About Hillary Vaillancourt

Hillary Vaillancourt is a lawyer and writer at The Vaillancourt Law Firm, LLC. She has experience in a wide variety of matters including food law, education law, real estate law, family law, criminal law, contracts, and estate planning. She earned her JD from New England Law|Boston and is licensed in Virginia.

How To Navigate Law And Politics During The Holidays

How To Navigate Law And Politics During The HolidaysThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about managing some difficult topics at the holidays – including politics!

Several months ago I applied to work as a contract attorney for a bankruptcy firm. I needed to be admitted to a federal bankruptcy court, however, and another attorney in the firm offered to sponsor me for admission to the federal bankruptcy court. For over an hour, I chatted with this attorney, and we had a lovely conversation. He sponsored me for the court, and we said goodbye.

A few weeks after I was admitted to the bar, I had a legal question in this attorney’s jurisdiction. I called him, he took the time to talk with me and answer my question, and then out of the blue, he asked, “What’s your opinion on wearing masks?” [Read more…]

How To Practice Law As A New Mom

How To Practice Law As A New Mom

This week we welcome guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about balancing a law career and a new baby.

As a new attorney starting out, I had gone straight from undergrad to law school to private practice. I was in my early 20’s, single, and willing and eager to work as much as possible. 

I happily put in long hours at the office including weekends and on holidays. I enjoyed my work and the feeling of being needed by clients and my boss. 

After a six-year break in practicing law, I got back into the industry. This time, I was sworn in to the New York Bar on my son’s second birthday with my husband by my side. Needless to say, my day-to-day life is extremely different this time around now that I’m married and have a child (and one on the way!). 

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Three Tips For Networking During The Pandemic

This week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt, to talk about how you can still work on your networking skills, even when you’re stuck at home during COVID-19.

Most of us know how important networking is, particularly when you’re in law school and aspiring to a legal career. Having good grades and published law journal articles will absolutely make a difference in your job prospects. But, having quality connections is a significant advantage.

If you are looking to get hired by a firm, agency, nonprofit, or other employer, having connections may help you learn of unposted job openings. Your connections may provide meaningful letters of recommendation. Your connections who are “in the know” may help steer you away from employers from whom you wouldn’t want to work. Or, they may help you and mentor you even after you get hired. [Read more…]

How To Practice Law Virtually

How to Practice Law VirtuallyThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about how you can achieve success as a lawyer with a virtual practice.

I once worked for a law office (very briefly) where when I spent an evening in the ER, sick, pregnant, and absolutely miserable, I offered to work from home. One of the managing attorneys told me that it was impossible for a new attorney to work remotely and grow as an attorney.

Well, since the Coronavirus pandemic shut down law offices in several states, lots of firms are finding out that it is not only possible but sometimes advantageous to have attorneys work from home. Yes, there are special considerations.

After that job didn’t pan out, I started my own virtual law practice. Here are some things to consider if you, too, would like to strike out on your own, virtually speaking.

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How Coronavirus Uncertainty Is Good Practice For Working In Law

How Coronavirus Uncertainty Is Good Practice For Working In LawThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about lessons learned during COVID-19 and how these are useful to practicing law!

The last few months have certainly presented numerous challenges for law students and legal professionals alike. With many firms closed, others still considered essential, and still more in a gray area trying to figure out where they stand, the legal profession has been significantly impacted (like other industries) by the Coronavirus pandemic.

I’ll admit, when the pandemic hit, and my state (New York) closed all court houses, I was nervous to say the least. My law practice in New York was only a few weeks old, and suddenly I couldn’t go to court for any of my clients or pursue the court appointed work I expected I could complete to make ends meet.

However, as the weeks went by, I learned how to adapt my law practice in ways I never anticipated. The result was a much stronger practice, a much more confident attorney, and a happier lifestyle all around. Here are a few lessons I learned about practicing law in a pandemic.

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How To Overcome A Difficult Economy As A Solo Practitioner

How To Overcome A Difficult Economy As A Solo Practitioner

We’re welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about starting your own law practice during an uncertain economy.

I have been thinking about starting my own law practice for well over a year now. It’s kind of a joke among my friends, because all throughout law school and even when I worked for other attorneys, I couldn’t understand why someone would want to hang their own shingle. 

But, as a new mom, I really wanted a job that offered as much flexibility as possible. And, I wanted to work in a career where I could help people and do it my way. [Read more…]

Why Being A Woman In Law Is An Advantage

Why Being A Woman In Law Is An AdvantageThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about some advantages to being a woman in the legal field.

As women, we constantly hear about all of the reasons why the legal profession can be difficult. Clients assume we’re not tough. We have to earn clients’ respect. We have to earn the respect of our peers. We have to work twice as hard for half the pay. It’s impossible to have work-life balance. And, a family? Forget it.

But, there are many ways in which being a woman in law can be a great advantage. When you think of all the ways that being female is an asset (not a hindrance), you can see how to empower yourself in your career. Play to your strengths and you can accomplish whatever you set out to do.

[Read more…]

Three Keys To Career Success

Three Keys To Career SuccessThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about how to achieve career success.

With everything you have to worry about while in law school, it’s sometimes hard to lose sight of the fact that you’re going to law school for the express purpose of getting a job after graduation, presumably in the legal field.

But, succeeding in your career isn’t just about getting good grades while in law school and landing the perfect job right after graduation. Succeeding in your career is a long-term campaign that requires some thought, consideration, and courage. [Read more…]

Are You An Entrepreneur Lawyer?

Are You An Entrepreneur Lawyer?This week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about whether you may be suited to take a less traditional attorney path as an entrepreneurial lawyer.

I don’t watch a ton of t.v. shows. But, one show I never miss is Shark Tank. I love seeing innovative new products and learning about price elasticity, franchise models, or advisory shares. I like to read business magazines, and I’m always tinkering with new business ideas.

After years of watching Shark Tank and reading business publications, I’ve noticed that a lot of businesses are founded by lawyers. It makes sense. Lawyers have a certain skillset that lends itself well to founding businesses. And, lawyers also tend to rise to challenges and be quality problem-solvers.

Could you be the next great legal entrepreneur? Here are signs you might make a great business-founder:

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What To Look For When Interviewing For Jobs

What To Look For When Interviewing For JobsThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about how to find the best fit in a job when you’re going through the interviewing process.

Job hunting can be a very scary process. Sometimes you just need to accept whatever you can get and start earning a salary. But, hopefully you’re in a position instead where you can choose where you want to start your career instead of settling for a job.

If you are so fortunate as to be more selective in your job search, there are several factors you should consider about a firm or company. The reality is, an interview should work both ways. The potential employer wants to get to know you, the potential employee, and see if you might be a good fit. But, you should also try to get to know the employer to determine if it is the kind of place where you want to work. [Read more…]