Error! No TTF font found! November « 2010 « The 6Ps of the BIG 3™

November, 2010

Nov 10

My Holiday Gift to You!

In the spirit of the holiday gift giving season, I’m giving you (my blog readers, newsletter readers, Twitter followers, Facebook friends and fans, LinkedIn connections, clients, candidates, and colleagues) my time on Thursday, December 16, from 8am-5pm CST. wrapped_gift

Call me on Thursday, December 16, between 8am-5pm CST and ask me anything — 214.361.0070.

I receive calls or emails daily with questions on the following topics:

  • Job searching
  • Resumes
  • Career development
  • My book
  • Social networking
  • How I started a business
  • How I wrote the book, why I wrote the book
  • Why I quit practicing law, how I knew when the time was right to leave
  • “Can I pick your brain?”

While I strive to return all calls and emails, I admit I’m guilty of not returning them all.  Here’s your opportunity to ask me your question over the phone.  Or, feel free to call just to say hello!

Here’s how it will work on December 16:

  • I will be at my office desk between 8am-5pm CST
  • Call my office line between 8am-5pm CST – 214.361.0070
  • If I am on the phone when you call, email me ( and I will call you back
  • Or, you can follow me on Twitter (@aellislegal) and I’ll tweet when I am off the phone
  • There is no time limit for each call (just be reasonable and respectful of others who may be trying to call me)
  • Anyone may call – you don’t need to be a lawyer or in the legal profession
  • You can ask me anything

I hope to hear from you on Thursday, December 16, between 8am-5pm CST – 214.361.0070!!

Finally, hat tip to Jim Kukral, a business author I follow on Twitter, who inspired me with this “call me today” idea.  And, the inspiration from Jim further illustrates why it’s important to do “something different,” such as reading/following thought leaders outside your industry — the best ideas often come from outside!

Nov 10

Log In & Learn (Summary of #LawJobChat No. 5)

The fifth #LawJobChat featured Betsy Munnell, a former BigLaw partner/rainmaker who now coaches young lawyers and law students on career and business development issues.  Betsy discussed how lawyers can use online tools in their career development.  You can read the entire transcript here, and I’ve summarized some highlights below.  Bottom line:  many of the popular social networking sites offer educational and enriching resources for lawyers.

Twitter – Obtain News

  • Set up searches for practice area topics
  • Find lawyers and other experts in the field and see who they follow
  • Example: Health lawyers should follow @HealthBlawg – check to see other blogs/users he follows
  • Check your lists/saved searches frequently so you can obtain industry news first and be the first to share such news with a networking contact (i.e., potential employer, potential client, law firm partner, practice group leader)

LinkedIn – Obtain Network Status and Industry Info

  • Search for groups on LinkedIn based on practice area/industries of interest and join those groups
  • Example: Health lawyers may want to search the following terms in the groups directory to find groups to join:  health care reform, fraud and abuse, conflict of interest
  • JD Supra’s Legal Updates on LinkedIn also provides excellent content for practice areas and industries
  • Example: Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge regularly provides insurance/reinsurance content that the insurance industry follows

The Big Picture – Building a Practice

A fourth-year associate at a small firm was looking to develop a peer referral source in a large firm.  He targeted an associate contact at the large firm – an associate who practices in cleantech and biofuels and also blogs weekly about the topics.

The fourth-year associate set up Twitter searches for terms like cleantech and biofuels and began reading the NYT Green Blog daily.  One day he spotted a breaking post and sent it to his target referral source in the big firm.  The big firm associate was thrilled and sent it to her supervising partner who was grateful and impressed.  The big firm associate is now a referral source to the small firm fourth-year associate.


If you have additional questions regarding which online tools to use in your practice or job search, feel free to contact Betsy.

Save the Date: The December #LawJobChat is scheduled for December 16 at 9pm EST.  The topic is continuing legal education–working in continuing legal education and speaking at continuing legal education events to advance your career!

Nov 10

Online Tools for Career Management (#LawJobChat No. 5)

What are the best online tools for identifying and learning about practice areas, firms, industries, clients/potential clients?  How are law firms using online tools to offer resources to clients and potential clients?

Join #LawJobChat this Thursday, November 18 at 9pm EST for answers to these questions.  Our guest co-host is Betsy Munnell (@betsymunnell), a former BigLaw partner/rainmaker who now coaches young lawyers and law students on career and business development issues.

Join #LawJobChat on Thursday to tweet your own questions to Betsy.  Or, email your questions to me in advance (, and I’ll tweet them to Betsy.

Click here for details about how to participate in a Twitter Chat.  As always, I’ll post the #LawJobChat transcript following the live chat.

Nov 10

Law Student Grabs Attention of Prominent Legal Blogs

by Jack Whittington, 3L at Tulsa Law

jack whittington

NOTE:  The following blog post is the second in the on-going series, Success Stories, which profiles law students’ and lawyers’ positive results from social networking. Jack Whittington, a third-year law student at Tulsa Law, shared the following post.  You can follow Jack on Twitter – @j2_whittington, or read his blog – World Wide Whit.

Social media has permanently changed the way we do business and network in the professional world. I attended Amanda Ellis’s seminar on The 6P’s of the BIG 3™ in August at the University of Tulsa, College of Law Professionalism Day and was intrigued at the notion of using Facebook and Twitter (I wasn’t familiar with LinkedIn at the time) for career networking opportunities. The suggestions she made for Twitter use particularly struck me. I previously had only used Twitter during live sporting events to see what people were saying about the games and then to converse with other fans. The thought of using Twitter as a networking tool never even crossed my mind.

