Thursday, July 2, 2015

Kelley School of Business at Indiana University - Law and/or Ethics Professor Positions

Kelley

The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has multiple open positions in their Business Law and Ethics Department.

Kelley is well known in business school circles for having a strong legal studies program. Among the many fine faculty members are my ALSB mentor Jamie Prenkert (department chair) and BLPB guest-blogger Todd Haugh

Information about these positions is available after the break.

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July 2, 2015 in Business School, Ethics, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Future of Respectability for Lawyers (Part 5)

In my final post on the subject of “respectability” of lawyers (the first four can be found here, here, here and here), I’d like to tie my thoughts together, discussing what the various parties can do to make Bird and Orozco’s thesis of assimilation of lawyers into corporate business teams the “new normal”.  This should give lawyers more career opportunities in the future, slow the loss of influence of the legal profession in businesses, and make legal education a more attractive choice.  Much of the discussion in academia has ignored the in-house counsel approach as being a viable option for the woes of the legal industry.  Below the fold, this post will discuss the roles that academia, in-house counsel, and business firms each may play in increasing the potential for success of a new model for business lawyers.

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June 25, 2015 in Business School, Compensation, Corporate Governance, Corporate Personality, Corporations, Jobs, Law School, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Economics of the TV Show Nashville

Earlier this month, The Tennessean reported that the state of Tennessee approved $8 million of incentives for the fourth season of ABC's show Nashville. The city of Nashville also plans to chip in about $500,000.  According to the article, the "show spends about $20 million each season on local labor."

Economic incentives seem to be increasingly common, but this arrangement is interesting for a few reasons. First, this is an arrangement that not only brings jobs to town, but also brings publicity and tourists. Second, the lion share of the incentives appear to be coming from the state, but the lion share of the benefits seem to be directed at the city of Nashville - causing some in other parts of the state to complain

Some businesses, like the Bluebird Cafe, are featured regularly on the show, and I wonder whether they pay for that privilege. I don't think they do, but have not been able to find out for sure. 

My wife and I watch the show, if only because we like seeing our city on TV. Nashville is a wonderful place, has been called an "it city" and the "south's red hot town." Even the New York Times did a glowing article on the city Nashville during the tenure of ABC's show. The job market and real estate are both booming in Nashville.

I don't know how much of this success, if any, is due to the show about Nashville, but things do seem to be going well here...except for the increasing traffic. Product placement has been on the rise in media for some time now; perhaps we will see more city, state, and business placement over time.  

May 29, 2015 in Current Affairs, Haskell Murray, Jobs, Television | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Humblebragging is Empirically, Not Just Anecdotally, Ineffective

Last month, Ovul Sezer, Francesca Gino, and Michael I. Norton of  Harvard Business School posted Humblebragging: A Distinct – And Ineffective – Self-Presentation Strategy to SSRN (available here).  

Here is the full article abstract: 

Humblebragging – bragging masked by a complaint – is a distinct and, given the rise of social media, increasingly ubiquitous form of self-promotion. We show that although people often choose to humblebrag when motivated to make a good impression, it is an ineffective self-promotional strategy. Five studies offer both correlational and causal evidence that humblebragging has both global costs – reducing liking and perceived sincerity – and specific costs: it is even ineffective in signaling the specific trait that that a person wants to promote. Moreover, humblebragging is less effective than simply complaining, because complainers are at least seen as sincere. Despite people’s belief that combining bragging and complaining confers the benefits of both self-promotion strategies, humblebragging fails to pay off.

Although the authors accurately explain that humblebragging is "bragging masked by a complaint,"  I am partial to the Urban Dictionary definition:

Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or "woe is me" gloss.
 
Uggggh just ate about fifteen piece of chocolate gotta learn to control myself when flying first class or they'll cancel my modelling [sic] contract LOL :p #humblebrag

I think most of us know someone who is a user of the humblebrag.  I used to think it was just a fairly common technique among lawyers and academics, though I am now more of the mind that it is a "people" thing, with lawyers and academics perhaps leading the way.  I'm rather glad to see an article that shows that humblebragging is empirically ineffective in its goals.  In my experience, I have also found that it's also not especially effective in getting people to like the humblebragger, either.  

Now, if only blatant, unrepressed, old-school bragging weren't so effective in some circles. we could make some real progress.  

