Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Job Tips: Resumes

A readers wants your input on resumes in the Las Vegas legal market. Does it need to be limited to one page? How much work history should be included? Should it really include hobbies? Is a cover letter really necessary? Anyone hiring?

25 comments:

  1. I wish there was a decent comprehensive clearinghouse for actual lawyer jobs.

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  2. MAC had a craigslist posting last week

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  3. Help! I left law firm A after bonus in December and have been at law firm B since beginning of 2017. I think this was a huge mistake. Both insurance defense firms. The office vibe is very different at firm B compared to Firm A. Firm B associates seem on edge all of the time. Firm A was very relaxed. Firm A hired a replacement but probably need another associate. How do I ask for my job back without begging? Help!

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    1. Beg. Grovel. Whatever it takes. If you found an ID job at a firm that isn't a miserable grind shop then you should hang on to it at all costs. They are few and far between.

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    2. Be honest and tell them that you made a mistake.

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    3. send them this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwQW3KW3DCc

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    4. Suck it up. If you were firm A would you hire you back? No. You quit. Quitters never win. The firm will always think you are going to quit and clearly you are not loyal.

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    5. I work at a large regional firm. We had an associate leave for a new job before coming back 3-4 months later. The new place wasn't what she expected. We gladly welcomed her back.

      Then she left 9 months later for another job. So....

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    6. I think we work together now and you probably made a huge mistake.

      (The rumor that one of the partners fell asleep at a trial is just a rumor. Said partner is really nice. He is "always available" to discuss cases with unless he's "resting his eyes" in his office. Oh, but you can't bill to discuss the case because of billing rules. Sorry in advance if you "just missed" your bonus target.)

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    7. Let me guess, they offered you 2500 more and you bolted not thinking that $$ is not everything. Bet you cashed the bonus check and went the the Xmas party too......

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    8. Screw you and the Loyalty Bonus that you took out the door with you. We had an Associate leave for $3000 more, call us on Tuesday lunchtime after her Monday start at the other firm and say that she felt that she made a big mistake and did not know what to do. Expected us to be her "mentors" after she had emptied out her office and left us with files through which to sort. And we took her back. And she left again six months later. And has had five other stops after us. No, 12:26 is correct. You quit on us once; you will find quitting on us easier the next time. You made your bed. Lie in it or find another bed, Job Hussy.

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    9. An increase of $3,000/year is only about $100 a paycheck after taxes, to put things in perspective.

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    10. I'd say enjoy your single story office window that looks out over... nothing. You have a view of nothing. Your old firm won't take you back, and your new firm will have the partners either breathing down your neck or ignoring you completely until they review your hours. Now get back to billing. The clock is ticking.

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    11. I am with 2:33 PM.

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    12. Either way, it really doesn't matter. You will continually want to kill yourself as long as you are doing insurance defense. It is the land of misery and poverty. Just suck it up at your new job until you can find something outside of insurance defense.

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  4. I just realized that I don't think even one of my Boyd 2009-2012 classmates are still at the firms they started at.

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    1. Most probably took jobs during the recession that were ... whatever was available. Once the job market started improving, they went to firms that were more suitable. That's what I did, anyway.

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    2. I was admitted in 2011. I'm still at the same job. I got lucky and had a good situation from the very beginning.

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    3. I know 1 Boyd 2011 that's still where he started. I know at least 20 that have moved on (some up, some down, some it's hard to tell).

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    4. I graduated from Boyd in 2008 and there's still a handful of my classmates that are at the same firm they went to work for after graduation.

      I don't think that's shocking news, most of us just grab the first job available because that student loan debt isn't going to pay itself. Then after a year or two you look at where you're at and decide, "I've made a huge mistake." Or you jump ship hoping for greener pastures. It's those who make 4-5 moves in their first 5 years who I question whether law is the right profession for them.

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  5. I am a hiring partner. I do not look at dozens of resumes so more information is welcomed by me in the resume. I DO want legal or political work history all the way back to law school with gaps explained, even if only briefly.

    Interesting or unusual hobbies are worth putting in because I may think you are a more interesting person and that helps. Gardening, knitting or working out - nah.

    I don't care about a cover letter unless it communicates something important or worthwhile not normally included in the resume.

    One thing I see frequently and this may be hard to believe, and its almost an automatic disqualifier, is a candidate who does not research my firm or me before the first meeting. "So what does your firm do?" Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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    1. Political work history?

      Interesting.

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    2. Absolutely political work history. I worked for Harry Reid. BUZZ. I worked on Laxalt's campaign. BUZZ.

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  6. No typos. Have 5 or 6 people read your resume before you submit. You'd be surprised at what fresh eyes catch.

    Your cover letter should convey something your resume doesn't (i.e. your interest in this particular position, firm etc.) I don't need a summary of your resume.

    Research the firm and then research it again. Then, get a list of your interviewers and research them. Know where they went to school and what kind of law they practice.

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    1. As you indicate, it should not be a "form" cover letter, but one geared to the particular firm, what areas they practice, your interest in those areas, etc. There should be a different cover letter for each place you apply, and each cover letter should reference directly the name of that particular firm(e.g. "I am applying to Smith & Jones on account of their exemplary reputation in the field of Probate Law, which is an area I very much wish to practice in", or something like that).

      As 12:43 indicates, if the applicant is unaware of what area the firm devotes its practice to, and otherwise knows nothing about the firm, it's an automatic disqualifier. It indicates the person is kind of unfocused, quite possibly lazy without much work ethic or self-motivation, and simply wants a pay check to bide their time till something more tot heir liking comes along. It also, in a word, makes them look stupid.

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