LEXIS HUB FOR NEW ATTORNEYS HAS AGREED TO PUBLISH A SERIES OF FOURTEEN ARTICLES I HAVE WRITTEN – FIVE ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CAREER SEARCH AND NINE ON HOW TO SEARCH FOR A SATISFYING POSITION. (TO READ THE ARTICLES YOU MAY HAVE TO REGISTER AS A MEMBER.) HERE IS A LINK TO THE FOURTEENTH AND FINAL ARTICLE. MY SUGGESTION IS THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY SCROLL TO THE END OF THE ARTICLE WHERE YOU WILL FIND THE TITLES OF ALL FOURTEEN AND BEGIN READING FROM THE FIRST ONE “UNDERSTANDING CAREER PLANNING”
A proposal for a new public law school for Massachusetts, one of only 7 states in the country not to have a public law school, has generated an enormous amount of controversy with many saying that there is a need for a school with a reasonable tuition and others saying there is at this time no need for a school that would add more lawyers to an overcrowded field. Prominent among the opponents, shocking as that may not be, are the local law schools. What is shocking is that I find myself agreeing with the stand of the law schools.Over a week ago, I submnitted what follows as a proposed op-ed to the Boston Globe. I welcome your comments.
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON THE PUBLIC LAW SCHOOL PROPOSAL
What’s missing from the discussion about the need for a new public law school for Massachusetts is any consideration of the failure of the existing law schools to serve not only the educational needs of their students but also the legal needs of the public.
AUGUST 9 1989 – HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1963, I worked for a large law firm, served in the US Army JAG and worked in an insurance company. After two years as an associate for a sole practitioner, I founded two small law firms representing individuals and community groups and became one of the first lawyers in the country to offer divorce mediation. Concerned about the issue of the unmet legal needs of the public, I served on the boards of legal services programs, created referral programs for the Massachusetts Bar Association and the National Lawyers Guild, started an association of legal clinics, and served as president of a family mediation association.
In 1983 I returned to Harvard Law School as its public interest adviser. On August 9, 1989, my position was eliminated by a recently appointed dean of that law school. I have reprinted below some material related to the elimination of that position.
I had the opportunity and the privilege yesterday to make a presentation entitled “Think Small: Learning About and Locating Positions in Small Law Firms” for the New York State Bar Association. About 30 who registered were “live” in the “studio” at the law office of Lauren Wachtler, the chair of the Committee on Lawyers in Transition. An additional 175 registered for the webcast
BEFORE YOU BEGIN, HOWEVER, READ BELOW!
On Wednesday, September 16, 2009, from noon to 2pm (EDT), I will be doing a live webcast for the New York State Bar Association Committee on Lawyers in Transition entitled Think Small! Learning About and Locating Positions in Small Law Firms
“For many years, if not decades, there has been an intense focus on large law firms as if they represent the entire legal profession. The lack of openings within large law firms makes this a most appropriate time for lawyers and law students to realize that there are nearly unlimited options in small law firms. There are jobs; there are positions; there are openings!”
For more information and to register for this free program go to this NYSBA website..
A week ago today, I submitted the following to the New York Times with a request that it be considered for an op-ed stating, as required, that it had not been previously published. The paper’s guidelines state that if you receive no telephone call or e-mail within three business days, you should assume that the paper has decided not to print the submission.With that in mind here is the comment I sent to the paper.
The Light at the End of the Funnel
By Ronald W. Fox
Many of you are aware of LawShucks which has become well known for keeping track of the number of lawyers and staff laid off from BigLaw. Recently someone began to post his/her thoughts under the title of The Laid Off Diary
As I read the articles, I recognized that the diarist, although likely not having the background and experience of a career planner, had distilled in the various articles the essence and fundamentals of the approach I employ in helping lawyers make a transition from dissatisfaction or unemployment to, hopefully, a satisfying position.
I took excerpts from many of the posts in the diary and, with the approval of Law Shucks and its diarist, present them here. I think you will find what follows worth reading.
This is for discouraged lawyers (be they unemployed, underemployed or simply dissatisfied) and law students(1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls).
Today I read this post by The Unemployed Lawyer who is in the Seattle area. Here is the comment I added to her blog.
“I called the Washington State Bar Association and was told that there are 13,000 members from King County. Based on standard US demographics, that would likely mean that about 75%, or 9,750 are in private practice. Julie Salmon at the WSBA said that about 65% (or about 6500) are in firms of 10 or less. Again based on standard US demographics, 50% of the 6500 are sole practitioners, 35% are in firms 2-5 and 15% in firms of 6-10. THAT MEANS THAT THERE ARE ABOUT 4000 SMALL FIRMS IN KING COUNTY AND MANY OF THEM NEED YOU.
It is critically important at this time when there has been a decline in recruiting by the large law firms who have dominated campus interviewing to deemphasize employer outreach.
A school unable to attract sufficient employer responses adds to the students’ frustration. Their self-esteem is diminished since they are not being considered by the firms courted by the school, apparently the ones who have the school’s stamp of approval. Some career planners believe they are not using their talents and time to their own best advantage and that of their students. One said that 85% of her resources are devoted to employer outreach from which only 15% of her students found positions.
The goal of employer outreach by career staff is the scheduling of on-campus interviewers to supply students with the knowledge of where the jobs are. Where there are a substantial number of firms recruiting on campus, many accept jobs they are not suited for because their decision making process is flawed. They are unaware of the breadth of their options and the importance of balancing priorities such as work satisfaction and high income.
QUOTES FROM THE REINVENTION OF WORK by MATTHEW FOX
Spirit means life, and both life and livelihood are about living in depth, living with meaning, purpose, joy and a sense of contributing to the greater community. A spirituality of work is about bringing life and livelihood back together again. Page 2
All work worthy of being called spiritual and worthy of being called human is in some way prophetic work. It contributes to the growth of justice and compassion in the world; it contributes to social transformation, not for its own sake but for the sake of increasing justice. Page 13