May 27, 2015 in Jobs, Joshua P. Fershee, Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Future of Respectability for Lawyers (Part 3)

In my first post of this series, I asked whether business leaders had unknowingly provided the legal industry with a long-term solution to declining interest in the legal profession and potential waning influence.  I suggested that business leaders may be the driving force that ends up saving the legal profession, and its "respectability".  In my second post, I discussed the current state of in-house attorneys.  In this post, I would like to look at the current state of private firms as it relates to the in-house attorney discussion.  My view is that the competitive marketplace reactions of a growing number of firms are partially contributing to the dimming of their own future prospects.  Firms will need to evolve rather quickly; how they can, I’ll discuss in a future post.  However, because of the firms’ relatively weaker position compared to corporations, many firms are in very precarious circumstances.

In this interim period between past firm dominance and the future corporate acceptance of Professors Bird and Orozco’s “corporate legal strategy” (in which attorneys are fully accepted and integrated as part of business teams in corporations, resulting in greater legal opportunities), firms are struggling.   From my discussions with attorneys, I have learned that many private firms are beginning to intentionally screen out attorneys that even appear to be on a path to in-house corporate life in the future.  They feel less inclined to provide expensive training for someone that has (in their perception) little intention of making a career of private practice, especially their private practice.  This diminishes the number of opportunities for new lawyers.  Firms have a harder time training the new lawyers they have, because much of the basic business work is now taken up by in-house counsel.  Corporations, for their part, have exacerbated the lack of work for new associates by using their increased influence and wealth to insist that only the most senior firm attorneys handle their corporate work—perhaps shortsightedly robbing firms of talent continuity that has historically benefitted the corporations in the end.  Expensive summer clerkships and recruiting drives have all but disappeared. 

Additionally, firms have become focused on hiring attorneys with portable business for the “quick hit” of income and are less concerned about hiring new law graduates.  This cannibalization of mature legal talent has always occurred, but it now seems to be a much greater part of firm business plans. It has resulted in some lawyers commoditizing themselves, rather than some of their clients doing so, perhaps further weakening the profession's "respectability".  Of course, because the legal industry is currently well staffed, this “horse-trading” approach will work for the present.  However, it will eventually be unsustainable—as lawyers retire, there will be fewer talented lawyers to replace them or have the capacity to buy out retiring partners’ percentages.  Of those, even fewer still will invite the rigors of private practice if the rewards diminish.

I, for one, am not a complete believer in the “end of Big Law”, or any size "Law", for that matter.  (The late Professor Larry Ribstein discussed the subject here--disappointingly, he only briefly touched on the in-house counsel effect, and instead, focused on the firms themselves.)  However, I do believe in the necessary evolution of “All Law”—where the legal industry (firm, in-house, and academia) evolves to a point of natural and mutual support which benefits society as a whole (creating greater “respectability” for all lawyers)—and businesses will initially play a dominant role.  How will businesses do so?  More soon in a post coming your way!

--Marcos Antonio Mendoza

 

May 22, 2015 in Compensation, Corporations, Current Affairs, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (9)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Future of Respectability for Lawyers (Part 1)

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to post!  I have been following this blog for some time with great interest.  I hope to bring a third perspective—not as an academic, nor a private firm practitioner, but as an employee of a company who happens to be a lawyer. 

A few weeks back, Professor Heminway posted, and I commented, on the difficulty good law students have in finding jobs.  I made the point that the law is in a state of transition—firms are becoming smaller, but more opportunities are arising within corporate models.  Over the past 20 or so years, attorneys have gradually become more integrated in the corporate world, and we have seen the number of positions with firms gradually decline in comparison.  

As part of this mainstreaming of lawyers into the business model, lawyers are becoming more and more part of business teams, not walled-off in legal departments.*  By incorporating lawyers into operational divisions, have businesses “humanized” lawyers, making them more accepted and respected?  Will this growing engagement and familiarity, with lawyers as co-workers in the business environment, lead to greater opportunities for all lawyers, including those in private practice?  The answer is, maybe, possibly.  It’s complicated.  Allow me to explain.

