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FROM THE JOB FRONT

FROM THE JOB FRONT is EmplawyerNet's monthly newsletter covering the latest developments in the area of legal employment -- and a few other things. FROM THE JOB FRONT is published as a service of EmplawyerNet, the online interactive legal employment network.

JUNE 2000

NEWS FROM THE JOB FRONT

EmplawyerNet Releases Quarterly Job Report

IPO in a Box

Greedy Associates Challenged by Generous Associates

Paralegals Outscore Lawyers in Job Satisfaction

OTHER FEATURES
Job Tips: Legal Recruiters

Legal Trivia

Quote, UnQuote

One More Thing Before You Go


EMPLAWYERNET RELEASES QUARTERLY JOB REPORT

Lawyers are in clear demand in the practice areas of Corporate Business Transactions, Insurance Litigation and Tax law, finds EmplawyerNet's newly released report on the status of the legal job market. The legal market survey's findings suggest that demand for legal jobs seems to be meeting the supply in many practice areas. For the first quarter of 2000, percentages of the supply of jobs (i.e. openings advertised by employers) versus the demand (for jobs by candidates) matched each other in the areas of Intellectual Property, Business Litigation, and Real Estate - which are also the practices showing the most growth. However, there still were some differences. Corporate Finance and Securities law constitutes the largest supply of jobs (nine percent), yet only seven percent of candidates sought jobs in this practice. Similarly, there were five percent of job-seeking lawyers desiring insurance litigation positions, versus eight percent of jobs advertised in that practice area. Regionally, in the first quarter of 2000, the Northeast accounted for 37 percent of legal job openings in the country. For more on the report, go to www.emplawyernet.com and click on "Flash: Job Market Report" at the top of the page.

IPO IN A BOX

Can the Internet replace lawyers? Previously in this newsletter, you've read about websites and software that assist with settling cases and handling divorces. Now the Internet envelope for legal work is being pushed quite a bit farther with ePO (www.epocorp.com). The site enables users to register their company with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering - without the use of an attorney. The cost of using ePO is estimated by its founders to be about one-third of what one would pay for lawyers to do the job. Says one: "We're going to give lawyers a real run for their money." Says a big-firm securities attorney: "Overall, I'd say it's a bad idea."

Business 2.0

GREEDY ASSOCIATES CHALLENGED BY GENEROUS ASSOCIATES

WWe've previously reported to you about a popular Internet site called Greedy Associations (www.greedyassociates.com). There, associates can compare how much they are making and how much they think they should be making. Now, there's a counterpart. It's Generous Associates, located at www.generousassociates.com. The site was created to raise money for the District of Columbia's Legal Aid Society where most lawyers earn in the range of $30,000 a year for assisting poor people. It hopes to create competition among big firm associates by posting the name of the firm employing the most generous associates. Even the people over at Greedy Associates are pitching in by agreeing to place banner ads on its site to promote Generous Associates.

National Law Journal

PARALEGALS OUTSCORE LAWYERS IN JOB SATISFACTION

Ever wish you were a paralegal? Maybe now you will. A recent report by Jobs Rated Almanac ranks legal assistants at number 11 out of a possible 250 professions. The ranking is based on dozens of factors including prestige, stress, pay and job security. Paralegals scored high in the areas of regular work hours and good salaries. Lawyers came in at number 60, due to the low scores in the areas of high stress and long hours. Top of the list were jobs in computer industry and those related to mathematics.

Canadian Lawyer

JOB TIPS: LEGAL RECRUITERS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

A headhunter is many different things but above all, she is an information broker for you and her clients. She gathers facts about job opportunities and matches that with her knowledge of appropriate candidates. Though she is paid by the employer and might be thought to owe allegiance to that "client," in truth most headhunters try to match the needs of the hiring law firm with the goals and ambitions of the individual candidate.

Because search fees are large and contingent on placement, headhunters are often distinguished by their aggressiveness. Harnessing this aggressiveness can work in your favor. Unharnessed, this characteristic can lead to questionable practices. Bear this in mind when the recruiter calls. Most sound good on the phone but if you plan to work with the headhunter, you should plan to meet her in person.

