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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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…]

Motherhood as a Law Student

Motherhood as a Law StudentThis week we welcome guest writer Rigien Bagekany-Jackson, a recent law school graduate, to talk about how she has balanced motherhood and law school the last three years.

Do you ever reflect on how you got to where you are now? I do.

Sometimes you can pinpoint that moment or decision that brought you to where you are. For me, that moment was in June 2016. I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first child working at a bank when an armed man walked in and held me up at gunpoint. This was the point when I decided to start law school. I had initially thought to postpone my offer of acceptance, but at that moment, I knew that there had to be a way to make law school work with having a newborn child. [Read more…]

Young Lawyer Perspective – A Day in My Life, Working From Home

Young Lawyer Perspective - A Day in My Life, Working From HomeThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about starting out as a new lawyer and working from home in the age of COVID-19.

If someone told me that I would spend my first year in practice working from home for numerous weeks (potentially months), I would think they were trying to pull my leg. However, this is the reality that we are living in. I have been working from home for several weeks now due to the current health crisis. Personally, I am fortunate that I am able to work from home and continue to advocate for my clients. However, this is a new world for me (and I am sure it is for you as well). In an interesting turn of events, my bar prep period kind of prepared me for this. During that time, I had to find a balance between studying and my personal life in order to maintain my sanity. However, how do you find a work-play balance when you are stuck in your home for both? Here is a look into my life working from home as a first year associate. [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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Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Law School

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Briana Borgolini to talk about what to keep in mind when making the decision of which law school to attend.

If you’re trying to decide which law school to attend, take solace in the fact that the largest hurdle to law school (admission) has now been cleared. However, the decision of which law school to attend can seem equally imposing. While choosing a law school is a highly personal process, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you make the best decision possible. [Read more…]