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June, 2011

Jun 11

Raising Your Profile to Get Hired (#LawJobChat No. 12)

It’s no secret that raising your profile through speaking, writing, blogging and other activities leads to new career opportunities.  Jack Whittington, a May 2011 graduate of The University of Tulsa College of Law, explains in this post how an employer already knew about him before he interviewed because the employer had read his blogs.

How can you learn about speaking or writing opportunities?  What steps should you be taking as a law student, junior associate, mid-level associate or senior associate to raise your profile?  How much time should you spend on raising your profile?  What’s the best way to spread the word to contacts once you’ve published an article?  How do you follow up with people after you speak at an event?  Can you still speak at conferences and events if you don’t have a public speaking background?

Join #LawJobChat this Thursday, June 30, at 9:00 pm Eastern to discuss these issues and more.  Three guest co-hosts who are experts in this field will answer your questions about raising your profile to get hired:

  1. Ari Kaplan:  In addition to the newly released, Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace (Wiley, 2011), Ari Kaplan is the author of bestseller The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development (Thomson-West, 2008), which is about how law students, lawyers and other professionals can stand out in today’s stagnant economy.
  2. Cordell ParvinCordell Parvin is among the nation’s most widely known and respected transportation construction lawyers. He has established himself within his field as a rainmaker, instructor, and career coach. Cordell is passionate about teaching young lawyers and has published three books designed to help associates develop their careers.  Visit Cordell’s Facebook page to read examples of blogs authored by attorneys he coached.  Cordell notes how the blogs helped raise the attorneys’ profiles.
  3. Adrian Dayton:    Adrian Dayton is a speaker, group trainer, National Law Journal columnist and author of the books Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition. His next book Social Media for Lawyers: LinkedIn & Blog Edition is scheduled to be published in September of 2011.

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

Jun 11

Lessons for Unemployed Lawyers From Laid-Off Social Media Specialist/Fitness Blogger

I began following Theodora Blanchfield (@tblanchfield) on Twitter when I first joined the social networking site in August 2008.  At the time, Theodora was a reporter for Legal Technology News, and I was focused on following people in the legal industry.  Theodora eventually obtained a position as a social media specialist for a magazine company, but I continued to follow her because she published an interesting fitness blog, Losing Weight in the City (you can read Theodora’s fitness story here).

While I don’t read Theodora’s blog daily, I do pay attention to the headlines of her posts when she tweets them.  This headline last week caught my attention:


My immediate response was, “oh no!”  But, I was comforted after reading the post, and I think unemployed lawyers can learn at least three lessons from Theodora’s layoff story.  Consider the following quotes from Theodora’s post:

“I have some freelance work lined up and lots of leads for both projects and positions.”

Lawyers can also freelance.  I’ve referred to freelance lawyering as an option for laid-off lawyers in this past newsletter with resources for laid-off lawyers and in #LawJobChat No. 2 with Lisa Solomon, a veteran freelance lawyer.  Refer to Lisa’s site for more information about the freelance lawyering process and tips for getting started.

“If you have or know of any job or project leads in NYC (or telecommuting), I’d love to hear about them.”

Theodora immediately reached out to her network asking for job and project leads.  She shared her layoff story on her blog and sought help.  Based on a subsequent post, many of Theodora’s loyal readers responded with tips and leads.

More importantly, Theodora cultivated a strong following over several years by blogging and using other social media sites consistently. Theodora’s efforts paid off on the day she was laid off because she had assembled a strong network to provide leads and encouragement.

“I also plan on blogging a lot more … partially because it’s such a good release.”

I mentioned in this video clip that one of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is sounding desperate.  Note the tone of Theodora’s layoff story — it’s filled with positive thoughts and optimism.  She doesn’t sound desperate at all.

Finally, as I suggest in my book, remember to follow people outside the legal industry on Twitter and other social networking sites.  You’ll gain new ideas by following professionals in other industries who may be experiencing similar challenges.

Jun 11

‘Apply with LinkedIn’ Button Replaces Resumes

A few months ago, I wrote about the idea of law school career offices requiring law students to learn how to use social networking tools in their job search.  If you need another reason why law schools should require mandatory LinkedIn training (at a minimum), consider LinkedIn’s latest development … the “Apply with LinkedIn” button.

Law firms are already posting attorney job openings on LinkedIn.  Now, law firms will also be able to add the “Apply with LinkedIn” button next to job postings on their own websitesLawyers and law students will apply for these jobs by submitting their LinkedIn profiles instead of a resume.

While it appears job seekers will still be able to apply the old fashioned way, I think the addition of the button illustrates another reason lawyers and law students can’t afford to ignore LinkedIn.