Let’s be clear—external counsel are respected for their pure legal skill, or otherwise, businesses wouldn’t hire them!  However, business leaders often view external counsel with some trepidation, as engaging them could result in great cost and perceived “rolling roadblocks” of legal reasons things cannot done. Additionally, while lawyers and business leaders work in parallel, their goals do not exactly align. Law firms are for-profit organizations, after all, and have their own operating concerns. Nevertheless, businesses value the private law firm stamp of approval on the company’s work product for many reasons. 

Most businesses (I believe, and from what I have seen) initially began onboarding lawyers not to deepen the bench of their overall business talent, but simply to lower costs tied to legal spending for basic legal services.  An excellent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review by Professors Robert C. Bird and David Orozco outlines the progression for effective use of internal counsel, and I’ll return to some specific discussion of that in later posts.  But I think the article accurately reflects the continuum for integration of lawyers, and most companies are somewhere around the early “avoidance” or “compliance” stages for use and understanding of internal lawyers.

However, as businesses advance in their view of legal assistance and business models incorporate lawyers as part of their entrepreneurial focus at the highest levels, I think their lawyers are on the path to becoming valued in a way that is impossible for private practice attorneys.  Rather than the (unfair or not) stereotypical view of self-serving or disinterested firm lawyers some business leaders may have dealt with in the past, will these same leaders that work daily with lawyers integrated into their corporate teams grow to appreciate and respect them more, since their talent and loyalty to the companies’ interests is paramount? Will this eventually lead to a shift as to societal viewpoints about lawyers, as they become more familiar and helpful personas around everyday workplaces? And in turn, will the law firms become more generally appreciated and respected (and less commoditized!), as this growing force of in-house attorneys bridge the communication gaps with external counsel, thus increasing trust levels between the entities?

Maybe business leaders, who have historically been at odds with their law firms to some degree, will actually be the force (perhaps initially, quite inadvertently) that saves the legal profession from potentially destructive isolation and gives greater hope to aspiring law students.  This interim period—as the prevalence of the private firms lessens and corporate legal strategy grows—may be difficult for all involved.  More thoughts on this soon.

--Marcos Antonio Mendoza

 

*Depending on the organization, direct control of such lawyers may or may not remain in the general counsel’s office.

May 14, 2015 in Corporations, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (7)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Is a national bar exam on the way?

I currently teach two classes that are on the bar exam—civil procedure and business associations. Many of my BA students are terrified of numbers and don’t know much about business and therefore likely would not take the course if it were not required. I know this because they admit that they take certain classes only because they are required or because they will be tested on the bar, and not because they genuinely have an interest in learning the subject. I went to Harvard for law school and although I had an outstanding education, I learned almost nothing that helped me for the NY, NJ, or FL bars (hopefully that has changed). I owe all of my bar passages to bar review courses so naturally (naively?), I think that almost any student can learn everything they need to know for the bar in a few short months assuming that they had some basic foundation in law school and have good study habits.

The pressure to ensure that my students pass the bar exam definitely informs the way I teach. Though there has only been one round of civil procedure testing on the multistate, this semester I found myself ensuring that I covered certain areas and glossed over others, even though I know having litigated for 20 years, that some subjects are more relevant in real life. Similarly, in BA, I had to make sure that I covered what will be on the Florida bar, while still ensuring that my students understand Delaware law and some basic finance and accounting, which isn't on the Florida bar, but which they need to know.

New York recently announced that it would join other states in adopting the uniform bar examination effective July 2016. The other states using the UBE include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. New York, as the largest adopter, hopes to inspire other states to do the same.

NY students would still have to take online courses and pass a 50-question test regarding specific NY laws, but the students would take the MBE, and MPT or multistate performance test. According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, the two 90-minute MPT exercises are “designed to test an examinee’s ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation and complete a task that a beginning lawyer should be able to accomplish. The MPT is not a test of substantive knowledge. Rather, it is designed to evaluate certain fundamental skills lawyers are expected to demonstrate regardless of the area of law in which the skills arise.” The NY graduates will also no longer have to write on 6 NY-based essays, but will instead write the multistate essay examination. Students will have to write on topics including: Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations and Limited Liability Companies), Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Real Property, Torts, Trusts and Estates (Decedents' Estates; Trusts and Future Interests), and Uniform Commercial Code (Secured Transactions).

