Advice for Job-Seeking Lawyers: Cast a Wide Net, Don't Vent

Deferrals, long periods of unemployment and layoffs are no longer the black marks they once were for those lawyers looking to find a new or a first job.

So says career consultant Kate Neville in a column for the National Law Journal.

Neville says that at this point in the recession, “It is fairly obvious that law firms—even those who continue to claim that their layoffs are performance-based—would never have fired these attorneys in a better economy. Similarly, a decision to rescind offers to new graduates has nothing to do with the performance of those individuals.”

She advises job hunters to:

• Cast a broad net for nonlegal and quasi-legal employment opportunities. And don’t forget different geographic areas. “Being flexible increases the chances of landing a job,” Neville says.

• Improve interviewing skills, which are more important when the competition is fierce.

• Network because most jobs are never posted. Sitting behind a computer churning out applications won’t be as effective as interacting with people.

• Avoid venting, which can cloud judgment and become self-defeating.

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