Avenue Blog

New Book: “Becoming a Rural Lawyer” (now available on Amazon)

This month, LawyerAvenue Press published Bruce Cameron’s Becoming a Rural Lawyer: A Personal Guide to Establishing a Rural Practice. Cameron, one of Minnesota’s top law bloggers (www.Rurallawyer.com), is a rural solo and a leading observer of practicing law in rural America. In this insightful guide — the newest and most informative on establishing a small town practice — the author helps readers decide if they’re meant to be a small town lawyer and where, among 128,000 small towns, one’s legal career might reach new levels of satisfaction and meaning. In addition, Becoming a Rural Lawyer can help you find the right small town to establish your practice … the 8 myths of practicing rural/small town law … the 5 emerging “hot” areas of rural practice … learn what new lawyers must do to prepare for a rural legal practice … and more.

New Book: “How to Litigate” (now available at Amazon and on YouTube)

This month, LawyerAvenue Press published Martin Grayson’s How to Litigate: The Crash Course for Trial Counsel. It follows his highly acclaimed earlier work, The View From the First Chair. In addition, we produced a new series of short, video tutorials based on Grayson’s new book. Available on YouTube, the 10-episode series — called How to Litigate — offers Grayson’s insights on everything from Depositions and courtroom bullies to the Verdict. Both the book and the videos offer fresh insight into the litigation process and the art of the lawsuit, offering a perspective that isn’t taught in law school, and giving new associates (and law students) a better sense of trial preparation and the psychology of a trial lawyer.

New Book for 3L’s & New Lawyers Offers Fresh Ideas (and Hope) on How and Where to Find Law Jobs

LawyerAvenue Press is proud to announce the publication of our newest title: From Lemons to Lemonade in the New Legal Job: Winning Job Search Strategies for Entry-Level Attorneys, by Richard Hermann.

Published in January, it’s one of the fastest selling titles on the law school circuit, and this week the book received one of its strongest endorsement from the folks at www.TheGirlsGuidetoLawSchool.com. Here’s a partial review:

” … Have you ever sat next to a stranger at a dinner party who seemed to know EVERYTHING about a particular topic, and could generate all kinds of great ideas seemingly off the top of his head? Well, Richard Hermann, the author of the new book, From Lemons to Lemonade in the New Legal Job Market is probably one of those people. He’s got tons of ideas for law students and recent graduates looking for that first legal job — it’s almost overwhelming how many, in fact!

From Lemons to Lemonade starts by talking in detail about the “untapped legal job market,” which includes things such as JD-preferred jobs, “hidden” jobs that aren’t necessarily advertised but can be uncovered with some due diligence, and less commonly considered options, including small town lawyering and teaching outside of law schools. This section is almost 90 pages, so it’s the rare job seeker who won’t come away with some new ideas about where to look.

From there, Hermann moves into the nuts and bolts of a job search: understanding what a potential employer’s looking for, dissecting a job ad and figuring out if it make sense to apply, and avoiding common mistakes. He then moves into tactics that are useful for relatively inexperienced job applicants: ways to inexpensively enhance your credentials, how to differentiate yourself from the competition, and suggestions for emphasizing the positive aspects of your application while downplaying negative aspects (for example, a lack of experience!).

Finally, From Lemons to Lemonade contains a truly useful set of appendices (alone worth the price of the book), with lists of legal networking organizations, credential-building programs, options for JD-related work, and specialized legal job-hunting resources.

Hermann tells it like it is, and some of his advice might be difficult to accept initially. If, however, [your students] are open to advice, and willing to put in the necessary time to execute steps that require actual research and effort, I think it’s the rare legal job seeker who won’t find something useful and enlightening in From Lemons to Lemonade.”

Lemons to Lemonade is available here at LawyerAvenue Press and at www.Amazon.com.

Two New Books for the Solo Practitioner

LawyerAvenue Press is proud to announce the publication of Carolyn Elefant’s new, two-book set for the solo practitioner:

Solo by Choice 2011/2012:, How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be
Solo by Choice, The Companion Guide: 34 Questions That Could Transform Your Legal Career

Now in a 2nd edition, Solo by Choice 2011/2012 is widely considered THE most up-to-date resource for solo and small firm lawyers. Written by noted law blogger and Washington DC solo Carolyn Elefant, this is a comprehensive, hands-on guide to opening and maintaining your own law practice. In just four years, Elefant’s book is regularly among Amazon’s Top 10 legal titles, and has become the go-to resource for bar associations and practice management advisers … and for thousands of ex-partners, ex-associates, and law grads who want to be their own boss.

At the same time, LawyerAvenue introduced Elefant’s companion title: Solo by Choice, The Companion Guide. What better way to learn about solo law practice than hearing from solos themselves … in their own words. In this book, Elefant turns to dozens of successful solos – solos by choice — to answer 34 key questions about how to start and maintain a solo or small firm practice. This unique collection of tips, personal insights, and first-hand lessons is a helpful desk resource.