In adopting the change, New York officials explained, a “significant advantage of adopting the UBE is that passage of the test would produce a portable score that could be used by the bar applicant to gain admission in other UBE states, assuming the applicant satisfies any other jurisdiction-specific requirements. This portability is crucial in a legal marketplace that is increasingly mobile and requires more and more attorneys to engage in multi-jurisdictional practice.”

I think this is sound reasoning. Many of today’s graduates do not know where they will end up, and I personally know that the thought of taking yet another bar exam was a reason that I decided to stay in Florida when I was in private practice. But the better reason to move to the UBE is the testing of the practical skills that lawyers say recent graduates lack. It won’t solve the problem of the lack of legal work, but it will make it easier for students who want to try to find work in other states. I doubt that Florida, which wants to make it as difficult as possible for snowbirds to set up practice here, will ever adopt the UBE but it should. Many oppose the adoption because schools may not have the faculty or resources to prepare students for the new test. But I welcome the change. Despite the pressure to prep my students for the bar, I have ensured that my students work on drafting client memos, discovery plans, markups of poorly written documents, and even emails to partners and clients so that they can be ready for the world that awaits them. If Florida joins the UBE bandwagon, they will be ready for the MPT too.

 

May 7, 2015 in Business Associations, Corporations, Current Affairs, Jobs, Law School, Marcia Narine, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Legal Studies Professor Hires for Fall 2015

PrawfsBlawg has compiled an entry-level hiring report for law professors a number of years. Brian Leiter tracks law professor lateral hires with tenure. These lists serve at least two purposes:

  • welcoming new hires into the academy (or to their new positions) and
  • providing a summary of the state of the legal academic hiring market

As a curious law firm associate, with hopes of an academic career, lists of this type were especially valuable in shining light on the qualifications of new academic hires.

While the lists of law professor hires seem well-covered elsewhere, I have not seen similar hiring lists for legal studies professor hires in business schools. For this first edition, I am simply pasting the material sent to me via e-mail or in the comments. I will cover full-time entry level or lateral hires in this list, but may split them into separate posts in future years. I will continue to update this list periodically until the new hires start in August, as some business schools may still be hiring.

Updated 5/1/2015

Details below the page break.

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May 1, 2015 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Continuing Job Search for 3Ls

There's good news and no news from me on the 3L job search front.

First, the good news.  One of the talented 3L business law students whom I have been mentoring in the Quest for Employment (Q4E) recently secured a position that is perfect for him.  He is a great fit for the firm and the position, and the firm is lucky to get him.  Yay for our team!

The rest of the news on the Q4E front is same-old, same-old.  Two other terrific 3L business law students who have had career/life changes that have led them to seek employment in new markets better suited to their professional or personal objectives are still on the market.  Of course, this is nothing new in Knoxville and much of the rest of the State of Tennessee, where many law firms cannot really assess their needs until much closer to the bar exam/hiring start date.  And these two promising lawyers-to-be are getting bites at the line.

Haskell earlier wrote a great post here on resumes and interviews, and I earlier wrote a companion post on cover letters.  But what happens after you've sent the cover letter and resume and have not been granted an interview?  Give up on the Q4E with those folks?  No way!  At least, that's not my advice . . . .

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April 22, 2015 in Joan Heminway, Jobs, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0)

Legal Studies Professor Position - University of Louisiana-Lafayette

UL_Lafayette_Logo

Some business schools are still hiring for this coming August. Here is a recent legal studies professor posting by University of Louisiana-Lafayette. University of Louisiana-Lafayette is a special school to me because they made my first tenure track offer, which was quickly followed by an offer from another school that was in a better geographic location for my family. While my decision was definitely the right one for our family, I have only good things to say about University of Louisiana-Lafayette. They ran a professional search process and have a collegial, bright faculty. Also, Lafayette seemed to have a wonderful, unique culture and excellent food.

I have updated my legal studies professor openings list here.

April 22, 2015 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Legal Studies Professor Positions in Business Schools (2015)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Assistant Director of the Center for Transactional Law and Practice - Emory Law School

Emory Law School seeks an Assistant Director of the Center for Transactional Law and Practice to teach in and share the administrative duties associated with running the largest program in the Law School.  Each candidate should have a J.D. or comparable law degree and substantial experience as an attorney practicing or teaching transactional law.  Significant contacts in the Atlanta legal community are a plus.

