What’s Your Employment Status?

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 hellerdrone@gmail.com, especially if you would consider giving an interview to one of the reporters who have contacted me.

Over and out

Heller Drone
Cruise Director


6 Responses to “What’s Your Employment Status?”

  1. 1 Former Associate 3 December 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I am a currently unemployed former senior litigation associate. I’m finding that no big firms are hiring laterals right now at virtually any seniority level. And smaller firms generally will consider laterals only if they have business to bring with them (which I don’t, having served some of Heller’s largest institutional clients). I fear the period between Thanksgiving and New Years will be even slower than the previous period (as if that were even possible). I hope for a speedy recovery in early ’09 (but would take one sooner, if it came!). Good luck to everyone.

  2. 2 Mr. Jones 5 December 2008 at 10:47 am

    I got almost zero response until just before December, then three interviews. Maybe things are picking up? (I’m a technology trainer.)

  3. 3 GottaHaveFriends 5 December 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I’m a Corporate Legal Secretary. I have more than 70 resumes out there, and very very little response. The two legal firms that interviewed me, one hired someone else, and the other went into reviews, resulting in my not being called back in to meet with the hiring supervisor. I had one other interview outside of law which resulted in someone else being hired as well. Most of the jobs I am finding to even send my resume to pay about half of what I was earning. It’s very depressing, but I am doing everything right and I hope there will be a job that will come at some point.

  4. 4 To Heller And Back 5 December 2008 at 6:00 pm

    I found an even better and higher-paying job. I did not “send out resumes.” I proactively networked, researched, and tracked down a specific open position. Then I made some friendly-but-professional phone calls to the persons of influence to the position. Once I garnered their interest, only then did I compose a resume, which was by then just a formality to secure interviews.

    Employers get bombarded with faceless resumes. You have to be creative and show them initiative to stand out. Reach out to them; don’t expect them to find you.

  5. 5 anon2 6 December 2008 at 2:25 am

    To Heller and Back

    I’m interested to know what specialty you work in – IT? Attorney? Legal Secretary? (not likely). Also what city are you in?

  6. 6 Derner 9 December 2008 at 2:38 pm

    There’s nothing out there right now for me unless I take a position with a lower title and salary, so I’ve started my own consulting company.

    I’m lucky in that my skills are well suited to consulting work. I build Web applications. I have already found four new clients, including two in the legal services industry. I’m actually earning more now than I did at Heller, although I’m finding myself working crazy hours. (The taxes for self-employment are higher too, and I have to pay for my own health insurance, but that’s the trade off.)

    At least I get to work out of my house, with my cat stretched across my lap.

    I feel like I’m in a pretty good place right now. I hope that everyone else lands safely.

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