Shauna answers the most frequently asked questions from new clients…
Whom do you help?
In addition to providing group training and services to law schools, bar associations, legal employers, and other organizations, I work individually with lawyers of all levels and in all practice areas:
- Executive-level lawyers and emerging leaders
- Senior-level and mid-level attorneys
- Entry-level lawyers (junior attorneys, new lawyers, and law students)
Successful one-on-one clients understand they must be drivers of their own success. They have to put in the time and effort — during and after our collaboration. I can give tools and techniques to be successful, but they must use them; I can’t do it for them.
If you want to shift into an executive role (like CEO or COO), if you’re considering leaving the law, if you’re a legal professional who is not in an attorney role, or if you are an aspiring law school student, then I can help you find a resume writer or career coach to help you.
Who are you anyway? What do you know about the challenges lawyers face?
With 20 years in law practice, legal hiring, and legal careers, I know the legal industry.
I earned my JD from Harvard Law School (my BA is from Johns Hopkins), then practiced in a Global 100/Am Law 100 firm, an Am Law 200 firm, and in-house. I also served on a law firm hiring committee.
Now, I exclusively help lawyers with their career paths. In doing so, I wear multiple hats: resume writer, job search coach, career development coach, author, columnist, blogger, speaker, trainer, and executive board member for nonprofits devoted to best practices for career professionals.
Over the years, I’ve become a nationally recognized expert on career strategies for lawyers. I’ve researched, written, and taught on legal resumes and other job search documents. My advice column, Ask the Hiring Attorney®, has been hosted by Bloomberg Law since 2012 and is a key part of their outreach to the more than 200 accredited law schools in U.S. It’s now in reprint with the American Bar Association.
To assist my clients, I regularly study and analyze issues like trends in hiring and salaries, lawyer satisfaction, networking, social media, and interviewing techniques and preparation. Another way I track current trends is through regular discussions with other career industry experts, hiring attorneys from both public and private sectors, and legal and executive recruiters.
How do you help?
Using proven strategies adapted to our changing times, I help lawyers find — and seize — job and career development opportunities. Additionally, I provide tools to be successful and teach clients how to use them. Primarily, these tools are strategic coaching, legal resume writing, cover letters and other career documents, and LinkedIn® profiles and training.
Over the years, I’ve developed relationships with legal recruiters and executive recruiters (both retained and contingency), and they have referred top candidates to me so that we can create a suite of career documents that empowers recruiters to advocate for those lawyers. Recruiters have also contacted me to let me know of their openings so I can refer clients to them. However, Bryce Legal® is a career portfolio writing, career coaching, and career development firm, not a legal recruiting firm or a legal search firm. I am not a headhunter and I do not handle lateral attorney placement, in-house attorney placement, or temporary attorney (contract attorney) placement.
Do you give resume critiques or do resume re-writes?
These are two different things. If you’re looking for an expert opinion on your existing resume, then you might be interested in signing up for a resume cram.
I don’t, however, re-write resumes; I write resumes from scratch. A resume is a manifestation of the process used to create it. Our work together will focus on moving your career to where you want it to go, rather than locking you into your current career trajectory.
That means I reserve time for each resume client to go through the resume writing process from start to finish. Clients benefit in many ways. They get:
- A partner in building strategies for successful transitions
- A fresh perspective on themselves, their skills, and their careers
- Practical, actionable plans to move forward
Our in-depth collaboration lets me help clients think through their careers, including re-discovering experiences they hadn’t realized could be relevant to their target employers and so had left off their self-written resumes. We also look at older or transferable skills, re-framing those skills to highlight their relevancy now.
As added bonuses, many clients find the process builds their confidence and prepares them for job interviews!
How long does the resume writing process take?
Creating your master resume can take as little as 14 days from the Resume Interview. However, timetables ultimately depend upon how our schedules come together. Many of my clients ask for more than a resume (LinkedIn® profiles, cover letters, and coaching are the most common additional services), and so I typically work with clients for 4 to 8 weeks, with some clients circling back for interviewing coaching and job success coaching as their transitions more forward.