You should make the effort to know your recruiter's background, her education and employment history, her philosophy and methods of placement. How broad are her contacts? Does she specialize in any areas of placement, e.g., litigation or real estate or in-house? What are her geographic boundaries? How long has she been recruiting? How knowledgeable is she about the community and the specific opportunities she claims to present? Will she provide references?

We suggest meeting more than one recruiter and, before you authorize referrals, agree on a specific course of action and make clear what authority the recruiter does and does not have. Remember, it's your career and it's under your control. The headhunter can be a valuable source of information about the community and its opportunities but it is your responsibility to assimilate that information and direct the recruiter to act on your behalf. Control is the key word in dealing with the headhunter.

Your first call from a headhunter is likely to be very similar to the dozens of calls you will receive in the early years of practice. The recruiter will introduce herself, ask what area of practice you specialize in and then tell you about a client with whom she thinks you would make a perfect match.

At this point you have several options. The best recruiters are a solid source of information on local hiring practices and tends, salary levels, specific firms, available job openings and good, old-fashioned, garden-variety gossip. Knowing a recruiter whom you trust is like having a guide along on a hike through unfamiliar territory; they know the paths, the pitfalls and the local lore. We strongly suggest you take the time to find the best recruiters and develop a relationship with one that you like and trust. Even though you may not be looking for a job today, chances are you will make a job change in the first six years of your practice. When you do, you may want the recruiter's advice.

If you're not looking to make a move at the time a recruiter calls, we suggest listening to what the recruiter has to say and then explaining that you are not now in the job market. You might ask that she call you again in six months of if a particularly attractive opening arises.

Because recruiting fees are sizable, it is the medium to larger sized law firms and corporate legal departments that use headhunters. Smaller firms generally cannot afford the fees and even larger firms will try to avoid the cost when they can. Thus, firms that use headhunters will also pursue their needs through other, less expensive means.

Finally, if you are looking for a job, you may wonder whether to use more than one recruiter in that effort. There is no definite answer, as doing so has pluses and minuses. The main plus is that no one recruiter has knowledge of every available opportunity. Thus, using more than one simply increases the probability of satisfactory placement. The minus is that using more than one recruiter increases the chances that the same employer will receive your resume from several different sources. The solution, apart from using only one recruiter, is again one of tight control. Make very clear which headhunter is authorized to do what and never give authority to make the same referral to two or more headhunters.

LEGAL TRIVIA

Rank the following states in order of the difficulty in passing the bar examination.

  • (1) New York
  • (2) California
  • (3) Delaware
  • (4) Rhode Island
  • (5) Oregon
  • (6) Nevada

(Answer at the end of the newsletter)

QUOTE

"I was once called a blood-sucking lawyer who could smell money over the mountains like a jackal smelling blood over the plains of the Serengeti. After that, ambulance-chaser doesn't faze me."

    -- Attorney Stephen Justino responding to the criticism he received for soliciting clients among the victims of the Los Alamos firm.

UNQUOTE

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO...

San Francisco-based law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison hired 210 attorneys in the last nine months.

  • Trivia Answer:

    Nevada, Delaware and Rhode Island have recently revamped their bar examinations and are now the most difficult. After those three states, California and Oregon follow in order. New York's bar exam is in the bottom third in terms of difficulty. (Source: Edward Stark, member of California Committee of Bar Examiners)


    Need to get some legal background information for a brief or paper? People are raving about MegaLaw.com (http://www.megalaw.com), where you can find links for over 100 legal topics, federal and state law background information, court rules, law review links, and more. Better yet, it's free!

    EmplawyerNet has added a salary survey making it possible for you to research salaries based on practice area, years of experience, geography and even law school. It's a great way for you to determine going rates in the legal jobs marketplace.

    If you're currently an EmplawyerNet member, next time you log on be sure to click on the salary survey link in the navigational bar to complete the survey form and check out the results. If you're not a member, you can find a link to the survey and membership enrollment form at www.emplawyernet.com.


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