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July 2016

Update Your Information on LinkedIn – People Can’t Call If They Can’t Find You!

Whether searching for a job or just trying to stay in contact with current and/or potential clients in the legal field, having a LinkedIn profile should be a priority. Just as important as having the profile is keeping it up to date. Showing that you are still at an old position or, a much more common fault, failing to update your contact information so someone can get a hold of you, is a poor reflection on you.

Don’t Let Modesty Get In The Way

Attorneys are generally conservative by nature when it comes describing their practice. Whether it is the idea of promoting your skills and abilities or the potential value of your practice, most attorneys will take a modest approach. Yes, managing expectations is important but being too conservative can really be to your detriment.

What You Do Today Can Affect Your Job Search Tomorrow!

I was reminded today of the importance of protecting your reputation as a lawyer.  I was contacted by someone who wanted to apply for an attorney opportunity at a firm where she was a summer associate many years ago. 

Prepare For Anything When Interviewing

While it may be impossible to literally prepare for any and all interview questions or scenarios, you should do your best based on available information and at least be mentally prepared for the rest.

With an upcoming interview, your first priority is to do your homework. Thoroughly review the job description, any available information about the firm or company posted on the web, and bios on the people key to the job and interview process. You should also review your own resume and any supporting material you provided so you are ready to address specific questions about the material you provided. These are things within your preparedness control and the employer often is aware of it, which means your interview process could end quickly if you are not up to speed on easily accessed information.

The trickier part of interviewing is preparing for questions or scenarios for which you have no or limited access to information or control. This might be a case study posed to you by an interviewer regarding something you may or may not have experienced in the past. It might be dealing with a quirky interviewer who keeps going off-point during the interview. While you may not be able to prepare a well thought out response for everything, you can prepare for how you respond in terms of your demeanor. The key is to anticipate difficult questions or scenarios mentally so you are not completely caught off-guard when one comes your way. Often times, the interviewer is not as interested in the answer itself, but how you process information and your composure in responding.

Summer Associates (and ALL Attorneys) – Be Wary of Social Media

It’s that time of the year again. Summer associates arrive at the bigger firms and get put on projects. Sometimes those projects are exciting. The files that these soon-to-be-attorneys are handed might even have really juicy facts. Ooooh – can you believe it? He did what?! She responded how?! “Ping!” Oh, that’s just my Twitter/Facebook/email/text account. And that’s how problems start.

This post really doesn’t relate to legal resumes or your job search, but it is something that is incredibly important to think about – both for law students and for the attorneys that hire them. We’re on social media and can see that this is happening and thought it was worth a moment of your time.

Never before has the legal community faced such a high risk of confidential client information leaking out. It used to be that if details were to leak out, someone would have to pick up the phone or drag out a Banker’s box of documents. Not anymore. Not with Twitter and Facebook. Not with email and text messaging.

If you are a summer associate, think twice (or three times) before sending any information out about what you are working on at your law firm. If “I’m review documents” just isn’t exciting enough, think about not sending that Tweet. Going beyond that to say that you are working on a file for Company X and are reviewing documents (or giving even more detail) may violate client confidences. Your best course of action is to resist the temptation to micro-blog about your summer associate experience altogether.