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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A Stranger in a Strange Land: Taking the Leap from Small Firm to Government Attorney

A Stranger in a Strange Land: Taking the Leap from Small Firm to Government AttorneyThis week we welcome back guest writer Mark Livingston to talk about making the move from practicing law at a small firm to becoming a government attorney.

I was a later-in-life entrant to law school. At 40 years old, I had already built a strong resume and worked in many good jobs, mostly in the public sector, when I started law school. I never set out to work for the government, per se, it just turned out that way. Fast forward many years and many satisfying government jobs at both the state and local levels, and I, unlike most of my law school colleagues, anticipated working for the government after passing the bar exam. I sought out and secured clerkships at the state and local levels while in law school, and even did two semesters at a county prosecutor’s office. Unfortunately, you may not have as many options, post bar exam, as you would have hoped for, and you may land in a totally different place than you expected. This is the story of making the transition from a small family law firm to a job as a government attorney. [Read more…]

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…]

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…]

Changing Paths: Becoming an Attorney as a Second Career

Changing Paths: Becoming an Attorney as a Second CareerThis week we welcome back guest writer Mark Livingston to talk about his path to becoming an attorney after another career.

During the 20th Century, it was common for people to have one job for a lifetime. People would begin working for one company, and decades later, retire from that same company with a gold watch, a handshake, and a hearty thank you. In 2020, the trends have changed. People change jobs, career fields, and industries, in some cases, every few years. My professional journey has been unique, but admittedly my mid-career shift to the law was not unusual. After several years working for a variety of state agencies, I made the decision to go to law school and become a lawyer. The following is a glimpse at the challenges and rewards of this change in career paths. [Read more…]

How to Figure out Which Type of Law to Practice

How to Figure out Which Type of Law to PracticeThis week we welcome back guest writer Briana Borgolini to talk about how to decide what kind of law you want to eventually practice.

Of the many challenges law school presents, identifying which area of the law you’re interested in can be one of the largest. While some students may come to law school knowing what type of law they want to practice, many students won’t have a great idea of their exact interests. Further, interests may change for many students once they are exposed to different courses and areas of the law. While deciding which area is best for you may seem like a daunting task, there are some things you can consider doing to help you make the best decision possible.

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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…]