they are and continue expanding their practice. Regardless of their personal goals, all of these lawyers are thinking about how to best position themselves for the future.

    No matter your end goal, here are a few basic keys to your future.

    1. Start now. It is never too soon or too late to position yourself for a better future as a lawyer. If you don’t have many contacts in your desired field, figure out a way to make them and get started. If you notice that most corporate positions require experience you lack, find a way to fill that gap or demonstrate the same skills in a different setting. If you want to be a judge, start developing name recognition with either the people who could elect you or those who could appoint you.

    2. Build on your strengths. Assess your professional and personal strengths and capitalize on them. Rather than spending most of your time trying to fix your weaknesses, spend more time developing your natural strengths. For more on this approach, check out various books on strengths identification and development by Marcus Buckingham, Donald Clifton and Tom Rath.

    3. Be the lawyer you would want to hire. A potential interview question is: “How would your co-workers describe you?” Regardless of your future goals, make sure you really are living up to how you would want your clients or co-workers to describe you. Acknowledge this and start aligning your behaviors with your values. If you are behind on entering your time, you keep breaking promises to clients, or you have trouble staying focused on projects until completion, chances are you aren’t being the lawyer you would want to hire.

    You can wait for your future to happen to you or you can control what you can and start positioning yourself. String together a series of small steps to make these changes and then keep going. It’s your future.

    If you would like lawyer coaching to help position yourself for your future, please contact me.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Lawyer Marketing & Business Development: Be Strategic

    When I was a first year associate, and for a hundred years thereafter, the common school of thought on business development for lawyers in firms was "learn to be a good lawyer and the work will come." Sometime later lawyers started to advise associates to get involved in an organization or two as an extra curricular activity for marketing and business development purposes.

    Rarely, however, did experienced partners advise younger lawyers in firms how and why to be strategic about business development. Rarely did, or do, they talk with them about how people find and hire lawyers, or how and why business might develop from extra curricular activities.

    Therefore, associates across the country joined local alumni groups, junior chambers of commerce, women's groups, athletic clubs, etc., without a clue as to how legal work might come their way as a result. And, as a result, they spent a lot of time in those groups without ever getting much legal work.

    The main mistake was the lawyers' lack of strategy about who and why people might hire them. They never thought about who they wanted calling them or referring a client to them.

    Such lawyers never created a strategic plan that (1) identified a target market of potential clients and referral sources, and (2) laid out how they would reach that target market. Instead, they spent their extra time networking without a plan, hoping that someone they knew would someday need their services or know someone who did.

    Granted, lawyers in general, within and outside of firms, are much more sophisticated now in terms of marketing and business development than 22 or even 5 years ago. But I find that many lawyers still do not approach marketing and business development with a clear idea of who they want to hire them and how that market will know of them when they need their services.

    People do business with people they know, like and trust. People hire lawyers they know, like and trust. But being known, liked and trusted is not enough to develop business. To get retained as a lawyer, you have to be known, liked and trusted by the people who will need your services or refer you legal work in your practice area.

    You can be highly admired and incredibly valuable in your local alumni group but if no one in the group is likely to ever need a commercial litigator or business tax lawyer, or know someone who does, do not consider your involvement to be business development and marketing. It may be an important part of your personal plan, but it is not part of your business development plan.

    If you want coaching to create and implement a strategic marketing and business development plan that works for you, please contact me.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Job Search Tip #3 for Lawyers - When You Are Not Working, Sell or Learn

    Ann Arbor lawyer David Nacht recently gave advice to lawyers on how to get more business: “spend your time either working, selling or learning.” This applies to job hunters as well. When you are not working (working or applying for jobs), sell or learn.

    Selling here means selling yourself. You have to network to develop relationships so that people get to know, like and trust you. Raise your visibility, get involved and get known for your great and unique qualities. If you hide at home or in your office, searching online or only asking people to tell you of openings, you are not selling yourself.

    Keep learning. Use part of your time to learn a niche area, write an article, become knowledgeable about something that can help you stand out, or take time to develop more of your skills. This will help you get a job and get clients in the future.

    Use your time to position and distinguish yourself. If you don't believe this is useful, ask yourself why someone would select you for an interview among all of the other candidates. What makes you stand out for the jobs you are seeking? Isn't it time to make that happen?

    Next post's job search tip: Develop a Presence on the Web.

    If you are ready for coaching to improve your job search, please contact me.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Job Search Tip #2 for Lawyers - Start Working For Free

    She had quit her job as a lawyer six months earlier. She had intended to make a transition into a different kind of legal practice, but she still did not have a job. He was more than a year out of law school and did not have a job. Another lawyer started worrying about having a gap on her resume immediately after being laid off. Five months later she still did not have a new job.

    Since they had nothing but time on their hands, it was surprising that only the first of these lawyers started working for free. The other two did no legal work whatsoever - - a missed opportunity to add legal experience, develop their skills, demonstrate initiative, expand their network, obtain more references, and create a longer track record of success.

    You can be like the second two, view your situation as beyond your control and almost give up. Or you can focus on what you can control and use part of your time to work for free to gain legal experience and make valuable contacts.

