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by Vault Law Editors | June 18, 2009


Following the day’s second session, which featured a presentation on law’s 2.0 future by Legal On-Ramp CEO Paul Lippe followed by much generalized positivity from Major Lindsey & Africa honcho Corin Lindsley and Sadis & Goldberg partner Ron Geffner, attendees lunched and hobnobbed in the Bar Association’s second-floor banquet room before settling back in for the first of the afternoon’s non-edible offerings. Panelists expounded on the wealth of alternatives JD holders can pursue beyond the practice, with legal research and writing contractor Lisa Solomon elaborating on the importance of packaging oneself as a pro—especially vital in times such as these, with the labor pool expanding and gigs vanishing. The concept of “patience,” of course, reappeared as a theme as the speakers attempted to broaden their message to resonate with all. Career coach Hillary Mantis warned attendees to resist the urge to “jump quickly into (your) next job,” explaining that once you pinpoint “what exactly you don’t like about what you’re doing,” “it can take from six months to a year…to figure this out.”


In between baseball analogies and Seinfeld references, career coach Caroline Ceniza-Levine (full disclosure: Caroline blogs for Vault) urged idealistic lawyers to not be afraid to “follow the money” in weighing alternative career paths—a sentiment echoed later by Solomon: “It’s not all about dreams,” she said. “You do need to keep that in mind.” DLA Piper’s Tanya Gill, however, warned against pursuing anything to which you’re not fully committed, pointing out that “a lot of people who are trying to (change careers) are just trying to escape their legal jobs, and that’s something employers are very wary of.” Mantis alluded to the same in presenting a “good news/bad news” summary of prospects for lawyers who want out: While a JD can bestow upon the holder a heightened level of credibility, some employers will have trouble believing the alternative-seeker really “wants to leave the legal industry.”


According to a show of hands, about half of those in attendance were considering leaving the law altogether.


- posted by ben fuchs


Filed Under: Law