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That could be exactly why we, a nation of sports addicts, fail to apply the same game planning we observe in, say, football to getting a job, holding a job, landing a promotion on the job, and hustling for a better job. That could even include you future law students who face a downsizing, rapidly changing marketplace for those practicing law.
Instead of developing play books from the get-go in college, we hide from that strategic reality. We distract ourselves with hitting the books, having fun, chasing sex, exploring the inner self, worrying about the future in an abstract way, and having nervous breakdowns.
If that's you, future law student, add to all that or eliminate some of it and focus strategically on what your game plan could be. Experiment in plays.
Me? I have been among those duped by "vocation." I saw my mission as being an effective scribe for those who had message bigs.
When did I shift to a game plan? During The Great Recession. It's now all about making the winning moves
The term "merger" tends to be used broadly and loosely. However, even in its most elastic configuration it couldn't be applied to the kind of combination which has taken place between law firms Kenyon & Kenyon and Andrew Kurth.
As lawyer-journalist, Kathryn Rubino, reports in Abovethelaw, forever it seemed distressed law firm Kenyon & Kenyon has been struggling to find a merger partner. Its lawyer headcount declined to about one-third of what it had been.
The underground buzz had been that it was getting hitched with law firm Andrew Kurth. Even a domain name containing the two brandnames had been discovered.
But, alas, there was no merger. Instead the remaining 55 lawyers at Kenyon & Kenyon did a lateral to Andrew Kurth.
Now we are waiting for leakers to tell how things are going with that kind of combination. What about staff? Will they be declared "redundant?"
The study by the ABA and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation re-confirmed that lawyers have high rates of mental illness and addiction.
But the good news about that is this: Your struggle with those obstacles began after you already did your education and developed a work ethic. Sure, you might not have felt centered and you might have relied on substances before you went to law school and understood the rules of the work world. But you were still able to acquire what you needed to function in a complex economy.
The rooms of recovery and mindfulness groups are filled with those who hadn't completed those developmental tasks. As a result, when they find the right treatment for mental illness and "get clean," they are not marketable.
Frequently, they have two choices. One is to stick with low-level jobs such as receptionist in a small business or a waiter in a mid-range restaurant. The other is to take on the challenge and cost burden of enrolling in college or a certificate program in their 30s and 40s. That's difficult because the odds are against completing the education or training. And success, some posit, is a factor in motivating folks to function despite mental illness and a predisposition to addiction.
I, too, was lucky. My first severe depressive episode didn't happen until I was 25. Already I had an BA and MA, as well as years of working. Alcohol abuse didn't take me over until my mid 30s. Eventually, I was able to operate my own business which allowed me to "work around" my bad days and have euphoric recall about mood-changers.
Rain-making and then piling up lots of billable hours provide job security. At least for a while. Meanwhile, books are having a shorter shelf life.
And the old-line wisdom was that you needed a book as the "price of entry" to become a brandname in your field. It's been a long time since Alan Dershowitz leveraged that strategy.
Sure, a book can be the tipping force from being a comer to established. But, with so many other communications vehicles available, publishing a full-length book is no longer "required" in branding.
Also, it will be listed on Amazon. If it gets lackluster reviews or none at all and plunges quickly to 200,00 on Amazon, yes, that's public shaming. Do you want to risk that.
Not taking the book route is really not new. Activist Michael Moore might still be an unknown had his first big expose been in the form of the a book. Instead he used film.
"Roger and Me" made him. It was later that Moore knocked out books. But he had already established a following.
More recently, now with social media, an Everyman can become a star just by having the ability to get a following on one or more social networks and social media such as blogging. Many of them never did a film. Or published a full-length book. And probably never will. Abovethelaw's Joe Patrice is among them. His is an unique take on legal developments.
For marketing, yes, an e-book might be useful. For example, "What to anticipate about state public nuisance law." But don't get cute and make it 100 pages. Your potential clients will get steamed when they press "print" and use up all that toner for those 100 pages. Do 32 pages, with lots of graphics.
So, I had assumed The Ailes "Thing" was irrelevant to such realities as the marketability of your resume - if you might be shopping it. Maybe that assumption was, is and/or may be wrong in the future.
One former Fox producer told me he took his experience there off his resume. His time at Fox was not that long. So, he figured: Why risk presenting that while members of the media are still exploiting angles of rise, fall, and next of Ailes.
He has received a few good offers in D.C. and one in NYC. Would he have not done so well had he listed the Fox experience?
Anyone having insight about if Fox on your resume is a plus or minus please contact this blog at email@example.com or Twitter @genova_jane.
The New York Metro area can be cruel to aging professionals. That's especially in fields that are glutted, ranging from law to writing.
Finally I embraced that reality and, in April 2014, relocated my communications boutique to Arizona.
At the time, I had no game plan. I was too emotionally broken to think beyond just being able to pay the bills again.
I made the pivot to marketing and advocacy communications. The best part of that shift was that I enjoyed learning new strategies and tactics. Of course, that enthusiasm made my pitching for new business more effective.
Success triggered more success. The realization came to me: I need to leave AZ. If my business is to continue to grow, I have to have in-person access to larger clients. I did the research. No, I didn't have to return to the New York Metro region. Age would still operate against me there.
After about seven months of research, I zeroed in on western Ohio, next to Pennsylvania. I knew the region from going to school and working there. It was as affordable as AZ.
At the top of the list is the routine I love. Sundays were my mindfulness group meetings. Tuesdays and Thursdays were about the fundamentals of Buddhist philosophy. Fridays were films with friends at an independent movie house. Saturdays were day tips to offbeat places like Tombstone, AZ and over-the-border to Mexico.
Next is knowing my way about Tucson. It's not a big city. But it is a city. You can get lost, which I did for a few months. Then I had the satisfaction of mastering the terrain.
And, then there are the moderate winters. Only once were there snowflakes. That lasted about 35 minutes. They dusted my windshield and then that was that. Before I left the East Coast I had given away all the weather-survival equipment such as shovels and windshield scrappers. Also, the dog will need a very heavy coat.
To ease the emotional upheaval, I am framing the cross-country journey as a kind of vacation. That's why I added on a few days to travel. But, still, leaving AZ is among the hardest decisions I have made. This part of the nation had been good to me.
Leaving New York doesn't necessarily mean leaving behind the best shot at success. What our best shot is usually changes with age.
The $180K Cravath Bump created sustained euphoria in some parts of the legal sector. It might have also encouraged some college seniors to prepare for the LSAT - and if they scored well apply to law school.
But that in itself could be one of the factors triggering possible coming layoffs in 2016, including of partners, not only associates. At American Law Daily, Julie Triedman reports that analyst Jeffrey Grossman of Wells Fargo Private Bank found declining demand and increasing expenses at large law firms. The uptick in revenue was mostly due to increasing fees.
Average hours on an annualized basis at top-tier law firms are down to 1,723. That's compared to 1,758 in mid 2015.
Usually lawyers do very specialized tasks. Those skills and experience are not easily transferrable to other kinds of career paths. Therefore, when they are laid off they usually have more difficulty than other kinds of professionals with finding a new career path.
One terminated 8th-year associate went solo. His annual earnings were about $40K. His solution? Relocate closer to the New York Metro area so gain access to legal contract assignments. He couldn't bite the bullet and think: I gotta find another way to support my family.