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. 

Policy Changes At SEC May Have An Impact On Local Enforcement

From the Recorder (via, we are informed about some policy changes at the SEC that are changing how the San Francisco office is doing its work.  Those of you interested in securities regulation and litigation may be particularly interested.  You can read the whole article (entitled “San Francisco SEC Office Trying to Slim Down, Toughen Up”) here.  

Law Firm Q2 Numbers Continued

Following up on yesterday’s post, we found a link to the actual Peer Monitor Index Report to which we referred.

What Law Firm Q2 2009 Numbers Reveal

Back in April, we posted on the subject of some key legal industry business metrics from the 1st quarter of 2009.  The data was published by Hildebrandt International‘s Peer Monitor Index.  See our earlier post for a further description of the Index.  

Data from the second quarter has apparently been released (at least to the press) and the National Law Journal has reported on the numbers.  You should read the entire article, which is available on the website here.  

Bottom line seems to be:  business in general has not gotten worse since Q 1, which is a sign that the bottom may have been reached and that things are stablizing.  

The Economy’s Effect On Litigation Work

Very useful piece in the National Law Journal (via a link on the website) about the current state of litigation work.

Highlights are:

– litigation work has not picked up in the way it did during the last downturn (which is what many expected)

– on the positive side, it generally has not decreased in the way business in other practice areas have

–  more specifically, intellectual property litigation, is off by about 8% according to a survey of Frotune 1000 legal departments conducted by BTI Consulting, but bankruptcy and employment litigation has increased

– part of the reason work has not increased is a mind-set among general counsel at cash-strapped companies that the company cannot afford litigation and its associated risks

– another reason that litigation work has not increased is that it has gotten more expensive as the costs of e-discovery have risen

– experts predict that litigation work will increase during the second half of 2009 as the economy is expected to stabilze.

Read the whole thing here.  

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.      

Some Success Tips for New Lawyers

Legal marketing consultant Stacy West Clark recently outlined some of the things a new lawyer needs to do in order to succeed — and they all have to do with networking and business development.  Her suggestions, as she puts it, “require you to physically get out of your office and engage people one-on-one.”

Read the whole article, which was originally published by the Legal Intelligencer (via the New York Lawyer) here.   

The Future of BigLaw

The New York Lawyer website links to an interesting piece from the Legal Intelligencer that makes some predictions about fundamental changes to BigLaw practice.   

Among those are:  de-leveraging, salary rollbacks, emphsasizing training of new associates (and de-emphasizing the need for them to be billing all of their time from the minute they start at the firm), and alternative billing arrangements.