Today’s senior-level and mid-level attorneys entered the legal profession at a challenging time.
Some landed attorney positions with law firms and are now contemplating whether to continue in a private law firm setting, to move in-house, or to consider other career options. Some have mid-range and long-range goals of moving up the law firm or corporate ladder. They’d like to obtain equity partnership, c-suite executive roles, or other leadership positions — like chief legal officer or general counsel — and wonder how to maximize the next five to fifteen years to increase their chances of success.
But many mid-level attorneys graduated at the start of the Great Recession, in 2008 and 2009, when the legal sector was swiftly, and painfully, contracting. Others entered law school hoping to wait out the Great Recession, and the ranks of law school students swelled. However, the contracted legal market was waiting for them upon graduation. They went to law school with dreams of being practicing lawyers, but after graduation found themselves in a buyers’ market that resulted in under-employment, feeling trapped in contract work or e-discovery projects, and derailed career dreams.
If you’re a mid-level lawyer, then you’ve gotten your feet wet and you’ve had the chance to experience the practice of law a bit. If you’re a senior-level lawyer, you may have already practiced law in a variety of settings. Either way, you may have some sense of where you’d like your career to go or, at least, where you don’t want your career to go.
Through Bryce Legal, you have access to free resources — including hundreds of blog posts — on the hiring trends, job search tips, career development information specifically related to the legal sector. Or you can purchase resume writing and career development books. You can even work one-on-one with Shauna C. Bryce, Esq. or with one of her personally vetted referral partners.
Why Work with Shauna?
Senior and mid-level attorneys are faced with a tremendous variety of potential course corrections, repositionings, and adjustments…
- A law firm senior associate wants to move in-house. He’s confident he knows all the technical legal issues he’ll face. But even so, corporate legal departments have different needs than law firms. How can he position himself as a lawyer who understands the special demands of in-house counsel, including working within the greater corporate culture? How can he make himself an attractive candidate for employers in his target sector?
- An insurance defense litigator never wanted to practice insurance defense law. He had tremendous law school debt, and high volume insurance defense work was his only option for an attorney position when he graduated. He felt he had no choice but to take the job. But, after five years, the work is grueling and he wants to leave. How can he broaden out his experience and appeal for other types of legal work?
- A foreign-born, foreign-trained lawyer has nine years of top notch legal experience in France and Russia, but she is new to the U.S. market. How can she translate her education and experience for U.S. employers? How can she get proper credit at a law firm or multinational for her prior work experience and transferrable skills? What opportunities are open to her as she gets admitted to practice here?
- A contract attorney has been doing document review and e-discovery projects for three years. He’s done feeling stuck and is determined to embrace this growing area of law and litigation management. How can he turn his e-discovery experience into an asset and a career at a law firm, multinational company, or e-discovery / information governance vendor? What about pursuing compliance roles in data security, data privacy, and user privacy? What additional certifications might add value to his resume?
- A healthcare lawyer is re-entering the law after a six-year hiatus for family reasons. She’s afraid her legal career is over and worries that she’s done nothing during that team that employers would value. How can she demonstrate to employers that she’s committee to re-entry and that her knowledge and skills are current? How can she explain her hiatus on her resume in a way makes sense to employers, but that also protects her privacy?
*Samples are composites designed to protect the identities of individual clients.
In many cases, senior-level and mid-level attorneys haven’t adjusted their resume format to reflect their skill set, the current market, or their career goals. Instead, they’ve simply tacked onto their standardized law student resume — a format that didn’t serve them well as law students, and does an even worse job presenting them as top notch, experienced legal talent. They need assistance thinking through what they offer and to whom, as well as a career portfolio that better showcases their strengths.
That’s when they turn to Shauna, a nationally recognized expert and author whose career development and transition clients have worked in some of the world’s top companies and law firms, as well as in smaller law firms and the public sector. Her clients have been in diverse practice areas and industries, and many with unusual circumstances, such as periods of unemployment or underemployment, multiple degrees, multiple employers (or conversely, long tenures at a single employer), transitions out of law firms, transitions from contract employment and e-discovery into full-time roles, changing practice areas or geography, and more.
With twenty years in law and legal hiring, Shauna has also appeared in articles or programming for Forbes, CNN / Money, U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg Law, the American Bar Association (ABA), National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the Harvard Club of Washington, DC, Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School (Penn Law), Military Spouse JD Network (MSJDN), the National Career Development Association (NCDA), the National Resume Writers’ Association (The NRWA), and many other organizations.
She’s partnered with a wide variety of lawyers:
- Practice Areas: Traditional practice areas like corporate law or transactions, criminal law, civil litigation, real estate, or general practice. Growing or emerging areas like anti-corruption, e-commerce, data security, and information governance. Highly technical legal areas like securities, intellectual property and patent law, gaming, federal procurement, real estate finance, and environmental remediation. Quasi-legal or law-related areas like compliance, organizational governance, intellectual property portfolio management, government relations, community outreach, and legislative advocacy.