So with Amanda’s seminar fresh in mind I began to reach out to law school students and attorneys on Twitter. One of the first things I noticed was that a vast number of attorneys and law students had blogs. After reading several different blogs by law school students, I decided to venture into the blogging world myself. I felt it would be a good way to get my name out there and perhaps I could offer something to someone, somewhere, that would make a difference, regardless of how small. My first blogs were viewed by a hand full of people with readers seldom commenting on the posts. I didn’t expect overnight success and knew it would be a long road and made points to reach out to people who tweeted solid information about blogging techniques and strategies. Through a Twitter chat, #blogchat, I began to connect with some great people who offered some great advice to help me get through the lean times when I was wondering if it was all worth it. Particularly, Dawn WesterbergMargie ClaymanScott Zucker, and Betsy Munnell. All of these people were more than willing to help me and offered sound advice. It is amazing that so many people out there are willing to help; all you have to do is ask.

Blogging on a regular basis has challenged me in a lot ways and made me analyze real life situations in such a manner that it has shifted my thinking and certain aspects of my worldview. Two of my blog posts have been met with tremendous success in the legal community. My post entitled “Law School Mean Girls (And Guys) and Why They’ve Got to Go” made’s Freshly Pressed page and I saw my readership skyrocket. Another post, “Dear Legal Community, Enough With the Cynicism” was a hot topic within the online legal community. In my observation it seemed that an inordinate amount of commentators had nothing but cynical and cryptic words directed at law school students and nothing positive to contribute to the conversation. Met with foreboding warnings of “get out while you can” and horror stories about debt and addiction did nothing to help me or direct me in what I needed to do to be successful in the field.  So I issued an open letter to the legal community to tell them enough with the noise and that you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. I want to work with people who are part of the solution, and apparently they want to work with me too.

First, I received a direct message from Rocky Dhir of Atlas Legal Services – and he wanted to speak with me – he called and the first words out of his mouth were- “How can I help?” – It was so refreshing to hear a voice on the other end of the line wanting to actively do something about the “culture of unhappiness” within the legal field. The second thing to come out of this blog post was my partnership with Susan Cartier Liebel and Solo Practice University. Susan had been looking to bring a law school student on board to her site as a monthly columnist and my blog post was exactly the type of voice she was looking for. I am now authoring a monthly column entitled “Coming of Age in the New Economy” for SPU which chronicles my transition from law school into the legal profession. The opportunities that social media have already presented me in just a few short months are truly amazing. This is the wave of the future and I am truly thankful for Amanda pointing me in the right direction.

Nov 10

Law Student Meets GC on Twitter

by Jason Tenenbaum, 2L at Hofstra Law School jason t

While many students use Twitter to follow celebrities or communicate with friends, I’ve discovered that Twitter is an incredible professional resource where I can build relationships with legal professionals. I recently participated in a Twitter chat, #LawJobChat, about in-house legal careers. I was intrigued with the chat, so I tweeted that I was a law student interested in learning more about the role of an in-house attorney.

The general counsel of a professional sports team responded to my tweet. I asked him how he got started and he answered, “too long of a story for 140 characters, let’s set up a time and talk on the phone.” Our conversation was great. We discussed the details of his job, how he got to his current position, and skills that are useful for an in-house attorney. He spent over 45 minutes on the phone with me, and offered advice on classes to take, organizations to join and other attorneys to contact to learn more about being an in-house attorney.

After talking with the general counsel, I realized the importance of networking and interacting with others. The general counsel emphasized that employers want to know law students can work in a team, and law students can demonstrate this skill by meeting and interacting with attorneys. The general counsel added that it is great to have good grades, but you need to be able to carry on a conversation and interact with other attorneys, clients, secretaries, and paralegals in order to thrive.

Perhaps the best result of my conversation with the general counsel is our new friendship. Now, we talk regularly, tweeting back and forth about sports, technology and of course, the law. I can ask him any questions I have about sports, sports law, books to read or law school classes. He is an additional resource in my professional network. Relationships like the one I now have with this attorney are the greatest benefit one can obtain from Twitter.

Nov 10

Business Plans in Your Associate Job Search

The fourth #LawJobChat featured Lance Godard, an international legal business development and marketing consultant, discussing the intersection of business development and interviews.  You can read the entire transcript here, and I’ve summarized some highlights below.

Business Plans Improve All Interviews

  • Many firms, especially small and mid-size firms, are likely to inquire about business plans when interviewing senior associates.
  • Even if firms don’t inquire, having prepared a business plan can improve your interview.   You will stand out in the interview if you are able to talk about certain components of your business plan, such as your area of practice, the market for your practice area, clients that need your practice, etc.

What is a Business Plan? Marketing Plan?

  • Your business plan identifies the following:  who are your potential clients, what are the potential opportunities for work, why are you the best lawyer to perform the work.
  • Your marketing plan outlines the way you are going to communicate with those potential clients

Example of Business Plan & Marketing Plan for Construction Litigation Associate

  • Business Plan: Identify key contacts in the construction industry, professional organizations to join, key people in the organization to meet and what you wish to obtain from those people
  • Marketing Plan: Calendar dates for key meetings/events for the professional organizations, lunch dates with developers, lunch dates with other targets

Business Plan Best Practices

  • Associates need both a business plan and marketing plan
  • Create your business plan before you create your marketing plan
  • Create business plan/marketing plan early in your practice
  • Put your business plan/marketing plan in writing – doesn’t have to be a formal document but should be in writing
  • Review your plans weekly

Resources for Creating Business Plan

If you have additional questions regarding business plans, feel free to DM Lance on Twitter.

Save the date for our next #LawJobChat – Thursday, Nov. 18, 9pm Eastern.