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Jobs Are Scarce, But Stay Positive, Experts Tell Laid-Off NYC Lawyers

Posted Jun 16, 2009 2:01 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The job market is grim right now for laid-off BigLaw attorneys and others seeking work, some 200 participants at a New York City Bar Association workshop sponsored by Vault were told today. However, to snag one of these scarce positions, it's important to stay positive

Encouraged to present an optimistic perspective as a panelist on a presentation about finding another major firm job, blogger David Lat of Above the Law balked, reports the City Room blog of the New York Times.

“It’s just hideous,” he said. “Legal services are almost like Miami condos. It’s going to take years years to work off the excess supply.”

Lat's advice to those still in law school was to study less and spend more time getting to know those who might be able to help them find work later.

Helen Long, who serves as director of recruiting at Ropes & Gray, offered specific advice on keeping an upbeat attitude to those already in practice, the Times notes. They should reduce the amount of time they spend focusing on depressing news, she suggests, such as many of the the posts on Above the Law.

However, the negative news for those seeking new BigLaw jobs was also reiterated by panelist John Cannon III, who is Shearman & Sterling's hiring partner, reports a Void for Vagueness post on Vault Blogs.

“Most of you who want to go back to BigLaw will not be doing it immediately,” he summed up, after suggesting that laid-off lawyers might make productive use of their down time by writing legal articles for publication or helping former law professors with research.

An Above the Law post provides more details about the program.

Related earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Tips for Laid-Off Lawyers Seeking Work: Focus, Network, Stay Positive"

ABAJournal.com: "Expert Explains 3-Step Plan for Lawyers Seeking a Career Change"

ABAJournal.com: "10,000 UK Lawyers Could Lose Jobs Within 2 Years; ‘09 is ‘Worst Year Ever,’ Recruiter Says"

ABAJournal.com: "2009’s Toll: More Than 10,000 Law Firm Layoffs and Lower Pay Trend"

Last updated on June 17 to include information from Vault.

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