Published 6 May 2009
Open forum time here – are you still unemployed? Or are you underemployed? Now that the deadline has passed for Proof of Claim filing, many of your fellow ex-Hellerites want to know who’s working and who’s not.
Also, as you weigh in on the comments, let us know where you are working, what you are up to or if you are not working, if you need any help.
Over and out,
Heller Drone, your cruise director
If you haven’t yet read the article about unemployed Heller and Thelen attorneys in The National Law Journal, here’s a real gem from an anonymous member of the Dissolution Committee:
A member of Heller’s dissolution committee, who requested anonymity, confirmed that about 300 people, including lawyers and staff, remain on the job market. “These are really tough times, and we hope that people are landing on their feet. We know some people haven’t. We know that’s a tragedy, but that’s the best we can do.”
Really? Is that the best you can do is offer hope? And exactly what kind of hope are you offering?
This shareholder has the utter gall to make a statement like that while he/she and 85% of the other attorneys have made some form of safe landing. In my heart I truly believe a special place in Hell is being set aside for this person and the other players in this “tragedy.”
The holidays seasons must look bright and merry when you are looking down. I can tell you personally that they don’t look so good when you are looking up.
So, you’ve been out of work for six weeks, and let’s say you start to think: I am doing enough?
Such introspection and self-doubt is normal when you’ve been thrown overboard and trying to find your way to dry land like many of us. But if you haven’t been in the job market within the past 2-3 years, you may not realize all the resources available to you for networking.
Yes – I said 2-3 years. Let’s take 2005 as the last time you went through the job search process. You had your resume, you were smart to have one that kept formatting to a minimum knowing it would be scanned and analyzed on a computer, you utilized Craigslist, Monster, HotJobs – you had all the bases covered.
Fast forward 3 years and what has changed? The blog The Legal Watercooler has a great post entitled You Updated Your Resume . . . Now What?? in which many of the latest networking tools are discussed. While I already knew many of these sites and tools, even I picked up some valuable pointers. Ask yourself these questions:
Am I using social media to the max?
Are my profiles on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn up-to-date?
Do I need a blog?
See more at Heather’s great post over at The Legal Watercooler. And if you have any more suggestions for your fellow ex-Hellerites, post them in the comments.
Earlier today, a colleague emailed us and said that, according to the Dissolution Committee, there are still more than 300 of us – attorneys and staff – who have yet to secure full-time employment.
I can include myself among those numbers and have come to the conclusion that most law firms – as well as most corporations – are just not spending their money budgeted for Q4 2008. I expect and hope that things will pick up with the start of the new year.
I’ve also decided to start my own business – after working for law firms for the past 20 years – which deals with legal technology consulting. My mother always told me that when you are handed lemons, make lemonade – and, if there is leftover lemonade make sure you set up a lemonade stand and start selling it! And so I am. I figure I don’t have much to lose since for years I had been told that full-time positions at law firms were secure and had great security/benefits such as 401k, health care, etc. And look where that’s gotten me.
I want to check in with my colleagues and see what’s going on with your employment status and the job search. Are are finding that law firms just aren’t hiring? Or the positions available are at a salary less than what you were making?
Also, I keep getting inquiries from reporters for major news services – both legal, business and newspaper – for people who would be willing to discuss what it is like right now to be unemployed in this economy and with the holidays coming up.
Let us know via the comments to this post or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you would consider giving an interview to one of the reporters who have contacted me.
Over and out