Law Students
  • The Internet is just another part of life for the current generation of law students. Students use the Web for actual work and to keep in touch, as well as for recreational purposes. But law students may not even consider establishing a Web presence for career purposes or blogging on law-specific topics. Students without prior work experience may not think about business or marketing at all, or may not see a need to maintain a website or blog while still in school. After all, law school schedules tend to keep them busy enough already. But establishing an online presence can be invaluable for students looking for an edge in their future careers. The legal job market is currently experiencing a sharp downturn, as the economy in general is struggling. Large firms have curtailed their summer internships and their hiring, and...

    Smart Students Establish Their Web Presence While Still in Law School

    The Internet is just another part of life for the current generation of law students. Students use the Web for actual work and to keep in touch, as well as for recreational purposes. But law students may not even consider establishing a Web presence for career purposes or blogging on law-specific topics. Students without prior work experience may not think about business or marketing at all, or may not see a need to maintain a website or blog while still in school. After all, law school schedules tend to keep them busy enough already. But establishing an online presence can be invaluable for students looking for an edge in their future careers. The legal job market is currently experiencing a sharp downturn, as the economy in general is struggling. Large firms have curtailed their summer internships and their hiring, and... Continue Reading >>
  • It’s said that the skills students learn in law school have very little to do with those needed to be a good attorney. That goes double for law students who are planning to go solo or join small firms right out of school. Law school may teaches you how to write briefs, but it doesn’t typically teach you how to handle problem clients or run an office. Nor does it necessarily allow you to create the personal connections you’ll need to develop new business — or understand judges’ and juries’ personalities. To fill this educational gap, bar associations and law schools are increasingly offering mentoring programs. Legal mentoring offers a chance to network, valuable real-world experience and a chance to make sure you’ve chosen the right career path. And in the current economic downturn, it’s especially valuable as training for...

    Legal Mentoring Benefits Law Students Who May Go It Alone

    It’s said that the skills students learn in law school have very little to do with those needed to be a good attorney. That goes double for law students who are planning to go solo or join small firms right out of school. Law school may teaches you how to write briefs, but it doesn’t typically teach you how to handle problem clients or run an office. Nor does it necessarily allow you to create the personal connections you’ll need to develop new business — or understand judges’ and juries’ personalities. To fill this educational gap, bar associations and law schools are increasingly offering mentoring programs. Legal mentoring offers a chance to network, valuable real-world experience and a chance to make sure you’ve chosen the right career path. And in the current economic downturn, it’s especially valuable as training for... Continue Reading >>
Of Interest To All
  • Right now, boutique law firms in the New York City metropolitan area have a great opportunity to capture more clients and expand their online presence. For a limited time, BoutiqueFirms.com, a Web portal and directory of boutique law firms, is offering free listings to LegalMentor.com readers. The site is exclusive — it lists only three firms in each practice area — and subjects each submission to careful review. Law firms that wish to be included shouldn’t wait to put in their requests. Listing with BoutiqueFirms.com offers many advantages to specialized law firms. Being part of the directory allows clients to find you in more ways. It also improves your firm’s search engine optimization — your chances of being at the top of search results when users search the Internet for expertise like yours. And given the limited number of firms...

    Free Web Listings for NYC-Area Boutique Firms

    Right now, boutique law firms in the New York City metropolitan area have a great opportunity to capture more clients and expand their online presence. For a limited time, BoutiqueFirms.com, a Web portal and directory of boutique law firms, is offering free listings to LegalMentor.com readers. The site is exclusive — it lists only three firms in each practice area — and subjects each submission to careful review. Law firms that wish to be included shouldn’t wait to put in their requests. Listing with BoutiqueFirms.com offers many advantages to specialized law firms. Being part of the directory allows clients to find you in more ways. It also improves your firm’s search engine optimization — your chances of being at the top of search results when users search the Internet for expertise like yours. And given the limited number of firms... Continue Reading >>
  • A field guide to starting your own law firm Every law student hears it at one point or another: If you don’t get a job, you can always start your own firm. This advice underestimates how intimidating many attorneys — experienced or not — find the idea of starting a firm. Legal training does nothing to prepare attorneys in the nuts and bolts of running such a business. Most attorneys, even those who are accomplished in the law, will have to learn the necessary skills for themselves. Luckily, the legal community presents ample opportunities for motivated lawyers to do that. This guide is a brief look at some of the things aspiring solo and small firm practitioners should do to get started. Laying the Groundwork The first step in starting your own firm is not choosing a firm name, but...

