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FIVE THINGS YOU MUST DO BEFORE GETTING YOUR RESUME READY FOR A LATERAL MOVE

You know you’re ready for a new legal opportunity.  The firm you’re currently in just isn’t working, and you need to think strategically about a lateral move.  Congratulations!  We’re happy that you’ve made the decision, but now comes the hard part: creating the strategy.  In order to make a successful and fulfilling move, you must get a few things together before you officially start the “job search.”

1. Make sure you know what you want. 

Do you want to stay in the same practice area or switch?  What type of law firm environment are you looking for?  Do you want to try for a position at biglaw, a firm with only a few attorneys or something in the middle?  This step is absolutely crucial when thinking about making a move.  Once you’re focused on the practice area and the type of firm, things will start moving in the right direction.

2. Sell yourself. 

What can you offer a firm?  To make a successful lateral move, you’ve got to start thinking like a law firm.  Why would they want to hire you?  What can you provide for the firm that is above and beyond other lawyers?  Write down your “unique selling proposition” and really edit it into one succinct, but powerful, sentence.  Make sure to include this in your cover letter or interview.

3. Start taking steps before you talk to a firm. 

Once you know what you’re looking for and what you can offer, start moving in that direction on your own.  Don’t wait for a firm to come in and sweep you off of your feet.  Take proactive steps and good things will come!  Email your family, friends, ex-classmates, former co-workers and anyone else who will read your message, and let them know exactly what you’re looking for and what makes you perfect for that position.  Get active on LinkedIn and connect with people.  Remember, getting a job (particularly at the partner level) is primarily about relationships.  The more people with whom you have a relationship, the better your odds of landing your dream position.

4. Network. 

It’s a dirty word for most attorneys, but it’s the way that most people hear about new opportunities.  Get out there and speak with fellow attorneys.  Let them know what you’re looking for and what you can offer a firm.  Chances are, you’ll hear about a few positions that may work out for you!

5. Get all of your successes on paper.  

A resume is great, but even more impressive to a law firm is having a list of your successes. Do you have a book of business, any published cases, particularly interesting “wins”?  All of these things speak volumes about your ability, and your successes let a law firm know what they can expect from you.

Now that you’ve got everything together, it’s time for the job hunt.  Of course, that’s where we can help!  Please contact us today to hear about job opportunities and how we can help connect you with the right firm.

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