Initially, the Assistant Director will be responsible for leading the charge to further develop the Deal Skills curriculum.  (In Deal Skills – one of Emory Law’s signature core transactional skills courses – students are introduced to the business and legal issues common to commercial transactions.)  The Assistant Director will co-teach at least one section of Deal Skills each semester, supervise the current Deal Skills adjuncts, and recruit, train, and evaluate the performance of new adjunct professors teaching the other sections of Deal Skills.

As the faculty advisor for Emory Law’s Transactional Law Program Negotiation Team, the Assistant Director will identify appropriate competitions, select team members, recruit coaches, and supervise both the drafting and negotiation components of each competition.  The Assistant Director will also serve as the host of the Southeast Regional LawMeets® Competition held at Emory every other year.

Additionally, the Assistant Director will be responsible for the creation of two to three new capstone courses for the transactional law program.  (A capstone course is a small, hands-on seminar in a specific transactional law topic such as mergers and acquisitions or commercial real estate transactions.)  The Assistant Director will identify specific educational needs, recruit adjunct faculty, assist with curriculum design, and monitor the adjuncts’ performance.  

Besides the specific duties described above, the Assistant Director will assist the Executive Director with the administration of the transactional law program and the Transactional Law and Skills Certificate program.  This will involve publicizing the program to prospective and current students, monitoring the curriculum to assure that students are able to satisfy the requirements of the Certificate, and counselling students regarding their coursework and careers.  The Assistant Director can also expect to participate in strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, alumni outreach, and a wide variety of other leadership tasks.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:  

Emory University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversifying its faculty and staff.  Members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.  For more information about the transactional law program and the Transactional Law and Skills Certificate Program, please visit our website at:  

http://law.emory.edu/academics/academic-programs/center-for-transactional-law-and-practice/index.html

To apply, please mail or e-mail a cover letter and resumé to: 

 

Kevin Moody

Emory University Law School

1301 Clifton Road, N.E.

Atlanta, GA  30322-2770

sue.payne@emory.edu.

 

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  April 30, 2015

 

[Hat tip to Bobby Ahdieh for this post]

April 4, 2015 in Joan Heminway, Jobs, Law School, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Western Carolinia University - Assistant Professor of Legal Studies Position

WCU

Western Carolina University has posted an opening for an assistant professor of legal studies.  More information is available here. The position is fixed-term and non-tenure-track, though it comes with the title "assistant professor." 

Last year, I greatly enjoyed my time presenting at Western Carolina University. WCU is in a beautiful part of the country, about an hour from Ashville, NC. WCU has a strong group of legal studies professors and has one of the nation's few Business Administration and Law degrees at the undergraduate level.

I've updated my list of legal studies professor positions in business schools. Many of the positions have now been filled, but I placed the newer postings in bold font. 

March 9, 2015 in Business Associations, Business School, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Preparing today's students for the legal market

It’s always nice to be validated. Day two into torturing my business associations students with basic accounting and corporate finance, I was able to post the results of a recent study about what they were learning and why. "Torture" is a strong word-- I try to break up the lessons by showing up to the minute video clips about companies that they know to illustrate how their concepts apply to real life settings. But for some students it remains a foreign language no matter how many background YouTube videos I suggest, or how interesting the debate is about McDonalds and Shake Shack on CNBC.

My alma mater Harvard Law School surveyed a number of BigLaw graduates about the essential skills and coursework for both transactional and litigation practitioners. As I explained in an earlier post, most of my students will likely practice solo or in small firms. But I have always believed that the skills sets are inherently the same regardless of the size of the practice or resources of the client. My future litigators need to know what documents to ask for in discovery and what questions to ask during the deposition of a financial expert. My family law and trust and estates hopefuls must understand the basics of a business structure if they wish to advise on certain assets. My criminal law aficionados may have to defend or prosecute criminal enterprises that are as sophisticated as any multinational corporation. Those who want to be legislative aides or go into government must understand how to close loopholes in regulations.

What are the top courses students should take? The abstract is below:

We report the results of an online survey, conducted on behalf of Harvard Law School, of 124 practicing attorneys at major law firms. The survey had two main objectives: (1) to assist students in selecting courses by providing them with data about the relative importance of courses; and (2) to provide faculty with information about how to improve the curriculum and best advise students. The most salient result is that students were strongly advised to study accounting and financial statement analysis, as well as corporate finance. These subject areas were viewed as particularly valuable, not only for corporate/transactional lawyers, but also for litigators. Intriguingly, non-traditional courses and skills, such as business strategy and teamwork, are seen as more important than many traditional courses and skills.

