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Some Recruiters Advise Job-Seeking Lawyers to Leave LLMs off Resumes

Posted Jan 11, 2012 7:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Getting an LLM doesn’t necessarily help job-seeking lawyers, and may even hurt them, according to a legal recruiter.

Some recruiters at Major, Lindsey & Africa advise lawyers to leave advanced law degrees off their resumés, according to Steven John, a managing director at the recruiting firm. The National Law Journal covered his views, delivered in a speech at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools.

John said an advanced law degree can hurt lawyers applying for jobs because it can signal career uncertainty or an attempt to delay a difficult job hunt. John noted two exceptions: Advanced degrees in tax law or ones obtained by foreign-trained lawyers don’t hurt candidates.

John said practice experience is most important.

Several panelists saw value in advanced degrees. Their position: An LLM can help law grads looking for jobs outside of BigLaw, can help lawyers enter a new area of law, and can help lawyers get into new geographic markets.

Updated on Jan. 31 to correct Steven John's title.

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