Job hunting suggestions

I was informed yesterday that the teensy law firm I work for (two attorneys and me) is closing up shop on March 31 due to one partner’s retirement combined with a drop in business. I am not sure what the second attorney is going to do but I can’t take a chance waiting it out. So after eight years here, I am out of a job.

My question is, how do people job search these days? I found my current job from an ad in the local newspaper, but I am guessing that’s not a very ambitious way of achieving a successful result, but I will check the Sunday paper.

Is still relevant? My husband is doubtful that it is. There is a placement agency I’ve used before and likely will again.

I don’t even know where to start. Help?

Don’t those attorneys know other attorneys? Word of mouth should be your first approach in this situation. I don’t know if anything online works well but after checking for personal connections you may as well try the placement agency.

I am reaching out to former co-workers, but it’s not generally known in the city (Madison, WI) what’s going on, so I have to be careful. People know about the one partner’s retiring because he’s been talking about it for over a year. There are a couple of people I could mention it to in confidence and I have already e-mailed a former supervisor who is still at the firm where we worked together. I just sent that a few minutes ago so I haven’t heard back.

I am suffering a lot of anxiety. And sadness. I love this job. :frowning:

No need to tell people why you’re leaving. If you are looking for another law job, your state/local bar associations will generally have classifieds.

I never even thought of that! Thanks!

Use your contacts as much as you feel you can but I recommend contacting the placement agency you worked with in the past and as many others as you can find that deal in legal agencies in your area.

In addition I would suggest posting your resume on Monster, you’re unlikely to directly get a job from that but those same agencies gather candidates from Monster and Linkedin.

Good luck in your job hunt.

No problem! You might want to search for law office recruiting agencies in your area too. There are quite a few around here, so I assume there are plenty in other largish cities like Madison. They get paid by the hiring firm(s), not you, so you don’t have to pay them or anything.

I’m assuming you’re a paralegal or legal assistant?

I’m a paralegal. I recommend looking at the State Bar website and ads in the local newspaper. I’ve never found Monster to be very helpful, as there’s too much to sift through. I’ve never found a job through Craigslist, but they should have legal support jobs in your area as well.

It shouldn’t be too hard in a city like Madison where there are plenty of law firms and government offices. I would absolutely ask the attorneys you currently work for to spread the word that you’re looking.

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, it’s probably a good idea to create one. Many employers will look at it during the hiring process. At the very least it will help you network with other legal professionals and you can start building some online recommendations.

Second the LinkedIn recommendation. If I was interviewing you I’d google you first.

I first look to

I’ve heard that is a good niche website.

Sahara Tee, yes, Legal Assistant/Paralegal/whatever for a grand total of 17 years, 14 of them continuously.

I will definitely try In fact I just plugged in the position sought and location and it coughed up a ton of jobs. That’s very exciting!

As for LinkedIn, I had begun a profile but gave it up before finishing. I will try that and posting my resume on Monster.

Thanks everyone. I am feeling better than I was an hour ago. But now I need to get back to work. But keep tossing ideas out!

I haven’t been in the workforce for about six years now, but I found two different jobs through a headhunting business. As you said, it costs you nothing, and they are aggressive about finding you a position, as that’s what pays their salaries. Both the jobs they found me were at the upper end of the pay range for those positions.

The #1 thing attorneys look for in a paralegal/legal assistant is experience. They don’t want to spend their time explaining how the court system works, how to file a pleading or what a “motion” is. The fact that you have 17 years of experience is a huge advantage - be sure to emphasize that when you’re interviewing.

My gut tells me you won’t have much trouble finding a job. Good luck!


Walk right up to the boss, give him a firm handshake, look him in the eyes, and say “I’m your man”
that shows gumption

The OP is a woman, so it’s more likely to show inebriation.

PSXer and RNATB, you guys gave me my first smile of the day. :slight_smile:

Regarding the experience thing - I hadn’t thought of that, but I WAS a little worried about the age thing. I know, it’s discrimination and illegal and all . . .

Gawd, I was hoping to retire with this job, no plans on leaving EVER! :mad:

Good luck!

I’d probably start by giving all the legal placement firms in your area a call - I’ve had generally good luck using them in the past (even though my current job was a craigslist listing). And make sure you contact them all - they don’t all have the same listings, since often law firms have relationships with specific placement firms. They’ll ask you to keep a list of the places where you’ve interviewed or sent a resume, but that’s a sensible thing for you to do anyway :slight_smile: I’ve never had a placement firm give me the side eye for working with multiple firms at the same time. Mostly, they are aware that they only get paid if they’re the ones to find me a job - and they want to maintain their relationship with me as well - because I might be in the market in a few years and they want the chance to earn the next placement fee.*

Experience is king for legal assistants and paralegals, as long as you’re not right at retirement age. Especially local jurisdiction experience. At least half the jobs I looked at last time I was in the market (last spring) wouldn’t even consider someone without 3 - 5 years of local experience.

*Edited to add: Paid by the company hiring me, not by me. Reputable placement firms get paid by the law firm who hires someone they send, not by the prospective employee (at least in the legal field).

To everyone recommending placement agencies, the one I’ve used several times is probably the highest rated and most respected in town. Ironically I was contacted by them as a reference for someone I used to work with. When he asked what my profession was, I told him legal assistant. He became Very Interested at that point. So I will definitely be contacting them. It’s beneficial for me and a time saver because I have several criteria in terms of location, pay, etc. Plus it’s only a block or two from my current place so I could talk to them on my lunch hour.

I also plan on looking at craigslist.

Thanks all. Feeling much more positive today.