- Employers and Industries: Law firms of all sizes and geographical reach, from Big Law to sole practitioners. Multinational, national, and regional companies. Publicly and privately held companies. Global and local nonprofits. Investment banks and other financial services institutions. Utilities. Federal, state, and local government. Academia. Scientific and high tech industries. Defense contractors and heavy manufacturers. Fortune 50 leaders or start-ups, and more.
- Atypical or Unique Situations: JD/MBAs, JD/MPAs, JD/MAs, LLMs, and others with multiple degrees or licenses. Second-career lawyers. Lawyers returning to the workforce or to the practice of law. Lawyers transitioning practice areas. Military lawyers transitioning to civilian practice. Military spouses. Non-linear career paths. Foreign-educated and foreign-trained lawyers. Other highly individualized situations.
Career Coaching for Senior and Mid-Level Attorneys
You can work with Shauna on action-oriented coaching to reach your short and long-term goals, including the job search, finding unadvertised opportunities (“the hidden job market”), networking, interviewing, social media, transitioning practice areas or geography, return to law practice, establishing yourself as a thought-leader, and other career building issues.
Shauna provides two coaching options:
Resume Writing for Senior and Mid-Level Attorneys
Shauna provides efficiency package pricing for senior and mid-level lawyers. This package includes:
- Custom master legal resume: Our collaborative resume writing process focuses on marketing you to employers most likely to value the talents and skills you offer.
- Custom master cover letter: Your cover letter is a critical part of your legal job search. Your cover letter should say more than “enclosed is my resume.” It’s an opportunity to show motivation, a compelling personal story, and more. A cover letter is also a chance to present your strengths and affirmatively address perceived weaknesses.
- LinkedIn® profile: Do lawyers really need LinkedIn®? Yes. Love it or hate it, LinkedIn® is a top tool for hiring personnel. Some recruiters report spending 4 to 5 hours each day on LinkedIn® scouting top candidates. Likewise, employers use LinkedIn® to vet job applicants — even before initial interviews. It’s also an important tool for professional networking.
- One-on-one coaching: You set our agenda. Many attorneys have questions about conducting a job search, building a professional network, interviewing, deciding on a career path, and preparing for leadership roles.
|Work with Shauna: Senior and Mid-Level Career Package||Traditional Senior and Mid-Level Attorneys
||Non-Traditional Senior and Mid-Level Attorneys
|Your years of relevant (including non-legal) experience||~ 3 to 10
(Some non-executive, non-management track lawyers with more than 10 years experience may also qualify under this general pricing menu.)
|Packages and pricing adjusted for individual needs|
|Master resume||Typically 2 pages, targeted for your career goals||?|
|Master cover letter
||Typically 1 page, targeted for your career goals||?|
|LinkedIn profile||Full design, plus a copy of Shauna’s book, LinkedIn® For Lawyers And Law Students: Profiles, Job Search, Networking, Ethics, And Etiquette||?|
|Client interview call
||120-min in-depth interview and strategies with Shauna||?|
|Typical time for Shauna to plan, design, write, and edit your master suite of career documents||up to 10 hours||?|
|Rounds of editing||2||?|
|Follow up call||60-min call with Shauna||?|
Your individual pricing is determined by the complexity of your individual project.
|Resume + Cover Letter + LinkedIn Profile = $2,200 to $3,200
Resume + Cover Letter + LinkedIn Profile + 3 One-on-One Coaching Sessions (60 min each) = add $700 to base package price
* Don’t want all that? Try a Resume Cram instead.
* Want a referral instead? No problem. Get introduced to a referral partner.
|Prices vary widely depending upon individual circumstances|
|Other writing services like leadership biography or deal sheet
May be eligible for efficiency pricing when purchased at the same time as your package.
May be eligible for efficiency pricing when purchased at the same time as your package.
|Additional coaching||Priced separately
May be eligible for efficiency pricing when purchased at the same time as your resume.
May be eligible for efficiency pricing when purchased at the same time as your resume.
Resume Writing Process for Senior and Mid-Level Lawyers
Shauna’s process is hands-on and intensive, using insight earned through her years in the law, legal hiring, and legal careers industries. All services and consultations are provided remotely, allowing Shauna to work easily with clients around the country and the world. For some, the process can be finished in as little as ~ 14 business days from the Client Interview.
Step 1: Orientation
Shauna or her assistant will call you to discuss your goals, needs, timing, and pricing, as well as to give you an overview of how it all works so that you can decide whether Shauna is a good fit for your needs. Usually there’s at least a two-week wait for new clients to start their writing projects, so if time is an issue, please be sure to mention it when we contact you. As mentioned in Shauna’s answers to Top 10 Questions, rush writing services are not available for new clients. However, we have a growing list of do-it-yourself options, including How To Get A Legal Job® (scroll down), which can be helpful when time and cost are concerns. Click here to contact us for your orientation and individual pricing.