To order, click on Bookstore on this page. We offer free shipping, too.

Replica of Historic Presidential Rug Now Available at LawyerAvenue

As we move closer to the Presidential election, LawyerAvenue is proud to make available a handmade replica of the historic Presidential rug emblazoned with the Great Seal of the United States.

This gorgeous, five-foot circular rug – as seen in the Oval Office of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations — is hand-dyed and hand-woven with 100% New Zealand wool. It’s extremely durable with vivid colors; a Navy blue background, with gold and red threads and a tan border. The famous seal depicts the American bald eagle clutching a banner reading E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), and in whose talons are the olive branch of peace and 13 arrows representing the 13 original states. This is a DISTINGUISHED, one-of-a-kind gift for any lawyer’s home or office (and just imagine the impact it will have on new clients entering your office).

Only $595 AND we’ll ship it for FREE.
To order now click here to get connected with our Avenue Shops

David Behrend’s LawCareer Q&A

Q: I failed my state bar exam. Will I be fired from the law firm where I work?

A: Failing the bar once, even more than once, is demoralizing and depressing. But it happens, and, yes, it happens to graduates of Ivy League and Tier One schools. Most BigLaw firms will hand out a ‘Get Out Of Jail’ card for failing the bar if they really think it was a mistake that you failed the first time. In my experience, though, some graduates in your position may have to take time off from the firm to concentrate fully on passing the bar exam. But if you have been with your firm for, say, a year or more, and still do not pass the bar, I recommend leaving the firm, and doing contract work — maybe non-litigation work — or sell your BigLaw experience to a mid-size or smaller firm.

David E. Behrend, M.ED., director, Career Planning Services For Lawyers

David Behrend’s LawCareer Q&A

Q: Are law firms making hiring decisions now based on more than traditional interviews and GPA?

A. Yes. At least one BigLaw firm (McKenna, Long and Aldridge) has gone “corporate” to make sure they make the right hiring decisions. Soon after the recession hit in 2007, the firm’s hiring committee identified the factors and characteristic of someone who would succeed at their firm. The defining element was one’s attitude toward teamwork. Now, in addition to the traditional job interview, the firm administers a 30-minute Myers-Briggs-type test to help interviewers ask more probing questions. For example, what teams has the candidate been part of … what was their particular role … what specifically did the candidate do to develop productive relationships with their team members? This new corporate approach is the experience of just one law firm. But others, too, are taking new steps to learn how candidates feel about collaborating: whether they took leadership roles; whether they avoided being part of teams in the past; whether they built rapport with others. As firms begin adding head-count again, they want to be sure that new-hires fit into their work culture.

David E. Behrend, M.ED., director, Career Planning Services For Lawyers

David Behrend’s LawCareer Q&A

Q: I am a non-equity partner/senior associate in a mid-size firm. I’ve always done respectable work, but I’ve never been good at business development. I’m concerned that I am at risk of getting pushed out to make room for a younger, less-experienced lawyer at the firm. How concerned should I be?

A: In the current firm environment, you have every reason to be concerned. Although you have done respectable work as a non equity partner/senior associate, the fact that you haven’t developed … or perhaps been encouraged to develop … new business could put your position in jeopardy. You need to meet with the managing partner or partner in charge of your practice area to determine where they see you in this changing business environment. Also, since you have not brought in new clientele, you might want to consider a position in government, or in-house, or with a non profit institution organization.

David E. Behrend, M.ED., director, Career Planning Services For Lawyers

David Behrend’s LawCareer Q&A

Q: I make a good, six-figure income as a 4th year BigLaw associate, but I’m putting in sweat-shop hours … 2300/year. I’d like to move on when I’m able to pay off my school loans next year. But does it make sense to leave the firm … and all that goes with it … both good and bad?

A: This is tough one. Only you can decide whether a six-figure income is an appropriate trade-off for working 2300 hours to maintain your standing. Or whether the demands are so great that you would be better off applying your skills in a less demanding environment whenever you can pay off your loans. If your aim is to become a partner there in a few years, then do consult with the head of your practice area to determine if it is worth staying put. You do recognize that only a small percentage of partners ultimately become equity partners in the firm?

– David E. Behrend, M.ED., Director, Career Planning Services For Lawyers,

David Behrend’s LawCareer Q&A

Q: I graduate this year. But with my grades/class standing, I’m not sure I can get a position in major or mid-size firm. What are my options in this economy?

A: Give serious thought to a position at a small firm, preferably in a non-major city. Once hired, you probably will get as much — if not more — of the client skills that your classmates get at a BigLaw firm. At this stage, your primary goal should be to build on your early experience and knowledge, recognizing that you will most likely move on. So, unless you already know what practice area you want (IP, personal injury, municipal law, etc.), I recommend working with a small firm where you have a generalist opportunity that can enhance your career.

– David E. Behrend, M.ED., Director, Career Planning Services For Lawyers, www.lawcareercounseling.com