    If You Are Not Working, Start Working For Free.

    Following are a few ways you might work for free as a lawyer. It is important to choose areas of law that actually interest you and that you believe will help you in your specific search. It is also important to note that I am not advocating working for free as a lawyer at a law firm or other for-profit entity.

    -Do pro bono work for your local legal aid office or bar association.
    -Provide legal advice, administrative or other help for non profit organizations.
    -Get creative and work on legal initiatives for a community group, city council, school board, the State Bar, etc.
    -Research and get involved with relevant legal issues, proposals and potential legislation at the local, state or federal level.
    -Work with student clinics in law schools, universities or colleges.
    -Write a legal column for your local newspaper.

    The bottom line: if you take initiative, you can make something happen in your job search by using your law degree and free time to make things happen for other people and organizations. Choose wisely and you will use your legal skills, enhance your resume, expand your network, make valuable contacts, get more references, and help others at the same time. By doing so, you will better position and distinguish yourself in your job search.

    Next post's lawyer job search tip: Sell or Learn.

    If you are ready to improve your job search through coaching, please contact me.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Job Search Tip #1 for Lawyers - Stop Applying For Everything

    She was mad. She had been rejected for a job as an associate that she didn't want, doing work she knew she wouldn't like and probably getting paid 40% less than her previous salary. She didn't understand why she hadn't received an offer after her interview at the firm. She was mad for several weeks.

    He was mad. He had been told during an interview that he was overqualified. It was a first year associate position doing work he knew he wouldn't like, for very little pay, in a work environment he would not otherwise choose, but he needed money. He was mad for a while.

    If these examples sound like you, or your job search strategy is to spend all of your time online applying to every law related job you find, and/or sending your resume to every law firm within 75 miles, stop and think for a minute. What is your ROI? What is the return on your time and efforts?

    If all you are getting in return is mad, depressed or burned out, don't give up all hope. You don't have to start studying for another state's bar exam. There is a better way.

    First, Stop Applying To Every Legal Job Posting You Find.

    When you limit your efforts to jobs you actually want and for which you are a strong candidate, writing cover letters is easier. You will notice it immediately. You will know how your skills, experience, interests and background fit the job description and the value you will bring to the employer. Your letter and application will be more persuasive. Your fit and desire will show more convincingly in an interview.

    By being selective about the jobs you apply for, you are more likely to stand out and you will save time, money and energy.

    Why set yourself up for depression or frustration from rejection or silence about positions for which you had no reason to stand out or jobs you didn't want? That can't be the best possible use of your time and resources.

    Next post's law job search tip: If You Are Not Working, Start Working For Free.

    To improve your job search through coaching, please contact me.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    How Not to Conduct a Job Search (Lawyers & Law Students)

    1. Apply to every legal job posting you see.
    2. Spend all of your free time searching online for job postings.
    3. Mail your resume to every law firm in the area.
    4. Apply for lawyer jobs you don’t want.
    5. Ask for generic help.
    6. Have no LinkedIn profile or just a bare bones one.
    7. Internalize things you can’t control.

    Does your job search look like this? Does someone you know do these things? What are the results?

    I see lawyers and law students conducting job searches this way all the time despite the wealth of good advice available about how to conduct a personalized search. And instead of interest and success, these common search tactics quickly lead only to frustration, exhaustion, burnout, continued unemployment or still being stuck in the same job.

    Looking for a lawyer job in this economy can be incredibly hard and time consuming. There is no simple or easy solution and no single plan fits everyone. But if your job search isn't producing any results, not even a nibble, stop doing what isn't working. Seriously, look at the list above and stop doing what isn't working. At the very least you will stop wasting your time, energy and money.

    Stay tuned here for how these tactics hold you back in your job search and tactics to replace them.

    If you are ready to improve your job search through coaching, please contact me.

    Saturday, February 19, 2011

    Judge Stephen Murphy Brings Corner Bar Concept to Life

    "Get to know other lawyers in the 'bar' and build relationships throughout your career." U.S. District Court Judge Stephen J. Murphy III brought the Coach's Corner Bar concept to life this week at the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association's inaugural "Drink 'n' Learn". Accompanied by good friends from the U.S. Attorney's Office and his law clerk, Judge Murphy shared insights and stories at a Detroit watering hole, including help he has received from other lawyers throughout his career, even as a Federal judge. Click on the photo to see more pictures from the first Drink 'n' Learn.

    Mark your calendar for the second and third Drink 'n' Learns on April 21 and May 19. Stay tuned for details.

    Similarly, on March 22 the Detroit Metro Bar Association presents a lively after hours "Debate on Appellate Advocacy" by Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Elizabeth Gleicher and her appellate lawyer husband Mark Granzatto. Think Tracy and Hepburn, Carville and Matalin. Educational and social, regardless of whether you are an appellate lawyer.

    Last, yes, as president-elect of the DMBA I am promoting our events here on Coach's Corner Bar. The DMBA --Raising the Bar Through Networking, Practice Development and Community Service.

    For those of you not here in metro Detroit, check out your own local bar associations. Meet some people, develop relationships, get referrals, enhance your skills, seek advice, know your judges, help your community.