Step 2: Client Interview
As a courtesy to other clients, an initial payment of $500 is required before time can be reserved for your project on Shauna’s calendar. After the initial payment is received, you’ll get information on homework (not a questionnaire) to collect prior to your interview. We will work with you to develop a Project Timeline so that you know when your full payment for custom services and your homework are due, as well as when to expect your new master documents. Your interview will be an in-depth writing and strategy call that’s also great preparation for job interviews!
Step 3: Master Document Creation
It usually takes up to 10 business days after your Client Interview for Shauna to plan, design, and write your master resume, master cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. When it’s ready, she’ll provide them to you as a Microsoft Word doc and as a .pdf. Again, your resume and cover letter will be masters — by definition, they may need to be adjusted to mirror the needs specific employers and opportunities as you launch the job search process. Shauna provides post-project tips to help you do this.
Step 4: Document Review, Edits, and Follow Up
Many clients don’t request changes, but even so you’ll have a follow up call along with opportunity for editing or simply to ask questions about launching your job search. Conferences and changes beyond what’s quoted in your project proposal / invoice are available at an hourly rate. And because our collaboration works best when there is momentum and continuity of thought, changes requested after 30 days from initial document delivery may be subject to additional charge. Your Project Timeline will have all these deadlines listed. Check out the Terms & Conditions for even more information.
Step 5: Strategic Coaching to Launch Your Legal Career
Your package may also include one-on-one coaching with Shauna. Click here to see some of the most common coaching topics.
Additional Documents and Services
Writing sample selection and preparation and other services are priced and scheduled separately, and of course require more time to complete. However, sometimes when other career documents are purchased at the same time as the resume, Shauna can structure the combined project more efficiently than if they were purchased and developed as separate projects. She passes the resulting savings to you in the form of efficiency pricing.
Work with a Referral Partner Instead
If working one-on-one with Shauna isn’t for you, but you’d still like to work with an expert rather take on DIY options, then you may want to work with her a network of professional resume writers and career coaches. These referral partners are experienced resume writers and career coaches — often former practicing lawyers themselves — who can help you advance your legal career or, including making mid-course corrections.
DIY Resume and Career Resources for Senior and Mid-Level Attorneys
You can also work on your own, at your own pace, using the How To Get A Legal Job® resources, which have been highly recommended by hiring attorneys across sectors.
The increased visibility and creditability of a great LinkedIn® profile can lead to job opportunities, professional connections, and an edge in the hiring process. LinkedIn® For Lawyers And Law Students is an in-depth resource that explains the theory behind an outstanding LinkedIn® profile and gives you step-by-step instructions to implement that theory in real life situations. LinkedIn® For Lawyers And Law Students also helps rising attorneys avoid pitfalls that can derail their careers, and set themselves for success both in the job search and for the long haul.
Your references must confirm to hiring attorneys or the hiring director that you’ll be a great hire — in other words, that you can and will do the work the new employer needs you to do, you’ll fit in and prosper, and you’ll stay in the position long enough for their investment in you to pay off. Reference Checks, Reference Pages, And Letters Of Recommendation explains how and why employers ask for your references so you can prepare for the reference check as well as ensure your references can help you move from job interview to job offer.
What options do you have for the next stage in your career? The JDA Job Description Analysis helps people from all walks of life evaluate and set realistic next steps in their careers — mapping the intersection between where they’ve been and where they want to go.
DIY Resume and Career Resources for Mid-Level and Entry-Level Attorneys
Each step of the hiring process is designed to make sure you’re worthy of a law firm or other employer’s significant investment. When it comes to hiring you, those employers want you to demonstrate though your writing sample that you can: use deductive logic; organize your thoughts; write cleanly and clearly; explain legal issues concisely; understand the law and apply to a specific set of facts; and argue your position with efficacy and credibility. Writing Samples is a thorough, yet concise book that explains how to choose and prepare your writing sample for maximum impact.
Did you know networking is the most successful way to find your next position, find career building opportunities, start building a client base, and more? Networking Cards is a concise resource that explains the theory behind effective networking cards and gives you step-by-step instructions to implement that theory in real life situations. They can be powerful tools to help attorneys identify their unique value proposition, self-market, and network in-person.
Other Recommended Resources for Senior and Mid-Level Attorneys
Branding & Networking: Rapid-fire career development strategies to help you reach the top, Shauna’s article with Jared Redick for the National Association of Women Lawyers’ (NAWL) Women Lawyers Journal (WLJ)
Eight Reasons Why Lawyers Resist Effective Networking — How to Show Your True Value, Shauna’s interview at Lexis Hub
Resume Security: Safeguard Your Contact Information, Shauna’s interview with Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert, Monster.com