Career Exploration

L.A. Entertainment Law Firms

The National Law Journal has an interesting read (via the NY Law Journal’s online edition) about out-of-town law firms opening up L.A. offices with Entertainment Practices.  It includes a useful overview of entertainment law practice.


Prediction: Large Law Firm Business Down 4.3% Next Year

The National Law Journal contains a story about an expert study predicting a 4.3% decline in corpoarte legal spending in 2010.  While spending on regulatory work and litigation is expected to increase slightly, the prediction is it will not be enough to offset declines in spending in the areas of real estate, corporate, intellectual property transactional, tax, and environmental work.      

Midsize Firms In Middle Markets

We’ve written about this before (here), but a recent article in the National Law Journal (via makes the point that more regional firms in cities whose economies were not so tied to capital markets are faring better during the current economic crisis.  Some are even taking advantage of the crisis to take on new talent and expand into other regions. 

Boutique Law Firms

Interesting article focusing on litigation boutiques in the National Law Journal (via the New York Law Journal’s website).  These are small law firms that do “BIGLAW” types of cases.  They are often started by lawyers from large law firms and are often the target of law firms looking to expand their business in certain areas through acquisitions.

One resource for finding boutique firms is the website of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms. 

Public Interest Employers and the Economic Crisis

WAMU (one of Washington DC’s public radio stations, which is based at American University) hosted a program last Thursday exploring how trends in the legal industry are affecting the public interest legal sector.

Participants included:  Jonathan Smith (Legal Aid Society of DC), Paul Igasaki (Equal Justice Works), Susan Hoffman (Crowell & Moring) and Matthew Pascocello (Washington College of Law).

Listen to the whole thing (about 1 hour) here.      

Death of A Law Firm: One Year Later

Interesting article in today’s Recorder — via — entitled “The Way Some Law Firms Die Now.”  It is mostly about the demise of Heller Ehrmann, but there is also iteresting commentary from consultants who discuss law firms’ “economic resilience” and what is (or was?) perhaps different about “homegrown” SF firms.     

Academic Year Externships On The Rise In A Flat Job Market

Worthwhile article in the National Law Journal — via — entitled “The Recession Makes Externships A Sweeter Deal For Students.”  It’s about law students’ increasing use of externships to enhance their job prospects.  You can find more information about Boalt’s field placement program here

Fellowships For Those Interested In Becoming A Law Professor

Professor Paul Caron (a/k/a TaxProf) has an excellent roundup of fellowships for graduates/alums looking to enter the legal academic job market.    

He also links to several great articles available online that provide background on becoming a law professor. 

Networking for the Networking Challenged

I am sure our 2Ls and 3Ls are tired of hearing us talk with or email them about the central importance of networking, especially in the current challenging legal job market.  We’ve posted on this topic before herehere and here.  Tiring as it may be to hear over and over again, it doesn’t make it any less true.  We’ve read in various places that 70% of jobs are obtained through contacts.

Simply reacting to posted job announcements is not enough in this market.  You need to be sufficiently plugged in so when jobs open up, you hear about them from others before they are posted.  Or, you need to have someone in your network who may know the potential employer, or knows someone who knows someone who works there, so they can get your application materials a more careful look.

There is a recent article in the Legal Intelligencer (posted on the website) that may help you if you feel networking is just not one of your strengths (as many lawyers and law students do).  Its entitled “Four Tips For Reluctant Networkers” and its definitely worth a read.

For further help in developing your networking skills, visit Networking Section of the CDO website (via the Career Development and Job Search Skills link on the CDO homepage).  Also, CDO counselors can help you build and expand your professional network.

Law Practice Today’s “Suddenly Solo” Issue

The ABA’s Law Practice Management Section’s July edition of its webzine is devoted to starting your own law practice.  It contains alot of useful information that many who may not have considered the solo option but for the current economy may find particularly timely.