How Lawyers Can Tap the Hidden Job Market

Lawyer looking for jobs shouldn’t rely only on published openings.

Information about most job openings is passed by word of mouth, and lawyers need to tap into the hidden job market, according to legal search consultants Valerie Fontaine and Roberta Kass. Writing for, they suggest these strategies for older lawyers trying to learn about job opportunities:

• Contact local law professors who teach in your field, even if you don’t know them.

• Network with friends, family, former colleagues, law school and college classmates, neighbors and acquaintances, even your hairdresser or the person in line behind you at the grocery store. “Informal networking works; you never know who knows whom,” the authors say.

• Find former colleagues from state bar websites, alumni listings, or networking websites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo. When you contact someone you haven’t seen in years, try sharing a memory or a reminder of who you are.

• Get involved in networking events such as bar association and law school activities, or charitable and civic events.

• Conduct informational interviews for insights about the local job market. Ask for contacts, advice and ideas. Follow up with a thank-you note.

Related coverage: “Resumé Tips for Older Job-Hunters: Include Dates, But Not at the Top” “Questions Older Lawyers Should Answer Before Beginning a Job Search”

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