Did you take these courses? Has your school started adding more of this type of coursework and does your faculty see the value? Do you agree with the results of this survey? Let me know in the comments or email me at mnarine@stu.edu.

March 6, 2015 in Business Associations, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Corporations, Current Affairs, Jobs, Law School, Marcia Narine, Securities Regulation, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Market for Business Law Jobs: What Does It Really Look Like?

In response to my earlier post entitled "So . . . You Think You Want a Business Law Job . . . .," a reader commented as follows:

I have also seen the shift of students in my college going from other areas of law into corporate law. . . . What advice in general would you offer up? Is it a good, secure job market to want to get into in this economy?

My initial response was that, " . . . in general I would not suggest that anyone become a lawyer of any kind merely because it is a good job in this or any other economy. You should want to be a lawyer before venturing off to law school."  

Bottom line: the market for business law or any other legal jobs is not a uniformly good, secure job market.  Law school is not and never has been a "job ticket" in any case.  But those who have a desire to be business lawyers and work intelligently and diligently at finding a job in business law typically will be business lawyers.  I undertook to post further this week.

So, what else shall I say to pre-law students and law students interested in business law?  I will be relatively brief here and in my posts for a number of weeks since I am typing with one hand (my left, non-dominant hand) due to a broken right wrist--an extra-articular distal radius, or Colles', fracture.  But I invite further observations in the comments.

Continue reading

March 4, 2015 in Jobs, Law School | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bentley University - Full-time Law Lecturer Position

Bentley_Master_VertStack_1C_1

Bentley University in Waltham, MA has recently posted information about an open full-time law lecturer position.

More information about the position is available here.

February 20, 2015 in Business School, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moultrie on Legal Employment

Joan Heminway and I must be thinking similar thoughts because before I even saw her helpful post on business law jobs, I asked my former research assistant Samuel Moultrie to share his thoughts and advice on finding legal employment in this economic environment.

Sam is one of the hardest workers I know and took his job search seriously. He also took a big risk by going beyond the typical employers we had recruiting on campus when we were at Regent Law – mostly non-profits, government agencies, and a few VA and NC law firms. Sam wanted to practice in the state that has the greatest influence on U.S. corporate law and has made it happen. His journey was not and is not easy, but I thought his story might be inspiring. Recently, Sam was also selected as a 2015 Leadership Delaware Fellow. Sam’s thoughts on finding legal employment are reproduced below. 

-----------------------------------

By: Samuel L. Moultrie

The job market for recent law school graduates is, without a doubt, miserable.  While the statistics seem to vary, I think it is safe to say that the supply of new law school graduates exceeds the number of legal job openings.  Nevertheless, graduates should not lose all hope.  Any law school graduate can find a job, if they are motivated, willing to work hard, and take steps to distinguish themselves. 

[More after the break]

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February 20, 2015 in Business Associations, Delaware, Haskell Murray, Jobs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 16, 2015

So . . . You Think You Want a Business Law Job . . . .

It may just be my students, but it seems there is a renewed interest in business law careers among law students.  Several of my students this year who had originally started down a path toward a career in another area of law have happily and passionately settled, somewhat late in the game, on being business lawyers.  Somehow, after taking Business Associations and other foundational business law courses, they've been bit by the business law bug.  And they are incredibly talented students--high up in their class in terms of rank and well worthy of employment in a firm or business or government.  One is my research assistant.

We have been working together and with the folks in our Career Center to identify relevant geographical and employer markets.  But I am seemingly engaged in a continuous struggle to help each of them (a) to enhance his resume to reflect his new-found business law passion (given that each already had accepted a second summer job somewhat or totally outside the business law area when he refocused on business law as a career path) and (b) to make the new connections that he needs to make in order to successfully pursue his revised career path.  How can a middle-aged academic almost 15 years out of practice help a 3L business law job-seeker to make his resume more relevant, his contact list deeper, and his interviews more effective?