    Hanging Your Shingle

    A field guide to starting your own law firm Every law student hears it at one point or another: If you don’t get a job, you can always start your own firm. This advice underestimates how intimidating many attorneys — experienced or not — find the idea of starting a firm. Legal training does nothing to prepare attorneys in the nuts and bolts of running such a business. Most attorneys, even those who are accomplished in the law, will have to learn the necessary skills for themselves. Luckily, the legal community presents ample opportunities for motivated lawyers to do that. This guide is a brief look at some of the things aspiring solo and small firm practitioners should do to get started. Laying the Groundwork The first step in starting your own firm is not choosing a firm name, but... Continue Reading >>
Seasoned Attorneys
  • In a study that became famous in the legal profession, Johns Hopkins University researchers gathered statistics in 1980 on depression in 28 professional fields. Of those studied, lawyers had the highest probability of depression, with a rate 3.6 times the average. The researchers found that the amount and complexity of legal work puts attorneys at high risk for stress disorders. In the decades since then, more research has confirmed those findings, and many legal organizations have launched lawyer assistance programs to help attorneys deal with the negative side effects of stress — clinical depression, substance abuse, marital and family problems. The burnout that’s all too common in the legal community comes from some of the most basic features of being an attorney, including high workloads, competition for clients, dealing with difficult people and a tendency toward perfectionism. In fact, today’s...

    Career Burnout: Preventive Skills for Attorneys

    In a study that became famous in the legal profession, Johns Hopkins University researchers gathered statistics in 1980 on depression in 28 professional fields. Of those studied, lawyers had the highest probability of depression, with a rate 3.6 times the average. The researchers found that the amount and complexity of legal work puts attorneys at high risk for stress disorders. In the decades since then, more research has confirmed those findings, and many legal organizations have launched lawyer assistance programs to help attorneys deal with the negative side effects of stress — clinical depression, substance abuse, marital and family problems. The burnout that’s all too common in the legal community comes from some of the most basic features of being an attorney, including high workloads, competition for clients, dealing with difficult people and a tendency toward perfectionism. In fact, today’s... Continue Reading >>
  • Many attorneys originally joined large law firms because it was a safe choice. With a well-established name and a large infrastructure of business support staff, larger firms offer lawyers a chance to focus on the practice of law while someone else handles the many other tasks that go into running a successful business. But while the biggest law firms are good at many things, they don’t necessarily have a department for every legal need their clients have. At the high end, their huge size can raise their prices too high for some corporate clients. This can also cause a lack of flexibility that scares off clients and makes attorneys’ jobs harder. The biggest firms can get so big that they have to turn down perfectly good work for conflict of interests reasons. And of course, the culture, lockstep promotion policies...

    Seasoned Attorneys: Start Your Own Boutique Firm

    Many attorneys originally joined large law firms because it was a safe choice. With a well-established name and a large infrastructure of business support staff, larger firms offer lawyers a chance to focus on the practice of law while someone else handles the many other tasks that go into running a successful business. But while the biggest law firms are good at many things, they don’t necessarily have a department for every legal need their clients have. At the high end, their huge size can raise their prices too high for some corporate clients. This can also cause a lack of flexibility that scares off clients and makes attorneys’ jobs harder. The biggest firms can get so big that they have to turn down perfectly good work for conflict of interests reasons. And of course, the culture, lockstep promotion policies... Continue Reading >>