I usually have 3 to 4 week wait list to start the process because I personally work with each client and personally write each resume. I don’t use subcontractors or outsource client projects. Depending upon the complexity, your master resume can take anywhere from 3 to 15 hours to plan, design, write, edit, and revise — that’s in addition to our consultation time together. Consequently, I don’t offer rush resume writing. (If you’re in a hurry, you may want to consider a resume cram or you may want to consider do-it-yourself options.)
Other writing services I provide — representative matters addenda, deal sheets, leadership biographies, cover letters, reference dossiers, attorney profiles, marketing materials, LinkedIn® profiles, etc. — take additional time and are generally priced separately. Some of these documents may be eligible for efficiency pricing when purchased at the same time as your resume.
How much does a master legal resume cost?
Custom resume writing is an investment in your career and can take many hours of work. Pricing is determined by the complexity of the project — your seniority, years of relevant experience (legal and non-legal), number of positions, job target, etc, all play a role.
I understand cost can be an issue. There are other ways I can help. I provide one-on-one coaching. My How To Get A Legal Job® series and blog let me help on a larger scale. I answer specific questions in my Q&A column, Ask The Hiring Attorney®. And I’ve complied a list of recommended legal career resources.
How about cover letters, bios, and other job search or personal branding documents I might need?
Your resume is the starting point for identifying your value to prospective employers, strengths, perceived weaknesses, and career strategies that may serve you best. Your legal resume is also the foundation for other career documents, social media/online presence, and job search.
I also write cover letters, leadership bios, one-page executive summary resumes, reference pages, letters of recommendation, attorney marketing materials, and more. Other career correspondence, job search documents, and editing are available. Because these documents usually build on the foundation set by the resume, they are in some cases reserved for resume clients only. Of course, if what you want is coaching, then I can provide that too.
Let me know what you need, and we’ll work together to make it happen.
Can you help me with LinkedIn®?
Yes. Like it or not, LinkedIn® is now a critical part of the hiring process. LinkedIn® (like other social media) gives you a free professional online presence you can use as a platform for job searching, careering development, building business, networking, and more.
Best of all, unlike your employer’s website — which is designed to advance your employer’s interests — you can design your LinkedIn® profile to advance your interests:
- Establishing your own professional reputation and network, separate from your current employer
- Searching for other opportunities, without alerting your current employer or colleagues (we call that “stealth job searching”)
- Positioning yourself to be an attractive target of acquisition by recruiters or other employers
What I really need is someone to help me build a strategy to get a job and build my career as a lawyer. Can you help me?
Yes. Strategic coaching is an inherent part of the resume writing process, as well as built into the writing process for lawyer marketing materials and other documents. Additionally, I provide in-depth coaching on a variety of topics as a standalone service.
When hiring a legal resume writer or career coach, does “fit” matter?
In most cases, yes. Over the years, I’ve learned fit is a combination of two things: technical expertise and work style.
My process is collaborative and built on trust. It can be intense and personal, and some of my client relationships last for years. While many incoming clients find me through a simple internet search, a significant percentage of new projects are referrals by current or past clients, referrals by career/hiring experts, or returning clients making another career transition.
However, I’m not the best resume writer or best career coach for every person. Rather, I work most effectively with certain types of clients: who understand their job search or career development plan cannot be successful unless they drive the progress, who value expertise and a finely tuned process, who are looking for practical solutions and tools rather than silver bullets (how I wish there were some!), and who are ready to move forward.
I’ve invested so much time providing tons of information on this site because we attorneys are — by nature and by training — risk adverse. I want to you to know what to expect if we work together. I encourage due diligence before hiring me and I encourage you to ask questions during your Orientation so you can be confident I’m a good fit for you.
Alternatively, I can introduce you to a referral partner who might better be able to assist.
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