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February 16, 2015 in Business Associations, Joan Heminway, Jobs, Law School, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (6)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Law Schools and Employment Data

As one of Belmont University’s pre-law advisors, I have been getting an increasing number of e-mails from law school representatives across the country who are trying to recruit our students. One thing that I have been pushing for is better employment data. For the most part, the law school representatives simply send me the ABA required data, which I can already find on my own. 

The ABA required data is somewhat helpful to me as an advisor, but the data is insufficient. We really need better salary data and complete (or near complete) employer/job title lists. Longitudinal studies, though difficult to do well, might be interesting.  

The ABA required data tells us how many of a law school's graduates for a given year are employed in law firm jobs, judicial clerkships, government, public interest work, etc. The ABA data does not distinguish between an associate attorney position (~$160,000 + prestige + career mobility) and a staff attorney position (~$50,000 + no prestige + dead end, in most cases) at the same large firm - assuming both are full-time, long-term positions, which they can be. While I readily admit that salary is often not the most important part of a job, when prospective law students are considering taking out $100,000+ in loans, they do need to think about how they are going to pay it all back. 

On the job title side, a management track job in a bank is a good bit different than working as a teller at that same bank. On the employer side, some small law firms are prestigious boutiques and others are akin to hanging your own shingle; if you had the employer names, you could look them up and uncover the type of work they do and their reputation.  

I applaud The University of Michigan Law School for their employer list. According to the list, none of their graduates, over three years, opted out of the list. Only 7 out of over 1000 employment outcomes were unknown. Other schools have provided me with employer lists, but those lists are usually very incomplete, cherry-picked lists. I am not sure how Michigan pulled together this complete of a data set, but other law schools should ask and attempt to replicate.

Add more complete salary data--could we get 75+% reporting?--to an employer list like Michigan’s and prospective students would have a much better look at their likely employment outcomes. (Michigan actually does have over 75% reporting salaries, but many schools are well under 50% reporting). Law School Transparency has been pushing for and organizing some of this data, but we can all join in the attempt to obtain even better employment data so that prospective law students can make more informed decisions. 

February 13, 2015 in Haskell Murray, Jobs, Law School | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's Interview Season (Again) (Still). What Should Female Candidates for Law Jobs Wear?

Grades are in--a few hours late, but in nevertheless.  It must be almost time for New Year's Eve, syllabus and first-assignment posting, the AALS conferenece, the first day of classes, . . .  and more job searching for our students!

I was reminded in an email from a student this morning that the hunt for summer and permanent law jobs is revving back up again after the holiday doldrums.  The student, a 1L mentee seeking summer employment, was asking a few questions about my cover letter post, to which I eaerlier had referred him.  I expect to start getting more of these communications from students about their job searches over the next few weeks.

Our brother bloggers over at the Law Skills Prof Blog have already struck while the iron is hot on this issue.  Specifically, Lou Sirico posted a quip on dressing for job interviews the other day.  The quoted advice?  "The interviewer should remember what you said and not what you were wearing."  

Hmm.  Yeah.  I guess so.  Well, maybe not.

Certainly, that's the advice I was given by NYU Law's fabulous placement folks in "the day."  Then, that meant wearing: a black, navy or midnight blue, or gray skirt suit; a neutral (white, ivory, gray, black) collared shirt or jewel-neck blouse; skin-tone hose; dark, solid-colored, medium-heeled pumps or really lovely flats; and either Barbara Bush pearls (the double strand) or a silk floppy bow tie (like an Hermes twilly, only not as fashion-forward).  Bo-ring.

I am proud (but call me lucky) to have gotten my job wearing (to the initial interview) a deep pink--almost fuchsia--silk-blend skirt suit (midi-length skirt, hip-length jacket), with a white collared blouse, neutral hose, black flats, and a patterned (pink, blue, etc.) floppy silk bow tie.  (This is where the folks in the UT Law Career Center lose faith that they are sending students to the right place when they refer them to me for career advice!)  I was confident and radiant in that suit (although I am not sure I realized that fully at the time), and I am convinced that made a big difference in the reception that I got from people when I wore it.  However, it's true that I  was interviewed by a woman (a female senior associate in a multicolored silk dress with straight blond hair down to her derrière) and I was seeking employment at an entrepreneurial, individualistic firm--Skadden.  

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December 29, 2014 in Joan Heminway, Jobs, Law School, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (2)